Contractors turn excess inventory into cash

Plumbing and HVAC professionals can sell their excess inventory on OddballSupply.com, a Web site that recently became a Nexstar Strategic Partner, helping contractors, manufacturers and suppliers sell and purchase excess inventory at discounted prices.

Highland, N.Y. — Plumbing and HVAC professionals can sell their excess inventory on OddballSupply.com, a Web site that recently became a Nexstar Strategic Partner, helping contractors, manufacturers and suppliers sell and purchase excess inventory at discounted prices.

The Web site is the brainchild of J. Schuster, OddballSupply's marketing manager. Working in the HVAC industry for 15 years gave him the knowledge of what happens to unused inventory, which lead to the creation of such a Web site.

“Being in the industry, on the contractor side, there was always excess inventory and it just sat there and would be thrown into the garbage,” said Schuster.

The Web site went live in 2008 and, just this February, became a Nexstar Strategic Partner.

All Nexstar partners are evaluated based on finances, product quality, customer service and overall reputation in the given industry, according to the Nexstar Strategic Partner management team. Partners are then recommended as vendors to more than 420 independent contractors within the Nexstar Network.

“Oddball's Web site allows our members to liquidate excess inventory and purchase overstocked items from contractors and manufacturers at discounted prices, thus adding dollars to their bottom lines,” said a representative of Nexstar's Strategic Partner management team.

To sell or buy product on the Web site, a user must register for an account. At the moment, registration is free, and there is no annual fee. The only cost incurred is by the seller when a product is purchased — the seller is charged 10% of the cost of the product. Sellers can list as many items as they want free of charge. Sellers decide how much to charge for shipping an item when purchased, and the buyers and sellers are responsible for using a tax ID number.

“When a seller lists an item, they decide the price and how much they want to charge for shipping (we currently don't take 10% of the shipping cost),” explained Schuster. “The buyers and sellers on the site can get a tax ID number to use for Internet purchases.”

Contractors, manufacturers and suppliers can sell a variety of products such as tools, equipment and machinery. All items are required to be new, except tools. If items are missing paperwork, packaging or are damaged, the seller must specify this in the item description.

“We currently have more than 100 members, along with a number of manufacturers who we have helped list excess inventory,” said Schuster. “Smaller items, such as gas valves and aquastats have sold best so far, although some larger items have sold, like a complete Tjernlund SS-1 power venter for about $250 (regularly retails for about $700).”