FinafThe first Lowe’s store as we know it today was opened in 1946. The chain now has 1,840 stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. For the first quarter of 2021 alone, sales reached $24.4 billion! You probably associate Lowe’s with its vast selection of home improvement products, appliances, garden center, tools, paint, lumber, and more. But did you know that you can offer the same great products in your store by bidding on Lowe’s liquidation auctions? Whether you own a retail store, outlet, contracting company, or are a wholesaler, you can find the inventory you need on Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions.
Consider this article your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about Lowe’s inventory!
- Overview of Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions
- What makes Lowe’s inventory valuable
- How to start buying Lowe’s liquidation pallets
- Reselling home & garden tips
Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions: Overview
How does a company like Lowe’s deal with customer returns and overstock you might ask? Well, in order to recoup some of their losses, they liquidate! Customer returned, excess, and out-of-season inventory that would otherwise take up space in their stores and warehouses get put up for auction via B-Stock.
With private, online liquidation sites, auctions are happening daily! So buyers can directly access deeply discounted inventory while Lowe’s makes way for new inventory. The best part about an auction setup– aside from its transparency– is you never pay more than you want on inventory! You just set your max bid and let our auto-bidding system do the work for you.
Types of Lowe’s liquidation inventory
Home and garden inventory is used in a lot of different ways by a lot of different people (like renovators, contractors, bulk buyers, homeowners, and DIY enthusiasts). Same goes for major appliances. Major appliances include washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens—an essential part of any household, rental, or apartment.
Here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home & garden inventory:
- Lawn & garden
- Home decor & furniture
- Lighting & ceiling fans
- Building supplies
This list doesn’t even cover the hundreds of products that can be found on Lowe’s private liquidation marketplace.
What makes Lowe’s liquidation inventory valuable?
Functional scratch & dent appliances
Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions also has regular auctions for scratch and dent appliances. Scratch and dent appliances can be very valuable as they are in like new working order, aside from a few scratches that may have occurred during transport.
Home & garden is a huge category
With the availability of unmanifested returns on the Lowe’s liquidation site, you’d be surprised at the number of things that have the potential to fall under the home and garden category. Unmanifested means they have not been inspected, nor will you find a detailed list of individual items or quantities of products within the auction lot. An auction title could read, “Truckload (20 Pallets) of Unmanifested Merchandise: Tools, Home and Garden, Small Appliances & More, Internet Returns, Wilkesboro, NC”.
For more help understanding auction layout, catch up on The Anatomy of Liquidation Auctions.
Discounted customer returns
Customers often return appliance purchases due to a cosmetic scratch, wrong color choice, or incorrect measurements. In short, simple reasons such as these have nothing to do with functionality. Buyers can reap the benefits of deeply discounted inventory while passing on savings to customers.
Other customer returns can include any of the inventory listed above (think: tools, hardware, and more). If people can’t figure out how to work the tool, or the wrong one needed was purchased, they’re likely going to bring it back to Lowe’s.
Renters and developers are always building new dream homes, keeping complexes up-to-date, and searching for appliances; while families and individuals are constantly moving, renovating, and working on curb appeal projects. Safe to say, there is year-round demand for Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions inventory.
If you’re interested in the furniture category, there are some other seasonal spikes you can take advantage of. For example, most furniture sales center around holidays like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor day – all warmer-season holidays. It turns into a nice end-of-summer leap for liquidation furniture when retailers are dealing with customer returns and overstock.
How To Start Buying Lowe’s Liquidation Pallets
Lowe’s returns policy
According to Lowe’s return policy, “Most new, unused merchandise can be refunded or exchanged with proof of purchase within 90 days of the original purchase date, unless noted in our Return Policy Exceptions.” Certain items must be returned within 30 days in “like-new” condition. These include TVs, major appliances, outdoor power equipment, and more. For the most part, Lowe’s makes the process of accepting returns simple and efficient. Which paves the way for Lowe’s liquidation pallets.
Find the warehouse closest to you
Shipment size and location may help you determine the best auction for you. The amount of miles your lot has to travel to get to you directly impacts the cost of shipping. That’s why some buyers shop closer to home (or your geographical region) to save money. You can currently find Lowe’s liquidation auctions listed out of the following locations:
- Charlotte, NC
- North Wilkesboro, NC
- Syracuse, NY
- Tobyhanna, PA
- Willmington, MA
- Franklin Park, IL
- Chandler, AZ
You can also visit the Lowe’s FAQ page for more questions on shipping.
Determine the condition you’re after
Easily filter by the product condition you’re looking for on Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions. Note the differences between major appliances product conditions versus non-major appliance conditions.
For major appliances:
- New condition – Major appliances received via Special Order that were subsequently canceled by a Lowe’s customer prior to delivery.
- Scratch and dent – Major appliances with scratches or dents that were discovered prior to customer delivery. Units are fully operational.
- Customer returns – Custom returns have not been inspected. However, you can still find units in this class that are fully functioning or with minor cosmetic damage.
- Haul away – Lowe’s customers requested removal of these appliances during the new product delivery process.
- Salvage – Damaged items that may not be functional. Items will have significant cracks and dents, broken glass, and missing parts.
Read a more detailed list of product conditions here.
For non-major appliance conditions:
- New condition parcel – Parcel items still in new condition but identified by Lowe’s as surplus (or overstock) and/or obsolete inventory.
- Standard customer returns – Returned items may be used, damaged, defective, missing pieces, or in good condition with only the packaging opened.
- Internet returns – Internet returns that have been returned by customers. Items may be used, damaged, defective, missing pieces, or in good condition with only the packaging opened.
- Scratch and dent – Scratches/dents discovered prior to customer delivery and still fully operational.
What size shipment are you able to purchase?
Do you have a warehouse or retail storefront? If you do, it will make sourcing bulk lots more worthwhile. Otherwise, you have to consider standard pallet size is 48” x 40”. A truckload has 24 pallets and an LTL (less than truckload) can be anywhere from one to 10 or 12. Moreover, furniture is often palletized inventory while nearly all appliance auction deliveries will be floor-loaded. Floor-loaded inventory is not shipped on pallets. Review auction details to see if you will need a liftgate to receive inventory.
If you’re tight on space, smaller appliances that you can sell online or from your home might be a better bet; you can find smaller lots of home & garden inventory on B-Stock Supply.
Reselling Home & Garden Tips
- Pairs for the win- If you can make matches or offer materials in bundle deals, even better. Depending on the customer, they may just be looking for one spare part.
- Appliances will require a physical storefront- Some appliance manufacturers will require you to have a brick and mortar store in order to purchase inventory. The ‘Big 5’ includes washers, dryers, refrigerators/freezers, dishwashers, and ovens.
- Pre-test inventory- You should always do your own pre-testing and ensure all parts are present (as listed in the auction lot manifest) and working. This is also a good time to clean inventory so it’s spick and span, as well as make small repairs if you are able to.
- Be explicit when listing items for sale- If you put items up for sale listed as ‘new’ then that’s what your customers will expect. If you’re missing parts, then clearly state that in the title and description.
Start Sourcing from Lowe’s Liquidations Auctions
You can source a variety of home & garden items, appliances, and customer returns from Lowe’s Liquidation Auctions. Hopefully, you’ve had some of your questions answered when it comes to Lowe’s products, pallets, and potential reselling profit!
It’s easy to start sourcing the best in liquidation, overstock, and customer returns. First, register for Lowe’s marketplace today! Next, submit a valid resale certificate and start browsing auctions. After that, you will be well on your way to finding the inventory your business needs! Be sure to give Buying Basics: How to Become a B-Stock Buyer Part 1 a quick read for even more details.