Nathan of Central Outlets in Florida
Some of the most successful businesses are often born out of a complete accident! Meet Nathan of Central Outlets in Florida. Until 2014, Nathan was an IT technician for small businesses, repairing office hardware. One day, he accidentally broke a client’s computer and set out to replace it – unbeknownst to him that this would be the beginning of a new successful business venture.
Unable to find the exact model of the computer he broke, he started to look for older computer stock and stumbled upon a pallet of broken computers from a liquidator. He purchased it, fixed his client’s computer using the replacement parts from the pallet, and focused his attention on repairing the rest of the laptops on the pallet. Skilled at repairing hardware, he was able to restore almost all units to like-new condition and sold them on eBay for almost full price. Just like that, Nathan saw an opportunity to change the course of his career, and his resale business was born.
For a year, he and his wife focused only on electronics – buying returns and damaged items, repairing them and reselling them for profit. Some loads were more profitable than others but he kept at it and eventually found Via Trading. The first load he purchased from Via ended up being less lucrative than he had hoped for. As is to be expected in this industry, not every load is as profitable as the next. Nathan took a break from reselling products for a few months and eventually started up again when his Via Trading account manager offered him a new merchandise program that seemed promising. His second purchase went so well that he rented a storage facility to handle the influx of inventory that was now flowing through his doors. “I have to hand it to my account manager,” says Nathan. “He educated me on the difference between online returns versus store returns and that made all the difference in my business. My account manager hand-selects loads for me now because he knows what works for me.” Within weeks of opening his first 1800 sq. ft. warehouse, his wife quit her job to join his burgeoning business. By the end of the first few months, they had purchased and sold through 3 truckloads of merchandise, and were continuing to grow.
The fourth truckload Nathan bought took his business to the next level. The variety and condition of the items he received in his first KM Discontinued Merchandise load opened up an opportunity to wholesale to smaller local businesses. Nathan had identified the lack of wholesale liquidators in his geographical area, and with his Account Manager’s encouragement, decided to cater to that need. In tandem, his wife came up with the idea of holding a public outdoor warehouse clearance sale. The first sale was so successful that the single weekend paid for the entire truckload they had just bought, and they still had inventory left over! They then decided to host these warehouse sales once a month, letting people buy single items but also signing them up for their wholesale deals email list. Nathan multiplied his operation by ten in one year. His started out with 4 pallets, and most recently purchased 4 truckloads within the span of a few weeks. “My Account Manager encouraged me to wholesale locally. I wouldn’t have thought to do that but he educated me on the possibilities and it has been a big success,” Nathan expressed.
He got the word out about his business on Facebook without a website, just doing local Facebook ads. He then launched a website where he sells clothing, household items, electronics and general merchandise at retail, and quickly launched a second website just for wholesaling in and around Tampa, FL. He recently started advertising on vertical wholesale search engines like WholesaleCentral.com and has now established himself as a competitor to his own suppliers! When asked what advice he would give to others starting out in this business, Nathan was full of tips: “Build a good relationship with your Account Manager and have them recommend items. Use as many resale channels as you can to move the product – eBay, Amazon, your own website. Whatever program you decide to sell, learn the program – every program is different. Get to know the product and what to expect. Care about your customers. If you have to take a hit on something, take it. Don’t sell the crap to your buyers if you want people to come back – we always take the hit to prevent our customers from getting hurt. If you focus on that, everything else works out. Then of course, focus on getting the best price and the best product for your customers. If you’re buying manifested goods, look at how much you’re paying per item. This will help you figure out your profit margin. Post in Facebook groups. There is a lot of business to be made there.”
Thank you for your feedback, Nathan! We are excited to watch your business grow and to be partnered with you as you find increased success in the liquidation industry!
Visit Nathan’s websites at the following links:
In the Tampa area? Visit Central Outlets in person at 8050 118th Avenue, Largo FL 33773, open from 9 am to 4 pm daily.