A Quick Guide to Buying Retail Returns
Retail customer returns can be a great source of inventory for the right type of business. eBay sellers, flea market merchants, bargain outlet retailers and online sellers can all benefit from buying pallets of returns from major retailers.
Every retailer takes returns back from customers. It is a basic cost of doing business in retail. Once those returns come back, retailers must have the ability to dispose of these goods since they will not put them back in their own stores.
Here is a short list of retailers and a quick description of their approach to selling returns wholesale as we understand them:
- Walmart returns: Wamart sells customer returns directly to small businesses via their Official Liquidation Marketplace. All you need is a resale certificate to qualify.
- Sam’s Club returns: Sam’s Club sells returns through its private liquidation marketplace located at http://samsb2b.bstocksolutions.com. Lot sizes range from single pallets to full truckloads. Like with Walmart, only a valid state resale certificate is required.
- H.H. Gregg returns: hh gregg sells returns and salvage loads through its recently launched liquidation marketplace which is part of the B-Stock Sourcing Network. It is located at http://liquidation.hhgregg.com.
- Macy’s returns: Macy’s sells returns directly to small businesses via auctions and direct sales. You can usually find surplus returns from Macy’s on BStockSupply.com.
- Target returns: Target sells their department store returns only to a small group of brokers with whom they have done business for many, many years. It is difficult to buy directly from the company unless you have a long standing relationship with the right people.
- Costco returns: Historically, Costco has sold all returns locally out of each club. The manager of each store would make his/her own deals with local liquidators to buy store returns. They are slowly moving to a consolidation model by which they will sell out of regional distribution centers.
- Best Buy returns: Best Buy sells their store returns pallets in a number of different ways. They have a significant presence on eBay, where they sell the highest quality items direct to consumers. They also operate additional eBay accounts for selling lower quality goods. Finally, the 'salvage' goods that remain are sold in bulk lots through their own liquidation marketplace.
- Sears returns: Most Sears returns are sold by their long time logistics 3PL, Genco. The quality of these liquidation returns have a reputation for not being particularly good, probably in part due to cherry picking by Genco of the best quality merchandise to sell elsewhere. Exercise extra care if considering these loads.
- Kohl’s returns: Kohl’s returns are also all sold by Genco. This 3PL pays bottom dollar to retailers like Kohl’s for their returns and then resell them at a substantial markup. Similar quality and cherry picking problems are reported by many buyers of Kohl’s returns as mentioned above with Sears returns.