Welcome to retail returns season: the first few months of the year when ugly sweaters, problematic consumer electronics, noisy toys and ill-fitting shoes make their way back to retailers or manufacturers with few or no questions asked. This season in particular brought higher return rates due to record-breaking online spending (e-commerce return rates are double that of brick-and-mortar stores) and heightened consumer expectations of relaxed cross-channel return policies.

Though much of the returned merchandise will be in functionally and cosmetically perfect condition, putting it back on store shelves is logistically and financially inefficient. In most cases—especially in the case of open-box, used, defective, damaged or seasonal items—it’s better to liquidate this inventory and recover as much as you can. Here is when having a proper liquidation solution in place can make a major difference to your bottom line.

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