In our guide to buying unmanifested liquidation pallets and truckloads we will explore what unmanifested pallets are, why merchandise is sold unmanifested, how to buy this merchandise as well as some top tips and tools you can use to become more profitable.
Buying Liquidation Pallets and Truckloads: Manifested or Unmanifested?
When you buy a manifested pallet or truckload it will come with a complete list of all products contained in the load along with information like the product names, model numbers and retail prices. Every supplier has a different manifest format and the information contained in the manifest as well as its information quality will vary. A general rule of thumb in the industry is to provide a 95% or better manifest accuracy.
Unmanifested loads on the other hand are purchased blind with no itemized list of the contents. You will know details like the retailer where the product was sourced from along with a general idea of the category of product and a rough estimate of the load’s retail value.
What is in an Unmanifested Pallet or Truckload?
Unmanifested liquidation truckloads and pallets typically consist of raw customer returns. Depending on the warehouse management system the retailer uses they may provide goods that are sorted into different sort categories or completely unsorted sold as “general merchandise”.
Customer returns are items that customers have returned to stores and online retailers. The main reasons why customers return goods to online retailers are:
20% of customers received damaged goods.
22% of customers returned products because of discrepancies between descriptions and photos and what the product actually looks like.
23% of products are returned because they differ from the one the customer purchased.
35% of products are returned for other reasons; for example, the customer just changed their mind.
Customers expect a returns policy that allows them to return products easily without any questions as well as free shipping when they purchase online.
67% of shoppers check out a retailer’s returns policy before buying
92% would buy from a retailer again if they have an easy returns
79% of online customers expect free shipping
These are numbers retailers simply can’t afford to ignore, and has prompted 49% retailers to also offer free returns shipping in addition to free shipping of the original order.
This, in turn, has led to an explosion of returns. Currently, 30% of all products ordered online are returned to retailers. The figures are not as high for bricks-and-mortar stores where 6.8% of items are returned by customers.
The upshot is this leaves retailers with a massive amount of customer returns inventory they need to liquidate so they can recover some value from this merchandise.
How to Process Unmanifested Merchandise
Once you have unloaded the merchandise from the truck, the first thing you need to do is organize and catalog the products.
Identifying What You Have
If products still have their UPC barcodes on, then a simple barcode scanner with associated software can automatically generate a spreadsheet of the merchandise you are scanning. You can use this database to look up the current pricing for these items.
If items come without packaging you can look at the website of the retailer the merchandise has originated from. If the product line is currently in stock, you can use the online listings to gather information about the make, model and price of the items.