Ideally, you should already have a steady and reliable source of good inventory. That being said, it’s also important to consider sourcing bargain inventory as a way to supplement your regular offerings with more unusual items of higher-profit potential.
There are many ways of sourcing bargain inventory. Here are a few ideas:
#1 Shop flea markets
Flea markets and swap meets are built on independent sellers selling interesting goods. Browsing around is not only time well spent, but fun too! And don’t forget that it’s okay to barter with sellers on price–especially if an item needs some cleaning or restoring.
#2 Check out rental shops
These types of businesses rent out items such as furniture, office equipment, and more. But due to demand, they often replace them with newer models over time. As a result, they sell off their outdated inventory at reduced prices.
#3 Visit thrift stores
Sourcing bargain inventory from thrift stores can be lucrative, but only if you are diligent. This means honing in on a handful of these stores in your area and checking them at least a couple of times weekly for the best deals.
#4 Go to estate sales
Estate sales can vary. For the most part, though, you can find good quality items at fairly low prices, sometimes even for free. These could prove to be a unique secondary source of inventory for businesses that sell costume jewelry, vintage clothing, or antiques.
#5 Shop at yard sales
Sourcing bargain inventory from yard sales is similar to flea markets. The only difference, really, is in size and selection. However, these days many neighborhoods coordinate community-wide yard sales. And you can find some great deals at these!
#6 Find liquidation sales
Occasionally big box and retail stores will liquidate their inventories by bundling the overstock and selling it off at discounted prices. The reasons vary, but it’s usually due to things like low sales at certain locations or having bought too much stock to begin with.
#7 Hire artisans
You could hire artisans you meet at craft fairs or on online marketplaces, such as Etsy. If there is a particular handmade item you like, see if you can negotiate a minimum quantity and timeframe needed for a bulk price.
#8 Look for free stuff
Many people put items such as used furniture and household goods out for bulk trash pickup. So all you need to do is focus on the more upscale neighborhoods, research their bulk trash schedules, and drive around as early as possible on scheduled mornings.
There are many ways of sourcing bargain inventory for your store. But however you do it, the most important factor is to always make your purchasing decisions based on what your business and its products represent to customers . . . that is, know your brand.