How BULQ™ is Revolutionizing the Liquidation Industry
BULQ™ has deep roots in the reverse logistics industry. When we first got started in this space in the early 2000s, we quickly realized that the liquidation industry was broken. In order to address our own pain points, we saw an opportunity to help revolutionize an entire industry. We decided to build BULQ, a brand of Optoro, to make the industry more honest, transparent, and sustainable.
In the early 2000s eBay was the premier eCommerce destination, but many people found the platform complicated. There existed the opportunity to help average people sell their goods online. In 2004 we opened one of the first eBay drop-off stores in Washington, DC.
We quickly identified the possibilities that existed for selling excess inventory. Some local press caught the attention of a chain of pawn shops, which resulted in our first partnership. Our focus on processing large volumes of goods and generating the highest recovery led us down a path of automation. We worked tirelessly to develop tools and processes that would make our business more efficient. As we refined our systems and increased our capacity, we sought out more opportunities to connect with excess inventory. We soon found ourselves in the retail liquidation industry.
Our first liquidation purchase was a memorable one. We connected with a salesman from a company that sold pallets and truckloads of liquidation goods. He sent details on a pallet that he thought would be a good purchase for us. We did some research and decided to pull the trigger. At the time we didn’t have a warehouse, so we rented a storage space to have the pallet delivered. After waiting for a couple of weeks, the pallet was scheduled to be delivered.
We rushed to the storage unit to meet the truck driver. Unfortunately for us, the truck couldn’t make its way up to the storage unit. The pallet was dropped off on the side of the road — we would have to carry everything up to the storage unit. To make matters even worse, what was on the pallet was nothing like we were told or expected. There was even a car engine crane on the pallet. We spent many hours carrying all these items — including the crane — to the storage unit. Then we reached out to the salesman to ask what happened. Weeks of back and forth ensued. Ultimately, we wasted many hours and lost a lot of money.
Through this experience, we discovered how antiquated and broken the liquidation industry was. You had to have a warehouse with a liftgate to efficiently receive goods. These goods weren’t often sold on an open marketplace — you had to deal with a network of salesmen and middlemen, each taking their cut of the profits along the way. Such a closed market approach breeds a lack of trust. Goods were often misrepresented, not necessarily because liquidation companies were deceitful, but because they simply didn’t have efficient systems to keep track of everything. Discovering who you could trust and what was profitable was a costly process of trial and error. The experience was bad for buyers, and as we would soon discover, the process was generating a lot of waste and poor financial results for retailers.
We knew there had to be a better way. Our goal was to create a software platform that would effectively connect retailers to resellers.
BULQ has always been about solving the problems we experienced first-hand and breaking down the barriers in the industry. We wanted an open marketplace that wouldn’t require negotiating with a salesman or a burdensome approval process. We wanted buyers to know exactly what items they would be receiving. We wanted to offer flat-rate shipping and fair rates. We wanted to create access for buyers that were working out of their homes and didn’t have warehouses. We wanted to democratize the liquidation industry.
BULQ buyers are some of the savviest resellers in the world. They enjoy a 98% manifest guarantee on all their purchases, fixed pricing on lots, and flat rate shipping anywhere in the United States. The goods our buyers receive aren’t being passed around through a network of middlemen. The process of buying from BULQ is simple and easy. We even have a mobile app for people on the move. A liftgate or large investment isn’t required either — we sell small cases and lots starting around $100.
Thinking back to our early days, it’s sometimes astonishing to think about how far we’ve come. While addressing the issues we personally faced in this antiquated industry, we have been able to simultaneously remedy a much larger issue. We continue to work towards our goal of transforming the way people look at the reverse logistics space each day