New reports show online sales of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) are growing and by the end of 2018 are projected to account for roughly 5 percent of total CPG sales—that’s $36 billion spent on groceries, health + beauty, household basics and cleaning products, etc. through the internet. This is a triple digit increase from 2016. The growth is being spurred in part from pantry box and subscription models as well as companies like Amazon and Walmart offering two-day delivery (or less) options.

We know that the growth rate for returns will mirror the ecommerce growth rate, due in part to customer expectations of incredibly easy return policies. In the CPG vertical, returns typically happen after a customer opens his box of a dozen items (let’s say, paper towels), uses one, and then decides he wants to return the rest. The retailer is then left with an open box of individually wrapped rolls of paper towels that can’t be put back on primary shelves.

The good news is, these can be resold easily through the secondary market. At B-Stock, we refer to CPG products as General Merchandise and have spent years building a network of buyers who are interested in purchasing bulk quantities of individually wrapped items for resale. Items like snack bags, coffee pods, and canned goods are in high demand at dollar stores and mom & pop corner markets; they can be resold at high profit and easily stocked in a vending machine or refrigerator.

Remember: as online sales increase, so do returns. It’s important to have a recovery program in place to handle returned and overstock items.

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