We love bin stores! This business model has risen in popularity over the past three years, and it's easy to see why. Moving so much liquidated inventory is fun and exciting for both sellers and shoppers. But to get into this industry, you must be wise and learn to maximize profits in every way possible. Keep reading for three strategies you can use to keep your profits up!
How To Profit Off Your Bin Store
Your bin store is useless if it isn't profiting you. I'll be honest upfront - it can be tricky to navigate this business model.
The reality is that you are dealing with inventory already either overly abundant in the marketplace or unwanted at its original retail location.
Most of your products are low-value, and you have many expenses to consider. Large loads of inventory cost a lot of money, fuel costs continue to rise, and your storefront space is also expensive.
Succeeding in this industry means making every piece of inventory matter. You can't afford to keep the same products in your bins weekly. You also can't afford to have massive loads of unused inventory cluttering your storage space.
Every time you bring in a truckload, your goal is to flip that merchandise and get it out of your hands as soon as possible - while maxing out the sale price on each item.
Depending on the truckload, your incoming inventory could cost you between $1-5 an item ($1/item for High Piece Count loads, $5/item is high but could be the case for more name-brand content). This doesn't include freight costs or your other business expenses.
If you have a successful pricing model, you'll likely get anywhere from $7 to $1 a piece per item. Ideally, you're selling most of your higher-value items on restock days for a better price. But the reality is, you may lose money on some things by the time your prices are down to $1 at the end of the week.
So how do you make the best out of what you have to get the most money back into your hands? Here are a few strategies that we use in our bin stores.
Sell Larger Items on Facebook
Sometimes you'll end up with pieces of larger inventory that you know you could sell for more than the $5-10 you're charging at your store. Maybe you've got a full bed frame or a set of kitchen chairs. Perhaps you picked up a load from Target or a pallet house that has some great items...you can't afford to lose tons of money on them.
This is where Facebook Marketplace comes in handy. Not only can you post items to Facebook Marketplace directly, but you should join as many community "buy and sell" groups as possible and post things there.
You can do this in a few ways. You can either sell individual items or put together a pallet of larger/bulkier items to sell. Both of these strategies do well.
Whether selling one item at a time or wrapping them up together, you'll need to take between 4-5 high-quality photos of the final package and create a detailed description.
Post this on Marketplace and in the buy and sell groups in your community. Here's how we do this:
- Make your initial posts - set the highest price you think it will sell for here.
- Post once in each group every 3-4 days.
- If the item still hasn't sold after a week, reduce the price by $20-30 (or marginally) every 3-4 days until it does.
- Don't post multiple times a day - Facebook may mark you as a spam account.
- Every time you post, you need different pictures. Play around with new titles as well!
- Be patient - you may sit on some items for three weeks. They will sell eventually!.
We also created our own group just for selling pallets of these larger items and invited customers to join the group every time we made a post. This is a great way to create a community of individuals who you know is interested in your products.
You may have a more challenging time selling items initially, but you'll be off to a good start once you get five good reviews. Just remember to join every community buy and sell group within a 10-15 mile radius; you don't want to miss out on any locals.
You can do this on Craigslist as well, but Facebook Marketplace is your best use of time.
Use eBay To Your Advantage
You can also sell items on eBay to use unsold or bulk inventory. This can come in handy for larger or smaller items.
Many times you'll end up with hundreds of smaller items. You don't want your bins to be filled with the same thing - so you need to find another outlet for these goods. People buy a lot in bulk on eBay, so use this to your advantage.
Let's say you get 200 fidget spinners in one of your HPC shipments with a cost per unit of $1. You can turn around and flip these by selling them in bulk at $2-3 apiece. It doesn't seem like a lot of profit when you're thinking of individual units ($2-3), but overall that is getting you an additional $400-600 just off fidget spinners.
It would help if you used this strategy to use these larger influxes of small items. Your customers don't want to see hundreds of fidget spinners or little knick-knacks in the bins every week. It's boring! But there are people on eBay looking for precisely what you have.
Do research when you receive your shipments and find what is selling for a reasonable price online. Sometimes these will be smaller items in bulk. You'll also find a high-value item that can start a bidding war.
Either way, you don't want to underestimate how eBay can add profits to your store model. If you've got a truckload of 25,000 items, each costing you $1-2 an item, you can quickly get $5,000 of profit from eBay sales by pulling out the right things.
Start Making Mystery Bags & Offering Creative Sales
Lastly, you can use plenty of creative methods within your store to sell bulky items, unsold inventory, or bundles of items.
One of our favorite methods? Mystery bags!
You can charge anywhere from $5-25 for a mystery bag, depending on the size/value of items inside. These are fun because customers never know what they're going to get - but you know everything in the bag is making you a profit.
We recommend taking unsold inventory and wrapping it up in a bin liner or an opaque bag. Then take between 15-20 items (depending on how big they are) and stuff them into the bag. Seal it up well so customers can't peek inside, and keep a particular location in the store set aside as the "mystery bag" or "mystery box" section.
Make this fun for your customers! People love to gamble, and you're keeping them entertained by giving them a collection of mystery items. Make a game out of it - ask them which bag they want, let them feel the bags, and guess what's inside.
It may be helpful to have a "mystery bag" week every month or every few weeks to keep it interesting. If they are always available, your customers may lose interest.
You can also take items you have in bulk and create a grab bin. Rather than filling every container with the 200 fleece blankets you just got, make a blanket bin and charge a generic $2-4 per item for each one (all week long). This gets shoppers' attention, and you're more likely to sell bulk items this way than hiding them throughout every bin.
Do the same thing with larger items. Don't want to sell that kitchen set on Facebook Marketplace? That's okay. Put it out in a special store section at a discounted price. Somebody will take it.
And finally - sell your pallets. You can grab an extra few hundred dollars every month by selling pallets. You can do this on Facebook Marketplace or by contacting local businesses who may need them!
Running a bin store isn't easy! There is a lot to consider when it comes to maximizing profits. But if you can find creative ways to move your inventory, you'll be well on your way to making a great income with your bin store business. By utilizing Facebook Buy/Sell groups, eBay, and creative sales methods in your store, you can ensure you're always selling out and keeping your sales up.