A Guide to Buying Liquidation Health & Beauty Inventory


Cosmetics, vitamins, razors, medicine, shampoo, and more. When it comes to liquidation health and beauty auction lots, buyers will find a wide assortment in this category. And with plenty of personal care items considered a necessity by men, women, and families, this liquidation inventory is always in high demand. 

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at buying liquidation health and beauty inventory and break down what you need to know. Topics include:

  • Types of inventory
  • The secondary market
  • Benefits of buying
  • Things to consider
  • Best practices for reselling

Liquidated health & beauty inventory

While our different health & beauty marketplaces may categorize their packaged goods a little differently, much of it falls under the large “personal care” umbrella. With that said, there is a vast amount of inventory buyers will find in health and beauty liquidation lots. 

Why source liquidation health and beauty inventory?

A very attractive aspect of sourcing liquidation health and beauty merchandise is the fact that much of it is brand new inventory. You’ll find some customer-returned inventory mixed in, but a majority is brand new, overstock, original packaging, retail-ready merchandise. Well, how does that happen? There are several reasons merchandise enters the secondary market. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why health and beauty products get liquidated:

Shelf Pulls: Goods currently on the shelf will be replaced with more in-demand inventory or items are approaching their ‘sell by’ dates.

Overstock: This is due to retailers over purchasing, or goods just not selling as well as predicted.

Seasonality: Out with the old, in with the new. From new colors for spring to the end of cold and flu season, seasonality plays a big part when it comes to shelf real estate.

Consumer trends: Eye makeup trends or popular nail polish colors, what’s hot (or not) at the moment impacts what stays and what goes.

Discontinued items: New formula, new packaging, poor sales performance, and more. Regardless of the reason, the manufacturer must unload all of this now discontinued merchandise. So, into the secondary market it goes.

Customer returns: Misreading the packaging, buyer’s remorse, or price checking elsewhere, these are some of the reasons products hit the returns counter.

Benefits for business buyers

Between a high demand for products and brand new, retail-ready merchandise, let’s take a look at a few more ways sourcing health and beauty inventory can benefit your business. 

Good product variety: Buyers can find a good variety of inventory in auction lots. Many contain items for different genders, ages, and consumer needs. 

Ability to purchase smaller loads: The option to buy different sized shipment lots is readily available within the health & beauty category –– from just a few pallets up to larger loads.

Overstock condition: Lots that are neatly stacked and wrapped with brand new, retail-ready merchandise.

Expiration dates: Some marketplaces will provide product expiration dates on lot manifests–– allowing buyers to plan ahead knowing how much time they have to resell the inventory. 

Necessary items: Many consider soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc. to be necessary items. These products are always in demand and the inventory moves fast.  

With all of the benefits of buying and reselling liquidation health & beauty products, we’d be remiss to not point out potential pitfalls. So, what are the possible drawbacks of buying liquidation health and beauty merchandise?

Things to consider

Keeping up with trends: While much of the inventory is considered necessary by shoppers, some of it (we’re looking at you, makeup palettes) can be seasonal or trend-driven. You’ll want to pay attention to upcoming trends and limit buying off-season merchandise. 

Start small: Fortunately, you have the ability to buy smaller lots in the health & beauty category. This lowers your risk of overpurchasing until you learn how fast you can move the inventory (particularly items with expiration dates).  

Think, regionally: Your location plays a big part in shipping costs; additionally, it can affect the beauty trends happening locally. 

So, you’re ready to begin buying bulk lots of liquidated health & beauty products? That’s great! We’ve got some pro-tips for you when it comes to reselling your inventory. 

Best practices for reselling liquidated health & beauty merchandise

First, before you buy, be sure to review and understand each individual marketplace’s terms and conditions. Each retailer will have its own set of rules and regulations buyers must follow when reselling their inventory. No online sales? It’s possible. Export outside of the U.S. only? Potentially. Read the terms and conditions, carefully. 

Second, before you put a product up for sale, do your research! Find out how much of this inventory is already available and what your competitors are selling it for. You must price your goods competitively in order to move the merchandise.

Finally, use marketing tactics! Whether you decide to also resell in bulk quantities or promote a buy one, get one offer, this will help sweeten the deal and move the inventory.

Interested in finding great deals on brand name health and beauty merchandise? See what top retailers and manufacturers are auctioning off now!

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