It’s December and the Holiday Sales season is in full swing. Savvy retailers are forward-looking to Jan/Feb/March and forming a plan for returned items. That includes dealing with stacked warehouses full of holiday returns and overstock items, including the 5 most frequently returned gifts (hint: don’t buy your spouse a crock pot). Given that holiday returns continue to increase (up 35% since 2016) and the time and cost associated with processing returned items has become a bigger pain point, more retailers are slating their returned merchandise for liquidation into the secondary market.

Modern Auction Liquidation Techniques

Traditional liquidation techniquesincluding negotiating offline with a single liquidator—are a thing of the past. Online auction platforms now exist that enable retailers to increase recovery rates on returned and overstock items. B-Stock operates one of these platforms, providing private online auction marketplaces for nine out of the top 10 U.S. retailers. Through these marketplaces, retailers liquidate returned and excess merchandise across all categories, including apparel, consumer electronics, seasonal items, appliances, consumer packaged goods, mobile devices/gadgets, and other general merchandise. By applying B-Stock’s proven auction strategies and leveraging B-Stock’s continually growing buyer network, retailers are able to take bids from a buyer pool of thousands; more bidders means increased competition and increased pricing.

Bargain Hunters, Discount Stores & Rural America

There is a growing number of entrepreneurs who are building businesses out of buying and reselling liquidation merchandise. These resellers are constantly sourcing for their next load of inventory (pre-holiday, post-holiday, and all-year round). This is the benefit of an online auction marketplace: the ability to post new auctions on a regular basis keeps buyers coming back to bid on inventory. These stores are typically mom + pop discount shops in small town America where there are no big box chain stores for miles around. These General Stores (and Dollar Stores) service their local community with discounted apparel, cleaning products, rugs, toys, nonperishable food items; anything and everything a typical household might need.

When buying liquidation in bulk lots, buyers know to expect some items might not be in brand new condition. Therefore, many SMB retailers hire repair experts to mend any easily fixable items or to harvest parts from salvage items to build together a new item. In that way, if they buy a lot of mixed condition items, they can still make use out of broken or damaged items through refurbishment and repair. In short, if you have it to sell, there’s a buyer waiting to bid.

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