i'm super new at this stuff so forgive me if i sound super stupid. i've checked out a lot of the liquidator sites and there seems to be a bunch of clutter within bins and pallets. do people actually purchase these pallets and they can actually sell these items? then again i have a friend who imports keychains once a year and that is all he lives off of.
for strictly ebay sellers, do they also purchase these pallets and break them down and post them on ebay?
There is a saying in sales, 'there's a buyer for ever product', and it's pretty much true. Of course linking the perfect product to the perfect buyer is the hard part.
You question covers two areas really,
1. The quality of the liquidated stock
Liquidated stock can be a mine field, and from what you are describing it sounds like you are looking at either dollar store merchandise, which is usually pallets of nik-nak thingies all worth about 1-10 dollars each at full retail.
This is the area where so many get burnt when dealing with liquidated stock. You really have to have a good idea what's on the load, and not everyone will provide a manifest. Actually in this business a manifest can be a bad thing because it means that someone has been through the load to make the manifest, and then you have the problems of cherry picking.
Cheery Picking is the art of ripping all the valuables of the lot, then selling what's left, which of course is usually junk. A lot of loads that end up in places like Liquidation.com are cherry picked lots. The buyer takes what they want of the load and sells that on ebay or somewhere, then unloads the rest of the load on a site like liquidation.com.
Some unsuspecting buyer comes along and gets a pallet load of garbage for their money. Doesn't happen all the time of course, but there are plenty of cherry picked loads that go through places such as that.
So, know your load, match it to your market and ask as many questions as you can. If the liquidator won't answer them, don't buy!
Lets say you wanted to sell designer clothing, the best bet would be to look for a liquidator that has good brand names, and they offer new overstocks, not customer returns.
That way even though you will still get a percentage of damaged items, it should be very low, around 5% max. Where as if you buy customer returns, the percentage is usually much higher, although the clothes are usually much cheaper as well.
The thing to remember about liquidated stock is that liquidate, or surplus stock, can come from various avenues.
Shelf Pulls, Close-outs, Customer returns, Insurance claims, Scratch and dent, damaged packaging, new overstocks and so on. Just because you are buying liquidated stock, you have to be sure what type of liquidated stock it is or you can get burnt really quickly.
2. Does it sell
Well I pretty much covered this in the opening, but if you have the right product, at the right price, aimed at the right market, then the chances are pretty good that anything will sell.
Unfortunately that's the hard part, pulling all that together and then hoping that things like a bad economy and so on don't impact, as they so often do.
Don't feel bad about asking questions, always happy to help out, that's why I'm here :)