It has almost exactly a year since I've posted here. What a year it was. I thought I'd get back in the game by writing a basic post for anyone new to this site. Many people ask:
'How can I buy liquidation inventory directly from Walmart?'
The answer is simple. Walmart operates their own liquidation marketplace located at https://liquidations.walmart.com. This is the only site from which Walmart sells excess inventory directly to small business buyers without involving a liquidator middleman. That makes this the best place to buy since you have direct access to the inventory with no filtering, cherry-picking or other game-playing by a middleman.
In addition, this is an auction site where the bidding on everything starts at $100. What that means is that you, the buyer, get to name your price, and if you are the high bidder, you win...period. No negotiations, no bait and switch, just view the manifest in the listing, calculate what you believe you can sell it for, figure out what you can pay to make an adequate profit, and place your bid. Then you can just sit back and wait for the auction to close to see if you have won at or below your maximum bid. Yes, that's right, you might bid $3,000 but if the next highest bidder only bids $1,200 then you win it for $1,225!
What I advise buyers to do is to download the manifest from any listings that look interesting to you and sort it by retail price from high to low. You will probably find that a relatively small percentage of the items make up the vast majority of the value of the lot, so focus on those. Next, spend some time looking up these items online to see what the CURRENT selling price is for each of the top items and fill those in an empty column in the manifest spreadsheet. If there are multiple quantities of any items, multiply the current selling price by the quantity in the manifest to arrive at the total selling price for all units on each line. Do this for as much of the manifest as possible to get the best estimate of your revenue once you've sold it all.
Next, estimate your costs related to buying and selling the items. A big one is likely to be shipping (which will be disclosed to you at the time you are bidding) but also third-party marketplace fees, if that's how you sell, credit card fees if you take payment that way, warehousing, receiving, packing materials, etc. Once you have a good idea of the costs you can subtract that from the total proceeds you estimated. If you paid this price, you would basically earn $0. Clearly, that is not what you want. So, next decide how much profit you would like to make for the effort involved in buying and selling this particular lot. Subtract that. Now you have your maximum bid amount.
But wait, that's not it. Some people go to auction sites and bid $100, $150, $200, $250, $300.....until finally, they bid the actual amount they have calculated. That can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Walmart's auction site allows you to simply enter your maximum bid amount. You might be thinking 'why would I ever do that? I want to get this at the lowest possible price'. Well, relax, these marketplaces are fully automated and treat your high bid as confidential. No one else sees that number. The computer simply places the next bid for you IF someone else bids against you. It will keep managing your bidding until it hits your maximum. And again, it will only bid again if someone outbids you and the price is still below your maximum.
So it is all very simple. The most important thing to remember is to do your homework! Read listing information carefully and understand the various conditions that items may be in when you receive them. When you are getting started don't buy 'salvage' product if you don't understand what 'salvage' means. Now go make some money!