I am always amazed at the wide variety of ways that people make money. I was clicking around a few weeks ago on YouTube and ran across a video discussing how to buy returned merchandise by the pallet from Amazon and several other big name retailers.
You might wonder what happens when you return an item to Amazon, Target, Walmart, or other large retailer. Honestly, I thought if the item was in working condition they resealed the box and resold it. Amazon’s Warehouse section of its website offers returned items at nice discounts (and it is one of my favorite strategies to find deals - see my article Amazon’s Hidden Deals). This article, however, will deal with another angle on buying returns - buying them by the pallet!
Here is an actual auction of nearly $2,000 in remote control cars, planes, and other toys for 10 cents on the dollar.
The merchandise available is from every category of items you can imagine. If it is sold by one of these major retailers it probably available for bulk purchase (the only exception would be perishables, such as food items). Everything from household items to computers to health and beauty products.
Major Liquidation Websites:
I was discussing this idea the other day with a friend and they asked the $64,000 question - why would anyone want or need to buy giant pallets of returned merchandise? Well, that is where the entrepreneur in you takes over. I imagine with just a few hundred dollars of start-up money someone could do well at a local flea market reselling these items. The other obvious option is eBay.
From all of my research there appears to one significant consideration - shipping costs. The cost of shipping can many times be more than the cost of the pallet of returned goods. The sites above do a good job of helping buyers estimate shipping costs providing the option of an in-person pick up (like what happens in the below video). If you happen to live within a reasonable distance of one of these retailers shipping warehouses that could be the real key to success.
There is a lot more to know, like understanding the quality grading of the items and accepting the gamble of what you might end up with when your pallet arrives. All in all, however, this strikes me as an interesting business opportunity and one that looks like it will only grow as online retail continues to replace brick and mortar storefronts.
Have you ever bought a pallet of returned merchandise? Use the comments section below and we can start a conversation.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!