In 2020, consumers spent $565 billion online with U.S. merchants, according to Loss Prevention Magazine. That’s 14% of all U.S. retail sales! As impressive as that number is, that doesn’t mean that everyone receives their products and lives happily ever after. eCommerce returns more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, approximately $102 billion of merchandise bought online was returned. Some of the top reasons consumers return their online purchases include: 20% receive damaged products, 22% products received look different, and 23% receive the wrong item.
In this post, we’ll break down:
What happens to customer returns Why you should consider buying return pallets How to buy Amazon return pallets Where to look for quality returns Where Do Amazon Returns Go? 30% of all online purchases get returned, versus the mere 8.9% of goods are returned to physical stores. This shouldn’t be shocking considering nearly 49% of retailers in the U.S. offer a free returns shipping policy. Convenient for customers, but a headache for retailers. It’s naturally worth asking – where do so many Amazon returns go?
Retailers and sellers on Amazon could put them back on virtual shelves, but think of the cost it would take to inspect, repack, and relist. It is more attractive from a cost and time-savings perspective for companies to liquidate these returned products. As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new.
The good news for resellers is that not every Amazon return is damaged or faulty! Like we said, sometimes items get returned for other reasons that include buyer remorse, simply not needing the item anymore, or expecting it to be different. So that means many of these customer returns will be new and in unopened condition.
Large retailers like Amazon then sell pallets of customer returns to liquidators—giving small businesses and resellers access to that merchandise through online liquidation marketplaces. These online marketplaces make sourcing high-quality branded and ..
Looking for a product category to specialize in for your resale business? Electronics are easily one of the best products for online reselling, but also come with their own set of challenges. We’ll break down both the pros and cons of buying and reselling liquidation electronics.
What Makes Reselling Electronics Worthwhile? Consumer electronics are a big part of our daily lives—this makes them lucrative, in-demand inventory for reselling. The fact that there are so many smartwatches or activity trackers (for example) available, show the popularity of the product. Since a lot of people are purchasing these items, this allows resellers to move inventory fairly quickly.
Historically, video games, gaming consoles, and Apple products are also sought-after items that generate higher pricing. Since electronics tend to make for larger profits than other products, you’re right to think this is a good vertical for your resale business to tap into.
“Electronics” is the most popular category for both purchases and sales on Amazon. Amazon Prime Day 2020 data shows that 32% of U.S. Amazon Prime buyers purchased Amazon-branded electronics during the sales event—now imagine the demand for other big-name brands!
Sourcing liquidation electronics is a good way to get your hands on a lot of inventory at once and for a good price. There are tons of options for small business owners and resellers now. Whether you choose to go for refurbished/ overstock inventory, or through wholesalers or online liquidation sites, there are plenty of opportunities to earn a profit!
Bestselling Products in Electronics Amazon conveniently curates a bestsellers list that is updated hourly. This is a huge benefit to resellers as you can easily see what’s in demand and selling fast. Here are some of Amazon’s best sellers in electronics right now:
Fire TV Stick Amazon Smart Plug Roku Streaming Stick+ Echo Dot Smart Speaker, 4th Gen Fire 7 Tablet Echo Show 5 Wyze Smart Home Camera Kindle Paperwhite HP Com..
If you’re hoping to start an Amazon business or expand the one you’ve already been building, inventory sourcing is key. Where do you get goods to sell that are both in demand and offer you a decent margin of profit? Fortunately, there are several sources you can turn to for selling inventory on Amazon.
Thrift Stores and Local Sales If you have a smaller shop and you’re not looking to move products in bulk, you can often find great inventory in your own community. Hit your local thrift stores, yard sales, and the clearance racks at your favorite stores. You might be surprised to see how much you can make by purchasing these items at retail and then marketing and selling them on Amazon.
To go this route, you have to be very familiar with your product category and have an innate sense of what will and won’t sell. You also have to have a lot of time on your hands and a keen eye, but if you love to shop, it might just be right up your alley.
