The rate of customer returns for goods bought online is swelling to a worrisome level as more consumers switch from physical stores to online. The cost to online retailers is substantial. According to research firm Statista, in 2017 total U.S. return deliveries cost merchants (online and brick-and-mortar) $381 billion and the total is expected to reach $550 billion by 2020.
- B-Stock. Instead of putting returned items back in inventory or throwing them away, many online and omnichannel retailers are choosing to liquidate them. B-Stock offers individual, branded online auction marketplaces for retailers or brands to sell returned or excess merchandise in bulk quantities to certified resellers. The company’s two largest categories are appliances and apparel. Goods purchased online are often separated from those bought in a physical store because they tend to be in better condition.