Southern American Marketing, Inc.
Slow Loading but fast learning, don't wait years and spend thousands of dollars on a bad education.
The most read & well known Global manual to date on the subject of merchandise liquidation.
"The Original & Most Comprehensive, Informative liquidation guide offered in America today"
"Returns to Profit"
Absolutely free! Our gift to you, keep your credit card in your wallet.
Robert G. Pickle, Southern American Marketing, Inc. copyright © 1999, revised march 23, 2000.
Large Font for the visually impaired
Are you new to the salvage & surplus industry, but can't seem to get any help?
Are you sick and tired of the entire typical liquidator HYPE and BULL?
Most Liquidators refuse to divulge their secrets from fear of competition.
When you sincerely ask, do you get that deer look?
They keep the secrets so contained; you need be a detective sleuth to uncover the mystery.
The secret liquidation merchandise private eye, Sherlock SAM
No more. All of the secrets of salvage & surplus distressed merchandise will be revealed to you in the following on-line manual, absolutely free of charge.
Why pay $39.95 for a how to become wealthy in surplus, manual? How do you think they became wealthy? Easy at $39.95 at a time.
How to buy and sell salvage
Don't waste your money
This manual is free!
Some of my competition has outright called me dumb.
I like to think of it as, dumb as a fox.
Silly SAM, the Fox
This online help manual has been produced absolutely free of charge and it is solely intended to help those entrepreneur's who have always held a fascination for this business but could not find any help, unless of course they paid for "how to" manuals which were published with the intention to build revenue by the authors and not intended to provide actual sincere help. I saw one such offer over the years for only $79.99. The publisher then sent a stapled together booklet of notebook paper, which read, buy from Xco on every page and it gave you only Xco's phone number. $79.99? You could have found this information in any yellow pages, free.
Please feel free to download or print this information and use it to develop your own knowledge in this amazing field.
The subject matter contained in this help guide will be related to distressed merchandise from major department stores, catalog companies, manufacturers, retailer's and wholesaler’s; and will cover the subject of overstocks, shelf-pulls, closeouts, seconds, less than perfects, buybacks, vendor returns, irregulars and many other types of distressed merchandise. And most importantly how to obtain merchandise for pennies of the actual dollar value.
· What is distressed merchandise?
· What do liquidator's do?
· How do I get involved with buying & selling distressed merchandise?
· Where can I sell distressed merchandise?
· How do I plan?
· How do I determine if I am getting a good deal?
· Who pays for freight?
· Customer Comments
Who & Why:
I traveled the world for roughly 20 or so years in the petroleum industry. In between days on and days off (28 on & 28 off) I was usually bored silly by the second or third day at home. I pursued other interest, mostly in sales. I found I enjoyed low pressure, people needs, oriented sales. After several business ventures, which went under for one reason or the other, and the petroleum business, shifting to the middle eastern oil companies, I decided to find something that I could honestly enjoy.
I finally came into this wonderfully fulfilling business, and have been excited every since. Even though I made the mistake of trusting a partner with our financial future, Debbie and Matt our son, who is still young enough to live at home, we pulled through that terrible trauma and now enjoy a fun, moral and rewarding liquidation & wholesale company.
In 1995, while associated with that company I was instrumental in the publishing of another manual, which was produced solely for profit. I offer my apology for my participation for that publication which sold information for the amount of $39.95 but offered little actual liquidation hands on information.
In the following be assured you will get your money's worth, it's free!
I watched the sunrise day after day through my window while building that company and would like to thank my family for the hundreds of countless dinners without me. And I would like to thank my ex partner for his actions and total lack of integrity, which has resulted in benefits to my family and business, by bringing hundreds of small companies to SAM. Good folks who can now finally depend upon an honest liquidation company to provide them with profitable merchandise and fair prices.
There is not a day that goes by that we get bored. We meet all kinds of colorful people from all walks of life and from around the world and many are good friends.
We have many competitors who have been a boom to SAM'S business and would like to thank them all. We would especially like to thank Harold Hood, Charles Long, and Jean & Chuck at World Wide for their sincere help and honesty and helping SAM recover from that near financial disaster. We would especially like to thank Phil, who contributed his hard work and research to our years of liquidation knowledge.
Of course, even though that particular situation set us back somewhat. And our ill feelings for that partner will always remain. We will continue to have sincere good feelings for the talented individuals that I personally trained while building that company. Any time, any one of these individuals were to seek employment, I will be just a phone call away.
We hope, that in your new endeavor of liquidation, you succeed with the same enjoyment, enthusiasm and financial rewards. When you do business with SAM, we assure you that you will not be taken for granted while in our care.
Even if you choose other liquidators, Please call us, we will sincerely, give freely, as much information as you need to get started in this fantastic field.
We don't intend to gain a literary award for this help booklet, but maybe we'll be nominated for the good Samaritan award, because of the time that it took to prepare this information, and then only to offer it absolutely free, for your benefit.
We considered selling this information for $39.95 but we decided that the gift of our experience would make all of the difference for the many thousands of good people who are seeking honest, knowledgeable, reliable & absolutely free help, no matter, whether you buy from SAM or from a competitor.
We feel 6.2 billion people could possibly view this information.
WOW! 6.2 billion X $39.95 look out Bill Gates. $ 247 billion dollars. But it's absolutely free to you from SAM.
Of course there are "How to" manuals for sale, on the market today, but think about it, why would a liquidation company that boast success need to sell you information to get your business? They should be concentrating & providing profitable merchandise for their customers. There is no patent on free knowledge and it should be given freely. And this free gift of liquidation information has been a main ingredient to the success of SAM.
We welcome you to our warehouse located in Bay Minette, Alabama. We are just simple country folks and we are kind of similar to hotel six, We'll leave our lights on for ya. And if you insist our shoes too. (Pun intended)
Southern American Marketing, Inc.
What is distressed merchandise?
Regardless of the condition of the economy, people across the United States and around the world are constantly searching for bargain deals.
It doesn't matter whether they are a housewife struggling to make ends meet for their families, an independent retail operation , wholesale operation, a mega discount retailer or a wealthy individual, a good deal is always a good bargain.
This is where SAM comes in as a professional liquidator.
Almost any merchandise imaginable can become distressed for one reason or the other. At one time or another, merchandise such as, but not limited to;
o Automobile parts
o Health & beauty aids
o Building materials
o Sporting goods
o Exercise equipment
o Baby Products
o Military products
o Dollar store merchandise
o Pet products
o Office supplies
o And many more
Southern American Marketing, Inc. (SAM) specializes mostly in customer returns from major department stores and customer returns from major and well-known catalog companies. SAM also offers new first quality closeouts & overstocks merchandise as well.
Customer returns are the most lucrative and plentiful because of the growth of the national mega giant discount retailers, catalog companies and wholesale clubs and the amount of customer returned merchandise.
It is becoming more common to pick up a daily newspaper in almost any small town or major city and see, W-Mart. Putting small retailers out of business. Now you can finally compete with Wally World, by offering the very same general merchandise at prices far below their normal retail prices.
Customer returns are usually the best opportunities as, the merchandise has already been purchased once, so someone wanted and needed it.
To my best estimate, 70% of all general merchandise has been returned for various reasons such as; mom did not like the color, junior did not like the way it sounded or dad already has one and many other reasons.
Often a dissatisfied customer will return the unwanted merchandise to the giant retailer, with the good intention to swap the product with other merchandise, that usually has equal or greater value, only to be met at the service counter by a low paid clerk, with a bad hair day attitude. After the customer waits an unendurably long time on the usually slow & unpleasant clerk, and then is confronted with the bad attitude of that service clerk, by this time the customer may be in a hurry to continue the rest of his or her daily activity and in frustration, usually will simply say, I want my money back, this item is broken, and then may rush out the door to another retailer.
Of course the major retailer is not in the repackaging business for customer returned merchandise, and even if so, who would want to purchase an item with the package damaged & pre-opened, when there may be 10 of the same item on the store shelves that are un-opened & new ?
It is much more, economically feasible for the retailer to send the merchandise to the back warehouse, to be put onto a pallet with hundreds of other different merchandise items. These pallets are then sent to the retailers central, customer returns center (CRC). These CRC'S usually double as the retailer's distribution center.
The retailer then will write the merchandise off as a loss and continue doing what they do best, and that is mega retail, at discount prices in their store locations.
Most major department store & Catalog Company CRC's are located in the eastern United States with few exceptions, few in the mid west & western United States.
Keep in mind, that some of the largest super centers may turn over $ 5 million dollars of merchandise per week. If a certain product is taking up shelf space, but is not moving as fast as the retailer would like it to, they may pull it from the shelf. If it were to stay on the shelf, it may cost the major retail operation thousands of dollars in lost profits per year. They will pull it from the shelves and send it to the CRC along with customer returns. This of course is an added plus for the liquidator and their customer, as the products are new. This is called shelf-pulls. The retailer may also have case lots of obsolete inventory or an overabundance of a certain item. The corporate office may authorize to send it along with the other distressed merchandise to the CRC to be scanned and calculate corporate losses. This merchandise is referred to as overstocks.
Closeouts are usually merchandise items that have been depleted to a certain level and are then not profitable enough, for the lack of volume to advertise and or tie up massive man-hours in labor to promote the merchandise. It may also be merchandise, which has lost its zeal and is replaced with a newer line or a different type of merchandise.
Once this merchandise has been sent to the CRC other pallets sent from other stores meet it, and it accumulates rapidly. For example: let's say the retailer has 5000 stores nationally and each store produces 1/2 pallet of goods per day. That would add up to 2500 pallets per day. Multiply this retailer with over 100 major retailers and then you have an industry within an industry, producing millions of dollars of distressed merchandise, called salvaged products. This merchandise is not discarded because it can be re-sold.
Catalog companies are usually a little different in the condition of merchandise returned as, a customer may have purchased an item from a catalog, only to receive the merchandise and find that the item does not look like it did in the catalog. They simply return the merchandise. Usually reputable quality merchandise from a catalog company can be extremely lucrative if the percentages of cost are reasonable.
Less than perfect, seconds and irregular merchandise usually come direct from the manufacturer. Due to the less than perfect nature of this merchandise which has been through a quality control process, this merchandise is deemed as Salvageable and is sold at mere pennies of the actual manufacturing cost. In many instances the merchandise may to appear normal, but upon close visual inspection you may find irregularities. This merchandise usually, is highly resalable & profitable.
Most discount chains across the United States have built successful retail organizations using the above-mentioned distressed merchandise.
There are difference's in quality in merchandise loads that come from major retailers and catalog companies, who enjoy good reputations, and companies who have bad merchandise loads usually have bad quality combined with an excess of actual thro-away.
And just as well as differences between a liquidation broker company who sells merchandise just for the sake of moving it and the reputable liquidator who is stable, straightforward and owns their merchandise. And many times the liquidator may be under a light contract with the direct supplier.
Don't be fooled by all of the HYPE & BULL advertising many liquidation companies use that proclaim that they are the direct source.
You too, could purchase from these CRC'S, but you need to be prepared to take as many as 500 loads of merchandise per year. Usually the amount of the loads is so numerous that one liquidator cannot possibly handle it all. And if you continue to search you will usually find a reputable liquidator that will sell you the same merchandise at much lower cost. Any major retailer will usually diversify liquidators as added protection, so they will not be left with tens of loads of merchandise in the event that one liquidation company falls out of the program for some reason or the other. They will have several liquidators to depend upon to keep the merchandise moving fluidly and away from their distribution process.
*We do offer broker buyer programs for honest and credible brokers.
SAM offers many diversified loads of general merchandise to individual companies who may want to wholesale at reasonably reduced prices, or may warehouse and sell pallets in their geographical areas. Of course this reduces profit margins, but SAM operates on the volume philosophy. Of course the more merchandise that SAM moves for the large companies, the more we create strong credibility for SAM.
