Is There Really Any Market for Wholesale Used Electronics?

Every item on the market has its place if you know where to sell it. The same goes for used or refurbished electronics. But before you plunge into the adventure of selling used and refurbished products online, there are a few things you have to know and that will make your online sales life a lot easier.

The Used Electronics Market

Research is half the job of any piece of advice that will be presented to you here. Market research is the start of your journey. You already know that you would like to sell used and refurbished electronics, but simply listing a bunch of stuff on eBay or selling on Amazon will get you nowhere, because the competition on these two platforms, which together draw over 290 million unique visitors each month from the United States only, is fierce.

Not only that but electronics are the most competitive market probably with smartphones and laptops being the two top buyers’ items.

To avoid being crushed by the competition and to give yourself a chance to succeed, you have to find an undersupplied niche market. You could probably make money selling accessories for smartphones or any other electronic gadgets. The reason for finding an undersupplied niche market is the fact that the healthy demand is already there but there is not as much competition.


Demand for Used Smartphone Growth, Worldwide. Via Stopoint.com

Although the demand might not be huge, there are still people out there collecting old and used electronics not just the new gadgets. So, if you are into selling unique and collectible stuff, find the right market.

But finding the right market needs to be done correctly. Yes, we say that you should look into more specialized segments of the refurbished electronics market but there has to be a balance. You want to pay less and earn more. Paying the least for a pallet of Walkmen’s from the 80s  might look cool, but it might take you a while to sell them, and they might only appeal to collectors, so being careful is the key.

It is best to make a list of products you are comfortable with selling. Put in your smartphones, laptops, tablets or what have you. But also look into other segments. Once you have the list, scout the market, look at the competition’s prices. Only pick the segments that offer you the biggest margin for profit as well as a healthy demand with less competition.

Once you manage to find your market, it is time to source the merchandise to cover the demand.

Sourcing Wholesale and Refurbished Electronics

Maybe you have a collection of used electronics of your own that you’d like to get rid of. You can sell it online just by following the steps described above and finding the right buyers. However, there is another way of finding used, refurbished electronics that are of high quality that come with a new warranty: wholesale suppliers or liquidators.

Many will think that used and refurbished means outdated, broken and unusable in the current day and age. They are wrong for a number of reasons.

One of these reasons is that among the refurbished items you might find brand new products that have been returned by customers without even opening the package. Maybe it was a misplaced shipment or the seller mistakenly dispatched an item in black color while the buyer wanted a silver color product. These items, although new and unused, can’t be sold as new and fall into the used and refurbished category.

Another reason is the exclusive contracts liquidators and wholesale suppliers have with the retailers and manufacturers, under which there are strict rules and quality requirements for the items that can be sold through these channels.

Buy Pallets of Returned Merchandise

Once a wholesale supplier buys the items from the manufacturer or a retailer they will be processed, sorted and broken up into lots or wholesale pallets for resale to smaller buyers.

Make sure you are working with a top tier wholesale supplier as you only want to buy top-quality merchandise and don’t want to end up with a pallet of broken, damaged or unusable electronics that you won’t be able to sell anywhere. As their reputation matters to them, top wholesale suppliers and liquidators will have full manifests of what is contained in a wholesale pallet as well as information about the product’s condition.

If an item does need fixing it will be refurbished either by the manufacturers themselves or by the wholesalers’ and liquidators’ specialized departments. During the refurbishment process, every single item it is put through a number of strict tests to ensure it is functioning as new, hence the warranty.

There is another and probably the best reason to buy through these two channels: the price.

If you are a newcomer, buying through a liquidator might be a better option for you since they will offer prices below wholesale from the start. However, if you have been working with a number of wholesale suppliers for a while, you might look into the option of negotiating better, flexible terms. Wholesale suppliers, as well as liquidators, will award loyalty and you might end up getting lower prices, better shipping terms. Anything that works towards bringing the purchase price down and your margin for profit up should be explored.

Not only that but once you have these terms, you will be able to expand into the more competitive and more attractive markets with prices that will set you apart from the competition.

It has to be said that hitting the ground running is a fairy tale scenario. So make sure you are patient and take your time to research. Even when you start selling, don’t quit if your first couple of sales are not as you’d expect them to be, or the products you listed are not selling as quick as you hoped for. It takes time to build a customer base, and your reputation. But, once it starts rolling, and once you get the hang of the business it can only grow.

So, make sure you do your research on the market, the suppliers, and the products and go selling, every product has its buyer, you just have to find them.

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