What Do The Big Retailers Do With Their Customer Returns?
The Advantages Of Buying Big Retailer Customer Returns
- Customer returns are considerably cheaper than other types of wholesale merchandise.
- Big retailers mean big names. You’ll find some of the biggest brands around on an online liquidation marketplace.
- The peace of mind of knowing the returns are coming from some of the biggest retailers in the United States, so you’ll be buying the genuine article, not counterfeit goods.
- Returns sold in a variety of conditions to suit customers on different budgets.
- Plenty of avenues to sell big retailer returns both online and offline to maximize profits.
What Are Customer Returns?
Customer returns are products that have been brought back or sent back to stores and online retailers for a number of reasons. The top reasons for customers returning goods to online retailers are as follows:
- 20% of customers received damaged products.
- 22% of customers returned products because they are not as described, or they look different from the photo they saw on a retailer’s website.
- 23% of items are returned because they are different from the one purchased.
- 35% of products are returned for other reasons such as customers changing their minds.
Nowadays, customers not only want an easy, ‘no questions’ asked returns policy; they also want free shipping to be thrown in for good measure. Nowadays, 67% of shoppers check out a retailer’s returns policy before purchasing with them, and 92% of shoppers say they would consider buying from retailers again if the returns policy is easy, with 79% saying they want free shipping thrown in.
Retailers simply can’t ignore those numbers, and so 49% offer free returns shipping. This has led to an explosion of returns as a ‘try before you buy’ attitude has taken hold, especially online. Nowadays, a whopping 30% of everything ordered online is sent back to retailers. The figures are lower for bricks-and-mortar stores, with just 6.8% of items returned, but that’s still a substantial figure when you consider the sheer number of stores spread across the United States.
What Do Big Retailers Do With Their Customer Returns?
With such a high volume of returns comes an inevitable question, especially for the biggest retailers such as Target and Walmart. What to do with all this returned merchandise? Technically classed as second hand in most cases and often surplus-to-requirements, the big name retailers look to make some sort of return on this type of merchandise while also looking to sell it as quickly as possible so it doesn’t take up warehouse and store space.
Prepared to take quite a hit on the price they could have expected for this merchandise if it sold and wasn’t returned, the retailers sell their returns in bulk to wholesalers and liquidators. Liquidators such as Direct Liquidation then sell these returns on to their business customers for considerably less than their MSRP value, meaning there are great profits to be made when resellers sell them on to the public.
Direct Liquidation buys returns from three of the biggest retailers in the United States – Walmart, Lowe’s Hardware and Target. We then list them for sale in box loads, pallets and truckloads on our online liquidation marketplace. On our site, you’ll find customer returns in the following categories:
Automotive, Books, Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Electronics, Food, Furniture, General Merchandise, Health & Beauty, Home, Home Improvement, Industrial Supplies, Movies, TV & Media, Music, Office, Party & Occasions, Patio & Garden, Pet Toys & Pet Supplies, Sports, Fitness & Outdoors, Toys.
Within those categories, you’ll find wholesale merchandise coming from some of the biggest manufacturers in the world such as Apple, Samsung, BOSCH, Mattel, Fisher Price, Sony, Microsoft, Google, DeWalt, Disney, LG, HP and many more.
The customer returns Direct Liquidation have for sale are sold in a variety of conditions. The vast majority of customer returns sent back or brought back to big-name retailers are brand new products, so many of them will be sold in an ‘as new’ condition. Other returns will bear either superficial or visible cosmetic damage such as dents and scratches. Other returns will be in a ‘tested-not-working’ condition. This term, which usually applies mainly to consumer electronics, means the returns can be used for spares and repairs, bringing other units back online and into a sellable condition. Finally, some of the returns you’ll find in a pallet or truckload will be unrepairable.
We also sell ‘untested’ pallets of returns. These are the cheapest pallets of returns we sell as we only open the pallets to check the contents when compiling a manifest. Untested pallets and truckloads are very much a mixed bag but will still mainly contain saleable merchandise. For example, when it comes to a pallet of untested consumer electronics, an estimated 70-75% of the product within will be ‘plug-and-play’ ready for resale.
Buying Customer Returns From Direct Liquidation
If you’re interested in buying a box load, pallet or truckload of customer returns from Direct Liquidation, the process couldn’t be simpler. You’ll first need to sign up for a free account here. After that, you’re welcome to browse our list of categories, search for individual manufacturers or products or go to our Walmart, Target and Lowe’s Hardware vendor pages where you’ll find the latest customer returns we have to offer coming direct from these giants of the retail world.
Once you’ve found a lot of customer returns that suits your business’s needs, you have several options going forward. Most of our boxloads and pallets of returns are available to buy via live auction. If that’s your preference, you can enter as many bids as you like while the lot’s live. Make sure to check through each lot’s manifest which will give you information on the contents of the lot, what condition the products are in, if the lot contains untested or tested returns and an estimate of the lot’s overall MSRP value.
From this and also factoring in such things as shipping and other overheads, you should be able to calculate what price you’re willing to pay to ensure you can make a decent profit from the lot. That price should be your maximum bid and make sure you don’t go over it. We have pallets of returns coming in from major retailers on a daily basis, so if someone else bids more than your maximum, don’t worry. Another lot will come along shortly that will suit your needs.
If you are the successful bidder when the auction ends, all you’ll need to do is pay for your winning bid and arrange shipping. More on shipping later.
