Key points:

  • Surplus stores and centers both offer surplus new and used products at discounted prices, making them excellent options to source eCommerce products
  • While surplus warehouses also deal with surplus goods, these facilities primarily store stock to meet fluctuating demand
  • Combining the benefits of both surplus centers and warehouses with Easyship's fulfillment partners capabilities, can enable eCommerce entrepreneurs to start profitably scaling

Are you looking into how surplus stores and centers can help your store cut costs? This article quickly breaks down surplus centers and how they can help you stay in budget. Compare the advantages of surplus centers and warehouses, plus how Easyship can help your store scale and stay in budget.

What are Surplus Centers?

Surplus centers are bulk retailers that specialize in selling products that have been overstocked or oversupplied, resulting in a surplus. This inventory can be available in a variety of conditions, such as new, used, or refurbished. Sources can include manufacturers overproducing seasonal products, business liquidations, or public sector auctions.

A wide range of goods can be found at surplus centers, and availability will depend largely on each retailer's specific supply chain. As these are surplus goods sourced at a discount, there can be large fluctuations in supply and unfortunately reliability isn't guaranteed. Common product types include:

  • Clothing
  • Tools
  • Household goods
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Military gear
  • Agricultural Equipment

How Surplus Centers Can Help You Stay Within Budget

One of the key advantages of shopping at surplus centers are the discounted prices. This can be a valuable resource for any online store trying to source goods and stay within a tight budget. By purchasing surplus products, you save money on your inventory costs. This can help you to stay ahead of the competition and boost conversions, by offering lower prices at checkout.

Another crucial advantage offered by large surplus centers is the option to negotiate a discount when purchasing products in bulk. Some retailers may already offer such discounts in their listings, saving time in locating lower price goods to meet spikes in customer demand.

Purchasing from surplus centers can also help you source a wider range of goods, staying ahead of your competitors while keeping to a tight budget. Focusing on sourcing products within your niche that have been discontinued, or out of season can help effectively differentiate your offering for potential customers.

Tips for Shopping at Surplus Centers

When sourcing goods at surplus retailers for your online business, there are some key considerations to be aware of. Following these 3 tips can help you make sure your surplus shopping is a success:

  1. Research. Thoroughly research the products you're interested in purchasing. Compare prices with other retailers and make sure you are getting the best deal available
  2. Inspect. It can be essential to inspect the products before purchase whenever possible, especially if they are used or reconditioned. This can help you avoid defective or damaged goods
  3. Availability. Checking the availability of goods ahead of time can help an online store meet peaks in customer demand. This can be especially important if the product is not available through other suppliers

Surplus Center vs. Surplus Store

While the terms surplus center and surplus store are used almost interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two. For example, a brick-and-mortar military surplus store might offer a wide range of United States military clothing from the army and navy to individuals. Army and navy surplus store customers can even include civil war, World War ii, and Vietnam War collectors.

A larger military surplus business may operate as a surplus center, offering a more limited range of goods than a small army surplus store. One key similarity is that surplus stores and centers both offer surplus new and used products at discounted prices. Making them both excellent options to source eCommerce products.

Surplus stores are often smaller retail locations that offer a wide range of goods to both customers and businesses. While surplus centers are typically larger facilities that specialize in surplus merchandise to merchants. These facilities may be owned by manufacturers, distributors, or retailers and are used to quickly and efficiently sell surplus stock. As such, they primarily sell products in bulk or by the truckload and as a result, have a more limited range of goods available.

This is reflected in the difference in target markets and pricing. Surplus stores typically cater to both personal and business purchases by offering discounts on individual or small quantities of products. While, surplus centers may offer greater discounts for bulk purchases, making them an attractive option for online stores that need a scalable supply of inventory.


Difference Between Surplus Centers

and Surplus Warehouses

A surplus warehouse serves a completely different purpose for online businesses than surplus stores and centers. While the above-mentioned retailers can help you find affordable goods, a surplus warehouse acts as surplus storage for extra products you can't sell immediately.

Surplus storage in general is extra storage for goods you can't move right now. You might need this extra warehouse space for seasonal products, or if your supplier has increased minimum order levels. This extra storage space can allow you to buy stock in bulk at discounted rates and have the capacity to meet demand spikes.

These facilities may be owned by manufacturers, distributors, retailers, or leased by third-party companies. In most cases, you will be shipping at freight volumes to these warehouses, as such, you can find surplus warehouses in distribution centers or ports.

One of the key differences between the two is that surplus centers offer products directly to customers, while surplus warehouses are typically used by online stores to store excess inventory.  As such, this surplus storage is usually only required by stores that have many orders and need to purchase in bulk to meet customer demand.

The pricing models and structure is a big difference between the two. Surplus centers offer discounted prices to help increase demand for products and move them quickly. While storage facilities typically operate by charging businesses a fee for storing surplus inventory over time.

Set Up Your Own Fulfillment Network With Easyship

Surplus centers can be a useful option for eCommerce entrepreneurs that need to stick to a tight budget. By purchasing stock from surplus centers, online stores can save money on inventory costs, offer a wide range of products to your customers and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Staying within budget is essential for success in the highly competitive eCommerce marketplace. By taking advantage of the savings offered by surplus centers, owners of online stores can stay ahead of the competition. While also offering in demand products at a price customers love.

While surplus stores and centers may sound similar to surplus warehouses, there are some significant differences between the two. If you are looking at leveraging the advantages of both for your online store, Easyship can help you effortlessly launch your own fulfillment network.

If your online store is growing, and you need surplus storage space, Easyship specializes in scaling fulfillment capabilities without increasing costs. Lack the time and money to run a surplus warehouse on your own? Let Easyship help you effortlessly store stock and quickly fulfill new orders in just a few clicks.

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Are you looking to effortlessly combine the benefits of surplus centers and warehouses? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account and immediately access warehouse partners on four continents. Start shipping to over 220 countries today