Posted by Alex Jackson on May 25, 2018
Customer return lots can be tricky for the inexperienced seller. That’s why we strongly encourage beginners or those new to liquidation merchandise to stick with shelf pull condition lots. To the experienced seller though these lots can be quite profitable if you know how, when and where to sell these items.
So you purchased a customer return lot, you have two piles the pristine stuff in perfect condition and the not so perfect. Before you put that second pile in the trash take a minute and ask yourself these questions:
-Are you throwing away some profits here? Some minor imperfections may prevent you from selling for top dollar, but there’s still someone out there for that item.
-So what do experienced sellers know that you don’t? It’s all about timing! You need to know the right time to buy customer returns and how to integrate them into your inventory.
We always recommend to try a customer return lot after you have established consistent sales- before you attempt a customer return condition lot, its best to already have a steady flow of sales and income.These lots are best suited for supplemental inventory. Beginners should always start with shelf pull condition lot's then gradually add some customer return merchandise to your mix. Start small, analyze the merchandise carefully before making the purchase, remember this is a trial run to make sure that they work and are profitable for your business. Sort them by condition perfect and not so perfect and then let’s examine some strategies for marketing these less than perfect goods.
Understand where you can sell these items- So who is your customer for these items? It is anyone looking for a deal to whom minor imperfections are not a concern. These customers are out there, you just have to know where they shop. Where do you start? Anywhere that you can present any condition issues with your merchandise. Web sites like eBay and Poshmark are ideal as you can describe and list clear pictures of any flaws. But don’t stop there go local! As we discussed in our last blog entry, think Facebook, Craigslist, and Letgo. Customer return condition General Merchandise, Home Goods, Kitchenware, and Glassware can be quite profitable sold this way. Another local route that is low tech but can be a lot of fun as well as rewarding is selling at local flea markets or yard sales. Remember the customer can inspect the item before the purchase and missing packaging or less than perfect condition is normally not a deal breaker in these types of transactions. How about a more hands-off approach? Let someone else do the selling! Explore the consignment shop option. Have some great heels from a recent shoe lot that were just a bit too roughed up to be sold as new? Consignment shops have loads of experience in dealing with these gently loved items and can prep them and sell them in no time.
The experienced seller looks at every problem as a challenge if you learn how you can effectively sell those less than perfect items you can sell virtually anything.