Since I started in the wholesale and
closeout business I have
received hundreds of requests
for overstock pallets.
I completely understand why
there is such a big demand
for overstock pallets.
An overstock pallet is basically
an assortment of brand new
merchandise that is often
sold for as low as pennies
on the dollar.
Everyone loves the idea
of purchasing brand name merchandise
for as low as 5% of the original retail
When buying a pallet of merchandise
you are essentially getting
a variety of merchandise
but at a lower price than
if you bought the contents of
the pallet individually.
For example, a pallet of
wholesale dresses would
contain a variety of different
brands, styles, colors, and sizes.
The pallet can be sold as a percentage
of the total original retail or wholesale value
of the dresses, or at a set price based
on the quantity of dresses in the pallet.
For instance, a pallet that has
500 dresses with a total original wholesale
value of $50,000.00 might be
sold for 20% of the original retail value.
The pallet would be sold for
Or, the price for the pallet might be
based on a unit price of $20.00 each.
A pallet with 100 dresses would be
sold for $2,000.00
The wholesale price per
dress might ordinarily be
25.00 each, but the price
of each dress when
sold in a pallet is less.
Ideally you would only purchase a
pallet when the price per unit
is substantially less than
if you were to purchase the units
For example, I wholesale dresses
for up to 30.00 each in my
But when someone purchases a pallet
of dresses, the price can drop
to as low as 12.00 a dress!
There are also pallets that consist
of quantities of the exact same item.
I have purchased pallets of costume jewelry
that contained display cases of the exact
same fashion jewelry.
Although the pallets did not contain
a large assortment, the wholesale
price per display case was substantially
lower than the wholesale price I would have
paid for each case individually.
I have also purchased pallets of
blank T-Shirts, where the T-Shirts
were all essentially the same,
but by purchasing the pallet
I was able to get a rock bottom
closeout price on the T-Shirts.
There are primarily two different
types of overstock pallets.
There are manifested and unmanifested
A manifested pallet
has a document which lists
the entire contents of the pallet.
An unmanifested pallet does
not contain a list, which is
why it's generally sold at a
lower wholesale price than a
manifested lot is sold at.
Keep in mind that even
a manifested lot can have mistakes
in the packing list due to
simple human error.
I would recommend taking
advantage of the lower price
of an unmanifested pallet
provided that you are very
familiar with the type of
merchandise that the pallet has.
Let's say you are purchasing
overstock pallets of department
store clothing that come
from a department store that
you are very familiar with.
You might be willing to take
a chance on the unmanifested
pallet since you are familiar with
the type of clothing that will
be in the pallet.
There is definitely a good
chance that you might not
like all of the clothing that you
will receive in the pallet,
but it's just a matter of
paying a low enough
wholesale price that allows
you to offset the clothing
that you might not be able to sell.
You can always take the safer route
and pay a higher wholesale
price for a manifested lot, but
unless it makes a very big difference
exactly which items will be in the
pallet, I would recommend purchasing
an unmanifested pallet.
For example, if you are purchasing
a pallet of dresses you need to
decide how important it
is knowing exactly which
dresses you will receive.
I strongly believe that if you
are purchasing high quality
designer merchandise at
a super low closeout price
you can still do well, even
if you receive a few items
which you might not be
able to sell.
One of the easiest ways to
make sure that the pallets
are suitable for you is to
visit the warehouse from
which you are purchasing
the pallets from.
I welcome, and actually encourage,
my customers to visit my warehouse.
This way they can see the type of
merchandise that I wholesale, and
see if it's what they are
If you cannot visit a warehouse
you should ask a friend or
relative to visit on your
behalf if possible.
If you can't visit,
or send someone on your
behalf, find out if the
wholesaler has experience
in supplying merchandise to
customers in your market.
This information will enable
you to decide if you should
take a chance to make a purchase
without seeing the merchandise in
Some warehouses don't allow
visitors, so you need to be
very clear on what it is
that you are purchasing.
You can always ask for references
so that you can speak to other
people that have purchased
pallets from them.
One of the issues that you
have to be aware of
is referred to as cherry picking.
Cherry picking is the process
of removing the best merchandise
from a pallet and then selling the rest.
Serious wholesalers will not
do this because we want
to keep a long term relationship
with our customers.
We understand that in order for
retailers to continue purchasing merchandise
from us they need to be very
satisfied with the pallets
that they purchase from us.
Another option that I offer
in my warehouse is allowing
customers to make their
Customers can basically visit
my warehouse, make their
own selection, and then
receive the lower
wholesale prices that are usually
only available for pallet purchases.
For instance, I wholesale women's suits
for $39.00 each.
If a customer visits the warehouse
and makes their own pallet of
50 suits, the price per suit
will now only be $34.99 each,
which is the pallet price.
It goes without saying that
you need to decide if purchasing
by the pallet makes sense
for your business.
Certain businesses, including high end
boutiques, can be better off paying
a higher wholesale price per item,
but making sure that they only
purchase the exact items that they
Many boutique owners visit my
warehouse so that they can make
their own selection, which makes
sense since they want to
make a selection that
reflects the tastes of their
Pallets are generally best for
retailers that have a wide range
I have seen many flea market vendors
and discount stores do well with
overstock pallets. Since they
have a wide range of customers
it's easier for them to sell
the different items that can come
in a pallet.
I would recommend
buying from the perspective
of your customers.
Is the pallet likely to contain
the type of merchandise that your
customers like to buy?
That answer should guide
you in your wholesale buying
decision making process.