In the many ways to make cash, one particular idea that interested me was purchasing Amazon customer returns in bulk and then turning around and selling these items for a potential profit.
Now, I know the idea sounds great, but you have to realize is that most of the time, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into as it’s basically a huge box shipped to your location, and it’s up to you to sift through it to see what you can resell. Some items could be broken, while some boxes could have some that work and some that don’t. You just never will know until that box arrives on your doorstep.
Some boxes can be a gold mine, while other boxes could maybe get you 20% of your money back. It’s like that Storage Wars show, where you have no idea what’s going to be inside.
Since close to 30% of Amazon purchases are returned, the company can’t always resell, so this is where the companies I’m about to list come into the picture.
In today’s post, I wanted to talk about how Amazon customer returns work and how you can purchase them if you’re interested in making a few extra bucks. Aside from customer returns, Amazon will often sell its warehouse damaged, warehouse found items and seller destroyed items to third parties as well. I will also talk about the many companies online that are willing to sell you these returns, even if you don’t have a license.
Like anything, there’s no guarantee you can even make money at all, so be sure to use the following information as an informative guide only. In the end, I will offer my honest advice, as usual, to really let you know if it’s worth investing your time or not.
How to Buy Amazon Customer Returns
Does Amazon Really Sell Customer Returns?
Before I jump into where you can buy Amazon customer returns, let’s first dive in and see if you can actually buy returns directly from Amazon.
According to my hours of research, it appears that, yes, Amazon does sell customer returns, but you don’t actually buy the returns from Amazon. Instead, you’re going to purchase from what’s known as a third-party wholesaler or liquidator.
These companies will partner up with Amazon and buy in bulk, only to then sell what they bought to the public. Every one of these websites works in a different way, but I will list a bunch of these companies later on in this post.
Now, there are a lot of third-party wholesalers and liquidators out there that are willing to sell you Amazon customer returns, but the thing is that some of these wholesalers tend to be quite unethical, often sorting through the returns before selling to the public. Some may be very vague as to what you’re getting as well.
So, let me give you an example.
Let’s say that a wholesaler receives 100 pallets. The wholesaler goes through the pallets, takes what is of value and then condenses the junk into 40 pallets total. They then turn around to the public and offer it for sale, making it look like it almost came directly from Amazon and you’re scoring a great deal. You buy the pallet, you get nothing in return and make pennies on the dollar. You may even get a pallet of nothing that works. The wholesaler makes much more than what they would have made if they were to sell each item on their own.
Other wholesalers can be 100% honest and up front, but there’s no guarantee the products work. You could see 100 Xbox controllers, but in reality, only 5 of them work. You never know what you’re getting.
The wholesaler can always cover their butt as every website you work with will always tell you that you’re buying “as is” and no returns are accepted. So, basically, all you can rely on are the pictures on the website and the simple description they often write.
While I’m not saying there are honest wholesalers out there, it’s really hard to trust them as you never know what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why it’s so important to read the third-party reviews online to see what other people are saying about them.
If you’re interested in buying Amazon.com returns, I found a few companies you may want to check out, all of which I list below.
Where Can I Buy a Box of Amazon Customer Returns?
From my research, BULQ appears to be one of the biggest liquidators online that purchases pallets from Amazon and offers these items for sale to the general public. It appears that they work with other big-name retailers as well aside from Amazon.
Now, the cool thing about BULQ is that you can actually go in and pick out the categories you’re interested in. So, if you wanted home and garden items only, then you can simply select that category and see what they had for sale at the time.
For example, when I did so, this is what I could see:
The thing I liked about BULQ was that they were very transparent with their descriptions. They would tell you what kind of items were inside each box as well as how many of each you would receive.
They would also note what kind of pallet you were receiving.
For instance, some were “uninspected returns” whereas other pallets were filled with brand new items. In the case of uninspected returns, you would know what you’re getting, however, you would not know about the specific conditions. While they did include pictures, it was very hard to judge the quality, so it was very tough to know what you were getting yourself into. This is the case with all of these liquidation websites, however, so again, purchase at your own risk!
If you do find a box of interest, simply add it to your cart and purchase it as you would with any online store. Just keep in mind that the bigger pallets will need a lot of storage space when the mailman arrives.
BULQ offers accurate manifests or they will refund the difference.
- Website: BULQ
Liquidation.com could be the largest liquidation on the internet, working with over 11,000 clients, not just Amazon.
And, if you have watched any YouTube videos in regards to buying Amazon returns, you’re going to find that most of them used this website to buy their returns and create their video.
