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A guide on getting the best return on liquidate stock, from the UK's leading online auction house.
5 Mins

How to get the best return on liquidated stock

Jess Gibson
Jess Gibson

There are a couple of well-known proverbs/idioms used in times of misfortune, offering a sliver of hope or advocating the notion that there’s potential to benefit in the face of loss: ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘one man’s loss is another man’s gain’. They serve as a reminder that, although there may be difficulty on the road, there’s a light end the end of the tunnel somewhere, for someone.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has witnessed many fledgling – and established – businesses succumb to the poor economic situation the world has found itself in, meaning that a substantial number of them have, sadly, folded. Whilst this is, of course, incredibly unfortunate for those business owners and the teams they had around them, it’s not all doom and gloom (and it’s here that we get to see the ‘silver lining’ people often speak of). Online auctions offer the opportunity to recoup some of the financial losses suffered via the bulk selling of liquidated stock and/or equipment, whilst also providing other businesses and retailers the chance to purchase stock and/or equipment at bargain prices at a time when money is pretty tight all round. So, yes, there’s a lot of heartache here; but there’s also a silver lining to this negativity – and we’ve got to focus on this if we want to rebuild society and the economy. We’ve got to find some hope, right? And this is where you come in; this is where someone else’s loss can become your gain.

At William George, we have some upcoming and live online auctions where designer stock, office equipment, and tech, DIY, and hardware stock is all available for purchase due to the liquidation or closure of companies. This is your opportunity – whether you’re doing up your home, supplying your business with stock, or selling items on individually as a side-hustle – to have a sift through and find items you need at bargain prices!

If you plan on using the items in these auctions to sell on and earn a living – or get some extra cash in these economically uncertain times – we’ve got some tips to help ensure that you get the best returns possible on the liquidated stock you purchase.

Keep a finger on the pulse

Trends come and go – but before they fade into the annals of history, awaiting future resurrection by a new, hip generation, they (often) have a protracted period of time in the limelight. During this time, it’s fair to say that items in alignment with such trends – be they clothes, furniture, artwork, or home features – are in popular demand. And this demand can mean that there are people willing to part with a fair bit of money to acquire these trendy items.

So, one way to stay ahead of the game and make a decent return on liquidated stock you plan on purchasing is to do your research. What’s popular at the minute? Which items are most likely to sell and why? What trends are going to drive up prices? Knowing the answers to these questions is the key to making a profit here – most sellers are simply wanting to get rid of their stock fast, so opening bids may start at the lower end of the scale, enabling you to resell for a greater price.  

Buy in bulk

Sometimes, closing businesses have multiple pieces that are the same, and you can use this to your advantage. Whether the liquidated stock is being listed as individual items or in bulk, it’s likely that opening prices are much lower than the RRP. So, from a buyer’s perspective, there’s merit in purchasing multiple versions of the same item – i.e. buying in bulk – as you can then sell said items individually and for a higher price than you obtained them.

Determine a baseline

We’ve already mentioned the RRP, and the possibility of liquidated stock selling for much lower than the RRP via online auctions. A useful tip to help you recoup funds on the liquidated stock you purchase is to pay close attention to a) how much the stock eventually sells for at auction, and b) the original RRP (which, at William George is visible to potential bidders where possible). This allows you to settle on a prospective sale price (or a baseline bid) for your items that is greater than what you paid, yet lower than the RRP so that consumers are still getting a bargain. And that’s what we call savvy pricing.

An eye on the future

As stated earlier, trends are constantly evolving. And, if you plan on retailing liquidated stock, it’s vital to consult your figurative crystal ball and look at future trends that are likely to arrive on the scene – this will help you to choose items that may not be popular right at this exact moment, but that look likely to become popular in future.

Doing your research will help you to tap into upcoming trends and this provides you with much-needed information that will allow you to choose items that are in low-demand, thus likely receiving lower value bids, and which you can then retail in future – when the trend has reached its pinnacle – for a much bigger return.


If you consider yourself handy or crafty at all, one way you can make a decent return on the liquidated stock you purchase is to utilise these skills and transform items from homogenous to one-of-a-kind. People love the thought of obtaining something that’s a bit out of the ordinary, that’s a little bit unique, that they can show off to others – it’s a human trait that many species of the animal world replicate, demonstrating our collective base desire to be different and stand out for the approval of others. Bearing this in mind can help you to find clever ways of individualising pieces of liquidated stock you purchase to make them more attractive to prospective bidders.

Potential and possibilities

One last tip we have for making the best returns on liquidated stock is, when retailing it, to showcase the item or items in a way that demonstrates their potential and the various possibilities. An example of this is to take what appear to be relatively plain or boring items, and use example pictures that demonstrate potential styling options, aiding consumers in visualising items in their own lives or homes. You can either do this via stock photographs of items – which often show them in situ – or create your own images including the stock in various scenarios.

Armed with each of these tips in your purchasing and retailing toolkit, you’re bound to make the best returns on your investments in liquidated stock – thus ensuring that ‘one man’s loss is another man’s gain’ (in more ways than one).

Check out some of our live and upcoming auctions featuring liquidated stock to see what deals you can snap up, and start planning out how to make the best returns today! What are you waiting for?