For many people who are looking to make money re-selling cheaply bought goods, buying returned or graded merchandise from the retailer is a very lucrative idea. Buying toys, electronic equipment or clothing for just a fraction of actual price, can bring profits. At the same time, some people would say that buying raw returns it’s like a gamble which can lead to enormous losses.
Famous Russian phrase says “Better to see something once, than to hear about it a hundred times.” So I will put my hands on this idea and see if this business can be profitable by testing idea in real life.
What is raw returns and why retailers are selling them?
Raw returns it’s a customer’s returns, which were unprocessed, and the retailer did not evaluate the condition of returned items. It means that goods can be totally destroyed due to genuine fault, or you may find them in full working order and perfect condition.
Current laws made return policies much easier to return good items. It’s now like a changing room just at home. You can buy, try at home, and if your not happy, simply return to the retailer. For this reason, you can have fully working, perfect condition items simply because” Item did not meet customer expectations”.
Retailers can’t re-sell these items as “New” anymore, for this reason, the value of the item falls dramatically; thus most of the stores will give items back to the vendors, liquidate returns or sell them in bulk at auctions as raw returns.
Keeping items in the stores on the shelf will cost businesses a great fortune, for this reason, retailers will try to get rid of returns ASAP and here is the reason why bulk sales is the most popular way of taking them off the shelf.
Unfortunately, it’s not very likely that person will get access to these bulk sales, so you and I will have to find companies that do re-selling of these returns for the general public.
Why to buy returned items?
Apparent reason why to buy returned merchandise is potential profits. In some cases, you can purchase the goods for less than 10% of RRP, and if you are lucky, you may have something as good as new and you can re-sell products for astonishing profits. Even if you sell for 50% of the regular price, this will give you 40% of the RRP in profit.
If you do proper research, identify trending items, find the right seller, you could end up with a very high-profit margin from your sales.
Most significant risk involved in this biz that you might get items that are broken have missing parts or other defects. But if you are a handyman, love crafts, etc., you could reduce your risks to the minimum.
Nowadays, if you can hold a screwdriver, then with the help of Youtube and Google search, you can have live streams of how to do repairs for most of the electronic devices; thus small repairs can be done almost by anyone.
Sometimes, all you need to do is to replace missing low-cost items. Little expenses can bring potentially big profits. For example, you have Hoover with missing filter? Spent £5, sell Hoover for £30. Simple as that.
Worth to mention, even broken items not necessary would lead to a loss. Whats One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You can sell faulty items on eBay. There are handy people who willing to fix these items or have them for spare parts. But you have to be fair, and advice about an item’s the condition in advance. These sales might not give you a profit, but it might help you to recover at least part of the money you have spent for your purchase.
How to profit with raw returns business?
Never rush to buy everything you find. Do research, analyse market, identify trending items. For example, currently, all world is on the healthy eating hype, we can assume air fryers, nutribullet blenders, etc. should be on high demand.
High demand it’s okay, but what about seasons? Nutribullet, when there is no freshly grown local vegetables not so good, isn’t it? So, we have that air fryers should be sold in the cold seasons when warm food is favourable, and nutribullet in the summer when fresh fruits and veggies grown locally.
When you consider which pallet to buy, always look for contents manifest. It will have a full list of items on the pallet, their models and RRP price. This way you can do your research, how much each Item might be worth in the second-hand market and try to work it out if you can make profit.
When it comes to selling, you need to decide whether you want to sell in the auction or “Buy now”. I prefer selling in auctions, most of the time auctions brings better and quicker profits. Don’t rush to sell all the items in one week. By listing the same things all at once, you will let potential buyers to reconsider if they wish to proceed with a higher bid because they can see that there is many more of the same Item available to buy in auction.
If you take this seriously, carefully consider the best time for the sale, what would be your starting bid if you sell in auction, etc.? If you can wait, maybe worth to wait for promotional days like “Sell for no more than £1 fee”. DON’T RUSH so you don’t have to regret later.
Final advice, start with the niche you know well. Maybe you are a fashion guru? Consider buying clothing. Love to fix broken gadgets? Returns of electronic devices is the way for you. Once you settled with one group, already know all in’s and out’s, you can start diversifying groups of products you buy and build your business al the way up.
If it’s only a small side biz to top up your wallet, then stick to something you know the best 🙂
Conclusions. Buying and re-selling customer returns, is it worth it?
Whether you consider re-selling customers raw returns as a side biz or building a proper business, one is for sure, that it will require your time and efforts. But, if you consider everything carefully, you do your research and takes this business seriously, you have an opportunity to make very reasonable profits.
I have made my first purchase to try this idea. And how did I do? Well, I spend £331.20 and got plenty of items to test. Please read my success story in the following topic:
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