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For the purposes of this tutorial, liquidation is not the selling off of products from a dissolved or bankrupted company. Liquidation for our purposes is the selling of extraneous stock at yard sale or flea market prices. The fascinating thing is the sheer scope of the industry that knows how to sell liquidation items.

Learning how to become a liquidation broker, how to sell liquidation pallets, and even where to buy liquidation items is detailed below. Doing further research on your own is as simple as looking it up on Amazon, which has quite a large selling liquidation pallets biz. Here is how to sell liquidation items.

What Are Liquidation Items And Where Are They Found?

Items Eligible For Liquidation

You buy a product from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, or another retailer, but it either doesn’t work properly, it wasn’t what you expected when you opened the box, or you just plain don’t like it. You take the item back to the store, get your money back, and go home. The product you returned to the store is no longer first-class merchandise but a returned item.

Seasons last a specific amount of time. The stock ordered by stores to accompany that season isn’t as lucky. Sometimes the retailer doesn’t have space in the store or warehouse for items that were over-ordered for the season or drop-shipped from the main office to the stores. It’s called overstock.

returned items and seasonal items how to start a liquidation business Amazon liquidation program

A chain of stores or a big box store is closing its doors. Inside are bare shelves whose contents were palletized and sold to a liquidator (we’ll give you a list of those later,) or someone with a liquidating program such as the Amazon liquidation program. These are called closeouts and form a large part of, for example, Amazon liquidation pallets.

When you read in an online store that an item was reconditioned or refurbished, that means it wasn’t quite perfect, so it was returned. The item is thoroughly cleaned, extensively tested for faulty things, repaired, certified that it’s as good as new, and then resold. You see it all the time on eBay and Amazon with electronics, especially laptops, smart home items, and audio products.

closeouts and reconditioned or refurbished how to sell liquidation items

These are items that take up space that should be occupied by viable inventory. They’re carried on inventory until they’re gone. Inventory is a business asset. Liquidation converts assets into cash, so knowing how to sell liquidation items can be the savior of a business.

Where Are These Items Found?

You don’t need a list of stores with items pulled, returns, or refurbished products to find liquidation items. All you need do is walk into a store. Auto parts stores, hardware stores, shoe stores, dollar stores, bargain basements, department stores, and even online stores of all types have returned items. These are eligible for liquidation.

Find locations below:

Reasons You Should Know How To Start A Liquidation Business

Now that you know what liquidation is, what kind of merchandise is liquidized, and where the merchandise to liquidize is found, why on earth would you think of how to become a liquidation broker? What is it to you how to sell liquidation pallets?

Liquidation By The Numbers

Liquidation By The Numbers how to start a liquidation business

Picture it: you’re standing in line at the customer service counter after Christmas to unload that ugly sweater Aunt Maggie gave you. In front of you and behind you are the people making up the five to ten percent of returns.

You ordered a birthday present for yourself from an online retailer. It had a small scratch on it, so you sent it back. What you just did comprised 15 to 40 percent of online returns.

In the not-so-distant future, both online and in-person returns will constitute a trillion-dollar problem for retailers. Add to this the fact that more brick-and-mortar stores are accepting online returns, even if the item wasn’t carried or bought in the store. This equals a massive problem for retailers who re-sell less than half the items returned to the store.

This is a trillion-dollar opportunity for someone to step up and resell these returns, refurbishments, and so on. Did you know that some retailers, choking with unsellable merchandise, are simply chucking it into landfills? That’s money literally down the tubes, and liquidation resellers are ramping up to stop this incredible waste.

Reselling By The Numbers

Reselling By The Numbers how to start a liquidation business how to become a liquidation broker

Nine million e-commerce retailers worldwide are online. Two and one half million of them are located in the U. S. Forbes magazine tells us that “the resale market is growing 11 times faster than retail.” Consumers seek more sustainable and affordable shopping, and never more so than during the pandemic.

Green is not just a life choice anymore. Green is life. Liquidation resellers are giving consumers a method of not just sustainable living, but helping the environment as well. Resale has grown to the point that in 2020, 33 million American consumers bought used or second-hand merchandise, some for the first time ever.

Technology plays its part in resale, too. Virtual fitting rooms, electronic receipts, and other technologies mean that the resale market will hit $77 billion in five years. We think that’s a great reason for learning how to sell liquidation items.

What Are Some Examples Of Liquidation Businesses?

We told you in a paragraph above that we’d list some liquidation resellers. They’re all over the country in the form of discount stores, liquidation stores, outlets, and bargain stores. They all resell liquidated merchandise:

East Coast And The South

  • Ollie’s
  • Big Lots!
  • Outlet stores of any name brand
  • Five Below


  • Hensley’s Five To Dollar Store (Michigan)
  • Solo Clearance Center (Texas)
  • Victorian Trading Co. (Kansas)
  • Bargain Factory (Missouri)


  • Centralia Factory Outlets (Washington)
  • Dollar Store Service (Nevada)
  • Outlets at Anthem (Arizona)
  • Valley River Center (Oregon)
  • Via Trading (Southern California)

Online Resellers

All you have to do online to find a reseller is type in the item you want. Two and a half million reselling sites will appear. To narrow it down, though, here’s a list of the top ten online resellers:

  • Amazon
  • Mercari
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Bonanza
  • Wish
  • Ikea
  • Alibaba
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • AliExpress
selling wholesale on mercari - how to become a liquidation broker

Now you know the numbers associated with reselling liquidation items. You know where to go on the ground and online to find the products. If you’re learning how to sell liquidation items, there are two ways you can go. The first is to learn how to become a liquidation broker. The second is to open your own business when you learn how to sell liquidation pallets.

