Getting Started with Liquidation Items and Local Sales: The Accidental Entrepreneur’s Guide

Have you ever been shopping in one of your favorite department stores like Target, Wal-Mart or Macy’s and wondered to yourself, “Where does all of this stuff go when it goes out of style?”

Have you ever been shopping on eBay and found a really good deal on a closeout lot of name brand jewelry from one or two seasons ago, and wondered where the seller could have possibly gotten it from so cheaply.

Well, the likely answer to both of those questions is liquidation sales. However, many people feel that liquidation sales are only accessible to people with business licenses and government issued employee id numbers; and though business people and entrepreneurs typically do take advantage of these sales, you can feel free to do so as well. In fact, selling liquidation merchandise is quite simple. There are just a couple of important things to remember.


Though it is tempting to buy different types items and resell them for a profit, it’s best to focus on something and stick with it for a time. That way you can learn the market a little better and make things less confusing for yourself. Let’s say that you decide to start out with High Definition TVs. Even though you might see Blue Ray players and Tablets for great prices along the way, just focus on one thing for at least six months.

This will allow you to develop a business strategy that works for you. It will also show you who is buying what, and through what website or local venue they are shopping. You will also be learning along the way, so that when you are ready to add new items, you will already know the lay of the land.


Budgeting goes hand in hand with focusing. Start with a budget and do not go over it. A good starting budget for liquidation items is around $500. If you have less, that is fine. However, you want to make sure that the items you buy will sell somewhere. Starting with $500 or more is best, because you will be able to buy items that have a very defined value. If you can’t find someone to buy it from you at a profit, you can at least get something for it at the pawn shop or on eBay.


Now that you’ve got your item, go sell it. The great thing about liquidation merchandise is that it is usually name brand product that people would have gone to the store and bought last year anyway, so it tends to sell well. eBay and Craigslist are great places to start. However, local flea markets can often yield more consistent profits.