What Happens to Amazon Returns?


One of the best things about Amazon is the easy return policy. Although there have been rumors that Amazon will ban accounts if the holder makes too many returns, for the most part, Amazon is very customer-friendly in this respect. But that raises the question: What happens to all those returns?

The Amazon miracle

Theories abound about the precise cause of Amazon’s success. From the way it spends its money to invest in forward-thinking tech and the “two-pizza rule,” Amazon has done many things right.

Without a doubt, though, one of the most important pieces to the Amazon puzzle is the constant focus on customers first. Easy returns are part of keeping customers happy, and almost no one makes it easier to return an item than Amazon — especially during the holidays.

Amazon return rates

For obvious reasons, return rates are a lot higher at Amazon than at your typical brick-and-mortar location. People tend to return items they bought at physical locations less than 10 percent of the time, but the average e-commerce return rate is closer to 20 percent on average. Books are returned the least frequently, but 40 percent of clothes tend to come back.

For the most part, returned products can’t be sold again, and this leaves Amazon with a lot of product to get rid of. Some people return things unopened, while others return items quickly after just one use or two. Sometimes, things get returned just because of a wrong address.

What gets sold

A liquidation website gathers pallets of Amazon online returns, and in many cases also returns from other major retailers like Walmart, and offers them at auction. Buyers can choose categories of products, but not specific products because you don’t know what exactly will be returned.

A great way to get quality items at a heavy discount is by buying Amazon return pallets. The liquidators will assign each pallet to a condition category so that buyers have a general idea of what condition the items are in. Buyers bid on the pallets and then flip the contents, stock their own warehouses, or resell the whole pallet.

In general, the longer the buyer has to return items, the more likely the items will be in poor condition. Items from Amazon, with its 30-day returns, are frequently in worse shape than items from Walmart, where the return window is only 14 days.

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How it works

The buying process starts when buyers choose a category. This could be electronics, athletic clothes, or some kind of appliance. Lists of pallets come up in each category, and each pallet has a list of what it contains.

The lists are not detailed and it’s impossible to know just what condition everything will be in, but everything has been inspected and the liquidation company will clearly mark whether the items inside are functional or not.

Buyers bid on the pallet. The winner of the bid is responsible for shipping costs. Shipping will vary by weight and destination, so it’s always good to estimate these costs before buying a pallet so there are no surprises.

What to do with pallet items

You can do all kinds of things with Amazon or Walmart return items. Items can be resold at bulk, used to stock store shelves, or resold on eBay or to private parties. It always pays to be aware of shipping costs when offering items for resale, but it is still possible to make a good profit from Amazon pallets.

If you want to stock a store or warehouse or start making money on the side from the comfort of your own home, why not start with an online liquidation site? Returns pallets contain lots of items in brand new to good condition, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll never look back.