There are buyers and there are shoppers when it comes to wholesale, liquidation and closeout truckloads. Shoppers rarely turn into buyers and it’s mainly because they are uneducated or uninitiated in to this business. They can learn but they have to be open to it and pursue that education. They have to take a bit of risk and take that first step.
Here’s how a typical truckload sale goes. A seller puts out an offer of XYZ Truckload. Potential buyers inquire by email or phone to get some basic information. If the seller is reputable or has experience with the buyer then the next step is for the seller to send an invoice to the buyer. Shipping is worked out and coordinated. Next the buyer wires the full amount to the seller. Lastly, the seller ships the truckload to the buyer. It’s really that simple. Of course there’s a certain amount of trust and viability required. But since it is not the “first rodeo” for either it can go very smoothly.
When you get a new or an uninitiated buyer it can go well too but often times it can become complex. A new buyer will be unsure and nervous and this is when they become nothing more then a shopper. If you’re nervous and the deal will put you in a precarious situation you are not ready to do this. So DON’T do it. Still there will be people that think they can get all the terms they demand so they can feel better. But the seller doesn’t have the time to deal with your emotional state and frankly they will never be able give you the level of comfort you require. First these buyers might ask if they can get terms on payment. Maybe COD or half up front and half on delivery. Or maybe they ask if they can pay with a credit card. The answer to all three questions is a resounding NO! The terms are cash up front, generally with a wire transfer. Sometimes they will ask for a sample. Now that is possible in some situations. But what typically happens is that while the shopper is waiting for the sample or agonizing over the decision and it generally gets sold to another buyer. Then I had this interesting scenario once. This was a manifested load and the buyer apparently was an online seller and wanted to get the UPC code for each item on the load. They wanted to scan each item to see if it was a money maker. Seriously?? Well there was several hundred different SKUs and even if I was willing to attempt that, again the load would have likely been sold before we could collect and study the data. These buyers have a lot of questions, which is fine as long as they are reasonable. But you can tell that they are trying to set up every situation so there is absolutely no risk to them. That is unreasonable. There is no such thing as NO risk and if you need everything on your side you will never get a deal done. Hence the term “shopper.”
Here’s what you need to do. Find a source first. Get to know as much about the source as possible. Do your homework. Talk to them so you can get a sense of who you are dealing. Once you feel comfortable, do the deal. The first load is always the toughest. There will be some risk but that is the case in all business. You get the load and you have to do all the things necessary to get it sold. If it all works well then you have a solid source that you can feel comfortable working with on an ongoing basis. Now you have your flow of product. If you want to grow, rinse and repeat. When a shopper that hasn’t done the homework encounters a seller I can almost guarantee that there will never get a deal done. The seller will move on to a real buyer and probably not take their calls in the future. There is always another buyer.
So the moral of the story is this. If you want to be in this business it’s not the sellers responsibility to accomodate your every request. This business moves too fast for that and there’s too many buyers out there. If you’re scared, nervous or in a precarious financial position and you’re risking it all, this is not for you. But if you’re mentally ready, you have space and you’re willing to make a managed risk, well then you can make some real money.