Why Are Some Wholesale Items Inside Clear Plastic Bags?

Why Are Some Wholesale Items Inside Clear Plastic Bags?

Posted by Big Brand on 5th Aug 2021

If you’re new to buying wholesale you may have noticed that sometimes you’ll see listings for items inside clear plastic bags, like this:

So today we are going to discuss the reason for the clear bags:

When items are manufactured they are usually put inside these bags, direct at the factory. Each bag usually has a sticker applied to the outside that contains all of the product detail (name of item, brand, size, color, UPC, SKU) as well as a scannable barcode.

The items are then placed in cases, called “case packs”. A Case Pack usually has a specific amount of the same item. A case pack might have 48 pieces of size Medium, Grey, Mens Champion Long Sleeve Shirts or a case pack might have 6 of the same dress in size small + 6 dresses in Medium + 6 Dresses in Large and 6 in XL, which would mean this specific case would have 24 total duplicate dresses in specified sizes. Whether it’s the Mens Champion Shirts or the Womens Dresses, each individual item within the case would be inside of it’s own bag, with its own product details sticker on the exterior of the bag. On occasion each bag may contain two pieces of the same item and the sticker on the bag will notate that there are two pieces within.

The outside of the cardboard box that holds the case pack has more stickers that identify what is inside the box.

The Case Packs are then shipped to the store where they will be sold. The employees at the store open the bags and hang the items up so customers can see them, try them on and purchase them because, obviously, a customer isn’t going to purchase a pair of jeans or a shirt that they can’t see.

When the case packs arrive at the retail store there usually is more stock than what is needed to fill the display on the sales floor. Stores typically order more than needed so they can restock their shelves when items sell. This means the store will have many case packs in their “back room”.

Other times the factory ships the clothing to the retail store's warehouse; for example,’s warehouses. Since these items are being sold on there is no reason for the staff to open the clear bags. Instead the items will stay inside the cases, inside of their clear bags with the product details sticker on them. When customers purchase the item from their warehouse staff will simply pull 1 of the items inside the clear bag out of the case pack and ship it. The warehouse has no reason to open up the clear bag, so when you order merchandise online from a store like Macys, Saks, etc, you will often receive your purchase still inside of the clear bag. Another bonus of the clear bag is that it helps protect the merchandise from dust, spills, etc, so you can see why clear bags are pretty cool.

When the sales cycle for that item is done, whether it’s the Mens Champion Tee or the ladies dress, the retail store liquidates it’s leftover stock to companies like us, Usually liquidations are the items that were already on the sales floor and often have clearance stickers, however sometimes we get lucky and get brand new, still-in-bag items that have never been opened. These are called Overstocks (meaning, the company who ordered them purchased too many; they literally “Over-Stocked”). So, if you are a new wholesale buyer, if you can find Overstocks and if you can buy them at a Liquidation price, this is the BEST DEAL you will ever get!

HOWEVER, there is a second clear bag reason. Companies like QVC and Lands End place all of their returns, liquidations and overstocks into clear bags. I’ve never really figured out why. My only guess is that they want to apply the Product Details sticker to the bags then scan them out in bulk.

This means that if you are buying clear-bagged merchandise from some companies, it’s not going to be overstocks. It’s possible it could all be liquidations or even store returns, salvage or any combination of the aforementioned.


The best way to find out what you’re buying is to read the listing. Most wholesalers should want to clearly explain to you, upfront, what you will be investing in because they want you to be happy. You should be able to locate Details about the merchandise in the listing.

Another thing to look for is if you see clearance stickers on the actual paper store tags, If you see stickers it’s not Overstocks, it’s instead Liquidations or even Store Returns. Genuine Overstocks will never have been removed from the clear bag, so it is impossible for a clearance sticker to get on the paper store tag.

SOMETIMES you can tell if the merchandise is Overstocks or Liquidations by looking at the Product Details Sticker. If it has writing on it or a line through it, it might not be Overstocks. However some companies do draw lines through every sticker, so this is not a guaranteed method. 

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