For Sale, Cheap! Really, Really Cheap!

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Every now and then my old liquidator’s instincts come to the fore–hey, somebody has to get rid of all that unwanted product–and I spot a deal that’s sure to pay off.

And here’s one that can’t miss! Are you ready for… Jeffrey Toobin workout tapes?

It takes a lot of energy to pontificate to America on TV–so easy just to turn into Jabba the Hutt, to say nothing of your social life going downhill because you’re stuck at the studio. So you need a little physical pick-me-up whenever the camera turns the other way.

It’s not exactly Pumping Iron … but it is our ruling class demonstrating once again why they deserve to decide what kind of country we’ll have, and we don’t.

The ‘Hatchimals’ Fiasco

(Editor’s Note: I am trying to avoid writing about you-know-what. Any suggestions for interesting blog posts will be gratefully received.  –LD)

How did I totally miss this fad, in 2016? Well, if I had still been a liquidator then, I’d’ve been on it like paint.

“Hatchimals” were the red-hot, gotta-have-it Christmas item that year (and what does that tell us about our priorities?), they were just flying out of the toy stores. It was this big plastic egg that was supposed to hatch out a cute toy animal.

Except an awful lot of them simply didn’t work. Might as well try to hatch something out of a softball. And a lot of little kids were disappointed.

Somebody didn’t do their product testing, did they?

As every liquidator knows, stuff like this happens all the time. That’s why warehouses are full of junk to liquidate.

Ought to make you a little careful, shouldn’t it, about relying on Artificial Intelligence programmed by sinners and nincompoops.

Resting Our Minds

Tarantula! - Wikipedia

I refuse to write about that confounded virus today. I won’t do it! Let’s do something radical instead. Let’s rest our minds.

Did you know Nestor Paiva was in Tarantula? Well, all right, he was in a lot of things. He was great in The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I see one of you out there raising her hand. Yes? Well, it was about a giant tarantula, of course–that’s why they called it Tarantula. My small business was called Easy Liquidators. I wonder if it would’ve done better if I’d called it Gigantic Tarantula Liquidators. As it was, it certainly wouldn’t have made much of a movie.

Speaking of liquidators, you’d be surprised how much stuff companies buy and then can’t sell. Items tied in with fleetingly hot movies are notorious for occupying valuable warehouse space long after the movie they tie in with has been forgotten even by the director. What do you do with five containers’ worth of bendable figurines from Star Wars XVI: Jedi Foot Powder? Well, for 2 cents on the dollar, the kindly liquidator will take them off your hands and re-sell them to dollar stores and mental hospitals. Being a liquidator does teach you what certain “gotta have ’em!” things are really worth.

There do not seem to be any movies featuring giant tarantulas and liquidators. Imagine being chased down the highway by a giant tarantula while trying to keep your truck, filled to bursting with Power Puff Girls hand lotion, from flipping over as you take the curves. Imagine anything having to do with Power Puff Girls at all.

What in the world caused me to remember that? This relaxing-your-mind stuff is a tricky business. You start with Nestor Paiva and wind up with Power Puff Girls. Go figure.

Lee the Liquidator

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People are always not asking me what it’s like to be a liquidator, a business I pursued for several years. “Easy Liquidators,” that was me.

You’d be amazed by how much surplus product there is, of all kinds–nothing wrong with it, but for some reason a company got stuck with it and just can’t move it. So there it sits in the warehouse, taking up space and reminding everybody there that business decisions sometimes turn out badly.

Sometimes it’s just poor timing. There is a time for selling Star Wars action figures, and a time to stop buying them because you can’t sell any more. Get the timing wrong, and presto! Four truckloads of Star Wars action figures.

Liquidators seek out this unwanted merchandise and find buyers for it. Okay, the buyer pays just pennies on the dollar; but by then the seller is more than happy just to get rid of it. If a deal is made, the liquidator gets a percentage.

Every now and then, I’d score. The very first day I tried it, I found a stockpile of assorted figurines at a warehouse right in my home town and a buyer just several miles down the road–and a $500 paycheck for me. I had a great time with Star Wars Cookies from Canada and Disney “Bug’s Life” books–made a year’s pay on each of those deals. Not that my year’s pay was all that large.

But mostly my deals were either small or not happening. The silver lining was that everybody always sent me samples, which had many different uses–as Christmas presents, stuff for my own use, items for Patty to sell at flea markets.

I met some good people who taught me a lot about the liquidating business, and about business in general–so I know, by observing the principle in action, “no profit, no business.” Socialists are hopelessly wrong about that. Indeed, unless you can grow your profits beyond a certain percentage–beyond 50%, usually–you’re just treading water. Working your butt off to get nowhere.

And I met a couple bums and shysters, too.

I don’t do it anymore because all I ever wanted to be was a writer and besides, I wasn’t all that good at liquidating. But oh–those quality cigars! Twenty-five boxes of free samples. Neither the seller nor the buyer–I had an eager buyer–nor I knew you needed a special license to move tobacco products. So I was stuck with hundreds of high-quality cigars that I hadn’t had to pay for and that Mr. Ramos didn’t want back. Months and months of pleasure!

It kind of made up for the trunkful of hospital johnny-coats that I couldn’t sell to anyone.