Happy returns? Maybe for the consumer.

In an effort to drive customer loyalty retailers and manufacturers are stepping up their game when it comes to the ease of returning items: special ‘returns’ entrances, pop up kiosks at the mall for items purchased online, year-long deadlines and label-free returns are among the options. But a happy return for the customer is a logistical nightmare for the retailer, and one that’s costing billions of dollars in efficiency.

As these new return options continue to drive a culture of risk-free impulse buying and over purchasing, retailers and manufacturers must also adopt newer, more-lucrative logistics programs for how to deal with the merchandise once it’s returned to the kiosk/store/warehouse. This is especially true for the items that can’t be returned to store or virtual shelves. Let’s face it, most retailers aren’t going to put a year-old pair of shoes back on the shelf; more likely the shoes will end up being slated for the secondary market.

So what makes for a more lucrative returns program for secondary-market bound merchandise? Ditching old, manual methods like selling everything to a handful of buyers at a pre-negotiated, most likely rock-bottom price, is an important first step; this type of solution always leaves money on the table. A newer and better option is to create competition among hundreds or thousands of secondary market buyers; this will drive prices up. A web-based, online auction platform like those powered by B-Stock, is one way to make this happen. When leveraged correctly, this type of solution can boost prices by 30-80% and sometimes much more.

B-Stock has a handful of solutions depending on your liquidation needs. For example, our Enterprise Solution is ideally suited for Fortune 1000 organizations with large volumes of returned inventory; it includes a customized, branded and private B2B auction marketplace for you to sell directly to approved buyers. Eight of the top 10 U.S. retailers are currently using B-Stock’s Enterprise Solution for their returned and excess inventory. For companies with less inventory, our multi-seller marketplace, B-Stock Supply, allows you to sell directly to thousands of interested – and approved – secondary market buyers. Either way, you are automating the manual processes associated with liquidation and have complete control over how your inventory enters the secondary market.

For more information on how we can turn your returns problem into a competitive advantage, please contact us.