CINCINNATI (WKRC) - After a two year binge of consumer spending fueled by government stimulus checks, there's a lot of inventory out there, especially because high inflation has many people shopping less, and focusing on essentials like food and gas.
A warehouse here in the Tri-State is booming because of the aforementioned circumstance. It provides items for a fraction of the cost, because of the retailer’s loss.
People are buying fewer items and returning more. So, to clear shelves, retailers are selling to places like Liquidity Services AllSurplus Deals at steep discounts. The warehouse is located in Hebron.
The system allows people to drive the prices. You can’t drive to this warehouse and browse, but instead you can bid on the items on their website, and then go pick them up. The auctions usually open and close daily. It's a place to get what you need, or maybe what you don't need, for an 85% to 90% discount.
“I’m retired and so my income of course went way down. I have a grandson I adore, he’s the joy of my life. I love buying him toys and I got him a lot of great deals that he’s loved here,” said Diane Nieporte.
Nieporte said she purchased $2200 worth of merchandise in the last several weeks, but has only spent $550. She held up an electronic thermometer she wanted to get for her grandson, because he has allergies, and she never knows when he’s actually sick.
“This is about $49, and I got it for $7,” said Nieporte.
Jeff Rechtzigel, the vice president and general manager for liquidity services retail business, said they sell an average of about 1000 items a day out of the Hebron Warehouse. Rechtzigel said not only are people getting a good deal, but they are helping the environment by purchasing items that would otherwise be thrown away or put in landfills.
Big retailers misjudging the supply and demand after a pandemic followed by inflation, and an increase in the amount of returned items has liquidity services operating at exceptionally high volumes.
“We’ve got toys, bedding, coffee makers, and some more smaller electronics. Really anything you can think of that can be sold at a retail store,” said Rechtzigel.
It’s a relatively simple process, people log onto their website, and bid on the items they want or need. They have a pick up date, and they go to the warehouse to pick up their items on the specified date. A welcomed alternative for people like Nieporte who need to alter their spending, but still want to spoil their grandchildren.
“It’s kind of fun just to do it. But everything I have gotten, I mean, I have been super happy with and I am able to use it right away,” said Nieporte.
The reason a retailer wouldn't want an item could be as minor as a box being damaged. Also, sometimes sales to get rid of items does more damage to a brand, so Liquidity Services not only resell items to individuals, but they find businesses or other ways for the items to be used.
The items range from patio furniture to electronics to baby items. The items available largely depend on what the retailers are clearing from their shelves.