Becoming A Liquidation Broker

Becoming A Liquidation Broker how to sell liquidation items

If you’ve never owned a business before, even an online business you ran at your kitchen table, then you’ve got a learning curve coming at you. The first thing you must do with any endeavor, especially a business, is research, research, research. You’re going to need licensing, insurance, and a lawyer and accountant wouldn’t hurt.

That’s before you even get to the merchandise, a warehouse to put it in, and customers to take it off your hands. Yes, it’s daunting, but you don’t get anywhere playing it safe. Go big or go home, as they say. So what’s first?

If you’ve done your due diligence, then you have a business attorney and an accountant. You are a bonded and licensed liquidation broker. Now you need to hire a real estate agent to find you the perfectly located and sized warehouse for the liquidation items you’ve been researching.

You’ve found a reputable, legitimate liquidation wholesaler with whom to work. You have the financing available to begin buying stock. The real estate agent has found you a clean (who wants to buy dirty stock?) warehouse of good size at a good price.

Remember to vary your products. If you start out with, say, Apple laptops, that’s a good beginning. They’re in demand and you’ll know how to price them competitively. However, it’s a good idea to vary your products in order to entice a new clientele into buying from you.

Ways To Sell Liquidation Items

If you’re wondering how to sell liquidation items, then let us count the ways:

Ways To Sell Liquidation Items how to sell liquidation items Amazon liquidation program

Refresh, remerchandise, and remarket

Have an item that isn’t moving? Dust it up, place it in a brightly colored display, or freshen up the display so it looks new. Remarket the item on your website, in a blog, or in your store.

Strategically discount the item

This is one of those tips on how to sell liquidation items that catch shoppers’ eyes from the get-go. It’s just the bargain they’re seeking. However, there’s no sense in giving the store away, so to speak. Instigate a flash sale or have a special event. Shoppers will notice hordes of people in a store and wonder if there are any bargains left. This will bring you repeat customers, too.


You notice this more with cable, Internet, and a landline than you do with merchandise, but bundles are out there. If your types of merchandise support it, then bundle several items for just slightly less than if they sold separately. That way, you won’t take a hit on your bottom line.


Everyone loves a freebie, no matter what it is. Slow-moving merchandise is often offered as an incentive to join the mailing list, for example. Slow-moving items are often offered free with the purchase of, say, four items. Make sure you draw customers by using signs outside the shop.

Multi-buy discounts

BOGO sells pretty much anything, but it works especially on how to sell liquidation items. You can move your liquidation stock with the also popular “buy 4 get 2 free” and so on. Another way to sell the stock is to offer something slow-moving at a discount if the customer buys a number you specify of something else.

sell wholesale on ebay - how to sell liquidation items

Sell them online

Especially since the pandemic, more people shop online than ever before. Make it easy for them by selling your liquidation stock on your website as well as:

  • On Mercari
  • On Facebook Marketplace
  • On eBay
  • On Amazon
  • On Bonanza
  • On Etsy
  • On Wish
selling on facebook marketplace - sell liquidation pallets


There are tax advantages accompanying donations to schools, churches, organizations that help the homeless, and organizations that benefit veterans. Not only are there tax advantages to donating, but donating helps you market your wares. As an example, “we donate to several veterans organizations three times per year.” When shoppers read this on your website or on notice, they’ll rush into your store. The more they buy, the more you can donate.

The Top Five Wholesale Liquidation Companies In America

Working out how to sell liquidation items, whether you’re a liquidation broker or direct selling, helps to know about the top wholesale liquidation companies. They are:


A class act, with warehouses in North Carolina and Texas, Quicklotz offers their buyers a chance to view their lots before buying. They offer lots by the pallet or the truckload. You can even pick up your chosen lots at the warehouse. They have contacts that other liquidators don’t, so you can get lots that other buyers can’t get. Their customer service is first-rate, too.

quicklotz - how to sell liquidation pallets


Begun in a garage, this wholesale liquidation company is located in Washington, D. C. They offer a flat-rate shipping fee right to your door. If you don’t get exactly what you ordered, they’ll give you a full refund. They take online credit card payments, too.

bulq - how to sell liquidation items


This California-based wholesaler offers its clientele analytics for estimating your profits before you even order anything. Their software allows buyers to track their orders, seek the best deals in their marketplace, and get customer service help.

bstock - how to sell liquidation items

Mid Tenn Wholesalers

This Tennessee wholesaler works with their clients almost in a vacuum with discounts and savings in direct emails that no one else knows about. They carry just about everything and sell by the truckload.

Merchandize Liquidators

Based in Florida, this wholesaler works with small retail stores, eBay, and Amazon sellers among others. They also work with big-scale retailers and manufacturing. You’ll find everything on their site from refurbished items to overstock to returns. They are one of the few that size their lots to their buyers’ requirements.

Final Thoughts

How to sell liquidation items is a fun and exciting adventure to get into. You always read about Amazon or eBay sellers that make six figures, and you wonder how they do it. You wonder if you can do that, too. Yes, you can, and this is how it’s done.

You’ve walked into a discount store in your city or county, and knew right off the bat that the merchandise was obtained from a store that had closed. Some of the items still had the closed store’s tags on them. Still, they’re great bargains, so you load up on inexpensive but needed items.

Establishing your own liquidation business is as simple as obtaining the necessary licensing, bonding, and insurance first. Then you’ll need a warehouse and some stock to go into it. When you get those, then it’s time to find customers to buy them. This is where a network of people who know people comes in handy. Now get out there and start your how to sell liquidation items adventure!

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