GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan couple is using a unique business to create opportunities for others.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mitch and Jess Kogelschatz decided to try something new.

“We just kind of kept seeing stuff about liquidation pallets,” Jess Kogelschatz said. “So we bought our first seven, and we just started a Facebook group and started selling individual items that we got off the pallet.”

Together, the two are co-owners of GRP Liquidations. The business started in a garage but now has retail space in Wyoming and a 25,000-square-foot facility in Dorr.

“We have progressed and it’s really taken off,” Mitch Kogelschatz said.

Each week, GRP Liquidations purchases truckloads of pallets with items that have been returned to stores or companies like Walmart or Amazon.

“For whatever reason, it’s less expensive for them to just send it all off and liquidate this merchandise versus having to find a place on the shelf, make a ticket for it and then resell it,” Jess Kogelschatz said.

A worker moves a box of Amazon returns available for sale. (June 2, 2023)
A worker moves a box of Amazon returns available for sale. (June 2, 2023)

At the warehouse in Dorr, the pallets can be purchased starting at a couple hundred dollars. The fun of it is that shoppers don’t always know exactly what’s inside.

“We have clothing pallets back there. I mean, it’s all new with tags,” Mitch Kogelschatz said. “We have seen exciting electronics, anything from like a (PlayStation 5) all the way up to a $3,500 Canon camera.”

Pallet purchasers can keep the items for themselves, but many resell what they find at discounted prices.

“I look for one or two items in there that I know will pay for the skid, and the rest is all your profit,” said Lynn Spansail, a shopper at GRP Liquidations. “You could triple your money.”

Whether the pallets are used for extra money, serve as a primary source of income or just thrill a shopper looking for a deal, the Kogelschatzes said it’s all about helping the community thrive.

“We’re passionate about doing it for others. We’re here for the long term. We want to see people succeed,” Mitch Kogelschatz said.

GRP Liquidations sells between 50 and 150 pallets each day. 

Individual items can be found at the GRP Liquidations retail store. The business also auctions off merchandise online.