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What Does Walmart do with their Customer Returns? Can I Buy Them?

Whether you are a new or experienced business owner, or you are just looking into the resale business as a second source of income, customer returns have probably come across your radar.

In brief, this is merchandise sold by retailers and that for whatever reasons was returned by the buyer. But why would one want to buy this sort of merchandise? Can it really help you make a profit, or at least give you a chance of making some cash?

This is not a simple “yes or no” question. In fact, it involves being able to understand the market, the type of merchandise you are into, the potential reasons why something gets returned, and how that sort of merchandise can give you a chance of boosting your profit margin, something every seller dreams of.

So, let’s have a step-by-step look into what customer returns really are, what a major retailer like Walmart does with its customer returns, what this sort of merchandise can do for your business, and where to buy it.

  • Customer returns are a byproduct of generous return policies and online sales. But this byproduct has potential.
  • Customer returns are cheaper compared to retail products.
  • Buying customer returns through liquidation companies knocks the price down even below your traditional supply chain of buying through wholesale suppliers.
  • Products get returned in a variety of conditions. Make sure you read all the information provided to you in listings and learn the grading system of your supplier.
  • Making a profit is possible with customer returns, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the work.

What Are Walmart Customer Returns?

Being the retail juggernaut it is, Walmart sells and handles huge amounts of merchandise on a daily basis. A lot of it is sold online, with the U.S. retailers reporting jumps in online sales during the second quarter. With rising online sales, there is also a larger amount of customer returns these retailers have to deal with. Statistically, some 30 percent of all online sales are returned to the seller.

So these customer returns are basically self-explanatory. It is merchandise returned by the customers. Reasons for the returns vary from damaged packaging during transport, a faulty product (20 percent of buyers return a product due to damage), or the customer simply didn’t like the product when they’ve seen up close. The truth is, only one out of five returned products are damaged or not working, so there is a large amount of fully functioning products you can get your hands on.

It also has to be said that buyers often take full advantage of generous return policies offered by retailers. Apparently, some 79 percent of buyers are looking for a free return option with a large number also first checking whether there is a returns page and what it says, even before checking the product description or its features.

But, why would you want to buy these products? What happens to them when they get returned and how do you buy them?

Why Buy Walmart Customer Returns?

There is one simple reason that might get you interested in customer returns: they are cheap. No matter the condition of the product, whether it was returned unopened or slightly used, it is rarely resold as a new product and its price is considerably cut.

While it may not be the solution that gets your business firing on all cylinders over night and brings you huge profits quickly, it can be a path to take in order to set yourself up for a higher profit margin on resale.

There are considerations you must have in mind. The condition of customer returned products can vary. As a business owner, your job is to review such products upon acquiring them, test them and fix them where necessary and do all you can to increase the value of these products. Some will require no work at all, while others may take a bit more time to get to a desired level that your customers expect or you expect of yourself.

It is a risk if you are buying products without reviewing them once they are delivered. You might have done that with your wholesale supplier that delivered brand new merchandise to you. But to stay competitive in the current market, this supply chain is not cost effective. This is why buying Walmart customer returns is an attractive option to consider.

How Does Walmart Handle Customer Returns?

Like any other large retailer, Walmart has a sizable number of customer returned products to deal with. These items take space in warehouses and as they are not put back on the market through their stores again, retailers are looking at a loss. But getting any value from the products that are now technically classed as second hand is better than disposing of these products for nothing.

This is why Walmart, and the majority of large retailers, chooses to sell these products in bulk to companies that can handle these huge loads. This is done because they don’t want this merchandise to take up space in warehouses for too long as that space is used for brand new merchandise coming in. As they are sold in bulk, these products are also sold significantly below their MSRP value. 

Liquidators like Direct Liquidation buy this merchandise in bulk and sell it on to its customers still at prices well below MSRP. For a resale business owner, this is a great opportunity as it gives you the potential for making a profit and staying competitive in the market.

Direct Liquidations buys customer returns, and other merchandise retailers such as Walmart, Target and Lowe’s Hardware are liquidating. We then use the reach of our marketplace to sell these products in boxloads, pallets or truckloads, if available.

Isn’t Liquidated Merchandise Low Quality?

This is a popular misconception liquidation companies have to deal with. And while a large portion of products sold through our marketplace is used, we do our best to provide you with potential for great finds. We buy liquidated merchandise from some of the United States top retailers and you will find major brand names like Apple, Sony among others listed for sale.

The cheapest offers you see are often products that have either not been tested at all, or have been tested, but are not working. These also come with the highest levels of risk. Untested merchandise could mean that the majority of products are not working, but you may find one article that returns your investment on its own. However, you are the one who decides whether this is a risk worth taking.

Some resellers thrive with this type of merchandise as they are willing to put in time and work to repair certain products, use one item as a parts donor to fix three other non-functioning products; in other words, they test and repair, if necessary, the items themselves. While this takes up more time and effort it is a good way of increasing the value of your products and securing a higher return on investment.

How to Buy From Direct Liquidation?

Buying from Direct Liquidation is a simple process. Register for a free account here and you are set up to browse our marketplace. Find a lot that interests you, read all the information provided and when you have made a decision on what to buy, you have to make a decision on how to buy it.

All the lots are up for a bidding process or a live auction. If you would rather expedite the process you have the option to buy now. Once you’ve completed the purchase you will be left with the choice of arranging your own shipping or have Direct Liquidation arrange the shipping for you. We have longstanding agreement with a number of companies and we can offer you great rates.

Make sure you consider all the options. It pretty much boils down to what you are willing to pay and which prices would later on give you a higher profit margin to play with.

Effort Pays Off

While you may consider the easy route of simply buying items being sold ‘as new’ and flipping them for a profit, there are ways you can extract the maximum out of any product. This is something you have to do yourself. You should take market conditions into consideration, which markets are saturated, where is the demand growing and maybe target these markets.

And even if you are set on a single market you are comfortable with, and the products you have bought are of good quality, take extra steps to extract additional value. Make sure you review all the items you purchased. You don’t want to sell something without checking it yourself, if you are not satisfied with a product, your customer will certainly not be.

Provide as much information as possible about the product when you are listing it on any of the online marketplaces. Details about the advantages and potential flaws will certainly help your customer avoid negative surprises. Make sure you take photos from as many angles as you can that will support your product description.

Get the word out. Talk to your returning customers, use the power of social media, explore every avenue to advertise your business. Scout your competition. Setting a price is a game of fine tuning. If your calculations are correct and if you’ve managed to procure the items at a reasonable price that gives you room to adjust, price your products just below those of your competition. Selling one item and scoring one big profit is not the name of the game. Consider collecting a number of small wins into one big pile, look at the bigger picture.

Making a profit with customer returns is possible, but it also takes a lot of commitment and effort.

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