Drop-Shipping Drop-shipping is a popular way of selling online, and it can be profitable if done well. In a drop-shipping business, you contract with a wholesaler or distributor and they ship goods directly to your customers. This means you can sell products on Amazon without inventory taking up space or money.
The downside to this method is that the margins are likely to be extremely slim, and you have essentially given control of your business over to the company you’ve contracted with. This means if they mess something up, the customer service nightmare is yours and it’s your business reputation on the line. That said, if you’re looking for a completely hands-off approach to inventory, drop-shipping could be the answer.
Wholesalers So what about just ordering from those wholesalers and then handling the inventory yourself? It’s another option and one that a lot of businesses choose. Your margins will likely be better and you’ll have full control over customer service issues like the way goods are packaged and shipped.
2020 has changed the retail world in a lot of ways. Consumers became far more comfortable with online shopping than ever before. Meanwhile, physical stores had to lower their maximum occupancy drastically in many areas or close their doors entirely in others. Everyone — from Fortune 500 companies to small mom-and-pop shops — had to shift priorities toward digital shopping, curbside pickup, and other practices designed to minimize crowds. What about in-store returns?
While some stores stopped accepting returns entirely for a while, the concept has rebounded, and then some. We’ll explore the ways online shopping and other 2020 trends are shaping product return behavior into 2021 and beyond, and what this means for your brand.
Online Shopping Returns Industry analysts have long understood that an increase in eCommerce sales leads to greater returns. The general consensus is that about 30% of products purchased online are returned to sellers, and that’s in a typical year. There are several reasons that pandemic online shopping returns may be even higher.
Adding to the returns chaos, some brick-and-mortar stores are allowing consumers to ship returns back to them. They’re hoping this will help keep foot traffic down, making it easier to maintain social distancing. Growth in BOPIS sales will likely increase online returns as well. If you’re not prepared to deal with it, all of this will add up to large amounts of returned merchandise clogging up your valuable inventory space.
In-Store Returns The move toward eCommerce isn’t the entire story here. In fact, some digital-native brands like Bonobos, Casper, and Glossier are developing a physical presence with new brick-and-mortar stores. They will likely use these retail spaces to process returns as well as for in-person sales. One clear example is the new Amazon Fresh Grocery Stores, which now accept Amazon.com returns. This is in addition to Amazon’s return drop-off locations in traditional stores like Kohl’s and Whole ..
There are plenty of places to resell clothing, shoes, and accessories. One of our favorite reseller sites is Poshmark. This fashion community offers so much more than a simple sales tool. Read on to find out why we believe Poshmark deserves your attention if you’re an apparel enthusiast looking to start or ramp up your reselling efforts. We’ll go over the basics of this app, plus the pros and cons of selling on Poshmark!
The Basics of Selling on Poshmark Poshmark is a free app that lets anyone upload and sell clothing, shoes, and accessories. It’s designed to be incredibly easy to get started, but also offers a host of features you won’t find anywhere else.
To start, download the app on your iPhone or Android. Next, take a photo and upload it to the site. In less than 60 seconds, you’ll be ready to start selling. Easy right? Of course, there’s a bit more information to be found in the fine print, but the basics of selling on Poshmark really are that simple.
Poshmark Pros There are a number of really compelling reasons to choose Poshmark for all your fashion reselling needs. Here are a few of the highlights.
Buyers Poshmark has a huge community of fashion fiends (known as “poshers”) ready and waiting to buy your best finds. With over 60 million users, it’s a built-in audience that’s hard to beat. Not only that, the social aspects of the app (more on that later) mean these users are engaged. This is not a “visit once a year” kind of site. Most Poshmark users spend a lot of time browsing, liking, and commenting on the pieces they love. According to their 2020 Social Commerce Report, 88% of daily shoppers on Poshmark are repeat buyers on the platform.
