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 

looking for.

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

own pallets.

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

of customers.

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.