Of course, not everyone has the time or the inclination to bid for lots of returns, which is why you can also buy a box load, pallet or truckload of returns at a fixed price. If a lot has a ‘Buy it Now’ button, it means you can buy it straightaway. Simply click on the button and you’ll be taken straight through to payment. Don’t worry about not paying a great price for lots bought this way – they will still be sold for way below their MSRP value, which means there will still be plenty of room to make a handsome profit. Also, truckloads of big retailer customer returns are more often than not sold for a fixed price.
Finally, we’re always open to offers, so if you have a price in mind for a box load, pallet or truckload, you can approach us directly with it. If we like what we hear, that’s the price you’ll pay.
Be Sure To Check Out Direct Liquidation’s Shipping Prices
As well as offering fantastic prices on a huge range of customer returns, Direct Liquidation can also arrange the shipping of your purchases, often for less than the prices you’ll be offered by going with a third-party courier. With longstanding discount arrangements in place with shipping companies, we can pass on those savings to you, so it’s always worth checking out the shipping calculator that you’ll find on every lot on our online liquidation marketplace to see if we can ship cheaper than a third-party courier can.
Of course, the cheapest way of getting your purchases is to come and pick them up yourself. We’re happy for you to do so if you’re near one of our distribution centers located throughout the United States and Canada.
Making The Most From Your Customer Returns Purchase
Once you’ve purchased a box load, pallet or truckload of big retailer customer returns, you’ll want to squeeze as much profit as you can from it. Here we provide a few ideas how that can be achieved.
There are an estimated 220 million digital shoppers in the United States alone, and the coronavirus outbreak is set to increase that figure significantly as more and more people choose to do their shopping from the safety of their own homes. That’s a huge market, and one any reseller should be trying to tap into with a multiplatform approach. So, with more US citizens buying products online than they are in physical stores, where best to sell your Direct Liquidation customer returns?
Amazon And eBay
With over 290 million unique visitors to their sites every month, setting up as a seller on Amazon and eBay is pretty much a no-brainer. It costs nothing to set up a Seller Central account on Amazon, and on eBay you’ll be given a certain amount of free listings every month to begin with. Both sites charge final sales fees, and as your business grows you’ll want to start up a professional account on both sites which gives you access to things like more listings slots, lower fees and, in the case of Amazon, a much better chance of winning the coveted ‘Buy Box’ for a relatively low monthly fee.
You can also choose to have all your orders fulfilled by Amazon for a monthly fee, which means Amazon will not only sell your goods, but also store them in its warehouses, package and ship them and handle all the customer service.
It takes time, dedication and money to become a top seller on both Amazon and eBay, but it can be well worth it in the end, as many resellers have discovered. Thankfully, both sites let you start out small and give you plenty of options to grow your business, which is why you should definitely consider a presence on both platforms.
Smaller Store Hosting Sites
As well as Amazon and eBay, you should consider setting up a store on some of the smaller hosting sites such as BigCommerce, Squarespace and Wix. All sites charge a relatively cheap subscription fee, but offer very attractive store building tools and social media integration tools that will display your products in the most attractive ways possible and reach a growing number of customers. Plus, most of the smaller hosting sites offer free trials, so you can take them for a spin without spending any of your own money to see if they’re a good fit for your business.
Set Up Your Own Website
With more and more people shopping online, another way of increasing sales and increasing profits is to have your own website. You control every aspect of the process when you sell from your own site, from when to offer special deals and annual sales, to payment methods, shipping services and customer engagement. Websites are fairly cheap to set up nowadays, but make sure yours is smartphone-friendly because smartphones are fast overtaking laptops as shoppers’ main devices, with 34% of customers now using their smartphone more than any other device when purchasing online.
Make Use Of Social Media
Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can all be useful sales tools these days. You can open up a business account on Instagram, spend relatively little on targeted Facebook ads and advertise your business on Twitter if you have a way with words. Most websites integrate these platforms these days, so make sure you do too so customers can follow you across social media and receive alerts when you have new stock in or you’re doing deals such as discounts, vouchers and flash sales.
While many customers are heading online, there are still plenty of people who prefer the personal touch. You can spend very little advertising in local classifieds to attract customers in your local area, and you can advertise your products for free on sites such as Craigslist. This is not only a great way of connecting with customers in your local area, but also has the added bonus that most customers will come to you to pick up their purchases, saving you money on shipping.
There’s also a stall at your local flea market to consider. Stalls are relatively cheap to hire out, and flea markets are a great way of reaching customers on tighter budgets and bargain hunters.
Finally, if the figures add up, you could also consider opening up your own store. Many customers like the personal touch and they like to take a good look at products before they buy them. If you think you can sell your returns in your own store and the finances look good, you should consider this as another option, integrated with online and local sales to reach the maximum number of customers.
Hopefully, with these few suggestions, you’ll be able to squeeze as much profit out of your customer returns as possible. Of course, the first step is getting hold of those big retailer customer returns at the cheapest possible prices. For that, you should look no further than Direct Liquidation. We’re very much looking forward to doing business with you.
Jordan currently works as a sales representative for Direct Liquidation, assisting businesses with product sourcing of liquidated merchandise from the largest retailers in the world. Whether you are looking for a pallet or a truckload Jordan is here to help you grow your business.
View Jordan’s Bio on YouTube.
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