- GetThatWholesale: Could you give a brief sketch of your background and industry experience?
Michael R. Shelton, General Manager, TechLiquidators – A Best Buy Brand.
- Over 20 years experience in the Information Technology and Consumer Electronics Industries.
- 18.5 years in Business Development and Corporate Development at Ingram Micro a Fortune 100 Company
- Responsible for emerging business opportunities
- Built Ingram Micro's Consumer Electronics Strategy
- Launched Ingram Micro's Private Label Strategy called V7
- MBA - University of Southern California
- GTW: For the sake of the novice reader could you explain what merchandise liquidation is in general terms?
MS: Merchandise Liquidation is part of the product lifecycle for all products. In the case of consumer electronics, liquidation occurs at various points in the secondary market model. Big Box retailers like Best Buy, enter a liquidation process to move excess inventory out of the chain. This can come in the form of new products that were previous generation, current generation returns and refurbished, B-stock, and salvage inventory.
The process of liquidating this inventory takes various forms, from closed looped sales with a short list of buyers to an open user auction format, like we use at TechLiquidators.com.
- GTW:Some retailers are concerned that if they buy liquidated electronics that they will receive out dated merchandise? Is this concern valid and if not why?
The secondary market for used and returned IT and CE inventory is in the Billions. Our buyers come in all forms or types: retailers, on-line retailers, repair centers, ebay sellers, value added resellers, liquidators, etc. There are products on TechLiquidators.com that meet the needs of all these customer segments. In terms of outdated merchandise, I would say it's not a valid concern for our customer segments.
- GTW: I like that your company offers an auction system for purchasing bulk electronics. Could you give us an overview of how your auctions work?
To become a buyer on TechLiquidators.com you need an email address, a valid credit card and if you are a business a tax resell certificate. Once you've established an account you can place bids on our auctions. The auction process is fairly simple, and our system handles the proxy bids for the buyer, just like eBay. We post most of our inventory at a starting bid of $100. The auction runs for approximately 5 to 7 days. Buyers can bid at any time. We use a feature at the end of the auction called popcorn bidding. Popcorn bidding extends an auctions duration if a new bidder places a bid in the last few minutes. This gives the bidders time to adjust and place a counter bid if they so desire.
- GTW: Since the lots contain multiple units of liquidated merchandise approximately what percentage of the items are in working sell-able order?
On TechLiquidators.com, we allow the users to sort the available inventory by product condition: New, Refurbished, Returns, etc. Tech Grade is the category for non-functioning inventory. The site has over $10 million in inventory across all categories. It's really difficult to assign a percentage to it because the inventory (auctions) turn every 7 days.
6. Could you provide a brief list of the typed of electronics available from your company?
Because our primary supply of inventory is from Best Buy, we have a wide array of electronics including: Home Theater, Computers, Networking, Video Games, Digital Camera, Musical Instruments, Mobile Phones, Monitors, Printers, Gaming Consoles such as Xbox, PS3, etc.
- GTW: Finally, what trends in electronic retailing do you see developing over the next year or so that the small retailer should be aware of?
MS: The trend that concerns most retailers is the shift to online marketplaces. The cost to build an online marketplace is fairly low now, allowing retailers who previously couldn't expand their physical locations to reach a whole new audience. If you maintain a retail storefront only, you are really missing out on building a low-cost alternate sales channel. While this sounds simple enough, the online world provides a whole new dynamic of customer relations, and of course, new market competitors. Finding the best pricing on your inventory is tantamount to success in this arena, and that's where TechLiquidators comes in. We're working hard towards expanding our core business to include a steady stream of high-quality inventory that is available to be drop shipped to our customers, either from an auction or fixed price sales format.