Kim Rowley turned her passion for clearance shopping into a lucrative side hustle! Here’s how…
Woman’s World Article
Below is a transcript of the actual article about Kim Rowley in Woman’s World magazine that was published in the February 20, 2023 edition:
As a lifelong clearance shopper, I dabble in reselling items from stores like Costco and Walmart on eBay and via Amazon’s fulfillment program. During the pandemic, I learned about liquidation pallets (they contain overstock, last year’s styles, store returns, etc.) and started buying them from retailers like Target, Walmart, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond and more for a few hundred dollars each on online auction sites.
Before long, my garage was overflowing, so I had a “liquidation pop-up” and sold each items for just $5. It was a hit, so I began selling at different vendor events. I was overwhelmed with the amount of customers who would show up, so I rented a vacant store to better manage the crowds.
I now hold 2-hour sales on Sunday a month. My family members come to help me, and we sell everything from clothing to home decor. People follow our Facebook page (@LiquidationPopup) and subscribe to a newsletter to get updates. Each sale is like Black Friday! Folks line up ahead of time to the be the first in line get our deals. Since growing, I now buy truckloads of pallets from brokers.
Each sale brings in around $10,000, which I save for retirement and use for vacations. It’s important for me to give back, soo, I invite local organizations to shop for free and donate raffle items for fundraisers. My favorite part is the flexibility. It’s wonderful to be able to plan sales around my family’s schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since this article was published, I have had several people reach out to me with various questions. Therefore I decided to answer the most asked questions right here in a blog post.
How did you get featured in Woman’s World?
I responded to a HARO (Help A Reporter Out) query back in November 2022 looking for a “side gig with a charitable component”. Here was my pitch:
I just turned 50 (gasp)! By day, I’m an affiliate marketer, but back in 2017, I started a side hustle of reselling items I’d find on clearance via Amazon FBA. In 2020, when the world shut down, so did my ability to go clearance shopping. So I started buying liquidation pallets to get items to resell. When my garage started overflowing with Amazon returns and items that I couldn’t sell on Amazon, I decided to have a “Liquidation Popup” sale and sell everything for $5 each. The average retail value of the items was well over $20, so people got amazing deals. I didn’t look at it as a money maker, but as a way to recoup some of my inventory costs.
At first, just my fiance and I (we are getting married 12/30) would travel to vendor events having these sales with our van and popup tent, but we offered such great deals that it became overwhelming. We eventually rented a vacant store and had monthly sales. We now own our own warehouse with a store area that my mother sets up. And once a month, other family members (aunts, cousins, brothers, etc) come to help with our 2-hour sales.
These sales are like Black Friday! People line up ahead of time to be the first in line to get our $5 deals. We’ve had so many compliments from appreciative people saying they’ve been able to get deals they normally couldn’t afford on things like new Skechers shoes and toys for their kids for Christmas.
We then invite a few organizations (like foster kids) to come shop for free, such as kids to get new clothes and shoes and school supplies for back to school, and then again gifts for Christmas. We also always donate raffle items for benefits and fundraisers. And then when stuff doesn’t sell after so many months, we donate all of that stuff to whichever organization can use it.
Woman’s World Interview Q&A
A week and half later, I got an email saying my story sounded like a potential fit for the Woman’s World Magazine KaChing column, but they had some questions for me to answer.
How did you originally get involved in reselling items from Amazon?
I’ve always been a bargain hunter and clearance shopper. I’ve dabbled selling things on eBay since 2000 and always take an interest in new technology. When Amazon started their FBA program, I scanned my stockpile of clearance items to see if I could sell anything on Amazon and realized I could make money! I was off running at that point trying to find deeply discounted items to resell.
What was the process like of renting and then owning the store?
It was a headache to move everything and get customers acquainted with the new location, but I’m so glad we did. Now we don’t have to haul inventory to a different location or deal with nosy landlords.
Do you have a particular item that you tend to resell (like clothes), or is it more general?
I sell everything from clothing to toys and home decor to beauty aids. I get bored easily so I switch up categories that I focus on quite often.
How do you get the word out to customers about your pop-up sales?
I have an email list, but the best response has come from Facebook event ads.
Roughly how much money does this bring in per month or year, and does this $ have a particular purpose? (retirement, travel, etc.)
The popup sales, held once a month on a Sunday afternoon from 1-3 pm, bring in an average of $10,000 per sale. I’ve been trying to reinvest all profits so I’ll be comfortable in retirement, but a vacation now and then is nice, too.
What is your favorite part of this side gig?
The flexibility to work when I want to. I schedule sales around mine and my family’s schedules so they can help with the crowds, and they get free merchandise for helping. 😉
Fast forward to the middle of January, and I got an email update that my story was approved for the Woman’s World Magazine’s KaChing column, but they had a few more questions to answer.
How much does the average liquidation pallet cost? Do people bid on them, or how does the process work of getting them?
I originally bought my first pallets from online auction sites. Since growing, I now buy truckloads of pallets from brokers. The average cost of liquidation pallets, that I buy anyway, are approximately $500 per pallet.
What retailers do you typically get these liquidation pallets from?
I’ve gotten pallets from Target, Walmart, Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, Nordstrom Rack, Sears, Zulily, JCPenney, Sam’s Club, Dollar General, QVC and HSN. I like to mix it up to keep it more exciting!
How did you find out about liquidation pallets in the first place?
Google is my BFF. I did a lot of research by joining Facebook groups before actually pulling the trigger and investing in buying some.
And then viola, my aunt’s friend saw the article and text her a pic of the article. Obviously they reconstructed my words to make the article shorter, but any publicity is good publicity. I did chuckle when I saw the tag line “easy money” as it’s not as easy as it sounds.
How can I get started having liquidation sales?
I wrote a couple posts detailing how and where to buy Target liquidation pallets and how and where to buy Amazon return pallets. The process for buying other retailer store pallets is quite similar.
For a list of more places to buy liquidation pallets and a crash course on how to flip pallets for profit, enter your email address below for a free liquidation guide with our compliments.
We also recommend reading the Liquidators Guide which is is a step-by-step, comprehensive resource for people who want to make a profit in the liquidation merchandise industry.
Once you have some liquidation inventory, click on over to this blog post that I wrote in 2021 on how I make $5000 a month having $5 sale events. As you have read, my sales have doubled in size and profit over the last year and a half!
Good luck on your own liquidation journey!
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