Understanding Closeouts & Liquidation Merchandise
First thing is first – let’s discuss just exactly what closeout merchandise is and liquidation sales.
Closeouts are available in many product categories, including clothing, home decor, footwear, accessories, toys and more. They are essentially divided into two categories – salvage items and job-outs. The first category we look at is salvage product. Salvage merchandise consists of customer returns, floor damages and samples. Due to this mixed assortment, some items may be damaged – however damageable does not always mean unsellable. This will depend on the product and the damage. That said – the majority will not be damaged.
The second category of closeout merchandise is job-outs. This category identifies items that were already on a retail floor somewhere and did not sell. As a result, their cost has been reduced for a quick sell to another retailer and ultimately, to a new consumer audience. Like salvaged products, there is a chance for damaged goods. But the percentage is much less – often less than 5%, though as high as 10% has been reported from retailers we’ve spoke with.
One thing to understand among most closeout purchases is that you typically buy in bulk. For example, you may buy 100 total units versus four 6-packs of a specific item. The bulk buy you make is almost always assorted with a variety of items. For example, you could buy a 100 assorted buy of t-shirts from at least ten different total vendors. Or you could buy 100 total units of mixed accessories such as headbands, barrettes, bracelets, rings and more. A closeout dealer will be able to identify a lot of what each bulk, assorted buy has to offer – but there will always be a bit of a surprise when buying closeouts. For many, that is part of the fun! For others, this may be where they get stuck in the buying process. Luckily, there are great resources for this that alleviate a lot of the questions about buying closeouts. One site to look at is Merchandize Liquidators, who do a good job at delivering quality closeout products.
Many indie and small retailers shy away from closeouts simply due to their lack of understanding or even the “bad rap” that closeouts sometimes have. Our advice? Consider what is best for you. Closeout liquidators exist because it has proven to be successful for many retailers to buy from. Among these include a lot of small, independent retailers that blend closeout buys into their total store inventory – without customers or even staff knowing any different. It’s very possible you shop a boutique that sells closeouts and you don’t know any different, as well.
Have we made you think twice about your buys or where you shop? Let us know!