One of the most exciting categories
in the closeout business is the
wholesale clothing pallet.
A wholesale clothing pallet refers to
clothing which is packed in boxes
and then those boxes are packed on
top of a pallet.
I am sure you have seen your local supermarket
receive a shipment of food stacked on
pallets. The same thing takes place
in the closeout business, except that
instead of food, it is clothing
packed on the pallet.
What makes wholesale clothing pallets
such an exciting item category is
because of the inherent opportunity
presented when buying by the pallet
instead of the by piece.
Let's examine the
different types of pallets that you
can come across. Keep in mind that
since the clothing business is constantly
changing, and everyone does business differently,
pallets from different wholesale sources
You will see as we explore this
segment of the wholesale clothes
business why so many people
look to purchase clothes by the pallet.
#1 Overstock Pallets From A Brand
These pallets will contain either assorted clothing,
or a specific item of clothing, by a brand.
For instance, let's say R&M Richards has a
pallet of dresses available. The dresses might be
all assorted, but they are all going to be
dresses by R&M Richards. The same would be
true whether you purchased a pallet of dresses
from Calvin Klein or Nine West.
The advantage of buying a wholesale pallet
of clothing directly from the brand is that you
are going to receive the dresses at a lower
wholesale price than if you purchased the
The disadvantage is that you won't know
which styles, sizes, or colors, you
will be receiving. But in my opinion,
provided that you are assured that the
dresses will vary then you should be fine,
especially if you are paying substantially
less than the regular wholesale price.
#2 Wholesale Dress Pallets
You can actually substitute
any word for "dress" and you
will have a good idea of how this
works. These pallets are based on a specific
item. The dresses can be overstock, store
returns, samples, shelf pulls, and so on,
but everything in the pallet will be dresses.
When buying these pallets you still
want to make sure that you know
what specific category will be inside.
The pallet can have dresses, but you
want to know if they will be
women's dresses, junior dresses, girls
dresses, toddler dresses, etc.
The same is true for any category specific
The advantage of these pallets is that you
are buying a specific item which you
know your customers want. If you have
a boutique that caters to professional women
in Nigeria, then a pallet of wholesale office dresses
would be ideal for you. If you have a kids store
in Trinidad, then you would want a pallet of girls summer
The disadvantage of this type of pallet is
that your inventory will consist of only
that one type of item. So if a customer
comes into your store and looks for
an alternate item you will not have it,
unless you are buying other wholesale inventory
While I want to stay on topic, this is a good time
to mention that you should always have an assortment
of wholesale items which your customers might
be interested in. If you don't they might shop
elsewhere for all of the items that they need.
#3 Wholesale Manifested Clothing Pallets
These pallets come with an inventory list that
will tell you exactly what you can expect inside.
So if your pallet has a Nine West dress, color red,
size 12, you will know. Keep in mind that the reality is
that even manifested pallets can have contents that
don't exactly match the inventory list. This usually takes place
because of the packing and sorting process
at merchandise processing centers used by
The advantage of these types of pallets
is that you pretty much know what to
expect, and can determine ahead of time
if the merchandise is suitable for your
store. You can look at the sizes, brands, and colors,
of the clothing, and decide if the merchandise will work
for your shoppers.
The disadvantage of these pallets is that they
are generally more expensive than pallets that
are not manifested. You need to do your math to ensure
that it makes sense for you to pay a higher price
for the wholesale clothing in exchange for
knowing what you will receive.
I personally purchase pallets without looking
at the manifests once I have a good grasp
on what I will generally receive. While this approach
is not perfect, if I buy enough pallets I can
start getting a good feeling of what I can expect.
#4 Non Manifested Wholesale Clothing Pallets
These pallets do not come with a list of what is packed
inside. For instance, a non manifested pallet might
contain an assortment of department store overstock
dresses. You might receive a Nine West dress in size 8
color red, a Tahari dress in size 14 color black, and so on.
While you might have a general idea of what you will be receiving,
there will not be any breakdown or list.
The best way to have an idea of what you will be receiving is
by actually visiting the retailer from which the pallets are originating.
So if you are going to buy a department store overstock pallet from
JC Penney's you should visit one of their stores to see what
kind of clothing they carry.
You should also purchase these pallets from a
wholesaler that is very familiar with the liquidations
that the department store has. If the wholesaler
has been in business long enough he or she
will be able to tell you in general terms what you
can expect. The wholesaler will not know what specific
clothes are coming, but the wholesaler will know what kind of
categories are packed, and general details about the
The advantage of these pallets is that you
are purchasing the fashion merchandise at
a very low wholesale price, often for
as low as 10% of the original retail,
and up to 90% below the original wholesale price.
The disadvantage of these lots is
you might receive a brand, color, or size
that might not sell for you. But as long as
you pay a low enough price, and you can sell
90% of the lot at a profit that offsets the
items that don't sell, and still gives
you an overall profit, then you should be
#5 Overstock Clothing Pallets
The term overstock refers to merchandise
that a retailer had too much of in their stores, and did not sell.
The retailer will then pack it on a pallet
and sell it to a liquidator. The items
are usually all in brand new condition,
but I have seen some slightly damaged items
as well, simply because the clothing is
being handled by many people
at the store level, and then in the packing
and sorting center.
This is usually very minimal.
I am very happy with the condition
of the wholesale clothing that I receive
when I buy overstock pallets.
The advantage of this category is that
all of the clothing is ready for retail
and is in brand new condition. Since the
clothing should have all of the original labels and
tags, it can be sold right out of the box.
The disadvantage is the higher wholesale
price that you have to pay as compared to
#6 Store Return Clothing Pallets
Store return clothing pallets consist
of clothing that customers purchased at a
department store or other mass market retailer
like Wal-Mart or K-Mart.
The clothing could have been returned
because of damages, or just because the
shopper changed their mind about their purchase.
You need to make sure that you deal with an honest
wholesaler that will share his experiences regarding
store pallets with you. You will have to be prepared
to either sew some of the clothing or sell it as is at a
There will also be clothing that is in brand new
condition, but might be missing a tag or label.
And there will be clothing that will be in brand new
overstock condition, meaning that it will have all
of the original labels and tags, and be ready for retail.
The advantages of buying store returns are
the super low wholesale price you can pay,
and the fact that the store merchandise can
be really nice, since someone actually
made a decision to purchase it at the store level.
The disadvantages is that you just don't know
what the condition of the clothing will be.
I personally would prefer to focus on overstock
pallets versus store return pallets.
I have seem my customers react a lot more
positive to overstock clothing pallets than
to store return clothing pallets.
But if you are good at fixing clothing, or
can hire someone to fix clothing for you,
then the store return pallets might be
ideal for you. This is because you
will be paying a much lower price
per item, and you can fix the damaged items,
while still hopefully receiving a good quantity
of items in brand new condition.
One important tip I would like to share with you
is to work with a wholesaler that will
allow you to inspect the wholesale pallets.
I understand that this might not always be possible,
especially when the wholesale goods are
originating directly from the department store.
But at least try to visit the
wholesale warehouse so that the wholesaler
can show you the type of clothes that you
can expect to receive.
You are definitely welcome to visit my
warehouse or you can send someone on your behalf.