The liquidation appliance sector is booming, offering great opportunities for small businesses and resellers of used and scratch and dent appliances. Two major reasons for this growth include retail store closings and lenient return policies. With the top seven appliance retailers closing hundreds of stores combined, there has been a big jump in the number of independent mom and pop shops selling liquidation appliances. So, if you’re looking to expand your small business or get started reselling appliances, let’s take a closer look at the benefits, drawbacks and best practices of buying and reselling liquidation appliances.
The Appliances Category
While there are lots of appliances (both large and small) on the market. For this post, we will stick to what the industry considers the key product players…or the ‘Big 5.’
The ‘Big 5’ Appliances
Why Appliances Get Returned
B-Stock operates the world’s largest network of B2B marketplaces for returned and scratch and dent appliances. So, how did all of this inventory come to be? Let’s take a look at the two primary reasons consumers return appliances:
This usually refers to the scratches and dents that happen during transport; oftentimes, during delivery. If the unit is damaged in any way before it reaches the customer, they’ll typically request a new flawless one in its place.
This basically applies to the many other reasons besides the unit not working. For instance, the unit is returned because it’s not the correct color, the wrong size, too noisy, etc.
The takeaway? More often than not, the returned unit is fully functioning.
Benefits for Business Buyers
Given the growing supply of excess appliances slated for the secondary market, and the variety of inventory available on B-Stock, there are significant benefits for buyers and resellers of this merchandise. Let’s break them down:
Scratch and dent inventory is historically easy to sell and allows you to move inventory quickly. Something to think about: 80% of appliance purchases are replacement purchases. This means shoppers are looking for a unit to bring home fast, usually in the next 24-48 hours. With accessibility being the crucial component, if you have the inventory you can make the sale.
Access to More Brands
The B-Stock platform is used by three of the top five major appliance manufacturers (Whirlpool, GE Appliances, and Frigidaire Liquidation). Oftentimes, manufacturers will require credit checks along with several other tight restrictions to obtain their inventory. Through B-Stock, buyers also have access to appliances from four of the largest appliance retailers, where multiple brands are offered all in one place. Marketplaces include: Best Buy, Sears/Kmart Overstock Auctions, Lowe’s Liquidation, and The Home Depot.
Before You Buy
There are several things to consider before diving into the appliance secondary market to make sure you’re set up for success.
- First, do you have the capability to fix repairs internally? From a leaky washer to a rattling dryer, sometimes you will have to absorb the cost of parts to fix the unit. The ability to repair it in-house is a definite money-saving strategy.
- A second thing to remember is that your purchase may not come with a warranty. Typically, if purchasing your appliance units from an appliance retailer marketplace (Home Depot, Best Buy, etc), they will NOT come with a warranty. But, if buying through one of our manufacturer’s marketplaces (GE, Whirlpool, etc), the merchandise will likely still come with a warranty (it may have restrictions placed on it though, so read the fine print). For this reason, qualifying to purchase on a manufacturer’s marketplace requires a far more robust approval process on the buyer’s end.
- Third, nearly all appliance auction deliveries will be floor loaded; meaning, the inventory will not be shipped on pallets. You will have a two-hour window to unload the inventory directly off the truck without a lift gate (the device used to raise and lower items from ground level to the level of a tractor-trailer). You will be responsible for going into the truck and removing the units yourself.
- Finally, keep in mind that the inventory can certainly succumb to additional damage during its transport to you since this is the most common time in which dings, dents, and scratches occur.
Best Practices for Buying Liquidation Appliances
When it comes to purchasing liquidation appliances, we’ve compiled some pro-tips from industry insiders to help you bid and buy with confidence.
Consider what will sell better in your market. When it comes to gas versus electric appliances, gas models will generate higher pricing in certain geographic areas.
Do your homework! Research how much more profit you will make from reselling premium brands compared to the more economical brands.
Laundry for the Win!
Statistically, laundry units are in higher demand in the market than kitchen appliances. For business owners, this means that washers and dryers tend to sell faster allowing you to move inventory quickly. In fact, laundry units generate the highest secondary appliance market pricing.
Best Practices for Reselling Liquidation Appliances
When it comes to reselling your appliances inventory, there are some tried and true tactics that will maximize your profits and boost your business reputation. Here’s what our experts recommend:
Test Every Unit
This tip cannot be stressed enough! Prior to listing your inventory for resale, test every single unit. Is the dryer not heating? Does the washer make a buzzing sound? Set up an in-house testing station. The best secondary market small businesses repair the items prior to reselling. And because of this, they fetch a higher end dollar amount and better customer experience.
Clean it Up
As simple as it sounds, this will truly make a difference. Before you take some pictures and list the item for resale, make sure you wipe it down and clean it up! Showing the unit at its best will only help your reselling efforts and help you get a higher price.
Truth in Advertising
Be honest in your marketing efforts. Be sure to advertise your appliance inventory as scratch and dent, returned and/or refurbished units. Stating clearly the condition of your inventory will only help eliminate hassles and headaches down the road, but protect your business reputation.
Check out all of the current B-Stock appliance marketplaces and begin your buying journey today!