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Are you maximizing your profits on customer returns?

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So you bought a customer return condition lot and have checked it in and sorted it. You have two piles, the good stuff in perfect condition and then the not so perfect pile. Before you put that second pile in the trash, take a minute to give those items another look. Are you throwing away some profits here? Customer return lots can be tricky and costly for the inexperienced seller. That's why we strongly encourage beginners to stick with shelf pull condition merchandise, but to the experienced seller, these lots can fetch some tidy profits. So when is the right time to try these out? What type of business should handle this type of merchandise? And last, let's look at identifying if an item that may have no packaging or possibly damaged or broken still has some value.

Do you have a steady flow of sales established?- before you attempt a customer return condition lot, it's best to already have a constant stream of sales and income. These lots are best suited for supplemental inventory and revenue, do not sink more into a customer return condition lot than you can afford. Start small analyze the merchandise carefully before making the purchase. In some instances, several high dollar items turned quickly can cover the vast majority of the lot's initial cost leaving you with ample profits on your remaining goods.

Understand your business and your customers first!- Who is your customer, and what do they expect from your goods? If you're a high-end boutique or primarily selling on Amazon, don't even think about offering that less than perfect item for sale. Have a consignment shop? Or mainly selling on eBay or Poshmark where it's relatively easy to list an item with a repair or minor defect that's another story clients expect these types of small faults. While you will not get top dollar, you are still making more than you would throwing it in the trash.

The no package or damaged dilemma- Let's examine that not so perfect pile of merchandise in further detail. Those no tag no packaging goods otherwise in good condition? They are absolutely sellable; they should be processed and tagged if you are a brick and mortar retailer, and if you are online-only, list them as new without a tag on your preferred platforms like eBay and Poshmark. Items that are in some way damaged or defective, ask yourself, are they worth repairing, and if not, does any portion of this defective item have value? For resellers of Jewelry, is there a market for broken items? Yes, jewelry makers are always on the hunt for broken pieces containing stones and other precious materials to be repurposed into new creations. The same applies to different categories, like Kitchenware, glassware, and homegoods. Do you have partial sets of glasses or plates? Often consumers are on the hunt for replacement pieces to complete a dinnerware set. Any electronics like blenders, vacuums, and other small appliances have resale value as well. If not in working order, they can be broken up and sold for parts or sold as-is for buyers looking to repair and resell themselves; this is especially prevalent for higher dollar items.

Customer return condition merchandise can be challenging but also quite rewarding if you can take an out of the box approach to how you market those less than perfect goods. Master these customer return lots, and you will have mastered your resale game.   

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