Be cautious of liquidator’s who also operate one or more retail stores, auctions or on premises event sales. If they compete with you the greedy temptation to cherry pick the good merchandise could be a powerful evil. There are many who will take the good merchandise from the pallets to put into their own operations, thus leaving you with the less than desirable merchandise.
This is not always the case, but never the less, be cautious.
Some, liquidators could be greedy, money glutton cherry pickers.
I recall reading from a manual, which is, marketed nationally a paragraph, which stated:
Why is (x company) not in the business of retail stores and auctions? Then it goes on further to reply to that question: If (x company) owned retail stores we would be in competition with our customers.
But just recently we saw that particular company advertising on a local network television advertisement, announcing a spectacular sales event open to the public.
Greed is a powerful deterrent to honesty. Sometimes the liquidator's thinking may be: why sell it to the retail operator and only make 10% when they can sell to the public and make 200% to 500% profit. And it may not stop there, the liquidator may begin noticing other valuable merchandise that is on pallets or full loads, which would otherwise be sold and shipped to you, the wholesale customer. They may believe this merchandise could be much more profitable in their own store, (s) and deliberately take the merchandise for their own store, auction, or spectacular event. This is called cherry picking the merchandise. Be careful of cherry picking.
The Cherry Picking Pie
SAM does not own retail stores, auction or have on premises spectaculars. We totally concentrate 100% of our effort in providing good quality & profitable merchandise just for your needs.
We have a strong written company policy regarding anyone taking merchandise from the warehouse premises without proper authorization. And no one is ever allowed to pull merchandise from pallets.
Southern American Marketing, Inc. has learned from years of first hand experience which major merchandise loads have good reputations and which have bad reputations, and which are just plain terrible merchandise loads. We have elected to stay away from those less than desirable merchandise loads, whereas some other liquidation companies might move merchandise just for the sake of making profit. We know of tens of retail salvage merchandise loads that are being sold by liquidators for several thousand dollars a load that we would not personally give several hundred dollars for.
Then there are those liquidators who have the philosophy of profit verses volume. These liquidators prefer to sell one or two loads to a new unsuspecting customer at hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars over their cost. These liquidators usually boast extreme growth and brag millions of dollars available for their buying power. There is absolutely nothing wrong with good profits. But when good profits come at the expense of the unsuspecting end buyer, it is certainly immoral.
If you lose, SAM loses.
SAM has determined that even though we could have sold strictly for profit verses selling by volume, that selling by profit, sooner or later we would run out of people to sell to. It may take 50 years, 25 years or 10 years, but sooner or later we would run out of people to sell to, unless of course we continue to build a database of new customers and lure them with profitable selling " How to", manuals to convince them that they could become rich in a short time. We could then make one-time sales and not be concerned with moving undesirable merchandise. As there are approximately 6 billion people currently residing on this planet. With that mentality, the idea is to create new buyers each day. You could become wealthy just providing
" How to" manuals.
At SAM we keep our overhead low and pass the saving's on to you. And that is the entire "how to" that you may ever need to learn. As long as you receive the right merchandise with good quality, work long exhaustible hours, do without lunch daily and are in a good area, we can almost guarantee you will be successful. Or you could hire a person who has that never ending drive to do the same, knock off personally each day at 2:00 p.m., announce that your caught up and let other reliable, honest, loyal & dedicated associates develop the distribution. Of course be loyal to those employee's who help feed your family. If you follow the law of nature, we assure you that your company will grow. You will only reap what you sow.
Volume is by far the best means of retaining long-term loyal customers across the country and abroad. Selling honorably this way we don't need to have a long memory. Remember if you tell your customers lies, you may as well tattoo them across your forehead, so that you can remember them each morning when you look at your self in the mirror. That customer may call again.
What is a pallet? What does a typical pallet of distressed merchandise look like?
Sam ships into our warehouse many different type loads of distressed general merchandise, overstocks, closeouts, customer returns, etc. When a full load of merchandise comes into the warehouse, the load will either be a manifested load or bulk loads.
The load in bulk only manifests some loads by the individual item, while other loads are processed & manifested by the pallet.
If the load is manifested by the pallet, when you purchase that pallet you will know exactly what items will be on that pallet. A typical full load of merchandise usually has between 22 to 24 pallets of merchandise. This is an average 48-foot semi tractor-trailer load. There are 53-foot tractor-trailers also and they will usually hold 26 pallets of merchandise single stacked. On a manifested pallet you will pay the percentage of either wholesale cost or a percentage of the actual retail cost, depending on how SAM purchased the load. If the pallets came from a bulk load, which has 24 pallets, we will usually calculate how much the full load cost and divide that number by 24. We will then add the freight and divide that number by 24. We will calculate labor and divide that by the cost per 24 pallets, add all of these figures together and add an additional 10% profit. This formula will price the pallets to where you will also be able to make a profit. By the time freight and load cost as well as our profit margin are added together you will usually have 15% of the original non-manifested retail value invested into the pallet. If you are having the pallet shipped to you, you will also have to calculate the freight cost per pallet and divide that number by the number of pallets.
Many customers will not order just one pallet at a time, as the profit margin will not be as much, whereas if you ordered five pallets. Your freight would be greatly reduced, thus your profit margin considerably higher.
The average pallet prices depend mostly upon the merchandise type, size, bulk & weight of the merchandise. Every pallet will be different.
Following are typical pallet pictures from several bulk loads of merchandise. We have not buttered these pictures up, to falsely mislead you. This is exactly how they arrive into the SAM warehouse.
This is from a typical K-Mt
Load, which has 44
Pallets double stacked, bulk load.
Average cost $ 250.00
A typical Target pallet, usually 6' to 8'
Tall, Bulk load. Not Manifested. A long time repeat load for hundreds of retailers across the US. Lots of new shelf-pulls.
Average $350.00- $400.00
A typical Shopko dept. store pallet. Average cost $ 450.00- $550.00
Average cost typically around .10 cents to the actual dollar, a favorite money making load.
When a liquidator refers to purchasing by the pallet, this means that you can buy individual pallets of merchandise from the warehouse like these above.
Multiply this pallet by the normal 24 and you now know what a full load will look like on average.
Two typical manifested pallets. Note the manifest attached to the top right of the pallet. This manifest list individual units on the pallet as well as the catalog company's wholesale cost. You will pay a percentage of the actual catalog company wholesale for each pallet.
There are also loads that are what we refer as top loaded loads. This means that the loads are usually top to bottom- wall-to-wall & front to back of an average 48' semi tractor-trailer. These are usually sold at a set bulk price.
Average Target Load, 24 pallets Bulk
Target Your Market Today!
What do liquidators do?
Liquidators are primarily the middleman for the mega retail chains, manufacturers and the catalog companies for their distressed merchandise. Please keep in mind that the difference between a broker and an actual liquidator, is, the real liquidator will either have a contract or prepays for merchandise before he markets it to you, at pennies of the actual dollar value. The liquidator usually has instant access to the loads they offer. While the broker may tell you he doesn't know and that he will have to call the corporate office to the 73rd floor and check with the head boss, to see if the load has been sold. This is called the
"Broker Razzel Dazzle Baffle Buffle Shuffle."
Contrary to what you may read in current closeout publications, a liquidator is not the Direct Source. If you believe this, I've got some ocean front property...
If a liquidator was the direct source why would you shop at major retail centers or catalog companies? You could just take the family to the local liquidator for your merchandise needs. To be factual, after you read this on-line help booklet, you could also go direct. Of course you need more education on the subject and plenty of financial backing, but who knows SAM may buy a deal from you someday. SAM never boast to be the direct source, we are humble enough to know that your legs can be knocked out from under you at any time. What we depend upon is the thousands of hours of hard knocks we have been through and the contacts we have made after many years in this business. We have made all of the buying mistakes and are simply attempting to let you know what these mistakes are. Don't be deceived into believing these claims. Believe those who are humble and helpful. It doesn't matter who the liquidator is, if they take the time to inform you of all variables in this industry, chances are they will be a good company to do business with. And we highly recommend that you sincerely treat your customer the same humble way.
SAM has been through many humbling experiences.
A broker is someone who depends upon the liquidator and the supplier to move merchandise he has never been a witness to and collects his commission off the top of the deal, all the while never actually knowing or seeing the quality of the merchandise. He is usually the third or fourth party involved in your transaction, which may cost you additional hundreds of dollars. Ask if you can go directly to his company warehouse. If he does not have a warehouse in which to store merchandise, then you have got him pegged as a broker.
The Direct Source is the actual retail giant distribution center or otherwise.
It is not wise in many cases to deal with a broker. Usually the broker has not viewed the merchandise and therefore cannot truthfully represent the condition of the merchandise to you accurately.
Many times the brokers only concern may be, how much money he will make on a particular deal. Do the deal, and then hide from you.
His concern for you is about as far from his interest as Little Rabbit, Australia is from Bay Minette, AL. And when you have been shipped your load, which was totally different from the representation made, about all he can do if he has any honesty at all, is to offer you his profit that he has made on the load. It stands to reason, he can do nothing more as he is not invested into your load. All he has done is to sell you a load of merchandise he has not ever been a witness to, wait on your wire transfer, well above the liquidated price of the load. When he receives your transfer, he then will also make a wire transfer to the liquidator for a lesser amount, he will collect his funds from the top of the deal, all the while never actually seeing or touching your merchandise.
However there are some brokers who make the exception to this rule. We know who they are. Some are honest and reputable.
On the other hand a reputable liquidator, which has control over the merchandise, he or she sells will usually be able to correct a legitimate problem by dealing with the mega retail supply source. But of course there will be a rigorous investigation before this usually happens. The liquidator will never correct a problem a broker has created; therefore as stated above, the only correction a broker can make is his profit.
Always be careful when the liquidator boast, such as," We are the Direct Source", "We are the Contracted Supplier". Blah, Blah, Blah..............
Even though some may have a limited contract for a specific merchandise load, they are by no means the Direct Source. If they were the direct source, why would you need a liquidator? Already you have encountered
Less than Honest
They may take your money and run
SAM has the philosophy that it is much wiser to stay small to a degree and it is wise for you to deal with a small company for the very reason that a small company has no other choice but to do what is right for their customers. Service is an absolute must. SAM does not have the luxury to take risk for unknown merchandise deals and then pass them on, uncaringly to unsuspected customers. SAM has to make every penny count. We have to guarantee that we have purchased good loads because we are not in the position to lose our many good customers by frivolously buying these less than desirable loads and then passing them off to you, even when they are bad deals.
We have witnessed firsthand the mistake other liquidators have made by contracting with mega retailers for hundreds of loads per year. Because they sell the merchandise loads at astronomical profit, They are so afraid of losing the contracted loads that they will not be capable of diverse merchandise deals and do not offer the diversity that retail operators need in their supply of merchandise availability. So you may get loads that are profitable to the liquidator, but what about your store or locations, profit?
Keep in mind, that if you decide to go into a retail operation, that if you buy a particular department store load repeatedly and do not experiment with other desirable department store loads, you may saturate your market and began to lose customers who have grown tired of the same old merchandise. You need the variety to keep your customers excited about coming back to your store. This is a mistake often made by the small discount center.
SAMMY- The Pig In A Polka
We are free to have that diversity, we offer merchandise from 15 to 18 sources of retailers and catalog companies. We stick with the loads that are good for our customers and have been tried and true.
