Every year, a few members of the BULQ® team travel to ASD Market Week, the largest B2B wholesale buying event in the country, to interact with our current and prospective customers, other wholesale liquidators, online retailers, and more. The trade show features the world’s widest variety of retail merchandise and is an amazing opportunity to gain new knowledge about the liquidation industry.
But, like attending any trade show, preparation is key. Whether you’re a newcomer or Market Week alumni, here are a few things to keep in mind to maximize your experience:
1. Make Every Square Foot & Second Count
ASD stands for “Affordable Shopping Destination” and includes vendors of apparel, beauty, housewares, toys and more. To prevent getting overwhelmed, take some time to map out which vendors you want to visit over the four days of the show.
This year’s upcoming show officially begins on Sunday, March 17. But, did you know you can get early access during “Preview Day” on Saturday, March 16? Savvy attendees like to take advantage of this lesser known opportunity to avoid the crowds and get valuable time with vendors on their short list. However, this does take place before the venue’s air conditioning is turned on, so dress accordingly!
2. Think of Liquidation Like a Food Chain
A key objective for ASD attendees is to identify potential partners and sourcing opportunities. For those seeking off-price closeouts, there’s an abundance of liquidators to choose from. Learning about each source’s inventory and retail partnerships can help you determine which relationships could make the most sense for your business.
Working with small to mid-size middlemen, who are further down in the”food chain” from the original retailers and manufacturers, may be enticing if they’re local or have speciality niches. However, you’ll likely wind up paying more and cutting into your profit. To prevent this, consider moving as far up the food chain as possible to maximize your margins.
3. Do Your Due Diligence
When establishing a new relationship at ASD, gather as much data as possible about the vendor. While at their booth, check out product samples and ask questions about company’s processes, such as:
- Is there an order minimum?
- Do you have manifests? If not, how will I know what I’m getting?
- How does shipping work and can I get the lots delivered where I need them?
Asking these questions can help ensure the vendor can support your business needs before you make a full commitment. If you’re interested in visiting BULQ’s booth (SU2306) to learn more about our business, be sure to schedule a meeting with us!
4. Come With a Sourcing Plan
When it comes to sourcing, a piece of advice repeatedly shared by ASD speakers is to “begin with the end in mind.”
Working with the right supplier is one of the first steps to being a successful reseller. But, what defines “right” depends on your needs and strategy. Before attending ASD, create a plan that details what kinds of items you want to source and where you plan on listing them. For newer resellers, keep in mind – it’s often beneficial to source based on the “best price” and the “right product,” not just lowest-cost inventory. Sticking to this plan will help you identify inventory and vendors that truly fit with your business, not just those offering the best deals.
5. Don’t Forget to Network
ASD is all about establishing relationships, both on the show floor and after hours. There are a ton of networking events available, so take advantage of these get-togethers by chatting with sellers and vendors to learn about their challenges and trade tips for success.
If you’re looking for an event, BULQ has previously hosted a happy hour and invited our social following. It’s a great opportunity to get acquainted with potential business partners and distributors, and put faces to the names of people you’ve interacted with online or over the phone.
Are you planning to attend ASD Market Week? Have any tips that we may have missed? If so, share them in the comments below!