In 2020, consumers spent $565 billion online with U.S. merchants, according to Loss Prevention Magazine. That’s 14% of all U.S. retail sales! As impressive as that number is, that doesn’t mean that everyone receives their products and lives happily ever after. eCommerce returns more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, approximately $102 billion of merchandise bought online was returned. Some of the top reasons consumers return their online purchases include: 20% receive damaged products, 22% products received look different, and 23% receive the wrong item.

In this post, we’ll break down:

  • What happens to customer returns
  • Why you should consider buying return pallets
  • How to buy Amazon return pallets
  • Where to look for quality returns

Where Do Amazon Returns Go?

30% of all online purchases get returned, versus the mere 8.9% of goods are returned to physical stores. This shouldn’t be shocking considering nearly 49% of retailers in the U.S. offer a free returns shipping policy. Convenient for customers, but a headache for retailers. It’s naturally worth asking – where do so many Amazon returns go?

Retailers and sellers on Amazon could put them back on virtual shelves, but think of the cost it would take to inspect, repack, and relist. It is more attractive from a cost and time-savings perspective for companies to liquidate these returned products. As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new.

The good news for resellers is that not every Amazon return is damaged or faulty! Like we said, sometimes items get returned for other reasons that include buyer remorse, simply not needing the item anymore, or expecting it to be different. So that means many of these customer returns will be new and in unopened condition.

Large retailers like Amazon then sell pallets of customer returns to liquidators—giving small businesses and resellers access to that merchandise through online liquidation marketplaces. These online marketplaces make sourcing high-quality branded and unbranded merchandise easy, accessible, and affordable.

Warehouse liquidation is essentially a tale as old as time. Clearing out overstock, customer returns, and seasonal items has always been necessary in order to bring in new merchandise. Over time, the liquidation process has simply moved online. And thanks to growing technology, getting your hands on Amazon return pallets can be as easy as logging on your computer or mobile device.

Why Buy Amazon Return Pallets

Anyone can get started buying Amazon return pallets. Some start with a few hundred dollars to thousands in savings, or a line of credit. And when it comes to reselling, there are so many avenues you can go. From local flea markets to growing resale platforms like Poshmark, Thredup, OfferUp, and others.

If you’re thinking of starting a new business or want to have a side gig, sourcing these liquidation pallets is a good way to build your inventory. If it’s sold on the primary market, chances are you’re going to find it in the secondary market, too. Everything from home and garden equipment to apparel, electronics, and health and beauty products are being resold every day. You can choose to specialize in a specific category or start with general merchandise pallets and see what works best for you, and ultimately, your customers.

You can also do a fair bit of bulk purchasing and get your hands on a lot of inventory at once! This makes sense if you have plenty of resale channels ready to go or you own a discount store, regularly attend flea markets, or are planning on exporting.

The steadily growing business behind Amazon returns is no joke, that’s what makes getting in on the action with your own resale business a smart move. When you consider the variety of inventory on Amazon return pallets, these bundled up lots might just be a gold mine for you and your resale business.

How to Buy Amazon Return Pallets

When it comes to liquidating, major retailers want to move merchandise fast and for cheap. That’s where customer returns pallets and online auctions come into play. There are a few different ways you can start buying Amazon return pallets. But first, let’s go over a few basics.

Know what to expect

Some items will be ready for resale immediately, others might require some repair, and some can even be sold for parts. These deeply discounted pallets are still an investment for resellers. So reselling them for a profit is where you’re going to make your money back! Make sure you know which condition of inventory you’re bidding on and have the time it takes to make any necessary repairs if required.

Some merchandise categorized as salvage even serves its purpose for repair shop owners and anyone looking to source parts. Check the manifest associated with any Amazon return pallets you might be interested in to get a clear idea of what you’ll be getting and its estimated value. Read this blog for 5 Things to Know When Sourcing Returned and Excess Merchandise.

Find a reputable seller

Take into account the experiences of other online resellers who have used the platforms you’re looking on. They might have helpful insights as to where to source certain categories and who you should steer clear of. Customer experience is another factor you’ll want to pay close attention to. It could save you from shady deals involving sellers posing as reputable sources!

Check for online reviews

Online review sites like Trustpilot.com are a good resource to keep bookmarked. You will need to start compiling your research whether that be on an Excel sheet or a series of tabs open to compare pricing and other auction listings. Getting as much insight into the product, company, quality of goods, and return policies will help you make more informed bidding decisions. Usually the case of liquidation merchandise, every sale is final. But every retailer and marketplace has different terms and conditions.

Consider your shipping costs

Any successful reseller will tell you the cost of shipping is what will make or break a decision. Don’t be surprised if/when the shipping costs more than the pallet of returned goods. Prepare yourself by budgeting this cost before you bid. Some sellers will give you the option to pick up pallets from warehouse distribution centers, if you luck out and are within driving distance try and take advantage of this option!

If you have the capacity and capital, bulk purchasing or consolidated shipping will help alleviate some of these costs so you don’t end up spending hundreds on individual, smaller shipments.

Where to Buy Amazon Return Pallets

We mentioned finding a reputable seller, but oftentimes, this is easier said than done. Historically, it has been difficult for small to medium-sized buyers to buy excess inventory directly from large retailers and manufacturers; however, today there are new, efficient systems that automate the manual work otherwise required for them to sell to larger buyer groups. One such tool is an online auction marketplace platform.

To be successful in reselling you must do research every step of the way. Do your homework on the different companies offering liquidation and wholesale inventory. Decide whether you’d rather source direct liquidation or from a wholesaler. B-Stock helps some of the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers liquidate overstock and returns—Amazon return pallets included!

Amazon Liquidation Auctions

If you’re looking for a wide variety of inventory for your business, Amazon Liquidation Auctions is a top choice. Registered business buyers can buy liquidation pallets directly from the world’s largest eCommerce company. U.S.-based buyers can bid on full truckloads of overstock home goods, apparel, books, consumer electronics, groceries, footwear, accessories, and more. Once registered and approved by Amazon, start bidding and buying bulk lots of overstock inventory.

Liquidation with B-Stock

Getting your liquidation business off the ground is going to take a lot of research—you’re already on the right track! You’ll be buying Amazon return pallets in no time. Remember, your first step is to create a registered business and get a resale certificate; the rest you can tackle one step at a time. Start sourcing and buying liquidation inventory today from the largest global network of B2B liquidation marketplaces when you check out B-Stock Auctions!

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"B-Stock helped me buy top quality liquidated inventory and maximize my profit margin. I can't recommend them more!"

Karen Smith, Business Owner

Bargain Dealz

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