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What Happened To Surplus.net

One of the net’s oldest industry related websites, Surplus.net, has vanished. Last month this directory of Surplus merchandise dealers disappeared without a notice or warning. Faithful site visitors tried to log on to the site close to the end of September, but were greeted with an unfamiliar page filled with generic links?

I immediately thought this might be the end as I have noticed a decline in the maintenance of the site over the last few months. Dead end links and a lack of surplus offers started to become the norm. I often wondered if the value of this directory was even worth the browser bookmark anymore?

I have close ties to this directory, or an association as members call it; back from 2002 until 2004 I was an acting member. I advertised on the site and the leads that I received from ready and willing buyers were welcomed. During my participation I appreciated the traffic that was driven to the offers that I had posted on the Surplus.net website.

But then something happened. It seemed as though there was a membership push of some sort and all members were told that there was going to be a membership split. Those that had active memberships would be given and “extra” membership to go out and peddle.

At first I thought this was a great idea allowing every active member to make some money by bringing other dealers in, but what happened next was what I felt started the decline of this directory. This is speculation, but I really feel as though “extra” or “split” memberships were sold at a very discounted rate. This brought to the table a bunch of dealers that could not have afforded a membership before at $3500 per pop.

To me the advertised price of a membership back then was steep, but it did keep out those that were just dabbling in the Surplus trade. So, with the discounted memberships came a flood of “overnight” Brokers and even some eBay sellers who were just trying to unload extra stock.

Membership numbers were up, but quality of dealers participating was down. The directory become too competitive as there was an influx of brokers, with no overhead, peddling too many low-ball offers. Many of the brokers who were now members of this website were trying to under cut everyone. Hey, don’t get me wrong competition is great, but a low price means absolutely nothing if the goods are not delivered or misrepresented altogether, right? This type of trading comprised the credibility of the directory.

I talked with a few of the members who had been there for a while and they agreed with me about the move to bring anyone and everyone on as a directory member. The community started to lose its value. I moved on and left the directory and I know of at least two others who hung on and tried to sell there memberships without much luck. I have a friend today who went through two of the membership splits. He now has a few memberships to resell, but without membership value…does he really have any equity in his extra memberships?

Now, having said the above I do want to be fair and mention that there have been active members at Surplus.net who have been there for years. I would almost consider these dealers to be founders as they run very reputable surplus merchandise companies. After searching through the directory back in early September I came across dozens of blank or dead-end pages. Dealers with no listings.

What is the fate of Surplus.net? Will it come back online….If I had to guess I would say there is a great chance this directory will be back. On the Surplus.cc forum a member posted the site is down due to a malicious attack. It was disclosed that someone redirected the Surplus.net urls and due to this hack the site is down for maintenance and rebuilding. I guess we will all have to wait for now and see how this plays out. Maybe this could become an opportunity to “clean house”?

What experience do you have with Surplus.net as either a member or just a surplus merchandise buyer?


Post Update 10/25/2009:

Surplus.net went through a malicious url “hack” and has since changed its web address to TheImasd.com

The Liquidators Guide! - 121 pages of purchasing information & liquidation sources in a fact-filled guide that wholesalers and liquidation brokers do not want you to get your hands on! I have been buying and reselling wholesale liquidation merchandise for ten years...and I am going to share my knowledge with you!

NEW - How to Broker Liquidations – Start making money brokering liquidation merchandise! Our newest guide reveals all the steps needed to start a lucrative business brokering customer returns, shelf pulls, and salvage merchandise! Start this business right from home with our 168 Page Guide filled with industry secrets.

 

10 comments to What Happened To Surplus.net

  • renie mitchell

    I was on a list from Surplus.net of suppliers – I have purchased from a couple of them – their sites can no longer be accessed. I just recently purchased several wallets from a company through surplus.net – they are nyc designer outlet. They never sent any merchandise – they answer their phone (sometimes) – I cannot get any answers – has anyone dealt with these people – what else can I do??

  • Rob

    Hello Renie.

    Sorry to hear of your bad experience with NYC Designer Outlet. I have never heard of them. How much was your purchase total?

  • renie mitchell

    $1500.00

  • Admin

    Hi Renie,

    $1500 is no small chunk of change! Having said that I can tell you that I myself have lost probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000 – $30,000 in deals “Gone Bad”.

    I always stress investigating before you buy, but unfortunately we do get stung sometimes.

    Thank you for sharing and do not give up as there are plenty of reputable sellers to buy from!

  • renie mitchell

    I would like to know how to let others know – and get this company’s name out there – so others will not not have the same bad experience. Did find sites from Surplus.Net – under IMASD.com
    Renie

  • I have been on Surplus.net now called IMASD for 7 years.
    In my opinion, it has always been a “buyer beware” situation or in my case, “seller beware.”
    My company trade’s exclusively in Building Materials and associated products.

    I have been burned by other surplus building materials brokers outside of IMASD AND I was once burned by a member within IMASD, not to be mentioned here.

    My biggest concern at this time is TRAFFIC.
    I am not getting the calls that I was getting prior to the Surplus.net domain theft. Usually, when I post something, I would get at least 50 phone calls and 20-30 emails. That has now drop’d significantly.

    I am wondering how long it will take to get “THEIMASD” back in the high traffic zone. I will be working on my own on the internet to make that happen but its labor that I currently did not need.
    If anyone has suggestions to improve the traffic or redirect from the stolen site, please advise.

    Sincerely, Paul

  • Admin

    Paul,

    Surplus.net / IMASD lost a lot of traffic when they started devaluing the memberships by offering membership splits. This started happening back 5-6 years ago. All of the sudden members had extra memberships to sell. Too many to sell. There were a lot of deals made well below the minimum $3500 spend.

  • Christian

    From my point of view, the domain was secretly sold. Now parked with revenue ads, just sitting there. The domain alone is worth good money, I wouldn’t mind having it my portfolio. Ok, well they made a new site, great, now what? Alexa stats are no good, traffic is slowly growing…..the new name sucks and is irrelevant, much less catchy. Does it matter? No. What matters is what imasd is going to do to get their new site back up to their previous traffic levels. Their subscriber base is all they have that is worth anything. What we need to hear is what current members are saying about the leads they are generating now.

  • Well, I am late to this party – but it looks like Surplus.cc is gone as well.

    The old forum is no more. I wonder what Shane is up to these days? Have not talked to him in what seems like forever….

    Here’s to hoping that all of you involved in selling surplus or wholesale products are doing well and surviving in this economy….

    Personally – I have never seen it this slow two and a half years “in” since the financial crash…

    Anyway, on hale it up people……….lol…..

    Robert C – The Wholesale Guy

  • Mike H.

    Hello, I stumbled on this site searching the net for Surplus.net which was recommended to me as THE best source for wholesale deals. Can anyone here tell me if a company listed on there “RS Trading Company” is legit please? Thanks, regards, Mike.

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