Even though SAM has several so-called direct contracts with as many companies, we have found that not always are contracts the best approach. And of course these contracts are not legal system tight. You can usually wrestle a contract from a so-called Direct Source, by offering a better return to the mega source's management. (More money)
But be careful before you attempt to do this. You may be paying 10% for a particular load or loads of merchandise to the liquidator, and usually when an individual company attempt's to go around the liquidator for a contract, the major retail manager may began to think that their merchandise is worth much more because of the sudden interest. He may decide to sell to you or he may flatly tell you that they have a contract with SAM and you will need to call SAM. Then, the major retailer may call SAM and report that the merchandise loads have went up by 2% because of sudden demand. SAM may either tell them we no longer want the merchandise or pay the 2% more, and then pass that 2% on to you. If your average load has $100,000.00 in retail then you just cost your company an additional $2,000.00 for the same merchandise load before tampering with the retailer's CRC management. Before you attempt to go around a contract be prepared to put your money where your mouth is. Remember the negotiation requires many variables that you may not have thought about.
Another example; SAM may have a contract in place with a set percentage price. If the supplier has an over abundance for any reason, we are forced by contract to take the merchandise as agreed to the set percentages, no matter the amount of volume.
This may call for additional warehousing at certain times and seasons. Warehousing could put us out of business unless of course we have plenty of money to sit on the merchandise for a slower period to arrive, or simply move the merchandise at cost.
On the other hand, for example, lets just say we are paying 10% of retail for a certain contract load and our contract comes up for the next year. SAM could decide that we don't want the contract for another year. Other liquidators may be afraid to take these loads, as they have not developed a market for them. The supplier may call and offer a renewed contract at a substantial decrease in percentages, saving the final independent retailer (you) thousands of dollars, for that very same merchandise which you had been purchasing for years at a higher rate from SAM, if we were contracted.
This check and balance system is what keeps the Surplus merchandise industry at profitable levels. I have heard it said many times by certain liquidators, that the best way to profit is to curb the market, own it all. Of course this drives the prices to high to be marginal for you, the end buyer/seller. Usually this tactic does not work and will eventually backfire upon the liquidator.
SAM may not hold certain contracts because we have found demand for the merchandise loads which have good reputations far outweigh the profits which can be derived for a sizeable contract with one supplier who has less end seller, demanded merchandise loads. Freedom of diversity is an important asset for SAM & Your Company.
SAM has decided not to broker merchandise loads, site unseen. We usually buy what we sell, first and we are well acquainted with the results of prior loads. We usually always bring as many loads to our warehouse as possible to determine the value to your operation. We put ourselves in your shoes before we make final buying decisions.
Be careful do not Assume
Over the years we have witnessed such as; A customer who has a retail operation may be adamant about purchasing a particular load of merchandise, explaining that they do tremendously well with that particular load. A competitor 10 miles down the road may call SAM and demand that same load of merchandise, because they have witnessed the first store doing well with that merchandise. SAM may advise that customer against that particular load. But that customer definitely wants that load. Several days later he may call SAM angry and complaining about that load of merchandise and how he may not make any money from the sale of the merchandise. Please consider this, allow SAM the opportunity to know all of your location variables, geographical location, economy, competition, size of the store, frontage traffic, etc. We will then make every effort to advise you from our many years of experience, the best load for you to begin your operation with. Just because the merchandise seems to be selling like hot cakes down the road, does not mean your clientele will be the same type of buyers. And what may occur is that the competitor may be able to sell far below you for reasons such as lower, unseen overhead or many other variables.
You will find, just like in any industry there are good companies and bad companies, good and reputable liquidators and bad liquidators with terrible reputations. This business, even though global, is really a tight niche business and word of mouth spreads rapidly, both good and bad. It does not take long to find who the bad liquidators are, however by the time you know who they are, you could be out of business from misrepresented, bad merchandise loads. Then there are those who will tell you every company is a bad company, beware of these too. The only way that they have found to look good is to make everyone else look bad. There are many ethical liquidation companies available. These are just like you, they are trying to provide for their families and have put up thousands of dollars of capital. They usually have the highest risk.
Bad Guy The Good Guy "SAM"
Generally merchandise liquidators are usually contacted by the source's management; or the liquidator may make the contact the large retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and catalog companies, and offer to take their unwanted, overstocks, shelf-pulls, buy backs, vendor returns, irregulars, seconds, less than perfects, insurance salvage and other distressed merchandise. This requires considerable resources such as finances, time and a huge amount of negotiating experience.
Usually, merchandise which holds a good reputation are the merchandise loads or lots, that do not have over a 15% to 20% actual throwaway or damaged merchandise margins, Or otherwise, actually damaged merchandise which was returned because of some slight damages.
There are many retailers; catalog companies & manufacturers that meet the standards of good merchandise loads. Then there are those companies that will use 48' semi tractor-trailers as dumpsters and pass full loads of garbage off to you, the un-suspecting buyer. It then does not matter how much of a percentage you pay, garbage is garbage, I pay my garbage collector to haul my garbage to the local landfills and we expect them to do the same. Garbage and surplus merchandise have nothing in common. For SAM, garbage does not need a price. If a trailer cost you only $1,500.00 but it is garbage, you have been overcharged, you can go to any dumpster behind any mega retailer's store and get the same merchandise absolutely free. Be aware of those offers of $ 1,500.00 - $3,500.00 for a load of merchandise. Doesn't this seem to good to be true? It usually is, be cautious.
For highly resalable surplus merchandise you will usually pay between 15% to 25% of retail or 15%- 55% wholesale, but there are exceptions to this rule, only occasionally. The average load of good reliable resalable merchandise will usually cost you between $6,500.00 up to $25,000.00.
It is definitely not the intention of SAM to scare you away from the surplus business, but the intention to educate you and save you thousands of dollars, which could end up as monstrous losses to you. We intend to help you until you are experienced, knowledgeable, and profitable and don't always have to watching out for the boogey man.
We do not want your business if you do not understand this industry.
However we do want you to have this information so that we both may make the right decisions based upon your area, the economy the type of merchandise that will do well in your market and many other variables. Then SAM will be assured that you should be profitable and we can retain your business. We intend to eliminate any mis-understanding from the start, not sneak up on your inexperience.
For example: SAM offers merchandise, which does wonderfully, well for small retail operations, but would not do well at all in a general public auction. In an auction you may want larger ticket items that will move rapidly, not small retail items that will take up considerable time, just to make a few dollars.
Auctions need to maximize the excessive advertising requirements for the one night-er; therefore you may not want to sell trinkets. You time will be limited and it will take many trinkets to pay off. Unless you intend to hold dealers auctions. Many Auctioneers understand the difference of requirement between a dealer’s auction and a general public auction. You may want to consult with a good general auctioneer in your area to consider the best opportunities available. Many states require that auctioneers hold that states license. Be certain to get a reputable auctioneer.
There are loads of merchandise, which are good retail store filler merchandise, but definitely would not be good for an auction, etc.
There are many different type retail, auction and wholesale scenarios that we will need to discuss with you so that we may help you pinpoint the specific type of merchandise, which will help you, become profitable as soon as possible.
SAM has experienced many various merchandise loads and through years of experience we are familiar with almost every retailer & catalog company in America. As we said earlier we have elected to shut our doors and go home, before we sell bad merchandise loads to our valued customer. There is and never will be the intention of SAM to simply just sell anything available. But keep in mind, that in the surplus business, you take the bad with the good. It is a calculated risk. But for the most part it is a profitable calculated risk.
However we are not going to burn any bridges with certain suppliers because of a bad load or two. We have found that when merchandise begins to pile up in their CRC they will usually sell the merchandise at reduced prices that any one can make money on. And as the merchandise begins to stack up at their facilities, they began to realize that something must be wrong. Then they began taking corrective measures to solve the problem of undesirable loads, after they have reduced the cost of the merchandise to SAM.
But until that happens at their management level we will stay away from their merchandise.
Sam will usually negotiate the price that we pay for merchandise, from 5% of retail to 20% of retail, depending upon the condition and the newness of the merchandise offer. Usually no more than 35% of wholesale cost. Higher, depending again upon the condition, demand, quantity and quality of the merchandise. We have paid as high as 50% for new & factory refurbished merchandise, which has high demand.
Always remember, that the selling of merchandise, as much as by the price that you purchase the merchandise for, does not usually make the profits. You should make your profits on the buying end and sell below the major retailer in your area. Make your profit up front. Buy low, sell high, and reap profit on both ends. It is no small wonder why the small town retailer cannot compete because Wally World thoroughly understands this principle and has built thousands of stores across America.
The retailer giant's CRC management would rather deal with liquidators than the end retail buyer for logistical simplicity, and time. That is why you need SAM.
SAM usually buy's merchandise loads in multi trailer purchases, while the average retailer can usually buy in limited quantities.
SAM take's all of the risk and the overhead cost which are involved in buying by the multi trailer load quantity. Many times we are forced to warehouse hundreds of thousands of dollars of merchandise and at such times; as after major holidays, etc. when returns are over abundant but the retail season has slowed down somewhat.
It is not always wise to buy merchandise that you particularly like for yourself. It may be a flop for your customers. Stick with what the honest & reliable merchandise liquidator recommends.
"Serve the Kings and live like the masses.
Serve the masses and live like a king."
The Retail King
At SAM we concentrate on markets such as retailers, wholesalers, jobbers, auctioneers, flea marketers, pawn shops, outlet centers, gift & boutique stores, clothing retailers, shoe stores, furniture stores, building suppliers and many others. These are usually the most profitable merchandise end sellers for selling SAM'S distressed merchandise. They no longer have to compete with such giants as Wally World, at conventional wholesale prices, but they can develop a market unto their own.
Because many of the smaller retailers are forced to compete with Wally World and other K store giants, they have found that by offering distressed merchandise, they can compete and purchase at discounted prices, even below the mega chains wholesale cost, and they can usually compete in the discount giant's very own geographical area, with the very same type of merchandise which the giant offers, and at prices well below the giant's retail. And they pass these savings on to the frugal buyer.
How else could you possibly compete in today's market? The day of the small town proprietor is just about over for conventional retailing.
One of SAM'S largest customers has over 20 stores with 60,000 sq. ft. per store on average, and they boast millions of dollars in sales in several states, while offering customer returns, overstocks, closeouts, etc. And they have managed to keep their merchandise purchasing a secret from the general population.
There are normally several different ways to purchase distressed merchandise. These are by the percentages of the actual manifested retail, percentage of the manifested wholesale and a percentage of the company's actual bulk cost.
Usually the rule of thumb dictates that a mega large company can buy at below the regular manufacturer wholesale. This is called their
Or you can buy at a percentage of manufacturers wholesale, which is usually what the smaller chains purchase for, because they may not have the buying power the national mega chain has. This is percentage of the manifested wholesale.
Or you can purchase at a percentage of their actual suggested retail price. Likewise, percentage of net retail.
And, or you can purchase by bulk.
Rule of thumb dictates that if Wally World buys at wholesale cost, and they purchase an entertainment center from the manufacturer for $100.00 then they will usually sell that center in their retail for 100% mark-up or $200.00.
Example: if they buy the entertainment center for $100.00 and they liquidate it, manifested @ 25% of cost to SAM, then you will of course pay $25.00 for the very same unit that they pay $100.00 for. Giving you a mark-up margin of $175.00. They will simply write it off as a business loss. The only problem with that entertainment center may be, that the little old lady saw one similar to it set up in the showroom of the store, she purchased one similar, which comes in several boxes, got home to assemble it, and she may decide that it was too much trouble and then simply returned it to the department store.
Of course it stands to reason that you may want to beat the britches off of Wally World's prices, so you may sell that same center @ $90.00, even with the freight cost added in to that unit, you could possibly see a 300% profit margin. Of course that is for you to determine, as you know your geographical area and what your market will stand better than anyone. This requires patience & research on your behalf. SAM can assist you with our vast knowledge of retail experience gained from years of working with people just like you. Be careful of those liquidators who state as a matter of absolute fact, "Buy from us and triple your money". This again is less than honesty.
Note* Many major department stores have stringent guidelines to the selling of the distressed merchandise which has originated from their stores. SAM is required to follow the policies of the geographical control the company has set forth. There are other requirements that will also be addressed when you purchase a particular merchandise load.
