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Tips for Buying Discounted or Liquidation Pallets

December 7, 2022

Pallets are a hot commodity in a wide range of industries and they can also be pricey to buy brand-new. If you’re looking to cut costs for your business or turn a profit selling used pallets, you may be thinking of buying second-hand pallets in bulk from another business that is shutting down or selling up. While it’s definitely possible to snag a bargain when shopping for discounted pallets, there are also plenty of pitfalls you’ll want to be aware of before committing to a purchase. Here are some tips for shopping for discounted or liquidation pallets.


Know the seller

When it comes to buying anything in bulk, it’s absolutely essential that you know and trust the source. If you’re going through a liquidation company, do your research to find one with a good reputation. Whether you’re going through a liquidation company or buying directly from a seller, you’ll also want to know where the pallets are coming from and what they were used for. The last thing you want is to invest in a lot of pallets that are contaminated, unsafe, or on their last legs.


Check the certification

Wooden pallets should come with a stamp from the manufacturer so that you know who made them. They should also indicate whether or not they have been treated (either through heat treatment or chemical treatment using methyl bromide) in order to be compliant with the ISPM 15, which is compulsory if the pallets are going to be used for international export. If pallets have been treated, they should have a stamp indicating the treatment they have received. 


Check the condition

Of course, as with anything you buy (especially second-hand stock) it is essential to check the condition of the pallets before you buy. Look out for rotten wood, loose or rusty nails, and missing or broken slats as well as any evidence of possible chemical spills or contamination from other fluids that could impact the safety, strength or useability of the pallets. While any damage is important to note (and should guide how much you are willing to pay), pallets don’t need to be in perfect condition to make them worth buying. In fact, it’s possible to bag a bargain on slightly damaged pallets that require minor repairs (e.g. replacing damaged slats or loose nails) and then either on-sell them for a profit or use them for years to come. If you’ve purchased a job-lot of second-hand pallets with some minor damage, bring them to a pallet specialist like Cooperage Pallets who can inspect and repair your pallets to make sure they are in good working condition before you put them to work (or sell them). Avoid buying pallets with extensive water damage or possible contamination issues as these can often be unsalvagable. 


Check the size

If you’re planning to use the pallets for your own business, you may have some flexibility on the sizing, but it’s still a good idea to take into account your warehousing and stock dimensions to ascertain which pallet size would best suit your needs. Likewise, if you plan to sell them, it’s worth doing some research into your target market to understand the dimensions they are likely to want. For example, if a company exports stock to the US, they’ll likely be looking for US-standard pallet sizes (1200mm X 1000mm X 145mm) whereas a domestic operator will probably prefer a standard Australian pallet (1165mm X 1165mm X150mm).


Be patient

Getting a good deal on liquidation pallets can be something of a waiting game. If you go into the process in a hurry, it’s easy to get overexcited about temptingly low prices and end up making a purchase you’ll regret. Make sure you’ve done your research and have a clear idea of what you’re looking for before you enter the market, and don’t just jump at the first deal you see. 


Consider buying second-hand from a reputable pallet provider

While the rock-bottom prices of liquidation sales can be tempting, it’s not always easy to ensure you’re buying high-quality stock. All too often something that seems like a great deal can end up costing you more than it’s worth in the long run. If you’re looking to save money on pallets for your business, consider buying refurbished second-hand pallets from a provider you trust. Cooperage Pallets sells high-quality second-hand pallets for very competitive prices, so it’s worth getting in touch for a quote if you’re comparing costs.