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Did you know a third of online purchases get returned? That number only grows as more people look to Amazon, one of the biggest ecommerce retailers in the world, as a one-stop-shop for all their shopping needs. Well as comforting as that “1-Click Buy Now” button may seem, that’s eventually a lot of Amazon customer returns to deal with.
Usually, this has to do with shoppers ordering multiple colors of the same item, different sizes, or maybe something just doesn’t look the way you pictured.
So what happens to those customer returns? Maybe you already know this is a good reselling opportunity, or maybe you don’t. This blog will go into all the ins and outs of Amazon customer returns so you can get the full scoop — or maybe even a piece of the pie — for yourself!
What are Amazon customer returns actually like? Well, pretty good products actually! I mean think about anything you’ve had to return before. Everyone has had to at one point or another. Like that shirt you bought in two different sizes? The shoes in two different colors? The wrong cord or adapter? It happens to everyone. So oftentimes they are in perfect working order or condition.
Dot com returns are actually a killer investment. Often the original packaging is intact or it may be brand new/unopened. We also mentioned the likelihood that a consumer ordered two or three styles of the same thing and sent back the ones that didn’t work. There’s also a chance the item may have been shipped incorrectly/undelivered. Additionally, buyers are more careful when returning online purchases: they want to ship it back carefully and complete to ensure a full refund.
What this means is that you can assume eCommerce returns are consistently worth more: the higher quality the item, the more you can sell it for. That’s right, Amazon customer returns are all the rage with online resellers. We’ll go into more detail down below!
If you’ve been searching for a more efficient way to get inventory to resell, Amazon customer returns are a great solution.
Thrifting, hitting stores like TJ Maxx and Ross, in-person auctions, and even estate sales, are much more manual and require a lot of time. Just think, to spend all day driving around, looking for hidden gems, just to come away with one or two resellable finds? Potentially even empty-handed!
Amazon customer returns are great for:
Many businesses, like the ones online resellers start, are based on the concept of retail arbitrage. Which is really just purchasing products from a retailer at a lower price and reselling them for profit. This includes customer returns.
If you’re wondering where to go to find Amazon customer returns, it’s simple. B-Stock! We help operate Amazon’s online auction site for liquidation, overstock, and customer-returned inventory (in addition to nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers’ online auction sites).
Inevitably, those customer returns get liquidated by companies like Amazon due to the sizable volume of returns they get sent back to them. They’d otherwise be taking up warehouse space or going to waste in a landfill.
Warehouse liquidation is essentially a tale as old as time. Clearing out overstock, customer returns, and seasonal items has always been necessary in order to bring in new merchandise. Over time, the liquidation process has simply moved online. And thanks to growing technology, getting your hands on Amazon return pallets can be as easy as logging on your computer or mobile device.
So you know there are customer returns out there waiting to be bought, now how do you go about buying them? We’ll go step-by-step so you can buy liquidation pallets with confidence and then go on to resell with ease.
Register your business with B-Stock. You will need to submit a valid resale certificate to ensure you can buy the goods tax-free and pass on those savings to your customers. It’s then your responsibility to charge sales tax once an item sells.
Visit the Amazon marketplace to find an auction that appeals to you. Everything from grocery to home goods and mixed lots can be found on their marketplace. That means women’s, men’s, and children’s clothes, along with sporting goods, pantry goods, home & garden, and consumer electronics can all be sourced in one place.
You always want to make sure you’re maintaining a level of profit when purchasing and reselling customer returns. For example, what is the current market value for those goods? What condition are they in? Customer returns can range from lightly used to just opened, so consider the category you’re in and how this will affect your margins. This will help you place an accurate bid – keeping shipping costs in mind of course! Save money on shipping by viewing auctions closer to you, this helps cut down on time and mileage it takes to get to you.
It’s wise to start with smaller loads so you can figure things out without losing money. You can go the LTL (less than truckload) route or full truckload route in time. You should definitely consider just a few pallets at a time and see how quickly you can categorize, list, and sell inventory. You don’t want slow-moving listings to cause items to lose value.
Once you win a lot of liquidation pallets, you will need to submit payment information and pay the shipping quote. There may be fees involved if you don’t have the necessary equipment or are shipping to a residential address.
Make sure you have all hands on deck if you need them. Receiving a shipment means you will have to unpack and sort and categorize your inventory fairly quickly. The reason for this is to ensure you’ve received everything on the lot manifest. The manifest is a good place for you to start pricing your customer returns based on that current market research from earlier and what condition inventory arrives in.
For more organization tips and tricks, check out 9 Tips for Organizing Your Liquidation Pallets.
So we’ve covered the who, what, where, and how to buy. Now, it’s time to resell your Amazon customer returns.
Whether you need to data wipe your consumer electronics or clean up the appearance a bit, you should get your inventory ready for sale. That sometimes literally means cleaning the items! Consider using a steamer to get out wrinkles, or polishing off surfaces so that they are free from fingerprints and shiny again.
Don’t overlook this step! It could be the difference between your item taking a day to sell versus a few weeks. Most smartphones have advanced camera features you can utilize, or invest in a professional DSLR camera. Show any noticeable defects, and get the best lighting possible. You don’t want to unintentionally mislead customers and wind up with negative reviews.
The platform you choose for reselling depends on the inventory you have. For example, apparel always does well on Poshmark and tech and consumer electronics tend to reign on eBay. So when sourcing your Amazon customer returns, keep in mind where you will end up listing merchandise.
Your description should be catchy and explain the product completely. The more consumers are left guessing what model this is, or size and material that is, the more chance they have to scroll past your listing. Employ a few simple marketing tactics like SEO best practices and discounts when applicable.
Be a responsible seller and answer any questions asked by interested buyers. It doesn’t take too much time to answer a few basic questions and works wonders on your customer service ratings. The more informed buyers feel when purchasing from you, the more likely they are to come back. (Happy customers are repeat customers!) However, you can alleviate some of the time it takes to answer questions by providing a thorough product description on your listings.
Follow up with customers, ask for reviews and feedback, or simply add them to your mailing list so they can be alerted whenever you list new inventory. Whether you plan to work on your resale business for the short or long term, be proactive. Consider sourcing bestsellers so you always have the inventory shoppers are looking for in stock. You should also take note of what doesn’t do well for you and your customers. At the end of the day, almost anything will sell. But maybe you’ll do better off specializing in one category over another.
Buying Amazon customer returns is a worthwhile investment. You know there’s a profitable business opportunity behind it, you know where to source these customer returns, and how to buy. The reselling part will come with practice! As long as you understand product demand and profit margins, you’ll be set.
Register for Amazon Liquidation Auctions to start bidding on bulk lots of a wide variety of products including apparel, footwear, consumer electronics, home & garden, recreation, and toys & baby items today!