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wholesale sample sales


Registered Member
I was just at our city's Merchandise Mart (most large cities have one, I think), taking a look at the lines the wholesalers have, and lucked out (sort of) in that it was the annual sample sales two-day event. ('Sort of' because the Mart was an absolute ZOO.)

Oh. My. Gosh.

If you ever get the chance to go to one of these things, I really highly recommend it. At one place, I walked out with about $500 worth of stuff for the grand total of $125. Much better prices than wholesale or dropshipping or anything like that.

You generally need a resale license and a business checking account to get into these places, but that's an easy process in most places, and it's really worth it to get some of these prices. Many places seem to have no or a small minimum as well.

Five dollar designer clothes! Sterling Silver jewelry at 50% off the wholesale price! You could get enough stuff for a year of auctions! :)


Registered Member
That sounds wonderful and certainly worth looking into. I could check online or the newspapers to see if there's one in any of the cities I'm near. It's not anything I've heard of before, though. Would I look for "merchandise mart" or might it be called something else, too?


Registered Member
Try Googling the name of your city and add "merchandise" after it -- that usually pulls up the local Merchandise Mart!


Registered Member
I guess that's one way to get stuff to sell on ebay. :lol: I had never thought of doing it that way before.


Registered Member
Well, one generally has to have the resale license in order to buy wholesale prices (which in fact are usually lower than what the resellers like dropshipbay call "wholesale" prices), so most eBayers probably won't have thought of doing it this way.

The best is when you can find a local wholesaler who has no minimums or a low minimum (so you don't have to pay the shipping fees directly, it would already be in the wholesaler's price), or if you can afford to import up to a manufacturer's minimums and pay the shipping fees on top (so the price is as low as it can get per piece).

Don't know when I'm going to get these up to auction, if ever -- I'm still working on the website for my new business, and will likely put the vast majority up for sale there, using eBay as more of a marketing venue. :)


New Member
How do you get a wholesale license? I have no idea how to go about it, and my downtown has an amazing merchandising area.


Registered Member
It varies slightly from state to state and city to city, but basically, you'll need to start up your own business. It will cost some money in fees, so you have to weigh the cost vs. the profit for you. If you don't wish to incorporate, and there's really no need to do so if you're just buying this stuff for small time auctions, you can register as a sole proprietor.

This is a simpler way to register your business, but it does not afford you the protections that a corporation does. This doesn't cost as much as a corporation, nor is it as laborious a process. In some states, this is called a DBA ("Doing Business As") or d/b/a, and is obtained from your local County Office or Secretary of State for a fee. ($35-50 or so).

Check the website of your Secretary of State or County Office; many now offer the DBA form online.

Next, you'll need your tax ID/license. This is usually done through the tax dept. of your state government. They can explain to you which tax rates you need to collect from your customers. Local customers will probably need to collect all taxes (state, county, city and special), customers outside of the city your business is located in will need to give you taxes for state and county, etc.) There's usually another small fee for this ($5-50).

When you buy from a wholesale supplier, you will be asked to supply them with a copy of this certificate. They use it as proof to the IRS that they are not required to charge you tax on the products they sell you at wholesale. Copy the certificate first thing and bring it with you when you visit a wholesaler; they will make a copy and keep it on file for your company when you purchase from them.

This sounds much more difficult than in fact it is. It took me 15 minutes at the Secretary of State's office to do the tax license, and I was able to do the DBA online at home.

Almost all of the marts will require that you have either business checks or a debit/credit card with your name and business name on them to prove that you're a legit business. So you'll also need to open a bank account. Most banks offer free banking for small start ups; for DBAs, sometimes you can open a free personal checking account with that important "DBA YourCompanyName" on it.

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