Electronics only have an average of only 20% to 25% mark-up from wholesale to retail, be cautious. Electronics do not work on the 100% mark-up rule. But electronics can be extremely profitable if the damages (throw-away) is minimal.
The Station of liquidation violation
We do not own any retail stores, auction or on premises spectacular sales events, we strictly, only wholesale to you. We have assisted thousands of customers and helped them get established and have years of experience in most areas of retail, and all other areas of distribution.
Below is a sample of an actual un-doctored manifest, which list this particular company's merchandise at 25% of their wholesale. This is from a national leader in retailing.
You will notice the percentage column in the middle of the page states 25% on the right column you will see actual retailer's cost. Multiply cost by 25%. Add each page of cost. This retailer's typical manifested load averages from $25,000.00 to $30,000.00 in wholesale cost. Remember the Rule of Thumb, ($60,000.00 in retail) . No two loads of merchandise are identical.
The liquidator usually charges a fee of 10% overall from this particular retailer's overall wholesale cost.
$30,000.00 X 25% = would be $7,500.00. Then the liquidator's fee of 10% or $750. For a total of $8,250.00 plus freight cost, which is usually around 10% to 15% for an average total of $ 9,075.00
Normally the end buyer or retailer who purchases this merchandise will figure an additional 15% for actual calculated damages, which is called "throw-away". So if your actual retail is calculated @ $60,000.00 X 15% = $9,000.00 in throwaway leaving a total retail value, resalable of: $51,000.00.
A calculated and profitable Risk
Most retailers of liquidated merchandise who purchase distressed merchandise will usually sell the merchandise in fierce competition with the mega retailer @ 50% of the actual retail, regardless of the item. So estimate $ 51,000.00 divided by two for a resale value of $ 25,500.00. You have approx. $ 9,075.00 invested with a margin of $16,425.00. Figure in your overhead and you will have an estimate of the profitability.
The idea is to move the merchandise as rapid as possible, which can be possible, as people are always hunting good bargains, on typical every day usable general merchandise regardless of the so-called economy.
But keep in mind the rule of thumb of 50% is not always followed, as some merchandise may be in high demand and retrieve a higher price, while others may move more slowly and need be reduced in price to sell.
It does not matter whether the economy is good or bad, people will always be looking for the good deals.
You can use basically the same calculations with manifest that are based upon the actual retail cost.
Remember the rule of thumb is, that if the retail giant spends $ 1.00 they will usually re-sell for $2.00 Giving plenty of room for their sizzling summer sales, etc.. Their profit margins are high even with their blowout sales offers.
Over the years, I have heard the newcomers in this business say, that some broker has told them that they should not buy loads which are not manifested. This is about as far from wrong as he can be. Normally the broker will tell an inexperienced buyer this, only because the broker can not possibly represent a non manifested load, because the broker usually does not have a warehouse and may have never witnessed any load of merchandise. The broker usually and only, has access to what is on a paper manifest, provided by a liquidator. Not understanding the fundamentals of the business, all the broker can do is repeat what a liquidator has told him or her about a load. If it is not on paper, they simply do not know how to offer it.
Think about this, the retail mega giant, have usually, already lost thousands of dollars of value in a full 48' semi tractor trailer load of merchandise customer returns & surplus. It will cost the retailer an additional hundreds of dollars for the manifesting process, labor etc. Of course if the load is manifested, then you will be charged with the result, which has been added to the cost by percentage. The retail giant cannot absorb any more losses, thus you pay for manifesting, in added percentages. The retail giant also has to provide warehouses for the manifesting process, which will also be tacked onto the cost of the merchandise cost.
We have found some of the best deals for the end retailer are the Bulk loads.
SAM sticks with the bulk loads, that we rarely have experienced trouble with, and the loads that the buyer always come back for, load after load. These loads are usually similar to manifested loads but at cost way below the manifested load cost.
Be careful of North Eastern US; merchandise load offers with the fantastic sounding prices. These retailers are usually regional chains that may have 100 or more retail department stores in a 6-7 state area. The retail prices are usually 1 1/2 times higher in the northeastern economically inflated region. The typical National Mega Retailer carries the same merchandise @ 2/3 their retail. So you may be told you are getting a load with an estimated $50,000.00 to $70,000.00 in retail. That may be true for their North Eastern region, but on a national level of retail the normal would be around $35,000.00 to $ 55,000.00. Then once you calculate what the freight and the cost of the load to you is, it will not be as profitable as you were convinced to believe. It is much safer to stay away from the Northeastern stores as the National chains have studied and averaged their national overall retail pricing.
When a customer is a repeat buyer time after time and load after load, we are certain that the merchandise is profitable. Of course the customer will tell you immediately whether the load is good or bad. I have witnessed and given a couple of concessions for loads that may have had a higher margin of throw-away, but I have never had a customer tell me that they made $10,000.00 more than expected, and then offered me $5,000.00 for their good fortune. (Pun intended)
Southern American Marketing, Inc. is not afraid of competition.
We have developed a new philosophy.
Even as we are not afraid of the boys down the road, if we ever see a bad apple competitor drowning the new policy is to stick a live fire hose down their throat.
We have found that many times it is far more beneficial to refer a good customer to a reputable competitor, who may have exactly what the customer needs, other than us not having or providing it, and the customer lose profit which could be used for future buying from SAM. If we tell them where they can get it and they make profits, they will always attempt to return the favor. This is what true SERVICE is about.
There are several solid companies who are noted and reputable liquidators. We have found them to be honest in our many transactions.
Our special thanks for your sincere honesty & excellent ethical business practices.
Of course there are many others in our field who may have minimum to medium reputations, but then there are many liquidators not listed whom you may need to be aware of. Be sure to ask them many questions. Call SAM, we will tell you our past dealings with any of the company's that may be in question. We feel that if a liquidator will lie or steal from SAM or any of the SAM customers at any time in the past, then where will you stand with them? There are in fact many American liquidation companies to be aware of that only sell for the sake of moving merchandise.
We absolutely with certainty, have no problem of discussing a bad apple American liquidator of merchandise. We thoroughly understand how people may feel about one company that runs down another company. However our feelings are, that most mom and pop start up companies, usually are strapped for their hard earned cash. Usually they have hocked their car, home and maybe their children's college savings. All, just to be treated less than honorably by a bad apple liquidation company. And could lose thousands of dollars or their businesses. We will not stand aside silently and allow this to happen to you from those that have a reputation of dishonesty. We have in the recent past witnessed some of these liquidators move their operations to the west coast, where they may have a new market of unsuspecting customers to prey upon as they have exhausted the east cost with their dishonesty. Keep your eyes open for such moves.
We feel that if an American liquidator is dishonest in even a small way then they are no different than a thief that would pull a gun on you at night in a dark parking lot, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But please keep in mind that these are confined to a few American merchandise liquidation companies.
A thief is a thief no matter how they may look at it.
"Old Foley and the jail house Blues"
So Don't Forget
"A trip to our warehouse is a small price to pay for an education."
Bring your RV there are many reputable parks around the Bay Minette, Alabama area. We are only 35-40 miles from the most beautiful white sand, blue water beaches in America. We know all of the best parks and will help schedule for your vacation needs, absolutely free of charge. Plenty of Catfish houses.
SAM will not be a part of blatant dishonesty, and will do whatever it takes to educate the new retail liquidator about every aspect of the business. Come and visit us or simply call us @ (800) 261-9150.
We will be just a phone call away and we are willing to tell you what we know about a certain merchandise lot, load or any unscrupulous liquidator to be cautious of. We have seen just about all of them and get many of their discarded orphans.
There are many national publications, which directly market liquidation companies. Usually, just like any advertising publication, they have an unbiased opinion as to the services or the reputation of a particular company.
Some of the largest publications are similar to the
"Hound Dog Theory"
Many retail outlet liquidation retailers solely depend upon these publications for their merchandise needs. Many do not have technology to research existing suppliers who do not depend on these types of publications for their customers. They usually have built reputations for themselves that need only word of mouth alone, and they may not have the desire to grow too fast.
So this leaves only the liquidation companies that do advertise in these publications. Once a month a publication will come out and usually the small to medium retailer will anticipate its arrival similar to a bunch of old hound dogs waiting on a bone. And when this bone is thrown into the hound dog pen, the hound dog’s fight over the choicest parts of the monthly-allocated bone offers. They are so busy fighting over the scraps they have no time to research and find the thousands of great deals that are out there other than the monthly bone, which has been thrown to them. Many of your more experienced buyers have broken away from the pack. They have been successful hunting alone and have discovered many deals outside of the pen.
Those retailers that do not depend upon these publications are usually the ones that have purchased technology, i.e., fax machines, computers with Internet access etc. and have seriously learned to find the hidden and best deals.
SAM does and will continue to advertise in various publications, however we have found that word of mouth, internet & networking with our well known competitors who have good reputations, have helped us to break away from the pack, find better offers and pass them on to you.
Our main focus was to be different than the existing competition. We decided that no matter how small the customer was, they were every bit as important as the big volume buyer. The small customer will always grow if they have the right supplier. We found that most, after fighting over that bone (monthly merchandise offer) were just too tired to muster the strength to find the best deals and bargains that exist on the market, though unseen. We found that most liquidators don't want to waste time with the one or two pallet-buying customer. Thank guys. This has benefited by giving us many neglected orphans, who now depend upon our team of seasoned, personal approach and down to earth folks. We work hard to provide those behind the scenes deals. We make every effort to find and then throw choicer t-bone steaks to our customers.
SAM'S "Sizzling Sirloin Service"
How do I get involved in buying and selling distressed merchandise?
It is simple, roll up your sleeves and get started, call SAM Toll Free @ (800) 261-9150. Of course you need money. We recommend that you start buying by the pallet first and gradually work your way up to full loads. Unless you are an experienced liquidator, then of course you may already buy by the full loads. Start small and build your inventory. We have hundreds of customers who began by purchasing by the pallet and who now purchase by the full semi load, as they have discovered that the freight is then maximized for the cost per item. Almost every business opportunity offer today requires thousands of dollars in investment to buy franchises or such offers as vending machines, etc. The merchandise recovery business is by far one of the best offers we have ever personally witnessed. A small investment as low as several hundred dollars or several thousand, will get you operating in a short time, you decide.
My daughter is now a Bachelor of Nursing, and striving for a Masters Degree. She helped pay for her tuition by selling pallets of general merchandise at a weekly garage sale in the same neighborhood week after week. The old ladies and young couples love her for her wonderful offers. Each week they anticipated her sale.
We specifically remember a customer several years ago who was buying 5-6 pallets a week. She had a targeted Grand Opening for her 4,000 sq. foot store, a month or so away, I'll never forget how much whining she did about all the stuff she bought and how she was going to go broke and how she was not going to be able to sell the merchandise and...on and on. It got to the point that I became so aggravated with her continuous whining that I treated her like a red haired step child and finally, when I could not deal with her whining any longer, I put one of my sales rep's on the line to deal with her, I had, had enough of her complaining. I'll never forget the day she called, after she opened her store, she called hysterically happy and shouted "Oh my gosh ship me a full load, I have sold it all."
She has been extremely successful every since that date and has now built a 5,000 sq. ft. warehouse just to store merchandise, in addition to her 5,000 sq. ft retail store. We continue to offer her the education of diverse merchandise offers. Her customers remain excited week after week in anticipation, waiting on new and different merchandise.
About 50% of the outlet centers that deal in surplus merchandise began modestly with pallets and have built successful enterprises. The other 50% began by purchasing full loads. At SAM we never take a call from a new customer who (Just) wants pallets, and then treat them rudely, we know from our experience that if they work hard they will be successful. It is our small customers who have helped us succeed in this industry and they are our business's lifeblood. At SAM, we do not care if you buy a single pallet or a hundred loads of merchandise; we strive to treat all of our customers with the same respect. We understand that if you get good merchandise and operate your business seriously, you will someday buy by the full truckload. We hope to be there when that happens.
