Top 10 Tips For Reselling Wholesale Refurbished Electronics

Selling refurbished electronics can be a great addition to your reselling business, or it can be a business in its own right. There’s plenty of scope to make money selling refurbished electronics, so let’s take a look at some handy tips that will hopefully help turn your electronics reselling business into a roaring success.

Why Should You Consider Selling Refurbished Wholesale Electronics?

  • Refurbished wholesale electronics are much cheaper to buy.
  • Refurbishing electronics yourself can add considerable value to your wholesale purchase
  • Attract customers on a wide variety of budgets
  • Plenty of opportunities to sell refurbished electronics online and offline

What Are Refurbished Wholesale Electronics?

Refurbished electronics are products that have been brought back to manufacturers’ specifications before being presented to customers for sale. The products have either been refurbished before being bought wholesale, or the reseller has taken care of the refurbishment after purchase from a wholesaler. For resellers looking to buy wholesale refurbished electronics coming from some of the most trusted big-name retailers in the United States for the lowest possible price, the best place to source them is from a top-tier, Better Business Bureau-accredited liquidator such as Direct Liquidation.

The process of buying wholesale refurbished electronics from Direct Liquidation is easy. Simply sign up for a free account here and you’re then free to browse our comprehensive electronics section on the site. Direct Liquidation stocks both refurbished and ready-to-be-refurbished electronics products coming from suppliers across the United States including Walmart, Amazon, Lowe’s Hardware and Target, so you’re sure to find exactly what you need, as and when your business requires it.

Once you’ve found a boxload, pallet or truckload of electronics that you wish to purchase, you can either bid for it via live auction, or pay a fixed or negotiated price. Once you’ve purchased from Direct Liquidation, all that’s left to do is arrange shipping and you’re good to go.

1. Specify Your Market

Whether you’re an established reseller branching out into refurbished electronics or you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to pick an area to specialize in. For most sellers, this usually means focusing on electronics they know about and are comfortable talking to customers about whenever queries arise. Don’t forget to do your research. If you’re looking to specialize in, say, smartphones and tablets, take the time to find out as much as you can about the market you’re getting into, such as what products are best sellers and what products to avoid. That way, when purchasing boxloads, pallets or truckloads from a liquidator, you’ll know what to look out for so you always have the right type of stock as and when required.

The Value Adding Checklist

Once you’ve purchased a boxload, pallet or truckload of wholesale electronics from a liquidator, you’ll need to run through a series of simple steps to squeeze the maximum amount of value out of your wholesale purchase. For the purpose of this checklist, we’re going to use as an example a pallet of untested customer returned electronics. If you’ve bought electronics that have already been refurbished by the liquidator or the retailer, you can skip this section and head straight for the section titled ‘Honesty is the best policy’.

2. Sort & Bundle

First and foremost, you’ll need to sort through your pallet to see exactly what you’re dealing with. Not all pallets come with a manifest, and if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to sort through it to see what’s ready to sell straight away, what needs further attention, what needs to be set aside to be used as spares for future repairs or junked and what can be bundled up together to make a multibuy purchase. Some items naturally go together, and customers are attracted to multibuy bundles, especially if the price is right.

3. Refurbish & Repair

While on average a pallet of electronics will have an estimated plug and play hit rate of around 70-75%, some items will need some repairs before they can be offered to customers. If you have items that are in need of repair and you can do those repairs yourself cheaply, then that’s great. If you need to employ a third party to carry out repairs and refurbishments, you’ll need to subtract the costs of those repairs from any profit you expect to get. If the repair costs wipe out the profit margin, there’s no point in paying for repairs. Instead, consider setting aside such items to use as spares at a later date.

4. Re-Accessorize

Another way of increasing value is to re-accessorize your liquidated goods. Make sure to replace any missing accessories such as headphones and chargers. Usually, this can be done quite cheaply and will increase the value of the product when it’s put on sale to the public.

