With around 165,000 garage sales held in the United States every week, it’s easy to assume you’ll stumble onto one without planning. Even in the off chance that you do find a few closeout sales, your shopping time and the number of locations you can visit in a given day will be limited. Homeowners often sell excess inventory and old merchandise at garage sales and estate sales. Liquidators and overstock brokers might shop these sales looking for closeouts, You'll maximize your time if you check your community newspaper, a neighborhood social network like Nextdoor.com or Craigslist.org at least one day ahead of your shopping excursion to pinpoint several nearby garage sales.
Gone are the days opening the newspaper to the classified section to find estate sales and garage sales, but there are lots of new methods for find those great sales. The key is knowing where to look so you can get there first and score the best deals. It is also possible to buy merchandise at these sales to be resold as closeouts to liquidators who supply small retail outlets with deals for their customers. Overstock brokers may also buy some of these products, although they normally focus on larger quantities for wholesale purposes. An importer or distribution company may sell excess inventory to generate space or make room in the warehouse for new products, individual sellers are trying to get rid of merchandise to make space or because they are moving. In the case of businesses who sell excess inventory they may also be moving their 3PL warehouse or shutting down operations. Liquidation warehouses have opened around the country by liquidators and overstock brokers to help relieve 3PL warehouses to too much inventory.
While it may be tempting to open your wallet for every trinket on offer at a garage sale, it’s also the surest path to breaking your budget. The same is true for liquidators in the wholesale closeout business. There are always closeouts available in the marketplace, so it is important to choose the best deals. If you have a money or time limit in place for your shopping trip, draw up a list ahead of time based on the types of items mentioned in the garage sale ads, for instance, baby clothes, housewares, or vintage jewelry. Narrow the list to items you need or want most, and you’ll leave the sale with your arms full and your wallet just slightly lighter. If you buy too much inventory you will defeat the purpose of buying at these sales, and you may be forced to have one yourself!
Most garage sales run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, but the cream of the castaways tends to sell out in the morning. Motivated sellers will make an effort to get rid of as many wholesale closeouts as possible as quickly as possible. Excess inventory is a problem at every level so these sellers will want to get rid of closeout housewares, excess toys, too much lawn décor, hardware, home accessories, etc. If you roll out of bed at noon, you’re in for slim pickings because closeout buyers will have already done a lot of the liquidating. Big-ticket items like furniture, however, are the exception to this rule. Trying to negotiate a lower price on these items in the morning is usually ineffective because the homeowner is anticipating plenty of other offers throughout the day. They may wait for offers on inventory hoping for companies that buy surplus merchandise to make an offer. Your odds of success in haggling go up in the late afternoon, when both shoppers and offers are in shorter supply.
The thrill of finding multiple items that catch your fancy at a garage sale may fade when you start adding up their prices. Instead of negotiating and paying for items individually, negotiate a bundle price—that is, a lower price for a group of items—to boost your savings. This is how closeout buyers often shop with wholesale liquidators or excess inventory buyers. For example, if you pick up three shirts and a hat worth $14 in total, try offering $10 for the bunch. Sellers are more likely to negotiate with buyers who are willing to take multiple pieces off their hands. This buying philosophy is typical when there is a liquidation of a company and liquidation buyers and surplus liquidators bid for the inventory. These are bulk closeout sales where closeout buyers make an offer to take everything or a large portion of it.
Remember that most people don’t hold garage sales to make zillions; they’re trying to get rid of stuff. Even if you feel giddy after spotting a $300 leather jacket for $30. play it cool: “Hmmmm. So how much wiggle room is there on the price?” Negotiating is important in buying closeouts because surplus inventory must be sold or disposed of in order to get rid of it. You can also ask, “What price can you give me on this?” (Avoid “How low can you go?”, which makes sellers defensive, or “Can you give me a break?”, a question that only has a yes or no answer.) Haggling is easier when buying multiple items. Three times out of four, you’ll snag discounts without the discomfort of driving a hard bargain. Product liquidation companies understand how important negotiating can be when handling a business liquidation. The closeout process is the same whether it be a large corporation or an individual garage sale. Excess inventory buyers attend both kinds of sales and they liquidate inventory.
A challenging and chaotic year has spurred many people to reassess what's most important to them, how and where they want to live, and whom they want to be close to. A 2020 Pew Research Center survey showed that 22 percent of U.S. adults — more than 1 in 5 — reported that they changed their residence due to the pandemic or know someone who did. This leads to more inventory sales and situations where sellers need to work with closeout buyers. Amazon liquidations have also increased as the cost of long term storage has become too high. Businesses are moving 3PL warehouses and shutting down 3PL warehouses as they also relocate and work with liquidation companies.
Merchandise USA is a liquidation company in business since 1984. We buy closeouts and surplus inventory and specialize in selling obsolete inventory. Excess inventory buyers specialize in liquidation stock and Amazon FBA liquidations.