This Is My First Time Liquidating Inventory. Where Do I Start?

closeout buyers

As the old saying goes “there is a first time for everything”. This includes selling closeouts and dealing with surplus buyers who can help you sell excess inventory and reduce your level of stock in your warehouse.. There are many different types and sizes of closeout companies for you to work with, so you will have choices. You can reach out to them via email or phone calls.

Research Potential Buyers. The first thing you will have to do is some research. Look for surplus buyers who appear to be a good fit for the type of merchandise you are selling. You can work direct with retail stores, sell to wholesale closeout buyers or partner with closeout websites. Each will bring something different to the table so you will need to have conversations with different buyers to determine who is best for you. All you have to do is one online search for “closeouts” or “surplus buyers” and you will immediately have ads and search results that can keep you busy for days.

Look For Experience. This brings us to the next thing you have to do. Find a company that has experience buying closeouts. Look for an outfit that has been involved with different deals of varying sizes. Ask questions so you feel comfortable with a company that shares your values and ideas. When you sell excess inventory for the first time you will likely need some direction which can only come from experience, so you don't want this to be someone's first rodeo. Many closeout companies and wholesale liquidators have been in business for decades and are being run by second or third generations.

Check Credit History. When you sell excess inventory it is very important your buyer is well funded. So whether you are disposing of your products to a wholesaler, retailer or closeout website, make sure they will be able to pay you. You can start with a simple credit check, and follow up with more specific questions including size of their average deal, average length of time to pay invoices, etc. You are entitled to these answers since you will be selling excess inventory at a loss and only recovering some of your investment. The good news is wholesale surplus buyers and closeout companies generally have good reputations.

Iron Out Details. Every deal has it's own details and it is important to discuss them in advance. Examples of this may include shipping cost responsibility, loading responsibility, height to build pallets, weight limit of pallets. dock location, restrictions on where your product can be sold, etc. This is as long or short a list as you want it to be so these points should be considered. Some closeout websites are restricted from advertising name brand closeouts, while some surplus buyers won't accept any restrictions. Have these conversations in advance of making any deals and save yourself a lot of heartache.

Act Quickly. When you find the right buyer for your closeouts who is willing to pay a price you can live with, make the deal. You are on a mission to sell excess inventory and get it off your books. Once you do all the hard work, identify the right buyer, and make a deal, finish the job. If you hesitate or kick the can down the road, it is possible your closeout buyer will change their mind. Don't forget, yours isn't the only inventory they are looking at and bidding on. Very often sellers think if the have an offer for “X”, they can go out and find a better buyer for “X+10”. It doesn't work this way. Most of the time while you are out there trying to get a better deal, your buyer has already forgotten you or bought a competing inventory. Many times your deal will not be honored at a later date.

It isn't hard to sell excess inventory or closeouts, and it doesn't have to be stressful. Follow these simple steps and you should have a positive experience with a reputable closeout buyer.