Town Talk | New Lawrence business deals in leftovers, but not the Thanksgiving kind; eBay leftovers drive liquidation store | News, Sports, Jobs

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

The All Around Liquidation store stocks a lot of cleaners and other chemical items that sometimes can be costly to ship when purchased on eBay or other online sites.

In these days after Thanksgiving, it is leftover season in my house, which is not a profitable season. (My elastic waistband budget has to double just to keep up with demand.) But I’ve found one new Lawrence business where it is always leftover season, and it is betting it will be a profitable one too.

But here’s the thing: This business deals not in Thanksgiving leftovers but in eBay leftovers.

All Around Liquidation has opened in the small strip mall at 1414 W. Sixth St. — next to the FastLane convenience store at Sixth and Florida — and it indeed deals in eBay leftovers. But it may not be quite what you think.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

The All Around Liquidation store recently opened in the small strip center at Sixth and Florida streets in central Lawrence.

The husband-and-wife team of Saverio and Holly Morando have a busy online retail business where they sell all types of merchandise via eBay. But they have even more merchandise in storage units across the city that just doesn’t make sense to sell on eBay, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because shipping costs would run nearly as high as the product cost. Other times it is because certain chemical-based products are tricky to ship. Or, it might just be because the couple have so little of the product that is not worth much time marketing it online.

It is those types of items that you will find a heavy dose of in their All Around Liquidation store. At the moment, that includes motor oils, household cleaners, plastic pipe fittings, backpacks, reams of office paper, beauty supplies, bug sprays and insecticides, gallon jugs of wood glue and many other items.

“I tell people if they see it, buy it, because it probably won’t be back,” Saverio said.

But that prompts the question why they ever had this stuff to begin with. The answer requires a bit of understanding about the liquidation business. The types of liquidation purchases the Morandos make aren’t as simple as scouring the internet for a pallet of widgets, for instance.

Instead, the pallets the Morandos buy often have an assortment of widgets, gizmos, thingamajigs and maybe even a whatchamacallit or two. That’s because the Morandos are often buying from stores that have gone out of business, and they’re buying inventory that has been packed into pallets that aren’t homogenous. You can get brand-new merchandise for pennies on the dollar that way, but it can be a bit like those reality shows that follow people around who buy storage units that have been left unpaid.

Holly said they usually have a decent idea of what they are buying in a pallet, but they generally focus on trying to find a few items on a pallet that they know will sell well on eBay. They buy the entire pallet for a price less than what those few high-demand items will sell for on eBay, and then everything else on the pallet is just gravy — or leftovers, if you will.

“We don’t ever know,” Holly said. “There are a lot of surprises.”

But it leads to a fun type of store and also to repeat customers, she said.

“There are people who come back every week because they want to see what we have new,” she said.

And, as a quick tour of the small shop can attest, that could be about anything. At the moment, there is a corner largely devoted to hydrogen peroxide. That was a little bit of an unusual purchase for the store because it was an entire pallet — 30 cases — of hydrogen peroxide. Saverio said he was curious to see some bidding patterns on a pallet like that, so he got the action started at $11, the minimum bid for that particular pallet. The action, then, never came. He was the only bidder.

“So, now we are selling hydrogen peroxide for 25 cents a bottle,” he said.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

The All Around Liquidation store at 1414 W. Sixth Street stocks items that it buys from businesses that have gone out of business or are otherwise liquidating.

There certainly are some strategies you have to learn to do this business right, said Saverio, who is retired from a shipping business in Nebraska. One of them is an idea that will sound counterintuitive to people who run normal stores: Stock your store with items you never intended to buy for the store.

“The key is not buying stuff for the store,” he said. “This is just the leftovers.”

In other words, the online business drives the buying decisions, and the couple said it was an excellent time to be in that online world. Online sales have been up 300% since the pandemic, Saverio said.

“People just aren’t leaving home to shop,” he said.

But, in a way, that also has made for a good environment for the physical store, or at least the couple are hoping so. The growing revenue on the online side of the business allows them to sell products in the bricks-and-mortar store cheaper, which in turn moves the merchandise quicker, freeing up storage space to buy more products online.

Managing that storage space is key — in addition to their home garage, the couple rent multiple storage units around town — so that you are in a position to pounce when a good deal appears on the online auction sites.

Like a few days before Thanksgiving. That’s when the couple’s latest ship came in. Or, more accurately, truck.

“We got 16 pallets last night,” Saverio said. “We bid on a semi load, and we got it. We’re sorting through it.”

Which, of course, means more surprises — and leftovers.

photo by: Chad Lawhorn/Journal-World photo

The interior of the All Around Liquidation store is pictured in November 2021.

New Lawrence business deals in leftovers, but not the Thanksgiving kind; eBay leftovers drive liquidation store