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Wholesale Liquidation Terminology

Diving into wholesale liquidation can feel like stepping into a bustling foreign market. The air is thick with excitement, but the unfamiliar language can be overwhelming. Suppose you’ve ever felt lost amidst industry-specific terms. In that case, this guide is your friendly translator, ready to help you confidently navigate.

Packaging Terms

Regarding wholesale liquidation, the packaging isn’t just about protection; it’s about presentation and standards.


The workhorse of the shipping world. This wooden platform, often 40″ x 48″, is like the sturdy shoes of the shipping world, carrying goods safely across distances.


A skid is like a pallet’s more minimalist cousin. It’s a pallet, but without the bottom decks, offering different support for specific shipping scenarios.

Case Pack

This is the industry’s way of saying, “Hey, these products are still in their cozy, original boxes.” It’s a nod to the untouched nature of the goods inside.


Beyond its quirky name, a Gaylord is a titan of a box. It’s the box you’d use if you were moving homes, ready to swallow up all those smaller items and keep them safe.

Key Terms in Merchandising

  • Pre-Worn: This term is primarily for previously worn or used clothing and accessories. Such items usually lack retail tags or labels.
  • Private/Store Label: These are brands exclusive to specific stores or are private labels, distinguishing them from national brands.
  • Refurbished: Items labeled as refurbished have undergone rigorous testing and restoration to ensure they function as intended. They’re often repackaged in non-original boxes and might only include some original accessories.
  • Retail Value: This represents the original price of an item or batch when first offered for sale in a retail setting.
  • 5. Seasonal Goods: Merchandise tailored for particular seasons or holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas, or Easter.
  • Shelf Pulls: These are overstock items displayed for sale in physical stores or online but have yet to be purchased.
  • Tested Working: Items in this category, whether overstocked, pulled from shelves, or returned, have undergone testing to confirm their functionality. The packaging might vary, and some parts or accessories might need to be included.
  • AS-IS: This term indicates that the buyer assumes all risks associated with the purchase. Such merchandise is sold without any warranties or options for return.
  • Customer Return: These are items that consumers have bought and then returned to the store or online platform for various reasons.
  • Defective: Items labeled as defective have been tested and found non-functional. They might have visible defects, be incomplete, or lack parts. Some might be brand new but possess significant quality control issues.
  • Hash: These are highly assorted loads, typically consisting of one or two pieces from various products.
  • HBA (Health & Beauty Aids): Products that fall under the health and beauty category.
  • Manifest: A detailed list of items in a specific load. Not all bags or pallets come with a manifest. If available, a manifest provides insight into the load’s contents. However, they’re only sometimes entirely accurate and might have discrepancies. Typically, department store facilities generate these manifests.
  • Master Case: Items in a master case are brand new, housed in their original manufacturer’s packaging, and fully functional. They’ve never been displayed for sale and can be considered pristine and ready for retail.
  • New Overstock: Often referred to as closeouts, these items have never been displayed or sold in retail. They usually originate from importers, manufacturers, or distributors looking to clear excess stock or shut down operations.

B-Stock: This term refers to items that cannot be sold as “A-Stock” or brand new, usually because of minor issues. B-Stock items might have been display units, have minor cosmetic imperfections, or have been refurbished. They are typically tested to ensure they function correctly and might come with a limited warranty. B-Stock items are generally in better condition than customer returns, especially if the latter are sold “as-is.”

Shipping Terms

Shipping is where the rubber meets the road. And understanding its language is crucial to ensure your goods don’t just hit the road but arrive at their destination smoothly.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

Think of the BOL as a product’s travel diary. It’s a record of the journey, detailing where the product’s been and where it’s headed.

Direct Shipment

This is the express train of the shipping world. No stops, no layovers. Products go directly from the warehouse to the customer.

Double Stacked:

It’s like bunk beds for products! One pallet cozily stacked atop another, maximizing space and efficiency.

Drop Shipping

This is modern retail’s magic trick. Retailers can sell products without ever having them in stock. Instead, a third-party ships the product directly to the customer.

Exworks (EXW) 

In the dance of responsibility between buyer and seller, Exworks is the moment the seller steps back. They’ve made the goods available; now it’s the buyer’s turn to take the lead.


This term sets the stage, determining where the seller’s responsibility ends and the buyer begins. It’s all about pinpointing when and where ownership shifts.

Hand Stacked

 Sometimes, the human touch trumps machines. Hand stacking manually arranges goods in a truck, ensuring every inch is efficient.


For those locations without a loading dock, the liftgate is the hero, ensuring pallets can safely transition from truck to ground.


These terms are all about size. Whether shipping by road (LTL) or sea (LCL), they signify that you’re not filling the entire transport space.

Wrapping Up

Embarking on a wholesale liquidation journey doesn’t have to feel lost in translation. With this guide in hand, you’re ready to navigate the bustling market of the liquidation pallet industry, speaking the language like a true local.