Getting Paid Poshmark believes your cash is your own, and they seek to make things easy for sellers in the cashing out department. Within 3 days of a package being delivered, the price paid, minus Poshmark’s fee will be deposited to your seller account. From there, you can request to cash out at any time. They’ll dire..
If you’re a buyer who purchases and resells used cell phones (or maybe you’re thinking about getting into it), you’ve probably seen the term “R2 Certification” floating around. Several of the big carriers and manufacturers of electronic devices require that buyers of their trade-in and previously used models are R2 Certified. So what does that mean?
Why R2 Certification Matters Discarded laptops, mobile phones, and electronic goods are now the world’s fastest-growing waste problem. Consider this: only 15-20 percent of electronic waste (e-waste) actually gets recycled. What’s more, if not properly wiped, your contact list, banking information, and other personal data could still be accessible on that phone you just traded in. These are just some of the concerns that the ‘R2 Standard’ aims to tackle.
The R2 Standard The R2 (Responsible Recycling) Standard was created by the non-profit organization SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International) to take aim at many of the growing concerns in the secondary mobile market. At its most basic level, the R2 Standard identifies and monitors best-practices in electronics repair, reuse, and recycling.
Data Wiping Think of this, there are an estimated 4.8 billion cell phones in use throughout the world; when those devices are returned, they will need data wiping and recycling so that manufacturers and retailers can remarket the devices to resellers. And when it comes to data destruction and remarketing, organizations need to keep current with the best methods to either stay – or become – a trusted player. The R2 Standard helps ensure this.
Environmental Protection Did you know that a single cell phone battery can pollute 600,000 liters of water? But it doesn’t have to be that way! A whopping 90%+ of materials found in a phone can be recovered and reused. By becoming R2 certified, a business can demonstrate how it will protect the environment when recycling electronic devices.
Additionally, there are a number of preci..
Customer returns of clothing, shoes, and accessories are at an all-time high: tens of billions of dollars worth of inventory get returned each year, most of which can’t go back on store shelves. But one retailer’s headache is a ThredUp seller’s money-making opportunity! There has never been a better time to think about buying returned or overstock name-brand, luxury, and affordable fashion to resell.
Tips for ThredUp Sellers to Buy Returned, Overstock, and Liquidation Apparel Here are expert tips on what you should look out for when buying customer returns and overstock merchandise to resell on ThredUp:
Buy online + directly from the source By purchasing directly from the retailer you can assume that there is no middleman involvement and no price mark up. Historically, it has been difficult for small online sellers to buy returns and overstock directly from large retailers and apparel brands. Over the past few years, however, a shift has taken place in how organizations offload their excess goods. Many are leveraging B2B marketplaces to sell smaller lots of inventory directly to small business buyers (who resell on marketplaces like ThredUp).
The key is to make sure you are buying from a known brand: many top retailers like Macy’s, HSN, and QVC have their own marketplaces for bulk quantities of returns and overstock, while others leverage multi-seller marketplaces that have dedicated sections for apparel and accessories like B-Stock Supply. In the case of multi-seller marketplaces, be sure to use one that has a seller rating system, so you can trust you are buying from a reputable seller.
Use online auction marketplaces to help with margins An affordable (and efficient) way to buy apparel to resell on ThredUp is by tapping into online auction marketplaces. These marketplaces sell affordable and name-brand returns and shelf pulls. Purchasing through an online auction marketplace can be a great, cost-effective way to find inventory because you’ll see what others ..
Customer returns of clothing, shoes, and accessories are at an all-time high: tens of billions of dollars worth of inventory get returned each year, most of which can’t go back on store shelves. You can bank on the busts of retailers and manufacturers and turn it into a Poshmark seller’s opportunity! There has never been a better time to think about buying returned or overstock name-brand and luxury fashion to resell. But before you buy apparel in bulk, let’s go through some of our top tips for becoming a successful Poshmark seller.
Buying returned and overstock apparel to resell on Poshmark Poshmark selling is easier than ever when you buy returned and overstock apparel to resell. You can quickly get your hands on tons of in-demand merchandise and then resell it online. By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll be well on your way to a thriving apparel resale business.
