Many trade shows were forced to postpone or cancel due to gathering restrictions and capacity limits caused by the pandemic. Only a handful of trade shows have resumed and many industries have not had a show since the first half of 2019. Closeout wholesalers just had their first large International event in Las Vegas last week. ASD Market Week seemed to be successful for both closeout buyers, liquidation companies and overstock buyers. Inventory buyers still need a place to congregate and look at goods. In 2020 and so far in 2021, liquidation companies and closeout wholesalers have relied on Zoom to meet with overstock buyers looking for closeouts and discontinued inventory.
Virtual trade shows and expos are something we never even considered before the pandemic. Many of the he largest annual trade show in the States went online for 2020 and 2021. It still allows overstock buyers to explore new products and offerings, and likely, hybrid expos continue in 2022, as organizers offer in-person events for smaller groups but host virtual gatherings for those who can’t (or don’t feel safe) joining. For liquidation companies it has been challenging to sell closeouts to overstock buyers on Zoom. It has been effective but strictly a means to an end – there was no alternative. Since there will always be closeouts available in the market, as long as Covid rages, we will need to find ways for overstock buyers to feel comfortable buying large lots of inventory. Entire warehouses are currently being liquidated without physical on-site inspections. Some liquidation companies are experiencing record sales during the pandemic because there is so much demand for overstock, closeouts, excess and surplus inventory.
Closeouts and overstock events that happen in-person are continuing to evolve their policies based on the latest COVID news and CDC or World Health Organization’s guidelines. In addition, more and more trade show organizers are requiring overstock buyers to wear masks, show proof of vaccination, or both. Organizers are also likely to adopt more flexible registration policies, where attendees, closeout wholesalers, or liquidators who change their plans last-minute can have a credit toward future events. Liquidation companies and closeout wholesalers exhibiting at major trade shows will also need to do some of their own policing when customers let down their guard and aren’t masking or social distancing.
Like many things right now, trade shows for liquidation companies and closeout wholesalers are going to have to find ways to adapt. With big trade shows facing cancellation, overstock buyers will be looking to virtual trade show options to remain relevant. This need has led to many new innovations and more creative ways of exhibiting closeouts, overstock inventory and surplus merchandise. For closeout companies to remain relevant they will have no choice bu to change with the times.
Merchandise USA is an inventory liquidator specializing in closeout and surplus inventory. Contact us if you are selling closeout toys, liquidating housewares, or have any other excess inventory or surplus inventory for sale.