Liquidation Terminology…everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Here are some of the most common terms used
in the wholesale liquidation business.

Pallet – This is a plastic
or wooden structure used for supporting goods during transit. Heights of
pallets can go up to 60”. Pallets are moved using pallet jacks or forklifts.
The term “Skid” is also used often to describe a pallet.

Case Pack/Case Lot– Refers to lose items that are packed within a small case. This is used to
ship smaller items like accessories, clothing, cosmetics and such others. Case
packs/lots have predetermined unit counts.

Liquidation Lot – Lots consisting of 1 to 3 pallets.

FOB– “Freight on Board”
or FOB refers to the place of origin of the inventory. Sometimes, this is also
referred to as “Free on Board”.

of Origin

– COO or Country of Origin is the country where the inventory was manufactured
or produced.


– A person or organization who works with the customs department for


– This is a building or secured area where imported merchandise is stored till
the time the owed duty is paid up.


– An item that the customer originally purchased, but returned subsequently to
the online or offline store for some reason.

Shelf Pulls – This is overstock merchandise that was once displayed in a departmental store
but was later pulled out to display some other goods.

Overstock – Excess supply of
goods than the demand or requirement.

Closeouts – Also referred to
as “New Overstock” sometimes, these are goods that were never displayed for
sale or merchandised in the retail store. These goods are available from
distributors or manufacturers who are closing down or have excess inventory.

Freight / Air Freight

– Commercial shipment through ocean or air. Inventory is shipped in containers
or pallets.

UPC – Universal Product
Code or barcode. It’s used to track inventory in stores by scanning at the POS
or Point of Sale. Barcode or the UPC is used in several countries like the
United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and many
others. Usually, the code is in 12 numerical digits.

Pre-Worn – As the name suggests,
these are goods that were used by the customer before they were returned. They
don’t come with labels or retail tags typically.

Seasonal Shelf Pulls – Sometimes also referred to as “Jobout”, this is inventory pulled down from
the store because the season ran out, or because of the arrival or new stock in
a new season, such as fresh Christmas stock.

Defective – Items that have
been thoroughly tested and deemed defective. There could be missing parts, manufacturing
errors, they could be soiled, or they could be visually defective.


– These goods are typically in shelf pull or overstock. They have been tested
thoroughly and have been deemed to be good for resale.

Refurbished – These are items
that have been restored to their original working condition.

Manifest – An inventory list
included in the load or pallet. Not all pallets are manifested. You can see a
list of goods included in the pallet if it is manifested.

Liquidation – The process by
which assets of the business is sold off or distributed to those who are
willing to buy them. Typically, the assets are sold off at a fraction of their
original price.


– The original value of inventory displayed in the retail outlet.


– Merchandise that’s popular in a particular season such as Christmas, Easter,
Halloween and such others.

LTL – “Less Than Truck Load”
(shipment containing 8 pallets or less).

LCL – “Less than
Container Load” (fewer number of pallets than full capacity of shipment space).

OCL – “Ocean Container
Load” (20, 40 or 45 containers shipped through sea).


– Transparent plastic film that holds the merchandise together by tightly
clinging on to it.


– Freight that is delivered to the residential address of a buyer. Such
deliveries typically cost more.


– Brands that are owned and exclusively sold by their manufacturers such as
Victoria secret and Hollister. These goods are available only at their websites
or stores. They are not available anywhere else.

Liftgate – This is a platform
at the rear side of a truck used for lowering pallets to the ground. You will
have to get a truck with a liftgate if there is no forklift or loading dock. Otherwise,
the boxes with the pallet are going to be broken.

Dock / Loading Ramp

– A platform matching the truck floor’s height. Usually, this is 3 to 4 feet
above the ground. The ramp or dock lets drivers load or unload the pellets by
using a forklift or pallet jack.

of Lading

– This is shipping paperwork that comes with the delivery. It mentions the
shipping details such as shipping to and from, pallets, number of cartons, pallets,
total weight, shipping class, and such others.

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