how to liquidate thousands of indian leather bags from the 80s?
January 2, 2014 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Dearest holy hivemind, My family has thousands of Shantiniketan leather bags from the 80s/90s in storage from when my dad used to import them and sell them. I'm ideally looking for some wholesaler, preferably in New York, whom I could approach and say something like, "hey, here are (tens of?) thousands of vintage leather bags - do with them what you will," in exchange for some kind of moneys. Do y'all have any suggestions for what to do? We've also been thinking about eBay and Etsy, but those seems like they'll take a while and require a good amount of supervision/managing. Thanks in advance!
posted by mrmanvir to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
American Apparel resells a lot of vintage deadstock, but I don't know how they source it. Maybe a jumping off point for you (if the bags could pass for hip).
posted by telegraph at 7:29 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]

Honestly? There are a ton of Indian fashion shops in the Lower East Side. Grab a few bags and head down there. Even if the store owners aren't interested in buying, you can probably get information about who they do buy from.

Worth a shot anyway.
posted by valkyryn at 7:37 AM on January 2

Would you be able to post a picture of some of the bags so we know what we're working with?
posted by semaphore at 7:39 AM on January 2

There are many firms that will buy them. I have a friend who has a liquidation business that buys all sorts of things like this. They likely will only pay about 10 cents on the dollar, but if getting rid of them is the goal, they will do it for you. Google "liquidation company". One huge one that comes up first is Genco.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:42 AM on January 2

American Apparel or a similar retailer that does a lot of volume is a good idea...maybe Urban Outfitters?

You could also try selling them in "lots" on Ebay, but with tens of thousands, that would still probably take awhile.

Maybe try The Clothing Warehouse? They are located in Georgia though. I found them through a Google search for "vintage clothing wholesalers" a couple of years ago and I've done some business with them (I sell vintage clothing, mostly on Etsy, on the side. But I don't do anywhere near the volume of bags you have). I chose them because they had small minimums compared with other vintage wholesalers, but you may also have luck finding something in or closer to NYC through a similar Google search.
posted by Shadow Boxer at 7:46 AM on January 2

This article is old, but it gives a good background on the liquidation business.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:47 AM on January 2

Sorry about the multiple posts. I just got off the phone with my friend in the business and he said that companies will buy the inventory outright, will manage the liquidation in a revenue sharing agreement or will take a fee for placing it in bulk somewhere.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:51 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]

Don't rush. I think vintage 80s leather Indian bags sound like a possible score for you. Picture? I shop at ABC Home on lower Broadway in Manhattan, for just one example, and they are selling stuff like this for beaucoup bucks.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:10 AM on January 2

Ask Johnny Gunn's friend for names of a couple of brokers. It will be in their best interest to sell them as profitably as possible. Be prepared to provide samples, and a reasonably accurate inventory including the condition of the goods.
posted by theora55 at 9:37 PM on January 2

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