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Job Lot


A job lot is a term used in financial and trading contexts to refer to a collection of miscellaneous items or a large quantity of goods that are sold or bought together. The goods are typically obsolete, overstocked, or returned items sold at discounted prices. In financial markets, the term can also refer to the minimum number of shares or securities required to trade in specific markets or on specific exchanges.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Job Lot” is: /ʤɒb lɒt/

Key Takeaways

  1. Job Lot offers discounted goods: Ocean State Job Lot is known for providing a variety of products at discounted prices, helping shoppers save money on everyday items like clothing, household goods, and seasonal items.
  2. Closeout merchandise sources: The retailer sources its products primarily from manufacturers’ overstocks, closeouts, and inventory liquidations, thus enabling them to offer these low prices to consumers.
  3. Regional presence: Job Lot is primarily located in the Northeastern United States, with over 140 stores across 9 states, making it a convenient shopping option for local consumers.


The term “Job Lot” holds importance in the business and finance world as it refers to a mixed assortment of goods or securities being sold or purchased together, often at a discounted price. This practice is significant for both buyers and sellers, as it enables sellers to clear out excess or slow-moving inventory, optimize warehouse space, and generate quick revenue. Simultaneously, it allows buyers to acquire products at a reduced cost, leading to increased profitability, particularly for retailers or investors. Thus, job lots facilitate better inventory management, enhance market liquidity, and contribute to overall efficiency in the business and finance sectors.


Job lot serves a critical purpose in the world of finance and business by promoting cost-effective management of inventories and offering unique opportunities for businesses and consumers alike. Essentially, a job lot is a collection of goods or merchandise grouped together for sale as a single unit, often at a reduced price. These items are typically end-of-line, surplus, or discontinued products that may not sell individually or are difficult to offload. By grouping these items and selling them in bulk as a job lot, businesses can clear their inventory more quickly, maximize their warehouse or storage space, and minimize financial loss. The practice is highly beneficial for wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers, and even auctioneers who deal with large quantities of merchandise.

Another significant purpose of job lots comes from the advantages it provides to potential buyers. Companies and individual consumers who purchase job lots have the opportunity to acquire large quantities of diverse products at a lower cost. For small businesses and resellers, this can mean obtaining merchandise for resale at a profit, thus boosting their revenues. Additionally, job lots often include rare and exclusive items that are not easily found in the market, making them attractive to collectors and enthusiasts. Overall, job lot transactions create unique value propositions for both sellers and buyers, proving to be an important asset in the conduct of business.


1. Wholesale Retail Purchase: A small retail store owner is looking for new inventory to fill their shelves and chooses to purchase a job lot (also known as a closeout or liquidation lot) of clothing from a larger retailer or wholesaler. The job lot consists of various clothing items, potentially including out-of-season or discontinued styles. The small retail store owner can buy this stock at a significantly discounted rate and then sell the items at a profit to their own customers.

2. Manufacturing Surplus: A manufacturing company produces a large quantity of electronic components, with a minimum order quantity for customers to make a purchase. However, the manufacturing company may end up with a surplus of these electronic components without a contracted buyer. This excess inventory is then grouped together and sold as a job lot to smaller businesses or resellers, who purchase the stock at a discounted price to sell it to their clients.

3. Auctions and Estate Sales: In an estate sale or auction, a large number of assorted items from a specific estate, person, or company are grouped together and sold as job lots. This can include anything from furniture to antiques, collectibles to tools. Bidders can purchase these job lots at the auction, often at much lower prices than the original retail value. This can benefit bidders who are seeking to resell items, repurpose them, or use them for their own needs.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a job lot?

A job lot is a term used in finance and business, referring to a group or batch of goods, securities, or commodities that are traded, sold, or purchased together as a single unit. This is typically done to facilitate bulk transactions and reduce transaction costs or to liquidate inventory.

Why are job lots used in finance and business?

Job lots are used to streamline transactions and reduce transaction costs by bundling items, securities, or commodities together. Businesses often trade or sell job lots to liquidate excess inventory or take advantage of discounts when purchasing large quantities.

Are job lots always uniform in their components?

No, a job lot can be composed of similar or dissimilar items, made up of a mixture of different products or securities. However, the contents of the job lot are typically related or relevant to each other, such as goods from a single product line or securities within a particular industry.

How can I identify a job lot in a financial statement or business document?

Job lots may be identified in financial statements or business documents by using terminology such as “bulk sales,” “lot sales,” or “job lot sales.” These phrases indicate a transaction involving the grouping of items or securities for sale as a single unit.

Can a job lot be broken down into smaller units for resale?

Yes, a job lot can be broken down into smaller units for resale. This process, also known as “breaking bulk,” is a common practice in retail or wholesale businesses where a large quantity of goods is purchased at a discounted price and then sold in smaller quantities or individual units to generate profit.

Are job lots only used for physical products?

No, job lots can also apply to financial instruments, such as stocks or bonds. In these cases, job lots refer to a group of securities that are traded as a single unit in bulk transactions. The minimum trade quantity for a job lot depends on the specific security and exchange.

When might a business choose to sell or liquidate inventory using a job lot?

A business might choose to sell or liquidate inventory using a job lot when:1. They have excess or obsolete inventory that needs to be cleared to make room for new products.2. They want to dispose of damaged or returned goods that can no longer be sold as new.3. They wish to offer discounted pricing to customers for bulk purchases.4. They seek to reduce transaction and administrative costs associated with selling items individually.

Related Finance Terms

  • Wholesale Lots
  • Closeout Sale
  • Bulk Merchandise
  • Inventory Liquidation
  • Pallet Deals

Sources for More Information

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