Dalbudak likes the idea of his business helping the environment while offering consumers lower-cost goods during the recession. From his southside store, he both sells directly to consumers – work that involves regular treasure hunts through massive boxes of inventory – and sells entire pallets to other liquidators.
He’s watched with interest as other resellers have popped up around the city in the last year or so, including Krazy Binz (a Canadian chain with locations in Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary) and Treasure Hunt (one of Dalbuldak’s wholesale customers). Unlike Best Deals, these companies sell items at flat rates and give shoppers fixed periods of time in which to peruse bins of small merchandise.
Long-time liquidator Eric Bischoff, one of the owners of Wholesale Liquidators, hasn’t jumped on the Amazon return bandwagon. “We try not to do the Amazon returns unless it’s a very good deal,” he says. Bischoff usually finds that profit margins are eaten up by the many middlemen along the way; he prefers a more direct transaction.
For the last 15 years, he’s made a living acquiring products mainly from freight issues. He explains that retailers refuse loads for plenty of reasons. For instance, if a truck is late, there’s a possibility product has been damaged in transit, or a food product’s best before dates are looming, leaving the trucking company or another third party to deal with the unwanted merchandise.
“A lot of this stuff ends up getting disposed of because nobody wants to deal with it,” Bischoff says. “It takes a lot of work in the back end.” As a liquidator, he is willing to do the work of sorting through merchandise, removing anything broken or unsellable, and preparing items for sale at one of the company’s two bricks-and-mortar stores, or online. “It saves a ton of stuff from getting landfilled,” he says.