5. Repackage

Believe it or not, the state the packaging a product comes in can affect the value of that product. That’s why it’s important to replace any damaged packaging with replacement like-for-like packaging, or with good-quality plain white or brown packaging. This will help up the value of the products you sell.

6. Inspect & Grade

Finally, you’ll need to thoroughly inspect and grade your pallet of untested electronics. When grading products, it’s easiest to stick to an A-C system, as follows:

Grade A

Grade A merchandise will be in perfect condition. Grade A products will have been brought back to manufacturer’s spec and will come with all original or replacement accessories. The products will come in either pristine or good quality replacement packaging and will include all documentation minus the original manufacturer’s warranty.

Grade B

Grade B products will be as above, but will bear superficial damage such as slight scratches and barely-discernible dents. As a result, they will be sold at a slightly lower price point to Grade A products.

Grade C

Grade C products will be as above, but will bear very visible damage such as highly noticeable scratches and dents. This means Grade C products are sold for the lowest price, but the upside of this is these products will appeal to customers on tight budgets, as well as to customers who don’t care about cosmetic damage as long as the products do what they need them to do.

7. Photograph properly

This may sound obvious but listing an item online without presenting it properly is detrimental to your sales. Smartphones nowadays have good enough cameras for you to take advantage of. Once you fully clean up all the items, take as many photographs as you can, of the unit, of the accessories, even the blemishes these items may have. This all let’s the buyer assess the condition of the item and creates a line of trust with your customers. You are not trying to hide anything by advertising a Grade A unit but not backing it up with photos – so show them.

8. Honesty is The Best Policy

When reselling refurbished electronics, it’s very important that you remove all original warranties from products as they will no longer be valid and this could confuse customers and put them off buying from your business again. If you’re buying wholesale electronics from a liquidator that have already been refurbished, they will typically come with a replacement warranty for your own peace of mind. Direct Liquidation offers a 90-day warranty on its refurbished electronics, for example. If you’ve done the refurbishing yourself, you might want to consider offering your own time-limited warranty to your customers. You might also want to offer the same customer service on products that come with a liquidator’s warranty.

9. Learn About The Online And Offline Markets

Now you’ve decided on what area to specialize in and you’ve added as much value to your wholesale purchases as possible, it’s time to get selling. There are plenty of options when it comes to selling refurbished electronics both offline and online. Which options you choose depend very much on where your business is at the moment and what type of business you want to run – be that entirely online, entirely offline or a mixture of the two.

Amazon / eBay

While it may be tempting to jump straight in and start selling on these two giant platforms, it’s always worth bearing in mind that you’ll be a very small fish in a very large pond unless your business is of a suitable size. Most sellers choose to set up a shop on Amazon and eBay, and this involves paying the two companies all sorts of fees ranging from subscription charges to final sales fees. If your business is at a point where you can absorb these fees and still make a profit, then both Amazon and eBay are excellent platforms to reach a global audience who are hungry for electronics in particular. However, if you’re just starting out, you may want to consider other options before slugging it out with eBay and Amazon’s millions of online sellers.

Other online shopping platforms

If you want to sell on an online sales platform but you either don’t want or aren’t ready to pay what Amazon and eBay are charging, you may want to consider checking out what a smaller online sales platform can do for you instead. There are plenty to choose from, with Shopify being perhaps the most well known. There are many alternatives to Shopify, however, such as Wix, BigCommerce, Squarespace, 3dcart and Volusion, to name but a few.

The advantage of selling through one of these smaller eCommerce platforms is the seller experience tends to be more personal, the fees tend to be lower and the customer base is more focused. On top of that, most of the smaller eCommerce platforms offer free trials, so you can check out what’s on offer without laying any of your own cash on the line first. This is great news for startups who will be looking to save money wherever they can.

Social media sales

Another relatively new way of selling online is via social media. Far from being just a platform where the bright and the beautiful share their fabulous lifestyles with the rest of us mere mortals, Instagram can also be used as a platform to sell products, as well as a place where you can partner up with influencers who can get your name and your products out to their many followers.

