What You Need To Know About Reselling Returned TVs

As televisions become smarter and pack new features, as well as being less expensive than they were in the past, the market for these items remains strong and presents an opportunity to those looking to sell televisions, whether locally or online.

But why would anyone be interested in returned TVs, either as a reseller or as a consumer? The answer is the same for both: the price. So let’s see what is there to know about reselling returned TVs. 

  • Returned TVs are a lot more affordable than brand new retail units.
  • Many items are returned after only a brief period of use. Some may not have been used at all. Reasons for returns vary.
  • Make sure you find the best source.
  • Keep an eye on details. Similar models may vary greatly in functionality and features.

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Why Do TVs Get Returned?

TVs are a part of an attractive market for resellers, and there is money to be made. However, there are things you should know, like when to buy, or where to buy them.

The reasons why customers return their TVs will vary. Some will return a product because it did not look the same in real life as it did in the images they saw online. Simple buyer’s remorse is another reason for returns. From around one in five cases, customers return products due to damage sustained during delivery or after receiving a faulty unit.

You can buy returned TVs at any time, but there are certain times of the year when you are more likely to find slightly used units or even new units, for example, in the period after Christmas. There are also certain periods in the year when you are guaranteed to have an uptick in TV returns like the Super Bowl. In an article, Forbes stressed that the sales of large-screen TVs shoot up before the Super Bowl as fans want to enjoy the show as much as possible only to return the units shortly after the match is over. In fact, 2020 sales of TVs are predicted to be at around $1.5 billion.

Retailers have implemented generous returns policies to stay on par with Amazon. While this represents a logistical challenge for retailers, it is an opportunity for resellers. Where do you, as a reseller, get hold of these TVs that are close to new in many cases?

Where To Buy Customer Returned TVs?

When dealing with returns, retailers work with companies capable of handling large volumes of returned merchandise on a continuous basis. These are large liquidation companies like Direct Liquidation, who then allow you access to these products through our marketplace. This cuts the time retailers deal with such merchandise and frees up space in their warehouses for new stock.

You are free to browse our inventory at any time in our online marketplace. However, In order to buy from Direct Liquidation, you have to register for a free account first. You can go straight to the liquidated televisions section and look at what we’ve got to offer. 

Before we move on to consider tips that might help you sell more TVs, we have to go over some important points about buying these returned TVs. First, this is liquidated merchandise, which means you have to be careful when purchasing. Liquidated products come in a variety of conditions. Many customer returned units are not tested. That’s why, when buying, you should always examine the manifest and make sure you read the details in the listings. Make sure you are familiar with merchandise conditions and our grading system, where applicable. Stick to your budget and factor in all the costs, such as shipping, into the purchase.

If you are looking to save some cash, try sourcing the merchandise from the nearest distribution center. We have a network of distribution centers across the United States and Canada. Picking up the merchandise yourself will eliminate the delivery costs. We also have a shipping calculator within every auction page to give you a quick quote of how much it would cost you to use our shipping.

Also, if you are buying strictly for resale, you can consult your local authorities to check whether your business qualifies for a resale certificate. This would allow you to skip on paying sales taxes when you purchase the TVs you are going to resell, contributing to your business’s profitability.

Selling Customer Returned TVs Online

One good option nowadays is to sell your returned TVs at an online marketplace. Ecommerce platforms increase your market reach. In addition, due to events in 2020, online sales are growing. For example, Walmart reported a 97 percent jump in its online sales in the second quarter of 2020, and it reported a further 41 percent jump in e-commerce sales in the third quarter.

This means that there are plenty of returns and there are plenty of buyers for those returns out there. And there is definitely someone out there looking for a new large screen TV at a price below retail. 

Selling Customer Returned TVs Locally

However, in-person resale is not completely out the window. Considering the type of merchandise and the platforms you may advertise it on, like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, you will have people in your local area coming to pick up the units themselves. 

There are several routes to selling locally. You can rent retail space if you don’t have access to any already, though this incurs a lot of overheads that need to be taken into account in your business planning. You can also sell out of a spare room or garage – advertise locally, using flyering, classified ads in local papers, or online through Craigslist and OfferUp. Word-of-mouth advertising is even more effective – list the items you have for sale and share them on social media, get your friends and family to share the posts.

Preparations for Sale

The steps to prepare the units for resale are the same, no matter how and where you sell them. The first thing every seller should do once the stock arrives is to inspect everything. This is probably the most important step before putting the product up for sale. As noted above, you will probably get the best deals on returned TVs through a liquidation marketplace like Direct Liquidation.

You need to inspect the merchandise thoroughly for any flaws, blemishes, cracks, and potential faults. Turn on the TVs, check their functionality and, where needed, wipe data. Following inspection, you should check whether any accessories are missing and whether any repairs can be done to the units. If you can’t carry out repairs yourself, consider hiring someone who can. This will significantly increase the value of the units.

However, the aim of the game is to keep your costs low. So make sure you factor in any external help into your budget, as well as potential spending for missing accessories, power cables or remotes. All this can also be found on Direct Liquidation.

Whether you are selling online or planning local advertising, take as many photos of each unit as possible. Pay attention to details, take photos from different angles, and highlight the features of the TV. In fact, eBay suggests that you take high-resolution photos, use solid backgrounds, focus on details, and make sure the images are sharp and fill the whole frame.

Another value-adding tip is to consider investing into your own packaging, be it with your logo or plain new packaging. It shows a note of seriousness and professionalism to your customers, and the unboxing experiences have become the talk of the internet nowadays.

The next step is to create your advertisement or online listing. Different eCommerce platforms may use different terms and have a specific backend for the user, but the listing you see once the article is online is pretty much similar. This means that to accompany the photos of your product, you have to add descriptions. Make sure you cover the bases and then add to that. List the specs of each unit, highlighting its best features.

Give as much information on the condition of the unit and whether it has any flaws. It is a good idea to name the retailer the item is originally sourced from, listing the ‘mileage’ or the use hours of a unit and the firmware version. Customers like to know where an item comes from. 


Particularly for local stores, recommendations are an important way of bringing in customers. A happy customer is a returning customer and the best advertisement your business can have. They will certainly be more likely to recommend you if they are satisfied with the product they bought from you, even more so if the buying experience and communication with you was pleasant. For online sales, good customer reviews and a good start rating instills buyer confidence.

Now, apart from word of mouth, you have to exploit modern technology and social media. Everyone uses social media nowadays and it is a very common place for advertisement. Go out, explore the options and list your products everywhere, share them with your friends, your customer base, your community, tell them to share the listings with their friends and so on. There is no use in listing products online if you are not going to advertise them. In a sea of products listed every day, yours might just get lost.

Competitive Pricing

The final tip is to price your units competitively. For this, you need to know the market dynamics and the pricing of your competition. When buying these TVs from a liquidation marketplace, you might be at an advantage compared to some resellers who sourced brand new units from a wholesaler.

Even if you’re not selling brand new TVs, if you can guarantee the units are working and in good condition (as fully explained to the customer), then you can sell at a lower price point than many of your competitors, attracting customers.

That should help you in the right direction. There are no guarantees that the business will take off immediately, but this is a market that has a lot of promise. With some hard work and smart selling, there is money to be made. Good luck!

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