Do you own a liquidation business? If so, you likely manage a significant amount of liquidated inventory each year. Of course, this inventory may run the gamut from clothing and men’s accessories, to children’s toys and more.
Each liquidation business manages this inventory in different ways. Perhaps your business focuses on clothing and accessories and conducts sales through a store like liquidation giants TJMaxx or Big Lots. Or, perhaps you repair and resell returned electronics through an online website. Both these businesses, while they surely have potential for success, are a lot of work.
If you’re looking for a liquidation opportunity that offers a lot of opportunity with less effort, it’s time to get involved in trade show sales as a wholesale liquidation merchant. Each year, hundreds of wholesale trade shows, expositions, and professional conferences happen across the country in every industry. Buyers come from all over to purchase wholesale goods at low prices to resell at their businesses.
Wholesale trade shows are the perfect opportunity for you and your liquidation business. Read on to learn why.
They Offer Wholesale Sales Opportunities
If you’re a direct to consumer liquidation seller, your average order value is probably relatively small. For one, liquidation merchandise businesses are built for bargain basement prices. Additionally, a single person may only be buying for themselves, and maxes out at buying for their family. If your business deals in clothing and apparel, you may only make an average of $30 per customer that comes through the door. Sales are akin to a steady trickle.
On top of that, the costs of running your store are relatively the same whether it’s a slow sales day or a lucrative one. Perhaps you have less employees to pay, but your rent, electricity, and other overhead costs remain the same. That can significantly eat away at your profits and is downright depressing. Sometimes, you may question whether opening the doors each day is worth it.
Trade shows, on the other hand, pose a completely different sales opportunity. As a trade show liquidation merchant, you won’t be dealing in $30 AOVs; you’ll be dealing in hundred, thousands, or even tens of thousands. For you, that means an extremely high sales volume in an extremely small period of time. What’s not to like?
Buyers are Poised to Purchase
Browsers are the bane of many business owners’ existence. Each day, you may have a hundred people who come through your doors or visit your website who have no intent of buying. They may simply be killing some time, or they may just be curious about your product. In online sales, that can result in a lot of site traffic that doesn’t convert. For in-person sales, that may mean depreciation of your inventory, effort put towards sales, and more with no return.
One of the best things about a wholesale trade show is that most attendees are poised to purchase. In part, this is due to the cost of attendance. Even free trade shows have some associated costs for attendees. Most come from out of town and must pay for transit, overnight stays, and more. The larger the trade shows, the more costly these may be. These costs pre-qualify attendees by incentivizing them to make their time worth the costs of attendance.
It Costs a Lot Less than Running a Store
Retail shops can be a costly venture. Between purchasing inventory, paying for rent and utilities, your employees’ hourly pay, marketing costs, maintenance, and more, it’s quite expensive to run your own brick and mortar store. Online shops may not have the rent and utility costs of a brick and mortar store, but they still require some office space from which to run out of. They also have the additional costs associated with your website, such as those charged by your shop platform, tools, domain, and more.
Trade shows, on the other hand, require a lot less money. According to industry standards, the total cost of attending a trade show will be about 3x the cost of the booth rental. On average, a square foot of space at a trade show costs $21. From there, you can work your way into a trade show budget.
For example, let’s say you’re setting up a booth that’s 15×15. That’s 225 square feet—a good size to start with. That will cost you approximately $4,725. So, in total, you’re looking at a total cost of $14,175. The additional costs will go towards:
- Booth fixtures, signs, etc
- Travel and lodging
- Show fees towards electricity, cleaning, and more
- Shipment of your goods and booth
- Other expenses.
The Connections are Invaluable
Trade shows are gatherings of buyers, sellers, and other professionals in a common industry or profession. Of course, sellers attend trade shows to sell. But tradeshows offer so much more than just opportunities for closing sales.
Trade shows give you a chance to meet with hundreds or even thousands of different professionals in the same field as you. Perhaps you meet a buyer who isn’t ready to close a deal on the spot, but becomes a regular wholesale customer down the line. Maybe you’ll meet other liquidators who have products they’ve been unable to move and are willing to make a deal. Or, you may meet shipping and freight experts who can help you get a better price of transport to your next show.
At a trade show, every person you interact with has the potential to become a game changing connection who may propel your business to the next level.
It’s simply undeniable; it’s time to get involved in trade shows as a wholesale merchant. A trade show can offer you high sales volume at a low cost, and may allow you to make connections that will continue to be profitable far past the event. Instead of managing the slow trickle of direct to consumer sales, save yourself the headache and go straight to wholesale trade shows this year.
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.