My Work Is Closeouts And Overstock Inventory. But Can I Still Have A Life?

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The business of buying closeouts, selling excess inventory, and warehousing overstock products can be a very rewarding one, both financially and personally. However, it is also a very demanding business, and it is important to understand the amount of work involved before you get started in the closeout business. Overstock inventory is excess merchandise generally leftover from a project, or end of line unwanted merchandise that is being disposed of. It is called closeouts, because it is excess, surplus or otherwise obsolete inventory a company wants to get rid of.

Buying closeouts

Closeouts are products that are being sold at a discounted price because the business is discontinuing inventory, making room for new products, or going out of business. To find good closeout deals, you need to network with retailers, wholesalers, and liquidators. You also need to be able to assess the value of the overstock products or other dead stock you are buying and negotiate good prices.

Once you have found a good deal on closeouts, you need to arrange to transport the liquidation products to your warehouse. This can be a challenge, especially if you are buying large quantities of products or if you are shipping the products from overseas. Closeout distributors are accustomed to dealing with this because they are always working with closeout brokers and inventory liquidators.

Selling excess inventory

Once you have the closeouts in your warehouse, you need to start selling them. This can be done through a variety of channels, including online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores, and auctions. Closeout websites are an effective way to get rid of discontinued inventory, but you can also sell to closeout distributors, inventory liquidation buyers and other buyers of overstock products

To sell your products successfully, you need to take high-quality photos and write persuasive listings. You also need to be responsive to customer inquiries and ship orders promptly. Just because these products are overstock items and merchandise that may no longer be needed, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable to the right closeout buyer.

Warehousing overstock products

Warehousing overstock and closeout products requires careful organization and management. You need to keep track of your inventory levels and ensure that the products are stored properly. You also need to have a system in place for picking and packing orders. Liquidation products often sell quickly, so you have to have a system in place where you can pull, pack and ship orders fast. In order to successfully liquidate merchandise and be an overstock liquidation buyer, you will have to learn to act quickly. Liquidation buyers often have large warehouses with enough staff to receive and ship fast. Companies that liquidate inventory are sometimes even second and third generation owners

In addition to the day-to-day tasks of buying, selling, and warehousing closeout products, you also need to take care of the administrative side of the business. This includes accounting, marketing, and customer service. Buying closeouts is only part of the equation; you have to advertise your closeouts, setup a payables system, and have a sales organization that understands selling excess inventory.

How much work is involved?

The amount of work involved in the business of buying and selling closeouts, selling excess inventory, and warehousing overstock products varies depending on a number of factors, such as the size of your business, the types of products you sell, and your sales channels. Liquidation buyers have to put in a lot of hours in order to get the job done properly. There is always liquidation stock available to buy; the issue is how do you manage the entire closeout process.

However, most business owners in this industry work long hours, often 60-70 hours per week. This is especially true when you are first starting out and trying to grow your business. Inventory liquidation buyers get wrapped up in their businesses because there are so many details. Which liquidation stock should you buy? Where will you store your closeouts and overstock inventory? Do you have a sales channel of liquidation buyers and closeout websites to work with?

How to enjoy your life while putting in so many hours

It is important to find ways to enjoy your life even when you are working long hours. Here are a few tips:

  • Set boundaries. It is important to set boundaries between your work life and your personal life. This means not checking work emails or messages outside of work hours and taking time for yourself and your family. Closeout, overstock and excess inventory will always be available. Even if you miss out on one specific deal, there will be more inventory to liquidate tomorrow.
  • Take breaks. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, even if it is just for a few minutes. Get up and move around, or step outside for some fresh air. When you buy overstock inventory for a living you will find it can be stressful. Take a break from your closeout liquidation company and you will come back feeling refreshed.
  • Delegate. If you have the ability to delegate tasks, do it. This will free up your time so that you can focus on the most important aspects of your business.
  • Take time for yourself. Schedule time each week for activities that you enjoy, such as reading, spending time with friends and family, or pursuing hobbies. Buying and selling closeouts can be fun and a good way to make money, but there is more to life than liquidating overstock inventory.

Additional tips for success

Here are a few additional tips for success in the business of buying closeouts, selling excess inventory, and warehousing overstock products:

  • Specialize in a niche. It is easier to compete in this industry if you specialize in a particular niche, such as closeouts of pet products, overstock home accessories inventory, excess stock of lawn and garden products, or inventory liquidation of toys and sporting goods.
  • Build relationships. Building relationships with retailers, wholesalers, and liquidators is essential for finding good deals on closeouts. There is dead inventory and products for liquidation everyday, all of the time. But if you can get friends and associates to call you when they are keen to clear stock from a warehouse or when they know of a company shutting down operations and liquidating entire inventories, this is the best way to find closeouts.
  • Use technology. There are a number of software programs that can help you manage your inventory, sales, and accounting. Also, if you are looking for an inventory liquidator you can try a simple Google search using terms like these: closeouts, buy overstock inventory, selling closeouts, liquidate overstock inventory, excess inventory buyers, downsizing 3PL warehouse, overstock products for sale, buy closeouts, shutting down business operations, closeouts, keen to clear stock from warehouse.
  • Be patient. It takes time to build a successful business in this industry. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. Buying and selling closeouts can take years to begin to understand. Keep in mind there are inventory liquidation companies that have been in business for decades.


The business of buying closeouts, selling excess inventory, and warehousing overstock products can be a very rewarding one, but it is important to understand the amount of work involved before you get started. Merchandise USA has been in the closeout business more than 38 years. We specialize in buying closeout lawn and garden inventory, pet product closeouts, excess stock of children’s toys, overstock home accessory inventory and overstock sporting goods. If you are shutting down your warehouse, going out of business or liquidating inventory for any other reason, we can help you understand the liquidation process and how to sell your overstock inventory.