Hi Lorraine, and welcome to the site...........
The liquidation as it is in the US is quite unique to the US and Canada really, sure you will find liquidated products through various means in other countries, Auction Houses for example, but nothing on the scale of what is available in the USA.
As you say, it can be a bit of a gamble when buying in stock.......but that's business, low risk business usually has low returns if any.
Of course you don't need to go crazy, you should be able to find the middle ground with some serious research. Match a market with a product that you feel is selling well enough, and one that you can source at the right price..........
Of course you can always try and get a few other of your friends involved and combine your savings to lesson the risk.
If you are interested in Ed Hardy fashion gear or Designer Sun glasses, drop me a PM. I have access to that type of liquidated stock in Europe through my own independent business ventures, so it may be an option for you.