Buy online + direct from the source By purchasing directly from the retailer you can assume that there is no middleman involvement and no price mark up. Historically, it has been difficult for small online sellers to buy returns and overstock directly from large retailers and apparel brands. But over the past few years, however, a shift has taken place in how companies offload their excess goods. Today, many use online B2B marketplaces to sell smaller lots of inventory directly to small business buyers (who resell on marketplaces like Poshmark).
The key is to make sure you are buying from a known brand: many top retailers like Macy’s have their own marketplaces for bulk quantities of returns and shelf pulls, while others turn to multi-seller marketplaces that have dedicated sections for apparel and accessories like B-Stock Supply. In the case of multi-seller marketplaces, be sure to use one that has a seller rating system, so you know you are buying from a reputable seller.
Online auction marketplaces save you money An affordable (and efficient) way to acquire inventory to resell on Po..
These days, e-Commerce is an increasingly competitive space. For resellers selling goods online, any tool that can help you keep track of your store and provide useful insights to help you grow your business is a must. For many sellers, Airtable is the data tracking tool of choice.
Airtable for e-Commerce: Basics In case you’re not familiar, Airtable is a database tool. While this may not sound all that exciting, think of it as a blank slate for building whatever you need. But more important than what you can build on Airtable is the vast number of integrations it offers.
Once upon a time, databases were very simple. The only input options were text and numbers, and while they were great for storing and accessing vast amounts of data, they were often entirely manual.
Today’s databases, especially using Airtable, couldn’t be more different. Airtable databases can store all sorts of data including images, videos, links, files, and so much more. There are interactive elements and options to automate data with integrations to your favorite online tools and apps. If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry! There’s a huge selection of Airtable templates to help you get started.
So what can you do with Airtable? Here are a few common ways online resellers might use Airtable charts and databases:
Manage inventory Build a product catalog Keep track of liquidation auctions you’re watching Track and monitor customer service interactions Track metrics and analytics Organize research Request and gather customer reviews For more inspiration, check out this comprehensive guide to Airtable for e-Commerce.
Airtable Pricing This may be actually one of the best things about the tool – for many small resellers, Airtable is completely free! The free version lets you use unlimited databases with up to 1,200 records per base. You get 2GB of attachment space per base and can run history for up to two weeks in the past.
Of course, there are upgraded plans you may want t..
Many starting resellers find selling through AliExpress to be a useful way to launch their businesses. And for those looking to expand their current business, getting familiar with this e-commerce retail platform can lead to even more opportunities.
Like any selling marketplace, it has its pros and cons. You will need to do your homework before testing out the international waters. Explore the site and carefully understand its features. If you’re following a dropshipping model, you’ll want to know all the terms and potential pitfalls, as well as best practices for success.
What is AliExpress? AliExpress started in 2010 as a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group. It started as a global marketplace designed to connect Chinese manufacturers directly to consumers around the world. This means incredibly low prices on thousands of products including clothing, electronics, home goods, toys, and more.
Since then, the platform has opened up to sellers from several other countries. Now you can sign up and become an AliExpress seller from places like Russia, Spain, Italy, Turkey, and France. But is it the best place for a liquidations reseller to make a profit? Let’s take a look.
How to Use AliExpress to Resell Liquidations Inventory Just like any other online marketplace, to become a seller on AliExpress, you’ll have to go through a registration process. This means you’ll need to enter your business details and make some decisions about what you want to sell and where you want to ship your products. You’ll also want to decide whether you want a free account (great for beginners) or a Gold Supplier Membership, which comes with more strict standards, but affords you an extra degree of trust with buyers on the site.
It’s free to set up a basic AliExpress seller account. Still, you will need some business details like a VAT Number, Company operating license, and ID information for a “legal representative” of your business (probably yourself).
Pricing for seller accounts on AliExp..