Do not ever believe that the distressed merchandise business is a "Get Rich Quick Scheme" or a "Pie in the sky opportunity". If it were easy, every one would be doing it. This business definitely requires long hours and hard work.
With hard work and right buying decisions you can make it into a lucrative retail business. Be certain that you buy rightly and from a reputable liquidation company. SAM advertises in a national publication, a phrase, which we sincerely believe;
" A trip to our warehouse is a small price to pay for an education."
The SAM Warehouse & Advanced School of "Liquidation 202" Education.
Be sure to be careful of the liquidation vultures that are seeking a free ride.
The American liquidation Vulture
Where can I possibly sell good distressed merchandise that I purchased from SAM?
Most folks who get into the salvage & surplus business start small. However there are those who have known of the business potential in their geographical areas for years and may start with retail store and buy a truckload or two. Volume purchases usually always reap the best returns of profit because of volume and freight cost.
Many folks began by selling merchandise at flea markets during the weekend. This is always a good idea to get your (feet wet) in (liquid,ated) merchandise. You can usually rent a 10X10 booth for as little as $15.00 to $45.00 per weekend. Many flea markets across the country pull in thousands to hundreds of thousands of patrons each weekend. It is a great way to capitalize on the massive crowds who are looking for useable merchandise at a bargain.
Or you may have a Spectacular event. You may call other liquidators who have their own spectaculars, they will tell you how profitable that a spectacular can be. SAM can honestly say that we do not have any experience in this area and we do not compete with our customers.
Dealers Auctions and general public auctions are two of the best distribution outlets. Find one in your area. You may have to pay the auctioneer a small percentage for his service. You may want to be the first in your area to have an auction. Most middle age and Senior’s love to go to auctions for excitement. Auctions usually sell merchandise at much higher prices than the normal retail because of the novelty of the auction atmosphere itself. But they just love the novelty of the auction and will definitely purchase.
"Selling SAM the Auctioneer"
We can assist you with all the typical scenarios, types & rules of thumb, regarding auction issues.
Flea Market Owner?
I remember once, a large flea market in Florida called SAM and asked our advice on how to get our company in the minds of the flea market vendors so that they could purchase surplus merchandise. Hopefully so that the vendor could began purchasing merchandise that the market patrons wanted & needed and would increase traffic.
The flea market owner had been watching helplessly as his vendors were falling out, thus reducing the number of flea market customers, thus again reducing vendors and sooner than later eliminating flea market owners. This was a catch 22 situation the owner had to find a remedy for quick.
In all reality, his flea market was going downhill and he did not know how to save it. I carefully explained to him that over the years the flea markets gradually changed from mom & pop gatherings into a lucrative retail operation, but gradually began selling import junk. He stated that this was his markets major problem, too much duplication of the same imported junk and knock off, copied, and American products.
In the old days the vendor's would gather all of their household possessions that they did not want or need any longer and take the stuff to the flea market to sell. Things such as tools, lawn mowers, stereos, kitchen appliances, etc. This gave them extra money during hard times. Eventually the market began changing gradually to a more commercial imported type of merchandise and very little usable merchandise that every day people wanted, needed and hunting for.
Today you can go to a flea market, and isle after isle you will see the same imported cwc junk, over and over again, duplicated and triplicate. Purses, perfumes, handbags, imported tools, Nike and other brand name import knock-off copycat merchandise and so on. Mostly low quality dollar store type merchandise. Brand name imported copies are a federal offense and punishable by strict prosecution.
It was my recommendation that the flea market owners, buy a load of general merchandise directly shipped from a well known major retailer and to put the merchandise in specific strategic areas of the market to bring the customers back into the market. Merchandise such as: small appliances, furniture, lawn & patio, small electronics, kitchen products & etc. Bingo it worked and they survived the markets drastic downturn. They and many of their vendors have been repeat salvage & surplus buyers for years now.
It clearly stands to reason, that if you were to go to a flea market and saw over and over again, isle after isle, nothing but the same imported junk it would not take very long to exhaust the customers of cheap junk. It is almost similar to eating pancakes, after one or two pancakes you have had enough and don't want pancakes for a while.
The old marketplace
The advantages of selling general merchandise customer returns, that come from major retail chains, is that you can sell the same Sunbeam propane gas grill, or a set of kitchenware, maybe a lawn mower, for 1/2 the price that Wally World offers in their weekly weekend sales adds. Why not keep them out of Wally World, Bring them to the flea market with sellable and much desired merchandise at bargain prices.
The customer recognizes the fact that they have purchased a good bargain when they buy your merchandise and they will always come back to purchase more when they otherwise may have never bought any thing from the flea market. Another catch 22 situation and a sad fact is that most flea markets are not technologically advanced with today's communication devices such as fax machines or computers and many have no idea that the distressed goods opportunity exist. They cannot afford any more overhead than necessary because of poor customer attendance and customer dropout. There are those few that make the exception and are much more successful in their markets. If you have friends in the flea market business, print this on-line manual, absolutely free and give them a copy. They will forever, thank you. We assure you that from experience, most flea markets are searching for something better to sell.
Another advantage of selling your merchandise at the flea market is that you only work a day and a half each weekend and in return may have a hefty profit to put toward more merchandise, after good profits are made. You may not want to give up your regular employment until you know that you can work profitably for your self. Eventually with the right merchandise you will gradually build your business and may desire to move into a retail location.
One of the best advantages of the flea market is that there will be hundreds of customers coming directly to you, instead of the need to purchasing costly advertising, with just the small hope that you may or not, bring a few customers to your remote store location. Once you have built the flea market's credibility you may find rapid word of mouth advertising and then if you do decide to move into a storefront location, just spread the word, you have a ready made a fine customer base.
I know several vendors at flea markets who have multi-table operations and have done quite well with good income. They make as much income as many middle class Americans make after many years in jobs that no longer hold security for them with any certainty.
Now that the flea markets have become more commercial with more imported and newer merchandise, most cities and municipalities have been alerted to tax losses and could charge penalties if you do not have a tax number. Be certain to check with your local government to find out what permits or licenses you may need before starting. Some municipalities allow the market owner to provide umbrella tax allowances or proper documentation for the booth vendors to file sales tax liabilities.
You may also check for the availability of what is called lockable storage booths, (lockable) so that you will not be forced to load and unload merchandise each week from your vehicle. If a lockable is not available, you may consider an enclosed trailer to store merchandise in until the sale day.
If you decide that you would prefer going directly into a retail operation and open a storefront, be absolutely certain to plan well ahead, as you will encounter some things which you may not have considered. You may need enough capital to keep operating until word of mouth about your store spreads and you began making profits. Sam may be able to help you with the purchase of shelving. If you have large retailers in your area you may be able to find shelving at reasonable cost. Many times you can find any thing you may need at auctions.
The rule of thumb for a salvage & surplus outlet center is 1- full load of merchandise for every 2000-2500 sq. ft. of showroom floor space. Be prepared to have ample warehouse space to store parts & merchandise.
There are notably two different kinds of retail operation mentalities. There are those who will not sell any thing which is obviously broken and whine all of the time about a few broken items, thus diverting their time & energy away from the merchandise that will make them profit. These people do not last long in the surplus business. They usually do not understand the concept of buying and selling distressed merchandise, where you take the bad with the good, concentrate your time on the good, move by volume quickly make money, don't worry, be happy.
Then there are those who warehouse spare parts, throwing nothing away, and sell all merchandise at ridiculous blowout prices, they never complain and have been in business successfully for years. They know that they purchase the bad merchandise along with the good at pennies of the actual dollar, and for the best part the good is extremely profitable. They never worry about an item that should be discarded. They move to the next deal rapidly. They keep their customers always expecting new and diverse opportunities.
The people who usually do not make it in this business, attempt to run their outlet store like a Sears store or a JC Penny (sorry we cannot use the actual retailer name.) Mega retailer. They attempt to have all the widgets in neat little rows all gadgets in other neat little rows, etc. They will have lenient return policies and offer refunds etc. similar to the mega giants. WRONG! (Most of the time.) This is a surplus outlet. If you run it like a department store, you usually will not last. You are competing against the retailers who have billions of dollars at their disposal.
And, they have just eliminated the entire concept of the surplus & salvage outlet center. They may elect to throw away a $179.00 valued, Grandfather clock because the glass lenses is cracked. They do not realize that instead of discarding that merchandise they might have instead have put it on a shelf "as is" for $10.95, but they choose to throw it away instead as if they were Sears, so there goes another $10.95. They throw so many $10.95's away they eventually throw themselves out business. Chances are if they would have just stored it, another identical grandfather clock with something else wrong would have been on another load, and they may have put the parts together and sold it for $125.00. The majorities of all surplus customer returns have no damage's and can be sold at market prices. Remember that if you tell people that you are a surplus outlet and your merchandise is only pennies to the dollar, therefore there cannot possibly be any terms, and you lay it out in front of them throughout your store with signs stating No Refunds-No Returns, then they know this to be a fact and will never question refund policies. Then you become what you are supposed to be, that fellow down town who has the best deals around!
It seems as though the ones that are always successful run their operation exactly as it is supposed to be, a surplus & salvage outlet. Every thing is sold "as is" no refunds and no returns. That is why every item is pennies to the retail dollar value. The successful outlet center will not attempt to make every thing picture perfect. He or she may have two clocks on one shelf here and two isles over, may have three more clocks, etc. They know that the surplus business is a calculated risk; they get the bad along with the good. Go ahead; attempt this at the local casino. Bet do won't do to well.
However the good usually outweighs the bad and they are profitable. They realize that if they spend all of their time worrying about a few broken items, they are directing their time and energy away from the profitable merchandise. Even if they do elect to throw away merchandise, they usually do it and never think about it again. They have come to the realization that volume is everything to being profitable. Many times they move toward multi-operations in which they may open auctions to move the slower moving merchandise. Many times they realize it is more important to move something at cost and to re-purchase other merchandise that will make profits, than to sit on it at a high price.
Keep in mind; with first hand experience I know that you can warehouse yourself out of business. You can build millions of square feet of warehouse space to contain merchandise. But it is smart to move merchandise rapidly, at low prices.
Deal with those liquidators who boast tens of thousands of square footage and when you are shipped merchandise, which is years old, you will understand completely. Don't get caught into that trap. I have had one of my customers who have over twenty mega retail outlets, tell me the reason he keeps opening stores is to move the merchandise they accumulated in the warehouses.
Years ago when we had first hand experience in the retail operation of a liquidation store, we would not use cash registers. The clerks were trained to use 4"X 6" sales ticket receipts. On this receipt they would ask the customer if it was OK to keep their local phone number, address and telephone number on file. Of course the customer usually would. The clerk would ask that customer what they were specifically hunting for that we did not have to offer while they were in the store. The customer may tell the clerk they were hunting for a crock-pot for the kitchen. When the next diverse load of mixed merchandise came into the dock, the clerk would see a crock-pot, remember that customer, call her up and you know what happened next. Now that is service. Keep your customer un-expecting your company expected.
You may need glass display shelving, clothing racks and other racks. SAM has these to offer from time to time.
SAM'S Super Shelving Service
Call Debbie or Robert Toll Free! @ (800) 261-9150 to secure help in this area.
Fund Raising for Charitable Organizations
In todays booming economy one would think that charitable giving would be at a peek. It's not. According to various sources, charitable giving is almost at an all time low. Whatever the reason, this is certainly bad news for those organizations that depend upon individual generosity for those good people in need. If the coffers are low take into consideration a garage sale or charitable bazaar. Not only will it bring your organization members together but will quickly raise funds for that needed growth project or the needy program. These sales have been highly successful. Call us at SAM to discuss charity program tax-exempt organization, special discounts. We have provided several programs in the past for organizations just like yours.
