What to look for when sourcing returned an excess merchandise.
(aka: how small store owners and resellers can bank on the busts of retailers and manufacturers)
Around $440 billion worth of merchandise is returned each year – a lot of which can’t go back on the shelves. But one retailer’s headache is another’s opportunity, and for online sellers, independent retailers and resellers, there has never been a better time to source returned and excess merchandise on the secondary market.
So, how do you navigate the secondary market to successfully sift through the bad and the ugly to get to the good? Here are some tips on what sellers should look out for when sourcing customer returns and excess merchandise:
It’s best to buy directly from the source
By purchasing directly from the retailer or manufacturer you can assume that there is no middleman involvement and no price mark up. 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. These marketplaces provide a level playing field for all buyers to compete for the inventory, and they enable a direct relationship with the source via a transparent platform. Because they eliminate all negotiation over price, it is just as easy to have thousands of buyers involved as it is to manually sell to just a handful.
Source online from reputable sellers
Independent retailers, online sellers and resellers can often source inventory more affordably and efficiently by tapping into online auction marketplaces that sell returned and excess merchandise. There are numerous benefits to sourcing this type of product online including: greater product availability, detailed product descriptions, bulk quantities at your fingertips, shipping options, and a quick sales cycle. The key is to make sure you are buying from a known brand: many top retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and Best Buy have their own liquidation marketplaces while others leverage multi-seller marketplaces like B-Stock Supply or Liquidation.com. In the case of multi-seller marketplaces, be sure to use one that has a seller rating system, so you know you are buying from a reputable seller.
Purchasing inventory via these online-auction liquidation marketplaces can be a great way to secure inventory at an affordable, in some cases rock-bottom price, ensuring a better profit margin for you.