You’ve heard the stories of people who earn a living by reselling consumer goods online or in local shops. Now you want to give it a try for yourself, but first, you need inventory to resell. So, how do you buy truckloads of merchandise? We’re here to help. Here’s what you should know before you get started.
First things first, this is an actual business, not just a hobby, and you should treat it as such. This means you’ll need to register for a business license and get a sales tax license too. You’ll need documentation to purchase from wholesalers and online auction sites, so it’s best to get all the paperwork in order right from the start.
You’ll also want to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and use it to open a business bank account. Remember to keep your personal and business finances separate as this will make things much easier come tax time.
Next, you’ll need to consider how you’ll pay for your goods. The best and easiest option, of course, is to pay entirely out of pocket for all of your merchandise. But when you’re just starting out, you may not have the capital available. The good news is, you can usually find truckloads of merchandise that will fit your budget when you purchase from an online liquidation auction site.
The second choice for many startups is to put the purchases on a credit card. If you’re going to go this route, be sure to figure interest into your budget as it can easily eat into your profits. If you’re not able to get a card with a low-interest rate and minimal (if any) fees, this is not going to be a good way to start out in your new business venture.
Fortunately, there are also some financing options that cater directly to small businesses and are ideal for resellers. Here are our top three picks:
Once you’ve set up your business and obtained financing, it’s time to actually make a purchase. But if you’re new to the reselling process, you may not be aware of the pitfalls of purchasing from the wrong sources.
Sadly, there are those in the reselling marketplace who would take advantage of your lack of experience by selling resale lots made up of primarily broken or unusable products. In any large lot such as a full truckload of customer-returned or other liquidation merchandise, you’re likely to find a few duds; this is just part of doing business. Sometimes, shady operators purchase several full lots, take out all of the good stuff (known as cherry-picking), and then resell the dregs to unsuspecting buyers. Those buyers are then left with a truckload full of worthless junk that’s unlikely to earn their investment back, much less turn a profit.
Avoid this pitfall by only purchasing directly from the source. Trusted sites like B-Stock and our official marketplace partners offer truckload merchandise for sale directly from retailers without any middleman or questionable markups. You’ll be able to access detailed listings with itemized manifests, so you’ll know what you’re in for before the truck arrives. And should anything go wrong, we have a dedicated customer service team standing by to help make things right again.
Once you’ve found a reputable supplier, bid on some auctions, and purchased your truckloads of merchandise, you’ll need a way to transport them. Unlike normal online auctions, in many cases, the seller is not responsible for transporting the goods once they’re sold. Instead, you’ll need to arrange for freight.
Anytime you win an auction on B-Stock that includes the stipulation, “buyer arranges shipping,” you’ll receive a link from Freightquote.com that will allow you to quickly and easily arrange for transport. Freightquote.com is a marketplace that works with top carriers like C.H. Robinson, J.B. Hunt, and others, to get you competitive prices on freight. You can choose to use this marketplace, or shop around to find a freight option of your liking.
Other auctions may have a “binding” shipping label. In these instances, the shipping is prearranged according to your location and a few other factors. You may also have to pay accessorial fees if you don’t have a loading dock to receive the full truckload (FTL) shipment. Depending on the equipment you have (or don’t have), a liftgate fee and other accessorial fees may apply.
The final factor you’ll need to consider before your merchandise goes up for sale is storage. You might be surprised to know just how much space a full truckload of merchandise requires to sort, categorize, and store! The last thing you want to do is have it shipped to your space only to realize that there simply isn’t room to handle the volume.
The best option is to rent a warehouse or rent space in a warehouse. Ideally, you’ll want a facility with a proper loading dock for ease of use. Otherwise, you’ll want to at least make sure there is plenty of room for the truck to park and unload. You may also need to rent a forklift and a pallet jack to move your goods around.
Once you’ve received, sorted, and stored your merchandise, you’re going to need to find a way to resell it. The secondary retail market can be tricky, so you’ll want to do your research before jumping in. Fortunately, we’ve created a handy guide to navigating the secondary retail market that will help you get started.
Have further questions about how to buy truckloads of merchandise for resale? Our B-Stock Buyer Blog is a wonderful resource that will help you get the most out of your new business.