Consumer Electronics is a hot category to source across B-Stock’s marketplaces. Your customers will love finding great deals on brand-name tech gadgets and must-have accessories. Liquidation Consumer Electronics items are sold in a variety of product conditions including new, refurbished, returned, non-functioning, open box, and end of life. In fact, over one million consumer electronic devices are sold annually across B-Stock’s marketplaces. That’s a lot of inventory! But before you begin bidding, let’s discuss some of the best practices and benefits of sourcing consumer electronics; along with some tricks of the trade!

The Consumer Electronics Category

What classifies consumer electronics? Some of the more popular CE items we see across our B-Stock marketplaces like Office Depot, Costco Wholesale Liquidation Auctions or CDW Liquidation Auctions include:

Why Are Consumer Electronics Returned?

Around 20% of consumer electronics purchases get returned to the retailer or manufacturer and the reasons may surprise you! The top two causes for returns include:

Complexity

The item is just too difficult to figure out how to use. Rather than utilizing customer support or reading the manual, many consumers will just give up and take the item back– even though there is nothing wrong with it.

Lack of Problem-Solving

Essentially, the product doesn’t solve the problem the customer is hoping it would. Perhaps purchasing an activity tracker didn’t result in weight loss, so the consumer decides it isn’t worth it any longer.  

Benefits for Business Buyers

Given the two most popular reasons for returned CE items, this offers up several key benefits for small business buyers and resellers. Let’s take a look at how…

Good Functionality

Since neither of the top two reasons for returned consumer electronic items includes functionality…this is good news. In fact, a majority of returned items are in perfect working condition! The fact that there is a high chance that the product you’re bidding on works great is a huge benefit for small business buyers and resellers.

High Demand

Consumer electronics are in-demand inventory. The fact that there are so many smartwatches or activity trackers (for example) available, show the popularity of the product. Since a lot of people are purchasing these items, this allows buyers and resellers to move inventory fairly quickly. Historically, video games, gaming consoles, and Apple products are sought-after items that generate higher pricing.

Things to Consider

Since we looked at the benefits of buying returned consumer electronics, it’s only wise to look at potential drawbacks you could face as a small business buyer or reseller.

Tech Resources

Given the fast-changing nature of consumer electronics, make sure any item you’re reselling is up to date with the most current version. If you don’t feel technologically savvy enough to do this yourself, you may have to hire someone dedicated to this.

Data Wiping

This is a critically important step in reselling returned or refurbished consumer electronics. Any product that has a storage device (tablets, smartwatches, activity trackers, etc.) must be wiped of any personal information or sensitive data from the previous user. Fortunately, the inventory you buy on B-Stock has likely already been wiped by the retailer or manufacturer (unless you are an R2 Certified buyer– learn more by reading our post R2 Certifications and Why They Matter), but it is still important to double check each item before reselling to protect your own business reputation.  

Best Practices for Buying Consumer Electronics on B-Stock

Whether you’re a new buyer or an experienced CE small business, we’ve compiled some of our top pro tips for buying and reselling returned consumer electronics.

Compare pricing

Before you bid on that lot of consumer electronics, look up pricing on the current versions of those items. Make sure that even newer versions haven’t had a significant price drop due to a brand new model release. It’s important to do your research! Remember, you will need a good amount of discount to successfully resell the items.

Start small

If you’re just starting out buying and reselling consumer electronics, we recommend buying small lots to start. Additionally, purchase inventory that usually sells quickly. For example, start with Bose speakers, Beats by Dre headphones, laptops, iPads and smartwatches.

Follow the rules

Be aware of any particular reselling rules from the retailer/manufacturer you’re purchasing from. In some cases, retailers or manufacturers will not allow you to resell the inventory in certain forums, online sites, geographic locations, etc. You can find these specific restrictions in an auction’s Terms & Conditions section (usually located at the bottom of the page).

Offer support

Whether it’s a warranty, great customer support, a 30-day money back guarantee…show your customers you care! This will establish you as a reputable and responsible business and bring back good customers.

Source smart

A good rule of thumb to remember is, the lower the original value of the good, the harder it is to resell that item as used or refurbished. For example, a wireless keyboard with an MSRP of $19.99, that you’re selling for $10, will be harder to move (and less popular) compared to a $500 laptop that you’re selling for $250.

In other words, the deeper the discount (in dollars) you offer, the easier it is to make your money back and move the item quickly.