Historically, the liquidation industry has had two main problems. The first affected retailers, who had to send their stock through inefficient and costly liquidation channels, which resulted in returned and excess inventory going through a lot of middle-men, before it would eventually reach buyers that would resell to the consumer market.
The second affected buyers who were purchasing liquidation stock, only to find that when it arrived, the stock was completely different to what was included in the manifest (if there was a manifest). They were also left confused by the various shipping costs and were sometimes hit with hidden fees.
Enter BULQ, who is bringing a different, more modern, approach to the liquidation industry in order to solve these two problems. They work with some of the largest retailers in the United States and connect their excess and returned inventory directly with entrepreneurs who buy the stock and resell it.
BULQ is also making the process quicker and easier for buyers. Not only do they offer flat-rate shipping direct to your door, they also offer a manifest guarantee if the contents of the lot is off by more than 2% in terms of condition or quantity.
How did BULQ start?
The story starts back in 2004 when BULQ’s founders began reselling inventory from a small garage. As their business grew, they got to experience first-hand the broken aspects of the liquidation industry.
To try and revitalize the industry they launched Optoro, BULQ’s parent company, in 2010, offering software solutions to help retailers handle and re-sell their excess and returned inventory.
From their own experience of reselling, and through helping retailers, the founders soon realized that there was a really big opportunity to better connect retailers with liquidation buyers.
So two years ago, they founded BULQ, with the aim of providing a better way to source returned and excess goods. The founders applied what they learned from their own business and the technology they’ve developed to ensure that BULQ cuts time, cuts costs and helps connect inventory to its next best home.
How does the site work?
BULQ partners directly with large and mid-size retailers, including companies like Target, Best Buy, Jet.com and Groupon, to access their liquidation stock. These retailers either send their inventory to BULQ’s warehouse for processing or they package up their liquidation goods using BULQ’s proprietary systems. These lots are then listed on the BULQ site for purchase by resellers.
Browsing lots on BULQ is easy. You simply go to the site and can use a range of different filters to help you quickly hone in on suitable inventory. These filters include category, condition and price range. There is also the option to filter by lot size, as some customers may be looking to buy cases, whereas larger, more advanced buyers, might prefer to purchase pallets.
Once you’ve clicked on a lot, you’ll find a detailed manifest that outlines item-by-item what is contained in that case, or pallet. BULQ also includes UPCs and ASINs in their manifests when they’re available.
Because you can see very clearly what is contained in the lot, it means you can do your calculations and some thorough due diligence, to help decide whether the lot is going to be profitable for you, before you decide to buy.
Nothing is hidden behind a login, so you can browse the site freely and review the detailed information for each lot without having to sign up for an account. You do need to create an account to buy lots from BULQ but this information is stored so you don’t have to enter all your details next time you make a purchase.
BULQ only require resale certificates from buyers in Washington DC and Tennessee, so it’s open to anyone with an entrepreneurial mind to do their calculations, buy stock and try their hand at reselling.
The BULQ Promise
To make sure that BULQ is meeting the needs of its customers and is being completely transparent about its prices and manifests, they offer all of their customers “The BULQ Promise”, which covers three areas.
Both the founders of BULQ, and their customers, were aware that a real pain point in the liquidation industry was wasting money on a lot that didn’t match the manifest. This was something that BULQ wanted to solve, and so they have a manifest guarantee, something which is very unusual in the liquidation industry. It means that if the manifest is off by more than 2% in terms of condition or quantity, you can make a claim for reimbursement.
To start the claims process, you can call or email BULQ to explain to the team what the discrepancies are. BULQ will take a look at the items, and their condition, and credit your account accordingly.
Another source of irritation and confusion when purchasing liquidation stock has been shipping costs, as they’ve often been difficult to work out and have included hidden fees.
BULQ has made shipping a more transparent process, and offers flat-rate shipping on all their lots of $30 per case and $200 per pallet. There are no hidden fees and you can have your inventory shipped straight to your office, home or apartment.
BULQ has a dedicated customer care team, who are happy to answer your questions, no matter how big or small, and help resolve any issues you have with the site, either over the phone or via email.
The BULQ app
BULQ is bringing a more modern approach to the liquidation industry, and has developed an app which allows sellers to source stock without being tied to their homes or offices.
The app is available on iPhone or Android and has the same functionality as using BULQ on a computer. You can browse the site, review detailed manifests and buy lots wherever you are.
The app also allows you to sign up for real-time notifications, so you’ll be alerted when inventory that you’re interested in hits the site. You can select from a series of filters, such as the condition of the item and the category of the items in the lot, to make sure that the notifications are tailored to you and your business.
BULQ is always trying to make the buying experience better for their customers and is going to be releasing new features later this year. Two exciting features that buyers can look forward to are a new lot size and shipping incentives. BULQ will be offering a new, larger lot format based on demand from buyers, in addition to their current offering of pallets and cases. And, for customers who buy multiple cases at a time, BULQ is introducing shipping discounts to make buying lots in large volumes even more attractive.
This post was sponsored by BULQ.