Either way , however you decide to distribute your merchandise, SAM will be a toll free call away @ (800) 261-9150 for your convenience. We will assist in any way possible helping you with your new & exciting liquidation retail business, regardless of the avenue of distribution that you choose, retail flea market, swap meets, auction, wholesale, pawnshop, spectacular event, charitable fund raising or other.
How do I Plan?
American Liquidation; The Bankers Plan?
You will need;
· Licenses or permits
· Federal Employee Identification number (EIN)
· Co. Name
"If you want to be a good leader, run in front of a great parade."
Fully understand the business
Let's pause just a moment to discuss your new company name. Many people do not understand the importance of a suitable company name. As a perfect example, if we advertised only as SAM, how would people know exactly what it is that we do? Southern American Marketing, Inc. Clearly tells people we are a marketing company. On all of our advertising and other documents we clearly, have added "A Wholesale & Liquidation" Company. The point being, if you simply call your store Mom's Hangout, people may assume it is a place where only Mom's hangout. Got the point?
It is recommended that if you are a liquidation outlet, then name it something catchy like "Liquidation Station" Surplus & Liquidations or similar. You may want to paint a large sign with a locomotive and rail cars loaded with merchandise, toys, etc., on the front of your building. After all a good name in retailing is priceless. When they know what you do, then there is no question of the need to stop & shop looking for bargain deals.
You may also need,
· A store location
· A Booth
· An auction and auctioneer & auction building
I have recently read a manual that went into an elaborate detail of how to present a plan, with carefully preplanned charts etc., to your bank for the purpose of securing a loan for purchasing surplus and customer returns. My experience has proven that in all probability 85% of American’s do not know one iota about the surplus industry, let alone bankers. You will most probably be laughed at and turned away by your banker if you tell him you want a loan to buy customer returns or salvage distressed merchandise unless of course you have plenty of assets for collateral and your banker is your brother-in-law. The first thing to pop into his mind is old Fred Sanford of the TV show Sanford & Son.
I think it was bad advice from that author who may have been born with a silver spoon, to suggest a bank loan. Began in a small way, hard work, using your own money, and absolutely no partners, will win you your very own rewards, debt free. I am not attempting to discourage anyone, nor eliminate a possible SAM customer, but I am attempting to address many concerns from frustrated people who had read those particular "how to" manuals which they have purchased, but just can't seem to get anywhere in the surplus business for all of the erroneous information leading to dead end roads and which was only sold to them for one sided profits, to those "how to" authors. I recall that, that particular author was not very successful in the retail business, but he is selling you information in which he attempts to explain how you can be profitable.
Never ask a man how to make a million dollars, who has a thirty thousand dollar a year job.
A Local television station recently conducted a survey on longevity. The reporter noticed and old wrinkled, stooped haggard old man on the street corner. The reporter approached him and with the camera rolling, the reporter explained to the old man that the station was conducting a research on living a ripe old age. The reporter said, "Sir you look like a great candidate, what do you attribute your long life to? The tiny wrinkled old man took a package of Camel filter-less cigarettes from his shirt pocket and replied that he smoked three packs a day. Then he reached into his back pant pocket, pulled out a flask of whiskey and replied that he drank two full bottles of the best whiskey a day. The reporter was taken aback and gasped, " Exactly how old are you sir? The bent and wrinkled old man said
I'm "32" years old.
Don't necessarily depend upon someone with an eloquent and extended education, the world is full of educated derelicts.
And never ever never ask a man how to make your marriage a success if he has been married three times.
Never assume just because.
Advertising could possibly be the breaking point for your company, even before you get started. Word of mouth is by far the best advertisement that any small local retailer, who offers outrageous bargains, could possibly ever have. Be careful of the cost associated with the typical avenues of media advertising. It could certainly make you broke with unnecessary overhead even before you have began.
· Be certain that the traffic flow will justify the building overhead cost. Be visible.
Will the city laws or ordinances allow frontal signs?
· Easy access?
Consider handicapped laws, these good people need our services and we should provide them without being forced to.
· Get a computer if possible for research and Internet advertising.
Business plan projections are fine for a banker, but remember he may not know anything about customer returns or distressed merchandise. You may lose considerable time.
" How to" manual, phony & unworkable, bank loan Plans
How do I determine if I am getting a good deal?
Don't get caught up in the great-liquidated merchandise deception schemes.
See the SAM map, after all...
"A trip to our warehouse is a small price to pay for an education."
Understand all of the buying percentage variations.
Always know exactly whom you are dealing with.
It is hard for any company to admit making mistakes with their valued customers and possibly losing that customer because of particular mistake. SAM has hundreds of loyal repeat customers and some that have routinely enjoyed business with SAM for years. We have always attempted to make certain that our customers get the best deals, in ratio to the percentages, which they have paid for merchandise. However, SAM has made the mistake of slipping up and brokering several loads of merchandise in the past, and as sure as I am sitting here, they were... bad loads.
One particular example was a load of merchandise that a good customer of SAM'S, told us about. She wanted to purchase this load, but wanted to purchase it from SAM. I explained to her that this load was at Xco and was a Macys’s- Bloomingdale, comforter domestic’s load. She said she could buy the load from Xco but wanted to buy it from SAM, as she has trusted us for years. I explained that we would be brokering the load for 2% of the whs. This was 2% more than if she purchased the load from Xco. I explained that I did not trust Xco at all, and that SAM stopped business relations with Xco years ago because they somehow always, mysteriously, shorted the loads, which they offered, by thousands of dollars in cost. And are notorious about doing nothing, about the shortages, as their main distribution is through brokers and these brokers are left to fix the situation on their own.
Our customer was adamant that she wanted to purchase this load anyway. The deal was done, she received her load several days later and it was not what was represented at all, but a K-MT load of domestics, which was far from the Macys’s- Bloomingdale quality. She lost money. Her store is a high-end retail store and she sells only high-end quality merchandise. However the K-MT can also be profitable to the right situation.
SAM made the loss up to her even at a considerable loss to SAM. Since that fiasco, she has bought 4 additional loads of high quality merchandise from SAM. She Knows, who she is in Kentucky, and SAM, wants to thank her for her trust in our SAM'S Team.
The second customer who is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, purchased a load of gift items that SAM represented, even as the manufacturer represented the merchandise to us. We shipped the load to Jim, he received it. Called very upset about the condition of the load. Took pictures, and manifested the contents of the load proving the damages and shortages. SAM sent Jim a $1200.00 check on a $400.00 profit, losing $800.00. Jim has purchased about 5 full loads since that time. So you see, it is much better to lose $1200.00 today than to lose thousands of dollars of a customer's business in the future.
The third deal did not benefit the customer. This customer who is also in the state of Alabama, Was extremely adamant that she wanted a particular load of merchandise that SAM has a contract for. SAM has brought many of these loads into the warehouse in the past year and we know the precise representation of these loads. SAM has been in this business for many years and we know good sellable merchandise from terrible and un-sellable merchandise. This customer was offered many other reliable and profitable loads of general merchandise but she remained adamant that this load was the load that she wanted. We attempted to explain that through our experience that, certain merchandise may not do well in certain economically suppressed areas. She continued to be adamant that this load was the load she wanted. She requested that we not sell the load. I gave her my word that I would hold the merchandise for her. It was several weeks later when she finally made a wire for the load and all the while SAM warehouse floor space was tied up while holding the merchandise for her. During that several weeks we had buyers for the load from several previous buyers of that very same merchandise, and who had made good profits on this merchandise. But by my word I held the load for her, even though the merchandise was taking up valuable space in our warehouse. Space that could be used for rapid moving merchandise. We sent her the load after she made the required wire transfer. The load had a wholesale manifested value of $35,000.00. She received the load of merchandise and two days later, called complaining that the merchandise was not the kind of merchandise that she thought it was and wanted SAM to take it back. She told us her warehouse people, who worked at her warehouse, which was several blocks away, had already, went through the entire load. I carefully explained to her that it was impossible to take the load back. I explained to her the entire several week scenarios. I asked her to remember that SAM had proposed that she come to the warehouse to be sure this merchandise would be good for her outlet distribution. I explained to her that sometimes we may receive a load from a major retailer that may be less than desirable, but that through the years of liquidation we had learned that if you are going to be in this business, you learn to take the bad with the good, and then move on to the next profitable load. We explained that this load was exceptional. I explained to her that if SAM were to go to the major retail chain complaining about merchandise, the retailer would tell SAM, that they would sell their loads to another liquidator. How could we possibly take perfectly good merchandise loads back after her people had gone through all of the merchandise and freight had been incurred?
We were and remain absolutely certain that this merchandise is profitable for our customers. We know for a fact that we sold her exactly what we represented and she received the same. We are not responsible for a customers wrong buying decision. SAM clearly and precisely explains all merchandise offers. Our representations are clear.
However, we have learned that if a merchandise load continues to be bad for our customer, not only will we rock the boat with the retail source, but we may tell that chain, that we no longer want their merchandise, until they clean the loads up. There is no use staying on a sinking ship. Our customers are valuable to us. We continue to offer this particular load of merchandise goods, successfully and to repeat buyers.
SAM'S adopted American merchandise orphan. (We have the little fellow calmed down now.) A little milk and honey will always do the trick. We love it when our competitor does not correct their mistakes.
This very same customer, who has purchased 4 or five loads of merchandise over the course of a year or two, has continued to complain about every load that she has ever received, however she continued to buy load after load. Now, I am not the smartest person in this world, but I do have enough sense to analyze that if this customer purchased loads in such quick time periods, she certainly had to be making money. As I looked back over her buying history, I found that a particular retailer load that she had complained about before, shortly there after she turned around and bought another identical load, all the while complaining about the first?
You Be The Judge
The point of these 3 scenarios, are to be certain that before you delve into the distressed merchandise business that you thoroughly understand the nature of it, as well as all merchandise variations and department stores.
There are some folks that see a liquidated merchandise retailer making lots of money and they think that it is simple to move to a location just down the street and make a ton of money, work free. Sorry folks it doesn't work this way. It requires a lot of work and research. You don't just buy a load and then you are automatically in the money producing business. But hard work, research, a good supplier and good decisions will put you there.
This is exactly why SAM recommends that;
"A trip to our warehouse is a small price to pay for an education."
Now do you understand why it is not wise to deal with some companies who do not have warehouses? We guarantee they will not tell you what we have shared with you in this booklet, but they usually paint the rosiest picture imaginable, just to sell you their undesirable merchandise. Trust this, you will never buy 24 karat gold for the price of a bag of beans. Stop, think, if it sounds to good to be true, chances are it is.
There are pro's and con's to both sides of this business, but for the best part those folks who have gained SAM'S education are quite successful at this business.
They become the pro's, watching out for the con's.
Do you see the importance of fully understanding the distressed merchandise business? Many people think they will get 24 karat gold for the price of beans. If they know the business, it could be 14 karat at best, if not, be careful and don't buy a bag of beans for the price of 14 karat.
I will never forget when a customer of a foreign nationality called and asked us if we had gold at closeout prices, or at .15 cent on the dollar value. I laughingly replied that I would need to check with Fort Knox as I thought that they might have an ounce or two at $ 36.00 or so per oz. For some unexplainable reason, no matter how many scams there are, not matter how many times someone has been scammed out of their hard earned money, many people continue to believe that they can get something for nothing. There is nothing under the sun worth anything that is not worth working for.
This business requires hard work and persistence. If you apply this along with distressed merchandise and every principal we have shared, you will be successful. Chances are that if you apply this law, you will be successful at any venture which you choose to become involved in.. ever.
You see, this is not just another "How to" manual that the author is reaping a small fortune from, but an absolutely free help guide, with a genuine sincerity.
Keep your credit card in your wallet.
This is a....
"Do well, book." We do not intend to paint a rosy picture for you, sell you one time deals and then move to the next customer. We want you to be successful, so that you may continue to do business with SAM for years to come and simply "do well".
