Bin stores sell liquidation, overstock, shelf pulls, and returned items to the public. Inventory often comes from Amazon, but can also be from any retail store. Many have opened up but it can be difficult to find bin stores near you, so hopefully this website will be a good reference for both resellers and people looking for their own personal items.
Currently many stores are struggling, going out of business, or becoming liquidation stores due to difficulties finding inventory combined with huge price increases to purchase truckloads. Some are also receiving lower quality items even with the increased cost. This is a big issue so make sure to support your local stores and help keep them in business.
Canada also has quite a few daily price drop bin stores. Check out Bin Stores in Canada for more info.
Another type of bin store is a pay by the pound store, for locations and more information on those check out this page on Goodwill Outlet Stores.
Other common names for these kinds of stores are Amazon bin stores, Amazon return stores, overstock bins, $5 bin stores, liquidation bin stores, or bargain bin stores. The concept is the same for all – the price drops daily.
Daily price drop bin stores purchase inventory in bulk via truckloads or pallets. The items are put into large bins at the store so that customers can dig through and try to find great deals. Everything in the bins will cost the same price. When the bins are restocked, the store will charge the highest price and then each day the price will go down (many stores have $1 as the lowest price). Then the price raises back up and the cycle begins again once items are restocked.
For years, liquidation stores with individually priced items and weekly auctions have been dominant. As these stores have become more popular, prices have risen and great deals are scarce. Stores that used to charge prices at 20-30% of the Amazon or eBay price now seem to sell at 50% or more. This has made finding inventory much more difficult for online sellers. At those prices there is little profit margin left after shipping and selling fees. These increases also mean that prices have risen for customers purchasing items for their own use.
The pricing strategy of the bin store concept is great for both store owners and customers. If an item is too expensive, the customer can come back another day when it is cheaper and hope it is still available. Resellers can usually find some items with a good profit. People purchasing for their own use can find good deals. Store owners sell the more desirable inventory at higher prices and can still make money from the cheaper items on the lower priced days.
What to expect at a bin store
If you visit the store when they open on a restock day, expect many people and a lot of competition. When stores are known to have good inventory, customers will line up hours before opening so they can get the first chance at finding the best items.
Be prepared to dig through the bins to see what you can find. There will be items you want that you do not feel are worth the daily price. That is the great thing about bin stores – you can buy the item at the day’s price or you can come back on a cheaper day and hope nobody else bought it.
Why do some bin stores have retail sections and auctions?
Store customers would love if everything was put in the bins and even expensive items were sold at bin prices. Some stores may have that selling model. However, many stores do separate larger and more expensive items into a retail section. The retail section is more of a liquidation store model where the items are sold for a discount.
Having a retail section will help enable a store to stay in business. The price of inventory is expensive and just keeps increasing, not to mention other expenses like rent and utilities, insurance, employee salaries, and more. The business most likely needs to pull these pricier items and sell them for more money to make a profit and stay in business.
Auctions, pallet sales, and mystery box sales are other ways that stores may sell items. These are fun (and hopefully profitable) for the buyer and are a good way for a store to sell items in addition to their bins.
Can you buy items at a bin store and resell them?
If you are a reseller, a bin store can be a great place to find inventory. Since many times the items sold at a bin store are Amazon returns or overstock items, good things can be found. There are a few possible issues to look out for though:
Fake items are a possibility so it is important to be aware of that.
It is possible that items may be damaged or broken. Sometimes things are just defective but sometimes Amazon’s customer will return an old item, or the wrong item. This is not the bin store’s fault since they purchase these items in bulk and cannot possibly have the resources to inspect everything.
Many items sold on Amazon are private label brands. These brand owners can be overprotective and if you list one of their items for sale online, they will report your listing. Even though reselling items you have purchased is perfectly legal, selling platforms do not want to even bother and will give you a “black mark” on your account. For example, eBay has their VERO program and if you get enough violations your account will be suspended or eventually closed. Once I had my account suspended for an entire month which was not great. Personally, I do not even bother selling private label items. Some people do fine selling these things though so your own online selling model is up to you and your risk tolerance.