I had a client e-mail me and we were discussing the off-price apparel industry. This client was involved in a separate industry but similar in that he sold off-price merchandise. And he used the term ‘liquidator’ to refer to what we normally really call a jobber. I explained to him that we, by we I mean the Clothing Broker, we don’t really deal with liquidators, liquidators, liquidators. We deal with jobbers and I want to explain the difference and why there’s a difference in the type of information we provide and the type of clientele we typically service.
A liquidator typically is recovering money for merchandise, regardless of the condition of that merchandise. In other words, a liquidator could sell first-quality merchandise or never been sold, they could sell customer returns, or they could sell salvaged goods. Salvaged goods are usually goods that are damaged in some way. We don’t deal with those types of companies. Most of the people who come to the Clothing Broker are looking for branded apparel and they are looking for that apparel at such a price that enables them to sell it at a significant discount from the retail price and still make a decent profit margin. Those are the kinds of customers that come to our site looking for merchandise.
The off-price apparel industry is vast. It ranges from everything from what you see in a ninety-nine-cent store up on to something like Suzie’s Dealers, which are your five-dollar clothing stores, all the way up into something like Saks outfit. It’s a very broad industry. And the majority of apparel that is available is of the type that you would find at your less expensive stores and it’s typically genuinely branded. I mean there is a brand name on the label but just not the kind that most people would recognize. Some of it isn’t even really, really off-price. It’s just first run product manufactured overseas. It is just made for such a low price that they can be sold in the off-price market. Most of the clients that come to us are looking for the types of clothing that you find in your better department stores such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, the North Shore, Neiman Marcus and so on. Sometimes the client looking for that type of merchandise belongs in the off-price industry and sometimes, they don’t. What I mean by ‘belong’ is that sometimes people have misconceptions about what it is really like to be in this industry, what the profit margins would be like and what type of success they can expect.
Getting back on topic, the difference between what we do and what you may find at a lot of other places in the internet is that our focus really is on quality merchandise that is suitable for retail sale. We don’t really typically deal with jobbers who specialize in merchandise that has been damaged, is in some way not suitable for retail sale, or needs to be repaired for retail sale. And all that can be what you will find a lot of in the liquidation market. I hope that explains the difference between a liquidator and a jobber.