The question, however, is if the company paid them and if they sent them a great box to make it look like you’re going to make a killing. Again, this is all speculation, so don’t always believe what a YouTuber tells you. I have no idea if it is the case but use your own judgment.
To use Liquidation, select a category of interest and take a look at the most active auctions.
Unlike most of these websites, Liquidation makes you bid on a pallet rather than letting you buy it outright. For example, I included a screenshot below showing you what kind of items I could bid on:
As you can see, you can filter your auction listings even more or simply browse through the auctions about to close.
Now, if you do find an auction of interest, you can place a bid just like eBay.
Before doing so, however, just make sure that you read the description closely as some items could be damaged, have missing accessories or in the case of returns, they could have never been tested before.
While the deal could sound great, you could find yourself with a box of broken gadgets.
- Website: Liquidation.com
DirectLiquidation.com offers a ton of customer returns from Amazon, but from the looks of it, they work with other retailers as well, such as Target, Walmart and Lowe’s, to name a few.
The cool thing about DirectLiquidation.com was that you could see which retailer the returns came from and what you were getting with your purchase.
While the pictures weren’t as detailed as I personally would want them to be, they did give you basic information as to what was inside, such as “24 camping and hiking unsorted customer returns.” A lot of the listings only used stock photos, with the exception of a pallet picture in most cases.
This is what I’m talking about:
Almost all of their auctions are untested returns, but they did note that typically, most of the returns will have a “75% plug and play success rate,” simply meaning that 75% of the items inside the box should work. However, this shouldn’t be looked at as a guarantee.
If interested in any of the auctions listed, you will need to place a bid and win, again, just like eBay.
- Website: DirectLiquidation.com
888Lots.com is said to buy a lot of customer returns from Amazon, also offering most of their items in bulk.
The cool thing about 888Lots, unlike a lot of these websites I mention, is that you can actually purchase individual items for a very low price. For example, while I was writing this, I could buy a second generation Echo Dot for $12 — that’s almost 50% off the retail value.
But, before you get excited, you will need to provide a resale certificate, something I talk about in a minute here.
Aside from individual items, you can also bid on bulk lots, most of which work in the same way the other liquidators work.
Browse by the lots, break it down by category and then click on the description to see what you may find inside. The website tries its best to link to every item inside of the box, along with a link to the actual product on Amazon, so this can at least give you an idea as to what the items are worth.
Here’s a listing, for instance:
As you can see, they try their best to link out to everything inside of the box as well as offer a retail price value.
Again, since you’re buying from a liquidator, there’s no guarantee these items work and/or are in good condition.
To start purchasing, the company does ask you to sign up for free and provide a valid resale certificate. If you don’t have a resale certificate, the company explains how it can be done via this detailed blog post.
- Website: 888Lots.com
As my last option to purchase Amazon customer returns, Source.com offered a variety of customer returns, but out of most of the companies I listed here, they didn’t appear to have many options, at least at the time of this review.
For example, the customer returns section only had 52 listings, whereas the “uninspected returns” had 15.
Working much like the others, Source.com took pictures of the returns, offered a basic description and even went as far as offering the MSRP value of the items you’re receiving. Granted, this is the retail value, so remember that you’re probably going to sell for much less. Again, you don’t know about the condition of the products you buy, either.
If you find a listing of interest, create a free account and proceed to click on the “buy now” button to complete your purchase.
- Website: Source.com
Buying customer returns from Amazon or any retailer for that matter can work to your advantage, but just let it be known that even though you know what’s inside the pallet, at least most of the time, it’s still hard to determine how much of what you’re buying actually works.
Not only that, just know that not all pallets are created equally, either.
If you have a great experience with one, there’s no guarantee it will continue in the future. It really is a gambling game if that’s your type of thing.
People do make a living in doing this and even some okay money on the side, but as with anything, there’s going to be a learning curve as well as a lot of risks involved.
For now, I recommend at least checking out the companies I mentioned above, do the math and see if any of these pallets are at least worth the risk. Personally, I probably wouldn’t mess with it as I don’t see too much of a profit margin, and plus, opening a box of broken items wouldn’t sit all too well with me. Don’t forget that you have to invest your time checking the items, buying shipping supplies and taking the time to ship it out.
All of the companies I mentioned above are 100% legit, but even though the pallets look great, just keep in mind that there’s no guarantee everything is going to be good shape.
As long as you know there’s a lot of risks involved, but sometimes, a lot of rewards, it could be something to at least try once. Best of luck!
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