Online shopping is the new standard today and retailers continue to compete for market share in all segments. Online platforms like eBay or Amazon are the best place to find a product, and more and more merchants are opening online stores on these platforms in addition to their own websites to gain access to a wider global audience.
But with global reach comes global problems. Online shopping is convenient, fast and easy. However, the other side of this coin can be a logistical nightmare for retailers: customer returns. There are many reasons for returning products, and in fact 30 percent of all online purchases are returned, while only 8.9% of items are returned in brick-and-mortar stores.
About 49% of retailers in the United States now offer free returns, and customers—especially younger online shoppers—now expect it. This has led to an explosion in the amount of product returns in the retail sector, with 62% of customers now saying they are more likely to shop at a particular retailer if it has a free returns policy. This in turn provides more revenue and that revenue has to go somewhere. Retailers and Amazon sellers do not market the vast majority of these returns as new, even though many of these products are returned unopened. Instead, they find other ways to sell these goods: they liquidate them. So, if you're looking for Amazon returns pallets filled with random items or sorted by specific categories, you should read on to see for yourself how to buy returns from customers on Amazon and how to get the most out of Amazon returns pallets.
What does Amazon do with the returns?
Amazon has been criticized for destroying millions of items and now has a stated intention to move "toward a goal of zero product disposal". Programs are now in place that allow retailers to sell items back to customers or send them to the clearance market.
Amazon's third-party sellers told CNBC that they throw away about a third of returned goods. Amazon now offers sellers four options (for a fee) to handle items they can't sell as new: Return to Seller, Dispose, Liquidate, and Amazon Grade Fulfillment and Resell (currently by invitation only). There is also liquidation, which Amazon now offers sellers as an option instead of liquidation. Amazon works with clearance markets that auction off unwanted inventory to sellers by the pallet or even the load.
Sellers can get back around 5% of the selling price if the product is disposed of. When you select "Return to Seller," the returned item will leave the Amazon warehouse and return to the seller for processing. For non-electronic items, you'll find that many items will simply be re-recorded if they haven't been opened. When items are opened, what happens to them depends on the seller (either Amazon itself or a third-party Amazon seller) and the value of the item. If the resale value is worth the cost of repair, cleaning, testing or repackaging, many sellers will go for it if there are margins to make it worthwhile.
Electronics is a different case. Many electronic items returned to Amazon are inspected and repaired if necessary. After this process, they are listed in Amazon Renewed. This is where customers can buy Amazon returns that are guaranteed to work like new while spending less than if they were buying a new item. But joining Amazon Renewed isn't easy. Unlike new items, strict rules set by Amazon make it difficult for third-party Amazon sellers to sell refurbished items through Amazon. Sellers are required to follow a list of strict rules.
What about returned items that cannot be sold on Amazon?
Some of these goods are placed on pallets and disposed of. When sellers use "Fulfilled By Amazon" (FBA), the categorization of customer returns is done by Amazon's fulfillment center. The goods are marked as saleable, damaged, damaged by the customer, defective, damaged by the carrier or expired. If the damage is caused by the courier or Amazon employees, the goods will be transferred to the property of Amazon and the seller will be compensated. Amazon sells these types of returns by the truckload.