Back to the lady in Alabama...We decided that since we knew this merchandise load well and had total knowledge of the content and knew that many other customers who had purchased these loads had raved about this merchandise, and it is profitable merchandise. We needed to research and weigh all of the past concessions which were made to that customer along with every complaint that she had ever had over the last year or two.
We realized that this particular customer would never be satisfied with any merchandise even though she elected to buy load after load. We knew even if we did offer her a credit that she would always expect something for nothing.
We realized that she was causing SAM more aggravation and loss than the profitably margins would allow. And we decided that she wanted gold for the price of a bag of beans and SAM was not going to continue to do business with her until she fully understood the liquidation business. We have offered this information to her absolutely free of charge, for her future needs. We strongly recommend that she read this booklet.
So always remember that this business absolutely and with no uncertainty can be a win-win for both the liquidator and the retail buyer, if every factor is laid on the table. Not a one-sided liquidator only, profit maker and run scheme.
Want For =
Rocket science "202"
Gold 4 Beans = Broker than an alley cat
Always keep this in mind, a bad apple customer can cost you your company, and buying from a bad merchandise liquidator could also cost you your business. Know everything possible about the surplus business and whom you are buying from.
We have hundreds of satisfied customers across the nation but we have found that SAM cannot make everyone happy all of the time.
And we have found that...
Someone that is less than honest, including our competitors & suppliers will, not hold Sam, hostage.
It takes a great amount of courage and honesty to tell you these stories, but SAM wants to do a clear and precise business with your company for years to come.
We want your business, but we stress that you study the industry. Many times we will decide that we do not want to do business with an individual who acts or thinks as though they know everything but will admit that they have never worked with liquidators. We will offer as much assistance as possible as well as all of the information in this booklet. If we feel that the customer is taking blind risk we will recommend that they do business with another liquidation company. Many times in the past these folks will call us and tell us that they wished they had listened to us. Then at that point we usually have a long-term experienced customer.
How do I pay for my merchandise?
Many major retailers, manufacturers and catalog companies believe that Southern American Marketing, Inc. is one of the best companies that they could possibly have on their team to move their distressed merchandise.
We have been tried and have proven that we are reliable. We move the merchandise load as agreed upon, meeting their time limits. They are in the business of retailing and do not reserve the distribution facility space but for only so much distressed merchandise at any given length of time.
Usually from the time we are notified that a load is ready to be shipped, we have 48 hours to move it from the CRC dock. Even though SAM moves hundreds of loads of merchandise throughout the year for the retailers and has been proven to be reliable and timely, the retailer or catalog company wants their payment up front, paid immediately and usually by wire transfer.
Keep in mind we are purchasing merchandise with the actual value of thousands of dollars for just pennies and do not hesitate to authorize a $4,000.00 to $20,000.00 dollar wire transfer from our bank.
They make it clear and it is typical nomenclature or rule of thumb that regardless of who's merchandise it is surplus, salvage, overstocks etc. is sold "as is" unless otherwise stated. And will not be shipped until paid for by SAM to the retailer.
SAM knows what we are buying and has no reason to dispute the cost.
So, likewise we sell at the same marginal percentages at pennies to the actual dollar value and do not offer any other payment terms.
We recently saw an advertisement in a nationally known liquidation publication where a particular liquidation company offered to finance loads of distressed merchandise for 2% of the overall cost. We laughed and I remember my remark," Another one bites the dust." Two months later in the same advertisement they did not make any mention of "terms". How can you give terms when buying at pennies to the dollar?
The only way you will ever enjoy the rewards and the profitability of distressed merchandise is to consider the calculated risk that may be involved.
Can I purchase by E-Commerce on-line credit cards?
SAM does not feel secure enough for E-Mail transactions over the web at this time. There are far too many ways for computer hackers to intercept your credit card numbers. Each day the media reflects this danger. At SAM we have one responsible party who is solely responsible for credit card transactions and is held strictly accountable. That employee has a great stake in SAM; She is my partner, co owner and my wife, Debbie. Below are examples of current released articles about credit card computer hacking.
By Diane S.
The Associated Press
N E W H A V E N, Conn., Jan. 10 — A computer hacker stole credit card numbers from an Internet music retailer and posted them on a Web site after the retailer refused to pay a $100,000 ransom.
The retailer, CD Universe, brought in Internet security specialists today to shore up its Web site, as the FBI tried to track down the hacker and customers contacted credit card companies to see if their own cards were compromised.
The parent company of CD Universe, eUniverse of Wallingford, had not yet determined how the Web site was compromised or how many customers may have been affected.
“There’s no way to tell. It’s not a good situation,” said Brett Brewer, a vice president of eUniverse.
The New York Times reported the hacker claimed to have taken 300,000 card numbers.
The company did not know whether any customers’ credit card numbers had been used to make unauthorized purchases, although the Times said the unknown extortionist claimed in e-mails that he used some of the numbers to obtain money.
“We haven’t had anybody call us and say, ‘Hey, somebody just bought a car with my credit card,’” Brewer said.
Brewer said that as an emergency measure, eUniverse was able to cancel customers’ credit card numbers that had been stolen and was notifying those cardholders by e-mail. He said the credit card companies would automatically give those customers new cards.
American Express Co. said today that its online fraud guarantee will protect its customers from responsibility for unauthorized online charges. In general, credit card holders are responsible for up to $50 of any unauthorized charge.
Like many online retailers, CD Universe rode a burgeoning interest in online shopping at Christmas to bust open sales projections for music, movies, videos and games.
CD Universe’s sales were $9.1 million last year and are projected to rise to $16 million this year, Brewer said. For the Internet as a whole, sales this past holiday season climbed more than 300 percent from the previous year to as much as $12 billion, above early expectations that sales would double.
The hacker, a self-described 19-year-old from Russia using the name Maxim, sent an e-mail to the Times boasting that he exploited a security flaw in the software used to protect financial information at CD Universe’s Web site.
He said he sent a fax to the company last month offering to destroy his credit card files in exchange for $100,000.
After he was rebuffed, he used a Web site called Maxus Credit Card Pipeline to distribute up to 25,000 of the stolen numbers, said Elias Levy of Security Focus.com, a computer security firm. The site was shut down Sunday morning.
“The Internet creates a whole new class of criminals,” Levy told the Times.
The hacker e-mailed the Times the numbers for 198 credit cards as proof of the theft. The numbers were real, said the Times, and the newspaper attempted to contact the credit card owners. At least one owner confirmed she had been a CD Universe customer.
How do I purchase from SAM?
All transactions are by cashiers checks, certified checks, credit cards (only those we accept, Visa & Master Card) and by wire transfer. Many of our customers have financed their entire operation start-up cost with credit cards. But remember unless you have special interest rates, the percentage on the credit card money is usually over 13%, where a wire transfer will only cost you $10.00 to $20.00. The customer will sign all in house telephone credit card transactions by fax with an invoice description of the transaction.
We do not accept personal checks and we do not accept any out of state checks.
When we send to you a wire transfer we clearly specify the merchandise description along with the invoice.
It is my understanding in most states that if you have a wire transfer request from a selling company and it totally misrepresents a sale, you have immediate means to of recourse. You may call in a local certified inspector along with witnesses and immediately contact the originating states, Attorney General. Federal wire fraud is a serious crime.
SAM is a member of the
· National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
· And Dun & Bradstreet
Who pays for freight? And how does freight work?
SAM has several means of freight transportation.
If it is a full load of merchandise there are several scenarios.
· Live Loads
· Contract loads
Live Loads: The majority of all merchandise loads that we offer can be live loaded. This means when the mega retailer will call SAM to inform us that a particular load is ready, we immediately make a wire transfer and arrange our freight broker to set up freight with a freight company to pick up and deliver the load to our customer. On live loads we can allow you to use your own named freight carrier, usually 48' semi tractor-trailers and sometimes 53" trailers. Appointment scheduled pick-ups are a must. Usually if your transfer company misses a scheduled appointment it may be days to weeks before another window foe pick up is appointed.
The problem that arises most times, with a customer who wants to use their freight carrier is usually, that it is a friend, a brother, or other who may own a truck. Just because the freight carrier or trucker said they could pick the load up a lot cheaper than the SAM quote, the customer believes this is the best way. Of course if not for the following it would be, as freight bites into the profitability of the merchandise value. You can always assume that freight will average 10%- 15% of the total overall cost associated with the load.
Often the problem with the customers arranging their own freight is we usually end up moving the load any way. Then not only is delivery behind schedule, but things have to be rescheduled when delivering, such as labor, forklift etc. This ends up costing the customer more in the long run. You can't sell from an empty cart.
Many freight companies when asked if they can move a load, for instance, from Atlanta to where ever America, will immediately respond, when do you want it? We will usually give the customer a precise appointment time to pick the load up. Remember almost all CRC's are also the distribution for the retail operation of the retailer and limit certain time to surplus shipping. When the appointment time is up, and no truck shows up at the facility. The facility manager calls SAM and proceeds to chew us out because there is no truck and the merchandise is blocking his dock area. We call the customer. He is out and nobody knows where he is. We finally find the freight company number, call them and they proceed to explain that they thought that, that truck would be in the area but somehow he has went to California and won't be able to make the pick up for 4 days. Then there is a problem. By the time we have a re-appointed pick-up scheduled, the customers delay has went a week past their merchandise needs and he or she may lose many sales. Never listen to anything the driver of the truck may tell you regarding the freight. They do not know nor understand all variables involved. Remember they drive trucks and should do so professionally.
SAM has experienced almost every act of GOD a freight company can use as an excuse for not picking up loads at the scheduled time.
SAM offers freight coverage only as a service, we do not make revenue from freight other than the time invested to move our loads of merchandise, trouble free.
If you need a reputable freight company to haul your loads call SAM Toll Free @ (800) 261-9150
Of Mobile, Al. Toll Free @ (800) 960-8785
* Note: If you represent a reputable freight carrier and would like to haul our freight, call us. We do not care who you haul for in the salvage business in south Alabama. We are not afraid of their competition. At Sam we are not afraid of our competitor, however if we see one drowning, it's our philosophy to stick a live fire hose down their throat. Especially those in Alabama.
Live fire hose
This is where an experienced Freight Broker comes into play. We have moved thousands of Loads with John Wink of Wink, Inc.
Wink, Inc. is by far the best and trouble free logistical freight support that SAM has ever had the pleasure of doing business with, and we have used many freight haulers over the years. We have become assured that when we release a load and it has been dispatched, Mr. Wink will handle any situation that can and sometimes occur in the complex transportation industry of today. Wink, Incorporated has been listed by the National Federation of Independent Freight Companies as one of the top 200 brokerage companies in the United States. SAM is proud to be associated with this highly knowledgeable and integral freight company.
Some liquidation companies attempt to coordinate national shipping in house to capture the revenue that would normally go to a broker who is worth his services. Good Luck.
It is virtually simple. Wink, Inc. charges about 10% above almost any quote, but when we call him and give him the pick-up appointment time and the targeted delivery date, its all over, SAM is worry free, we know it has been taken care of. There have, however been only several exceptions of moving loads, but this was during moving thousands of loads. We cannot guarantee that there will not be any freight problems, which could possibly arise. We are not a freight company, but we only offer this as a convenient service to you. This is what Wink, Inc. specializes in.
Wink, Inc. is on a DAT system. This system is a computer system, which goes into many trucking dispatch offices across the nation. When SAM calls Wink, Inc. about a load pick up, they will immediately post the load across the country and usually target independent truckers and freight company dispatchers, who may need a load to their next location. Wink, Inc. gives them a fair price, usually .10 cents more than conventional straight freight, per mile, and from there we are trouble free. Wink, Inc. is by far the best we have ever used absolutely trouble free. Of course he cannot control acts of GOD or the freight traffic volume when there is a shortage of trucks. SAM is not responsible for freight delay, damage, fuel ser charges, detention fees or shortage due to freight company responsibility.