Facebook, meanwhile, has its own Marketplace where you can sell directly to customers. The platform also offers cheap advertising packages which will target your products directly to interested customers. And don’t forget Twitter. If you’ve got a way with words, you can point potential customers in the direction of your products. Social media is also a great way to engage with customers, keep them updated and deal with any gripes they may have. In this day and age, businesses big and small ignore the potential of social media at their peril.

Bricks and mortar

While there are now 22 million digital shoppers in the United States, that still leaves a not inconsiderable amount of the population who prefer the personal touch of buying in store from a human being. If you’re considering selling refurbished electronics on Main Street, you’ll need to take a number of factors into consideration such as rent, overheads such as utility bills, staff costs (if applicable) and any and all taxes you’ll be liable for. Setting up your own store and dealing directly with customers can be a very rewarding experience, and combining offline with an online presence so you’re offering a service both locally and further afield can ensure your business survives and thrives. Also, a further benefit to a bricks and mortar store is that just 8.89% of products bought in stores are returned compared to 30% returned online. Definitely something to bear in mind!

Local sales and classifieds

Of course, you don’t need to set up a store to sell locally. You can still take out classified ads and use sites like Craigslist that will connect you with customers in your local area. There are several advantages to selling this way, especially if you’re just starting out. Listing what you have for sale is usually either very cheap or completely free. On top of that, customers tend to be happy to pick up directly from you, thus cutting down on shipping costs. Plus, selling locally can be a good way of building up word of mouth with locals, who might decide they prefer to buy from a seller who’s nearby instead of heading online.

Flea markets

Finally, it’s always worth checking out whether it’s a good idea to set up a stall at your local flea market. Flea markets charge very small fees and are a great way of getting in touch with bargain hunters and shoppers on tighter budgets. Refurbished electronics, especially when they’re lower grade, can be sold at very attractive low prices, and flea markets are a great way of selling the cheaper and less pristine products you have in your inventory to customers who are either looking to spend as little money as possible, or who don’t care about a few nicks and scratches.

10. Be Sure To Provide Excellent Customer Service

You’ve heard it plenty of times before, but it always bears repeating – the customer is king. Maintaining good relations with your customers is a key part of your business. It’s not good enough just to offer them great prices and leave it at that – in this day and age, customers expect engagement.

So if you’re selling online, make sure any questions that pop up under your listed products are answered promptly and with as much detail as required. If a customer complains about one of your products, try to get to the bottom of the issue. Offer to speak to them via direct message or even over the phone.

Be sure to offer refunds when it’s appropriate to do so, and consider offering a free returns service. 27% of shoppers say they would consider purchasing items over $1000 if a free returns policy is in place compared to just 10% who said they would if no such policy is offered, so it’s well worth bearing in mind. Meanwhile, a whopping 92% of customers say they would consider buying further products from a reseller who offered free returns, so is it really worth missing out?

Finally never, ever lose your temper when dealing with a customer regardless of how awkward they’re being. In the age of instant feedback, losing your temper with a customer can prove disastrous as they’ll use their online presence to tell potential customers what they think of you, and if that feedback is negative, it may put other customers off purchasing from your business.

When it comes to customer service, follow this simple bit of advice – how would you like to be treated as a customer? A positive customer experience can lead to further sales and the spreading of good word of mouth. In a crowded marketplace, the more five-star reviews and glowing feedback you can get from customers helps you to stand out from the crowd and will attract new customers, so stay on your customer game at all times!

Buying wholesale electronics that have either been refurbished beforehand or refurbished by yourself or a trusted third party can be a very rewarding business if you buy stock form the best supplier at the lowest possible price, stick to what you know, add as much value to your bulk purchases as you can, know your market and keep your customers happy. Hopefully, this guide should have given you some handy pointers to set you on the right road to a lucrative new reselling opportunity. We wish you the very best with your refurbished wholesale reselling business.

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