Boost Liquidation began in late September of 2011 with the intention of doing business in a different way and utilizing innovative methods that would best serve its customers. Selling customer returns in a wide range of merchandise categories, Boost seeks to expand its business in new and exciting ways. The creators of Storage Unit Auction List, a state-by-state subscription-based service that gives people the latest information on storage unit auctions, used their successful earnings from the service to start an appliance store in North Carolina called WNC Appliance.
Noticing that there was no middle ground between big box sellers and thrift stores, WNC bought liquidated appliances that were brand new, but scratched or dented, which they sold retail for about 50 percent off MSRP. While waiting for people to come into the shop to buy the merchandise, they started thinking about other ways to sell items, eventually getting into mixed loads. "We bought some customer returns by the truckload, and between trying to figure out ways to move inventory from the appliance store and looking at auctions and liquidations, we started getting mixed loads, which led us towards what Boost is now," says Lloyd Handy, COO of Boost.
Moving into a larger warehouse that enabled them to store more inventory, Boost became a 3PL Asset Recovery liquidation business. "For now we just deal with customer returns, but down the road we'll look at overstock and other sources of inventory," notes Handy. "As far as product quality and variety, we have anything you can think of available to buy online, from appliances to diapers to XBoxes. Customer returns are always a bit dicey, but for our suppliers, we're finding what we think are the best customer returns on the market right now. We go through a pretty good process of assessing the products."
However, Boost has rethought the way it does business by giving the customer the option to mix the pallets themselves. "The liquidation business has been growing for the past 40 years, so while we saw a lot of expansion, we didn't see a lot of innovation," Handy adds. In December, the company decided to try something really different in the liquidation industry, developing the system of "build your own pallet." "Now, when you go to our website, you can choose exactly what you want on the pallet. We've received a lot of feedback so far from buyers who are really pleased with the idea. We are also offering free shipping. It's hard with freight not to lose your profit on shipping, but that's another thing that you don't see anywhere else in the industry," says Handy.
In addition, Boost's website is built around the idea of giving the user all of the information necessary to purchase confidently. While there is not a photo provided for every item, due to the speed that the liquidation industry moves, Boost will link to product pages on Amazon.com, which will give specifications and MSRP for each piece of merchandise. The shopping cart system tells the user how much they need to spend to reach the minimum order, which is currently $750, although the company will occasionally do promotions that allows for a lower minimum order. Boost's website is divided into a number of basic retail categories and users can easily search through keywords. "We're still building the website, so it's really in its infancy right now, as far as features go," Handy notes. "I think that the main thing that differentiates the site is the ability to build your own pallet. We sell the merchandise for about 23 percent of MSRP, and the discount is increased the more that you buy."
In the future, Handy says Boost plans to try more new things in the liquidation field, growing a presence and branching out into different sources of inventory, as well as working out deals with retail stores and suppliers in order to grow the volume of the products offered. "We're trying to get enough steam for this vision for Boost, and as long as we remain innovative in our basic ideas of reselling liquidated inventory, we believe it will pick up and grow to be pretty huge," he notes.
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