The second scenario is a contract load. This means that we have a contract with a major retailer or catalog company who requires trailers to be spotted in their CRC yard to be loaded as merchandise arrives to their facility. They usually are very limited for space and only allocate enough room for their retail operations. So they may need the use of these trailers for storage. This requires that SAM locate a large national carrier who is willing to lose revenue that would otherwise be made if their trailers were attached to a truck hauling freight down the highways. We convince them to place their trailers for 5-7 days on average at the CRC to be loaded with merchandise. If they are losing revenue because their trailers are tied up, they justify the loss by getting a premium charge per mile. This usually works fine for the buyer because the merchandise that is loaded this way, is usually manifested premium merchandise and has a good standing reputation. If it did not, we would not go into that much strategy by logistically placing them. It requires great effort and time from the SAM staff to provide this service. Whether you are new to the surplus business or an old pro, please keep in mind that SAM is not a freight company. Freight is beyond our control. We are however experienced with all aspects of directing freight dispatchers to our wants, but sometimes it does not work that way. Usually all works well, but there is however that small percentage of freight that gets snake bit from the start.
The third scenario is by railway or what is known as piggyback. Usually we only use this transportation avenue when shipping to the mid-western US, i.e., CA., WA, OR. Etc. This is by far cheaper when shipping east to west than conventional over the road (OTR) freight. The set back is that you can usually count on a seven to ten day delivery depending upon the railway congestion. You should order well in advance for your needs because of the usual shipping time required.
SAM uses several pallet haulers, or LTL (less than Truckload) carriers. These are the companies you see on the highway with half trailers called pup truck trailers. Usually 26'. These carriers are regional carriers which have been given apportionment by the department of transportation to haul in certain states, and regulated by the D.O.T. (department of Transportation) This industry is regulated by cost per mile, highway usage taxes, fuel cost and others and are required to have a base rate which is pretty much a standard rate. However SAM enjoys a discounted rate due to the tremendous amount of merchandise that we ship daily, sometimes as high as 55%- 60% off of the base rate.
We have proven many times to our customer's from several states away that we can ship much less expensively than the customer could pull a trailer and travel to our location. These LTL carriers have terminals in every major city of every state that they have been apportioned to.
Usually the average shipping time in a 15 state area is no more than 5 working days and additional time, outside of that area. . We use only the LTL carrier company's that are reliable and offer terrific service.
Freight companies are not responsible for the loading or the unloading of freight. These companies are transportation only. If you require help to load or unload please consider before purchasing. You will need a forklift.
RPS & UPS
How do I get your merchandise up dates or the daily up-dated
Purchase a fax machine. We believe the fax machine has been one of the greatest contributors to the growth of the economy this century. It has set the pace for communication standards such as computers and the World Wide Web. It is cheap to operate and is a means for quick communication.
You can see SAM'S Market Menu on the Sam liquidation site. We do not up-date the site every day so you may call and ask for a fax up-date of the "SAM'S Market Menu”. Be sure to check out the SAM'S Hot, Hot Sheet for fast moving limited offers.
We love to read those comments from fictional customers which are seemingly always added into those $_9.99 "How to manuals" Note there is always two initials and never a full name. Wish we only had time to solicit comments, but we have to be busy generating good deals for our customers. While I'm here I may as well indulge you with a few of our Southern customer comments and others.
Some of these comments may be purely fictional (pun intended)
I'm going to write real slow because some folks can’t read real fast. We are not at the same address anymore because Billy Bob read that most serious accidents happen only three miles from home, so we up n moved from there. We won't be able to send you the new address yet, cuz we don't know it. The last folks who were here took the numbers with em so that they wouldn't have to change their address.
It's done already rained twice here this week, the first time it rained three days and the second, four days. Billy Bob is doing ok in his new job; he has 300 folks under him. He cuts the grass at the cemetery. We had an accident here yesterday, three boys in town ran off the creek bridge. The driver rolled down the window a swam to safety but the two poor boys in the back of the truck-drowned cuz they couldn’t get the tailgate down.
Thank you for shipping the coats as requested. We also got your note that the post office said that with those heavy brass buttons that they were to heavy to send. It was real smart that you cut them off and put them in the pockets. We found them all.
Thank You, for excellent service, we hope to visit you’re warehouse again when my optirectimitus gets better,
Dear Debbie, We have received the potato sack dresses from Blooming deals and they are adorable on the quadruplets. Please send another pair of shoes for the identical twins as they look odd with one wearing right shoes on both feet and the other wearing left shoes on both feet..............Thanks, Clem
Dear Robert, Tank you for helping us to finding the gold at closing out pricing. Those very goodly people at thee Forty Knocks said to us they soon return us a telephone call. You Very good friend, Santos Palontos Enrique Louie III
Dear Robert, We opened our first store yesterday and are already planning nationwide competition with W-Mart. We know that we are no different then they are, givin the right merchandise to sell. Thanks, Lee Iacoco
We could post many letters with fictitious initials, but these will never make satisfied customers.
Just plum good service....
"The proofs in the pudding"
Pun aside, we will up-date this material daily until we have a thorough and complete on-line manual.
Actual real life responses from our website
I have recently been reading over the information manual that your company provides over the web and first I would like to say that it has given me more insight to this business than any other web site. Sherry Jordan
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you very much for the excellent " America Returns to Profit" guidelines I down loaded from the site. As a beginner in this area I found this manual to be the most valuable guide available on the subject of distressed merchandise. A.B Schon
Hello Mr. Pickle, I saw your ad in the May 2000 issue of the Closeout News and decided to visit your website. I was very impressed with your integrity and straight forwardness. The information supplied was very informative and I thank you very much for it. Well Mr. Pickle in closing, Please accept my gratitude for sharing with all of us your wisdom. I was more than happy to respond in writing. Thanking you in advance, Patricia A. Briskey
Dear Mr. Pickle,
Thank you so much for writing such a refreshingly honest piece. This is a business that I am truly interested in, but did not have a good idea how to began. Jeffrey Lusher.
You have done a truly excellent job on the manual, etc. I am one of those
who has bought the "other" guys manual which you helped develop, and I only
wish I had found you first. I wont bad mouth the other guy, but when I do
business, I know I'll feel much more comfortable dealing with you instead of
them. One idea I have, especially since my PC is so very slow, is to turn
your "202" manual and other manuals into E-Books. This would make them so
much easier to distribute and people like myself to read. At the same time
you could sell it for just a few bucks to see something for your time and
efforts. I'd be willing to spend the money, even now after having purchased
the earlier manual and even after already having viewed yours! By the way,
you are right! The manual wasn't worth the $39.95, even though the info. Was
valuable. But if you are trying to gain a future, steady customer, why make
him pay for the info. To become one, Anyway, I hope and look forward to being
able to do business with you in the near future.
Deer, senior pickle,
We received you manual over Internet and now are happiest people then when we got something from them odder people.
Thank you, Santos Palantos Enrique Luis III (fiction like udder guys)
being from the N. Ga mtns. I really appreciated the fact
that you speak our native language! Love the web site.
I've read your online manual about the distressed merchandise industry and am impressed with the depth of information provided.
What I would like to do is sell merchandise on the online auctions such as Ebay, Yahoo, etc. However, I see that buyers at these auctions won’t bid unless the bargain is excellent, yet I see a lot of sellers doing a brisk business, and was left with the mystery of trying to learn where the successful sellers obtained merchandise that could be sold at such low prices. Clearly, someone selling a lot of merchandise didn’t have that much lying around the house.
In short, I found some web sites selling distressed merchandise that appeared, mostly, to be of good quality. It seems to me that a lot of auction buyers don’t care where it comes from if they are getting something usable at a good price.
I understand that some of the merchandise bought from liquidators won’t be in salable condition and would have to be discarded. In fact, I read a recent article on Auction Watch by someone from Rhino Mart saying that eighty per cent of distressed merchandise was throw-away. That seemed a little excessive so I moved on.
After looking over some other sites I found SAM and your manual and information that unusable goods are not eighty per cent but more like fifteen or twenty percent, completely the opposite of what the Rhino Mart writer said. This sounds more like it!
Having said that, I would like to take the advice in your manual and begin slowly, with the hope of building a nice small business with online auctions. EBay claims there are one hundred thousand Power Sellers, meaning that number of sellers is doing a minimum of $2000 monthly in gross sales. To me, that says there is a market.
From the list of merchandise you carry, I think sporting goods soft goods would be a good place to start. Surely, there would be buyers who want some real bargains on the type of goods you have from Sports Guide, my thinking being that this caliber of sporting goods ought to provide a profit that is worth the time needed to list individual items on these auction sites.
I would like to follow the advice in your online manual and begin slowly, learning as I go, and beginning with the smallest amount of goods I can purchase, which I understand is a pallet?
My questions follow:
1. What would be the total cost (inventory and shipping) for one pallet of Sporting Guide soft goods sent to my location - Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas?
2. I have a pick-up. While a pallet appears to be fairly large, from the pictures shown it looks like I should be able to handle one pallet with my truck. Does this sound reasonable?
3. Would a trucking terminal allow me to break a pallet down for transferring to my pick-up, do you think, since I would be working alone?
Thank you, SAM, for the information in the great manual!
John H. Gerald
I have been researching the surplus business for a couple of years, trying to decide weather or not to open a store selling returns. I have bought many brochures and books on the subject. It is refreshing to find a website that tells it like it is (and at no charge). I have a list of several hundred surplus dealers stored on my computer. I have moved your website to the top of my list. I am writing to ask a favor of you. If you will tell me two or three other reputable dealers in the business, I can delete the rest of my list and start my business without any more of the headaches I have experienced until finally finding you.
Thank you so much. Finding your website out there among the thieves was a breath of fresh air. Duane Whitstine
We can provide hundreds of testimonies just like these, however the most important thing is to simply provide our customers with service coupled with integrity and absolute savings.
The bottom line is, we want you thoroughly knowledgeable in the liquidation field. If you are successful we know that your company will be doing business for years to come. It is better to build a house on a firm foundation and knowing all variables up front, than to spend thousands of wasted dollars for a bad education of loss and grief. Don't build upon sand.
Southern American Marketing, Inc's., sole intention for this on-line manual is to offer assistance to those people who have the desire to go into the liquidation industry. SAM cannot possibly determine your geographical market ability and makes no commitment to do so. SAM does not set itself out to be any other than a liquidator of general merchandise. SAM makes no warranties for any merchandise offered and all merchandise is sold "as is" unless stated otherwise.
We will check the accuracy of this on-line manual for spell error and terminology as we up-date this material.
Other than the note of appreciation to the honest and reliable liquidation companies which were specifically named; SAM is not responsible for any similarity to any person, animal, company or entity, all such are purely coincidental, and all Characters are purely fictitious.
If you have any suggestions that we may use to enhance this on-line manual, please fax them to SAM Liquidation 202 @ (251) 580-3572
If this comprehensive information, on line booklet has helped you in any way, please fax SAM Liquidation 202 @ (251) 580-3572 with your comments. We would like to publish your comments, both positive and negative on this site, for our future readers.
* Note to our many good competitors: We understand your concern about the revealed secrets. We appreciate your purchases through SAM. We will continue to offer tremendous offers that we have provided for your perspective ethical company standards. Our goal is only to educate the many good people who are in the surplus business, or those who anticipate getting involved, about the typical scenarios that can be encountered outside of the group of ethical liquidation companies, & who currently enjoy business opportunities with SAM. We would like to thank you Again, thanks for the listing of those great surplus buyers. We will make every effort to help them become profitable.
@ Sam Liquidation 202
"America Returns to Profit"
Toll Free (800) 261-9150
Ph:(334) 580-8009 Fax (334) 580-3572