Sourcing Customer Returns Buying Retail Returns At Wholesale Prices

Sourcing Customer Returns Buying Retail Returns At Wholesale Prices

Retail overstocks and customer returns can be an​ excellent product source — as​ long as​ you understand what to​ expect when purchasing this kind of​ merchandise.

A Mixed Bag of​ Goods
Typically, returns are sold as​ pallets of​ assorted, dissimilar items — you’ll find everything from snow boots to​ toy cars to​ staplers. Most likely, you’ll also find some damaged goods among a​ pallet’s wares. a​ portion of​ these items were returned because the customer damaged them, or​ they didn’t work in​ the first place.

In spite of​ the damages, many sellers feel they can make a​ profit. According to​ Jacques Stambouli of​, a​ retail-return wholesaler, “The rationale is​ that, even with disposing of​ a​ high percentage of​ them, you’re buying them cheaply enough that you can still make a​ lot of​ money.”

Weigh Your Options
Retail stores normally sort their unwanted goods into two categories — customer returns and overstocks. Both have positive and negative points to​ consider:

1. Customer returns are items that were purchased, taken home, and brought back. Once opened, they can’t be re-shelved.

• The downside of​ returns is​ some of​ them were defaced by the customer or​ just don’t work. a​ higher percentage of​ them are dented, have cosmetic damage, or​ are missing parts.

• The upside of​ returns is​ they’re usually more current, in-demand products — they were purchased for a​ reason. Many of​ them are still in​ perfect condition — they were only returned because the color, size, or​ model was wrong.

2. Overstocks are items that sat on a​ retailer’s shelf too long. in​ spite of​ discounts, they simply didn’t sell.

• The downside of​ overstocks is​ that the retailer couldn’t move them, regardless of​ multiple price cuts — the demand wasn’t there. Moving them may be a​ challenge for you as​ well.

• The upside of​ overstocks is​ that they’re mostly clean, new, and probably still in​ their original packaging. You’ll find comparably less damaged goods.

Mix Your Channels
When purchasing returns and overstocked merchandise, it’s a​ good idea to​ have more than one outlet for reselling. Don’t limit yourself to​ only eBay or​ only the flea market — not everything you buy will lend itself to​ a​ particular market. Some people even throw “pallet parties” — they’re like Tupperware parties, only they’re selling the contents of​ their pallets. Says Stambouli, “We find that our most successful customers are the ones that know how to​ combine different channels.”

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