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Used Retail Shelving
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There is one common aspect when buying from a liquidation sale: the building must get "broom-swept" This means they HAVE TO remove all of the fixtures from the building...the landlords gonna want his building like his contact states. While experienced liquidators usually avoid getting stuck with fixtures, they will empty the building at any cost.
Shelving can be labor intensive, and it takes time to remove. Often the best deals can be found from a liquator whose sale did not go well, and he is stuck with shelves he has to get rid of fast. Or an out of state liquidator who doesn't want to pay $1800 for a truck to empty out his building.
Rather than pay undo labor or shipping costs, they will sell at a true bargain. Occasionally, even beg you to take them
Perhaps the best, or cheapest, way to buy used retail shelving is from a store fixture liquidation sale.
The seller is attempting to turn the shelving into money.
You buy the shelving and tear it out, right in the retail store where it sets.
For the liquidator, there are no tool, labor or shipping costs associated with your purchase. These savings get passed on to you!
Getting retail store shelving from a liquidation isn't the same at every sale.
Sometime they will ship any order direct from the closing business.
Sometimes legal distinctions restrict the liquidator to perform on site sales only.
The merchandise liquidator, or G.O.B. (going out of business) liquidator, is the key player in this game. This is the larger company that is responsible for, by contract or outright purchase, all of the actual product from the closing store. They sell the packaged product that was part of the stores inventory.
Usually a stores inventory will be worth (tens, hundreds of) millions of dollars, and the used store fixtures are valued by the tens of thousands.
The fact is, the store fixtures are incidental to them. They are willing to buy the fixtures just to get the contract on some inventory, bankrupcy, or refinancing deal.
Sometimes they might get a better chance of landing the 20 million dollar contract if they are more directly responsible for insuring buildings are "broom-swept" on time, or that the leases won't be an issue.
The going out of business liquidator isn't really a fixture dealer, per se.
The logistical, business and legal complications and considerations have prompted most merchandise liquidators to create a dedicated company (within) to handle messy, low dollar stuff like shelving and other used equipment.
The out of state store fixture liquidator is often who you may be doing business with. He will buy up whole stores of fixtures nationwide, or in nearby states, and sell them off locally. Sometimes it's the dedicated company within the G.O.B. liquidators company.
Often these dealers really want to sell everything, because labor and trucks are an expense they would rather avoid.
When they have a paying customer who needs some shelves, they will have to calculate your potential purchase and their losses if it doesn't sell.
Getting stuck with fixtures is an expense for liquidators, but realize one thing. If the monetary difference is minimal, they might consider sledge-hammering, spraypainting and scrap the fixtures before they will take an insulting offer, or needlessly flood their market.
Your local shelving dealer might buy all the fixtures from a closing store...or they will certainly want to. He would then sell off all the shelving and other fixtures, while in the process of cleaning out the store. You can get a better deal by removing the gondola yourself, saving him the trouble of loading it into his truck, back to the warehouse. Often though, if the location is close to his home base, he won't be willing to offer a large discount to someone who is likely to pay his asking price.
Fixture liquidators can be different, too, and the nuances of their situation can affect your price.
Buying Tips - Liquidations and Shelving:
Be prepared to work! Liquidations are almost always selling fixtures where they sit. That means when you make a purchase, you are responsible for removing it from the building.
Dismantling and packing 100 linear feet of shelving can be very labor intensive. Be prepared with a work crew, pallets, shrink wrap, banding and a truck, or you might be in for a nightmare.
Wait until the last minute! Liquidators often have a contractual obligation to clean out the building. If they have to be "broom swept" soon, and the store is full of fixtures, they will usually lower their prices. They don't want to get stuck paying for labor and shipping if they can sell out without touching the shelving.
Don't wait until the last minute! (Yes, this contradicts our last buying tip) If you need 22" inch shelves, and the store being liquidated only has 32 linear feet available , and the rest is 16", you might consider buying now, before someone else does. Liquidators love to say, "Buy it now, before it's gone!"...they might want to scare you into an impulse purchase, but sometimes it is just good, sound advice.
Haggle. Store fixture liquidation prices are rarely set in stone. Usually the liquidator has a little, or a lot, of breathing room when it comes to pricing the fixtures.
Ask about price breaks and quantity discounts.
Throw an offer out there. It might work.
If you notice they have a huge quantity of the some hard-to-sell-niche-product (30" tall green shelving, maybe), try to set your own price.
Try catching flies with honey. Remeber, the fixture seller often has control of the terms and prices of the sale. If you are a pain in the butt, there might be "special" prices, just for you! The process of buying used shelving can be logistically difficult. If you are easy to deal and communicate with, the store fixture liquidator is in a position to reciprocate your kind nature with: better pricing on additional purchases; extra time in store or at a dock; use of equipment or staff.
Know and understand all of the terms of sale. Make sure you understand all of the terms of the sale.
-Removal Date - When do you have to pick it up by? Hours of operation?
-Equipment use - Can you use the liquidators loading docks, forklift, pallet jacks, pallets, and other things you might take for granted until it is too late? Remember, removal is your problem, not the liquidators.
-Prices - Often sales will have a "buyers premium". This is usually the fee that a liquidator or auctioneer will charge...it's thier cut and a common practice. It isn't subject to state sales tax, I believe.
-Tax - Yes, you will be charged state sales tax. Write your congressperson.
Store Fixture Liquidations
It's hard to separate a shelving dealer from a liquidator.
If a shelving dealer try to sell out from the closing location, he is 'liquidating' shelving.
Large liquidation companies have created fixture divisions, thereby making them a form of shelving company.
Find you nearest dealers and liquidators here.