If you are looking to purchase wholesale merchandise you probably assume you need to purchase “pallets” but you aren't exactly sure how this works. In this guide we are going to discuss what pallets are, how much they cost, how they are delivered and if you need to purchase them. Let’s begin!
This is a pallet:
A pallet is just a heavy wood structure that measures approximately 4’x4’. If say you are “looking to buy pallets”, you are looking to buy the 40-80 pound, empty, wooden structures, like this:
These wooden structures are designed to hold a LOT of weight (hundreds and hundreds of pounds!) so they do indeed have a LOT of uses! If you want your mind blow, just Google search “furniture made from pallets”:
But, we assume you are NOT looking to buy just the wood, but if you really want empty wood pallets just ask anyone who owns a warehouse, you'll probably see giant stacks in their warehouse yard. We give ours away free.
PALLET OF MERCHANDISE COST
The cost of a pallet of merchandise depends what is ON it. A giant pallet of socks is going to be cheaper than large a pallet of sweaters. But if the socks are NIKE brand, they may be more expensive than the sweaters if the sweaters are Walmart brands.
A tiny pallet of new HD televisions or Air Pods Is going to cost more than a giant pallet of store return underwear, so the size or weight of the pallet doesn't determine the price.
So the cost of a pallet full of merchandise can range from basically nothing (for junk) up $100,000+. There are so many variables. In general, you should plan on 1 pallet of wholesale costing $2,500 - $12,000. So if you ask a wholesaler "How much are pallets"? they are secretly rolling their eyes at you because it's the same ask asking "How much does food cost?" with no additional details provided.
Most pallets of inventory are going to contain 800 pounds or less of weight. We typically get in pallets that are around 500 pounds. Even though the wood structure is designed to hold massive weight, it can not hold ENDLESS weight. It also can only measure 4' wide x 4' long x around 8' tall. So if you are buying heavy items, you would have to pay for multiple pallets to be shipped. Large, bulky items like coats would also create multiple pallets. You do not want a pallet 16 foot tall because it would be a dangerous disaster! At our warehouse we always call our super tall pallets we get in "Leaning Tower of Pisa" because they're always damn near falling over! It can be seriously horrifying!
BUYING TRUCKLOADS OF WHOLESALE PALLETS
A “truckload” is going to cost around $100,000+ and holds around 24-28 pallets. Truckloads typically require a loading dock, so you will have to have a warehouse to purchase a full truckload. Trust me, you absolutely do not need a full truckload if you are reading this article to learn what pallets are. You know how when you go out to dinner and you're sooooooo hungry so you order the biggest steak on the menu.... then you eat half and you're stuffed? This is the same that happens with wholesale inventory buying; people *think* they need to buy the giant Porterhouse steak because they're starving and they end up realizing they're WAY IN OVER THEIR HEAD! Don't end up like this guy....
A bad investment early on can literally financially break you because you have no funds left over to work with. This means when a killer deal comes along you can't afford it. It also means if you realize you need supplies, you can't buy them.
If you are trying to have pallets delivered to you and you do not have a loading dock, you will need to pay for a lift gate. A lift gate is a special apparatus on the delivery truck that allows the delivery driver to lower the pallet to the ground:
Even a super strong man CAN NOT lift a pallet full of merchandise. Even two super strong men will not be able to dead-lift a pallet filled with merchandise, and even if they could, it is so dangerous that someone could literally DIE if 800 pound of weight comes crashing down on them; at a minimum you would shatter your foot, ankle bones, break your leg and end up bed ridden for a month or more. This means you will also need a pallet jack.
A pallet jack slides right under the pallet and picks it up.You can then easily move the entire pallet wherever you need it to go.
TIP: Check Craigslist! We bought a top-of-the-line USED pallet jack for $225 and the guy even delivered it to us! If you are in Michigan and need a pallet jack, shoot us an email and we will give you the contact information for "Gene the Pallet King", he's such an awesome dude!
Alternatively, you *can* “break down” the pallet by hand and lift and move each box individually... but just because you *can* do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. A lot of these boxes are going to be exceptionally heavy and extra large. WARNING: I did this for 4 YEARS and I have absolutely horrid, life long back problems as a result. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have done it right from the beginning. Saving a couple hundred bucks by avoiding a pallet jack purchase is NOT WORTH the long term damage to your SPINAL CORD that can NEVER be fixed. I also greatly encourage you, if you are not a strong person OR if you are a smart person who doesn’t want to suffer severe pain 10 years from now, get a dolly / hand truck / the little thing with wheels that helps you move heavy stuff:
DO I NEED TO BUY PALLETS TO GET WHOLESALE PRICES?
A lot of people read or watch content that is essentially “fake news”. Keep in mind, literally ANYONE can write an article or make a YouTube video. Just because the screen name is “Jerry the Wholesale Expert” doesn’t mean Jerry has ever bought wholesale. Heck, his name might not even be Jerry! And just because Jerry is giving advice that sounds good doesn't mean Jerry has a successful business! On the other hand, you can take a virtual tour of our wholesale warehouse online.
Pallets are great ONLY IF you ALREADY HAVE THE METHODS IN PLACE to quickly sell all of the merchandise. This means you already have your successful business, you already have multiple sales per day and you already know the merchandise you are investing in will start selling the day the pallet arrives. IF you are just starting out, DO NOT BUY PALLETS!!! It is WAY TOO MUCH MONEY to tie up in only 1 type of merchandise that could turn out to be a total dud! Not only are you paying for a large quantity of 1 thing but you are also eating hundreds of dollars on shipping charges, lift gate charges, residential delivery charges, shipping and transit downtime (the pallets we purchase typically take 3 WEEKS to arrive!).
If you are just starting out you are SO MUCH BETTER OFF to buy smaller wholesale quantities with no minimum purchase requirement; Invest in a variety of different things, test the waters, see what is easiest to sell, what you enjoy selling, what gives you solid profit quickly, what is best to ship, etc. If you learn that something seems like a dud, thank God that you’re not stuck with thousands of pieces of it! This is another thing I wish I knew 15 years ago! If you read our How & Why We Started Our Wholesale Company page, you already know how we got totally scammed when we first started out back in 2005. Lesson: THERE IS NO REASON TO RUSH! Rushing = bad investment. Taking your time, wisely selecting inventory, learning what the highest price you can sell it for is, etc is going to = GREAT INVESTMENT + Wisdom!
STANDARD MAIL VS FREIGHT PALLETS: COST COMPARISON
What’s really cool is that you are now able to purchase small quantity wholesale and liquidations with ease, online through companies like ours, BigBrandWholesale.com. We ship through standard mail which saves you a LOT of money! Here’s a quick comparison for you on an order of 400 ladies wholesale tops / shirts:
So as you can see, not only are you saving money on shipping costs but, more importantly, you are getting the merchandise faster. It is always surprising that people do not realize the VALUE of getting your investment as fast as possible. Think of it like this:
The above information is estimates. If you want to learn more about our totally free USA shipping for wholesale you can read our USA Shipping information. Or, start shopping our awesome wholesale liquidation listings!
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