Amazon customers are generally happy with the online retailer’s return policy: it’s incredibly lenient. But, relaxed return policies on online shopping sites like Amazon means higher return rates (versus those who shop in person). If you’re a reseller, this could be a big benefit to you. From side hustle to a full-time business, reselling is becoming more and more popular and lucrative. In this article we will cover:

So, where exactly do Amazon returns go?

It’s common for online retailers to see more than 25% of products ordered online returned, as compared to less than 10% in brick-and-mortar stores. Only when it comes to online retailers, sales are growing exponentially every year so you can imagine the number of returns. In many cases, online retailers will not put the items that are returned by customers back on virtual shelves.

According to recent industry figures, Amazon is the leading online retailer in the U.S.; the company’s 2020 sales hitting $386 billion dollars. And in Q2 of 2021 alone, they’ve already reached $113 billion. If 25% of those billions come back and a large chunk of that does not go back into rotation, this means there are large amounts of liquidation inventory from Amazon available to be resold. For resellers, this means big business in purchasing these items that Amazon chooses to liquidate.

Have you thought about buying Amazon returns and reselling them?

Here is what you need to know when purchasing returns from Amazon:

How items are sold

You can buy liquidated Amazon items in bulk, which could be anywhere from one to two pallets or 10-12 pallets in an LTL (less than truckload). The larger the order, the bigger the discount. Items are either sold at a fixed price or through an online auction marketplace (like the ones B-Stock operates). For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on Amazon’s online auction site, Amazon Liquidation Auctions.

Set your filters to the inventory you want

If you’re new to buying customer returns or overstock, be sure you’ve familiarized yourself with condition codes. These can vary by the marketplace, depending on where you purchase them. When you’re browsing auctions on Amazon’s liquidation marketplace, you can filter through different conditions and product types. For example, you can choose to see dot com returns or overstock. Additionally, there are other filters such as like-new condition, cosmetic condition, whether or not the packaging is damaged, if accessories are included, and if they’ve been inspected. 

Manifests are your best friend 

Informed buyers are happy buyers. You always want to review the auction lot manifest when one is provided. It will give you all sorts of information like item number or UPC, retail or MSRP, description, quantity, brand, model, category, sub-category, color, the reason for return, etc. Download manifests or use our interactive manifest tool, and always be sure to do your market research before bidding!

How to get started

You will need to register for Amazon Liquidation Auctions in order to start bidding on bulk lots of a wide variety of products including apparel, footwear, home & garden, recreation, books, consumer electronics, and toys & baby items.

Register Now

In order to register, you will need to have a reseller certificate form to submit with your application. Once approved, you can immediately bid to win Amazon liquidation inventory. If you do not currently have a reseller certificate but would like to learn more about how to apply for one, please read Buying Basics: Resale Certificates. Some states do not require a reseller certificate as that state does not collect sales tax.

Calculate your costs

When bidding on an Amazon liquidation auction lot, be sure to factor in details like shipping costs as well as what you’ll need to sell an item for in order to make a profit. 

Many large retailers, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart, and Best Buy all sell overstock and returned items via online auction sites. Check out B-Stock Auctions to see what auction lots are available. 

Ready to begin? Check out our tips on how to become an online power seller.

Here is what you need to know when selling returns:

Whether you’re selling Amazon returns or other store returns, there are a few things to know. It’s profitable and can easily be done on the side or turn into a full-time gig. A lot depends on the time, monetary, and physical space you have. But whether you’re selling out of a two-car garage or have your own storage space or warehouse, these are some universal tips to know about selling returns!

Know which items are profitable

Some resellers like to get started in a category they know well. Some like to go after a wide range— it depends on your business. But one thing is for certain, you must remember your bottom line. Some categories aren’t as profitable as others. If you’re looking to yield higher returns, you should go after those categories specifically. Consider this: home & garden inventory and furniture can be very profitable for resellers since these are higher ticket items. And often, they will come in pretty good condition depending on the marketplace you’re on.

On the other hand, with a category like apparel, you probably aren’t looking at profit margins in the hundreds unless you’re selling designer or higher-end items. Grocery and cosmetics probably aren’t where you want to start either. These come with ‘sell by’ dates and selling restrictions on most platforms (like Amazon for example) unless they’re overstock, brand new, and in original unopened packaging.

Pay attention to gated items

Certain items come gated, meaning retailers may have restrictions on where you can resell them. In some cases, inventory may only be sold outside of the US, or even require specific certifications like the R2 Standard in order to avoid unnecessary recycling and landfill dumping. This usually applies to consumer electronics and mobile, but it’s good to know if you have an interest in that niche.

You can always start small

If you’re still getting your feet wet, flipping smaller or lower-valued items is a good route to go! Think of items like books, toys, and used electronics that you may have lying around the house. Read our article Easiest Things to Flip for Profit & How to Start if you’re interested in starting small and branching out. You can also find smaller lot sizes on B-Stock Supply and sample different sellers more easily.

Assembly & simple fixes can be worth your while

If you like fixing things up and are pretty handy, don’t miss a chance to increase profits utilizing these skills. A simple fix on items like lawnmowers or power tools that are being liquidated at 10-15% of retail, you can get a really good return. You’d also be surprised at how often items get returned because the purchaser didn’t want to assemble the item themselves! When you buy those customer returns up (at a discount, of course) and take that extra step assembling, you can win customers over with convenience!

Pick your reselling platforms

Consider the product’s category. For example, if you’re reselling footwear, you have platforms like Vinted, Depop, and thredUP at your disposal. If you’re reselling Kitchenaid mixers, you aren’t likely to touch these types of selling platforms. The point is, certain items work better on certain platforms.

Try Fulfillment by Amazon

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program enables resellers to ship and store items through Amazon’s own warehouse operations. You get to make your sales without worrying about storage or shipping—Amazon will handle that for you! Of course, using this program comes with its own fees. You’ll want to make sure you’re still able to make a profit between FBA costs and what you’re selling products for.

Organization can go a long way

For sellers, organization can be a love-hate relationship. And when purchasing liquidation pallets, you don’t have a choice but to set a system in place. You wouldn’t want to have to cancel an order because you misplaced an item or already sold that SKU. Catch up on these 9 Tips for Organizing Your Liquidation Pallets.

Start buying Amazon returns today!

If you’re ready to make money selling Amazon returns, B-Stock is here to help. When you register on Amazon Liquidation Auctions, you get access to the inventory your customers know and love. With the huge variety of products you can find on the Amazon marketplace, you’re sure to find more than a few winners.

Join the largest global network of B2B liquidation marketplaces.

Buy directly from the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers

register now

Editorial Team


B-Stock Editorial Team

Amberly Bliss, Owner

Retail Deals

"I feel so confident shopping and bidding on items knowing that I am going to get what I paid for. And if not, there’s a killer customer service team that’s going to make sure everything’s alright in the end. That’s huge. It’s hard to take that risk when you’re first starting out."

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