Many people have ventured into the business of reselling not just old, used, or second-hand items but also surplus items. The latter are usually brand new but need to be discarded or disposed of by their original vendors. Such surplus merchandise is usually sold off to overstock resellers when the original vendors either clear out their inventories or close shop. Overstock or surplus products are usually sold by resellers at way much lower prices than their original.
If you want to buy overstock or surplus products, you may find the following tips very handy.
- Many resellers of surplus or overstock products advertise their wares online. Most of them allow online orders, while others require offline transactions. To search for products or advertisers of such merchandise, you can try the Overstock website or the BigLots website.
- Make sure that the products you're ordering are new. Generally, they ought to be brand new, but also check if the style (especially with clothing and apparel) may already be passe. Otherwise, go ahead and take your pick.
- Examine the vendor's policy for return and exchange of defective products. Most vendors will resell their merchandise "as is," but some vendors do offer a return policy. Scrutinize the product descriptions diligently and examine the photos of the product uploaded by the vendor. Reliable vendors will strive to accurately describe the product, including flaws and defects so that their buyers can make an informed decision.
- Allocate for shipping expenses. You will need to add them to the total of your bill. If you buy offline, or if you go for pick-up purchases, you won't need to worry about shipping. But, if you do buy online, you usually need to shoulder the cost of shipping. Some vendors, though, offer free shipping depending on various conditions such as minimum purchase or location. If you have to pay for shipping, try to compare whether you will be paying more if you bought online than if you bought via pick-up purchase.
- Review the other terms of the online vendor. Different vendors specify different transaction terms. For example, most vendors won't allow you to cancel orders within a long period. So, make sure you also check the vendor's policy on canceling orders.
- Pay safely for your order of overstock merchandise. Most online vendors have set in place a convenient way to receive payment. The most common one is via credit card, though some vendors also accept payments through PayPal, via money order, direct bank deposit, or regular checks. If you feel uncomfortable revealing your credit card information, you can opt to buy your merchandise in person at the overstock reseller's store.
Buying overstock items is a great way to save money. If you are a reseller yourself, it is also a great way to stock up on merchandise that you will resell at a definitely much lower cost. However, it is important that you be smart and sensible when buying overstock products so that you won't get duped into transactions that will get you in hot water.