Stocks

The Anatomy of Liquidation Auctions

that If you know liquidation exists by now, you also probably know it can be a daunting task getting your hands on it- without a little research first, that is! With less than trustworthy sources out there, that’s an understandable concern. And historically, it hasn’t always been the easiest to obtain either. Don’t worry, in this blog, we will cover everything you should know about a liquidation auction, as well as how you can find them on B-Stock. Liquidation pallet auctions, whether you’re placing your first bid or hundredth, all follow the same basic structure. It’s important to understand what exactly to look out for before placing your auction bid to avoid any confusion down the line.

We’ve highlighted the important sections you should be familiar with so you can make an informed and successful purchase. Keep reading for even more information on B-Stock lot sizes, shipping methods, and how you can get started on B-Stock Supply!

Is liquidation legit?

Yes – plenty of businesses use liquidation as a reliable and affordable source of inventory. Retailers liquidate as a way to make room for new inventory, give a second life to customer returns and overstock, and in order to recoup some of their losses. Since legitimate companies like Walmart, Target, Amazon, The Home Depot, and more all liquidate, that makes their inventory legit too!

On B-Stock, you can easily search over 60+ private marketplaces for the brands and inventory you’d like. You can filter by region, by product category, and by marketplaces. Here are categories you can start sourcing liquidation inventory in:

Let’s break down a liquidation auction

Auction title

Everything from lot size, category, condition, retail value, and location of the auction will be included here. Keep in mind that Ext. retail reflects MSRP, not the current market value, so you should always do your own research about the value of the items in the lot.

Auction image

There are three types of auction images on B-Stock – category images which will include generic stock images grouped together, product images that show stock photos of the items that will be included in the lot, and sample images that show the condition of inventory or how inventory is palletized for shipment. It’s important to note that these images are representative and will not show exact images of the inventory.

Bidding block

Includes all the bidding and pricing information for the auction. You must be registered and logged in to see some of this information.

  • Opening Bid/Current Bid – This is where you can see the current bid price for the auction.
  • Your Bid & Bid Now Button – This is where you can place your bid.
  • Shipping Cost – Here we’ll display the estimated shipping cost based on your shipping address. Any shipping time frame displayed on the auction page indicates when you will hear back from the seller to arrange shipping.

International buyers should note that even though shipping estimates may appear, some inventory can’t be shipped internationally.

Manifest & Add to Watchlist

This is where you can find all the auction details or add the auction to your watchlist.

The watchlist feature is a nice benefit for interested buyers. If selected, you will find that auction saved on your “Watchlist” under your account for quick access. From there, you can monitor the current highest bid, see when the auction ends, plus add any of your own notes. Don’t want to participate in an auction right away? Add the auction to your watchlist!

Manifest

Includes the brand, item description, retail value, extended retail, and item number. You can also download the full manifest for any auction details. We highly recommend that you download the auction manifest for each auction you are interested in bidding in. It’s imperative to read the manifest before you bid as it tells you everything you need to know about a lot and its contents. Since no two auctions are alike – neither will their manifests.
Find relevant information like quantity, item number/ UPC/ model, estimated MSRP, item description, and category. The UPC, or Universal Product Codes, are especially important so you can look up what the current retail price is. That way, you will have an idea in mind of how much profit you can make reselling on the secondary market.

Details

This is the section where we’ll call out any important information about your auction. Make sure to check out the “Notice” and “Seller Notes” sections if they are included—these are auction-specific!

  • Notice – This will vary by seller and can also vary by auction so it is important to review this information for any auction you are interested in.
  • Description – A description of the inventory types included in the auction.
  • Condition – A description of the condition of the inventory included in the auction.
  • Packaging – Details about how inventory is packaged for shipment.
  • Shipping – Here the seller will provide details about the size and weight of the lot, as well as any pallet count information and details about packaging.
  • Seller Notes – Not every auction will have seller notes, but when they do, this information will be very important. Please make sure to check this section for every auction you choose to bid on.

General

Links to resources to help with payment, shipping, merchandise condition, and marketplace terms and conditions.

Common liquidation lot sizes

B-Stock lot sizes range so that you can purchase the inventory amount that meets your business needs. You will see anywhere from 1-2 pallets up to 24 pallets! On B-Stock Supply, you will see cases or boxes, too. For smaller buyers or those looking to test selling liquidation merchandise for the first time, this can be a great starting point.

For a quick breakdown, remember:

  • Less than truckload (LTL) – Shipments will only take up a portion of an entire trailer and can range anywhere from one to 10 or 12 pallets.
  • Full truckload (FTL) – The trailer is dedicated to one shipment only. 24 pallets are usually the standard amount of freight in an FTL.
  • Number of units can always be found in the auction lot manifest as well as the auction title.

Shipping your liquidation pallets

Shipping is one of the most important sections to call out. There are a few different shipping methods buyers have on the B-Stock platform.

  1. Buyer arranged shipping – You (buyers) are responsible for contracting a carrier and shipping the product from the seller’s facility to yours.
  2. Seller arranged shipping – The seller will make all of the arrangements for you and your order total will include the shipping cost. So you pay the final bid price + additional shipping cost on the auction (found under the bidding field).
  3. Free shipping – Free shipping is common on B-Stock Supply but also offered by a small handful of our private marketplace retailers like Walmart (within a certain mileage range).
  4. Fixed shipping – Buyers pay a flat rate for shipping regardless of where you are located geographically.
  5. Binding shipping

Retailers on the B-Stock platform typically learn towards binding shipping. Cost varies depending on a few different variables like zip code, weight, density, number of pallets, how many pallet spaces will be used during transport, among others.

You must read shipping details for each auction you’re interested in. Why? Because different marketplaces and sellers have different shipping practices. Be mindful that prices displayed on the auction page are estimates— the official quote is sent once you win an auction. Shipping quotes must be paid in order to start the shipping process.

complete checklist for buying liquidation pallets

Click here to download your copy of The Complete Checklist for Buying Liquidation Pallets!

When in doubt, shop on B-Stock Supply.

If liquidation pallet auctions on private marketplaces sound like a big leap for you right now, don’t worry! That’s where B-Stock Supply can help. Supply is similar to eBay but for business-to-business transactions. While auctions live on Supply, sellers list merchandise themselves. Since sellers range from small or medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies, you’re sure to find the right auction. You can find any category on our private marketplaces on B-Stock Supply, all with the added benefit of smaller lot sizes, free shipping opportunities, lower prices, and seller ratings. So start trying different inventory types and enjoy the treasure hunt!

Learn more about B-Stock Supply in this blog. For wherever you choose to source liquidation pallets, B-Stock has your back. Start browsing auctions today and secure the inventory that is right for your business!

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