Buying products from liquidators to work from home on eBay can be a financially sound business plan. It can also lead to disaster if you do not know what you are doing. Liquidators differ from wholesalers in many ways. Knowing their terms and what to expect is crucial to making a liquidation business successful.

What do liquidators buy? They purchase odd lots, returns, shelf pulls, overruns and overstocks, imperfect items, bankruptcy sales, and store closings. Let’s look at all of these terms so that you know what to expect.

These are the last of a lot, or sometimes a small test run of a product. Usually, these lots come from the manufacturer and were not in a large enough quantity to be sold through their regular retail venues. Merchandise in this category is very desirable and without flaws.

This is exactly what it sounds like. The customer returned items to the store. You can expect that there will be opened boxes, incomplete packages, missing parts, non-working items, damaged items, and clothing and shoes that might have been worn once and returned. You can expect electronics to have a certain percentage of DOA (dead on arrival) pieces. Some items may not be suitable for sale. Your best chance of getting enough good items with store returns is to buy in large quantities. This way there will be enough of great quality items to offset what cannot be sold.

Shelf pulls can be risky. These items are pulled from the shelves and racks at the end of the season. Items in this category may also have been sitting on a clearance rack or shelf for a while. Boxes may be opened or missing. Electronics may or may not be working. Display items are included in this and their condition is always questionable. Purchasing large quantities is a must. Many clothing items will not have brand labels. Know what you are buying.

Over-Runs and Over Stocks:

These are items that too many were either purchased or made. For example, merchandise that is sold based on a recently released movie frequently makes its way into this category. This merchandise is usually easily sold and there should not be damaged items.

Imperfect Items:

Not perfect, so they do not always sell well. For example, a shower curtain may be printed upside down. This does not affect the actual shower curtain’s ability to perform its task, but it looks awkward. Caution is in order here. Slight flaws are fine but some of the items will not easily sell. If you sell these items you are required by law to state that they are slightly imperfect and not first quality. If you do not do this you can get yourself into trouble. Be careful buying imperfect products from liquidators to use in your eBay business.

Bankruptcy Sales and Store Closings:

This is exactly what it sounds like. The stores have closed and whatever merchandise was not auctioned off or sold off at the closing or bankruptcy sales goes to the liquidators. You can expect a vast array in the quality of merchandise. There are deals to be had, just know what you are purchasing.

Buying products from liquidators to work from home on eBay is a great way to add products to your inventory. Know what to expect before you buy and you will do just fine.

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