Wondering what Amazon does with the millions of returned packages they receive every year? Surprisingly, they don’t list them for sale like they would a brand new product. Instead, the returns get sent to a variety of different places and are often sold at a discount, even if they packaging has never been opened. This creates some opportunities to buy Amazon returns and either flip them for profit or keep the item for yourself. Here are 4 ways to buy Amazon returns and save some money in the process.
1. Check Out Amazon Warehouse Deals
The vast majority of Amazon returns end up in the online Amazon Warehouse section of the Amazon website…sold at a MAJOR discount.
Returns go through a 20-point inspection to make sure the item works like new before being placed for sale.
The best products to shop for in the Amazon Warehouse, in terms of savings, include smartphones, laptops, tablets, and kitchen appliances.
Items in the warehouse get marked into 4 easy to understand “condition categories” when they originally get returned to Amazon.
The 4 condition categories are as follows:
Used – Like New – Comes with all accessories and is in perfect working order, packaging may have some signs of damage.
Used – Very Good – Item has seen limited use, is fully functional, but may have a minor imperfection like a scratch or tiny dent. Some accessories may be missing, be sure to check item description to see exactly what comes with it.
Used – Good – Product will show moderate wear but will still be fully functional. Expect damaged packaging or complete repackaging. Some accessories will probably be missing.
Used – Acceptable – Clear signs of use but the item is guaranteed to still work. Expect scratches, small dents, and worn edges. Accessories will often be missing and have to be purchased separately.
The Amazon return policy on warehouse products is the same 90-day policy that they have on everything else they sell.
Also, since every item they sell in the warehouse varies by condition, Amazon is unable replace a product with the exact same item.
So Amazon asks that you simply return the item for full refund, then shop for a separate replacement item.
Warehouse “Hack” For Success:
The secret sauce to buying Amazon Warehouse products is to shop the Used – Very Good category.
Not only will you maximize your savings (30-50% off), but the item will still have its full life-cycle.
There is ZERO sense paying the premium for Used – Like New, and with the Used – Good category the item has been used and typically won’t last as long.
2. Buy an Amazon Returns Pallet
Direct Liquidation needs to be your first stop for buying pallets of returned merchandise from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Lowe’s, and Sam’s Club.
The site works similarly to eBay as you bid on pallets that interest you.
The nice thing is you have a pretty good idea of exactly what’s in the pallet before you place a bid.
Namely whether it’s TV’s, video games, electronics, cables, home décor, clothing, etc.
The auction will also tell you the number of items on the pallet as well as the brands that you should expect.
If you keep a close eye on the auctions, you’ll notice that some pallets go REALLY CHEAP as it becomes a supply & demand situation.
Too many pallets of merchandise and not enough bidders.
If you’re looking to turn a profit as an eBay seller, you should definitely check out the Direct Liquidation website.
3. Do a Search on Amazon for “Liquidation Pallets”
Did you know that you can do an Amazon search for “liquidation pallets” and buy large lots of stuff directly from Amazon?
Until recently, I had no idea either, but was impressed with the variety of product lines available.
While I’m not completely sure if these are Amazon returns that have been put into bulk lots, or not, the stuff is pretty darn cheap.
Much of the stuff you can turn around and sell individually on eBay for a profit or use as gifts or stocking stuffers come Christmas.
These assorted lots include beauty products, jewelry, small electronics, and even some clothing.
4. Buy Returns via Amazon Renewed
While not every product you find on Amazon Renewed was a return, they all come with significant markdown over the original retail price.
Every product is considered either pre-owned, a returned item, or was a display model.
Many of the products, especially electronics, laptops, and smartphones, regularly sell for 40-60% off the original retail price.
The best part? All products have been inspected by an Amazon technician (or a 3rd party refurbisher) and come with a 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee.
Be aware that Amazon does add a qualifier on “Renewed” items, stating that “products have no visible cosmetic imperfections when held 12 inches away.”
Less than 12 inches away? You might notice a small scratch or blemish.
Also, it’s worth noting that products may be packaged in a generic box, but will typically come with all the accessories expected for a new product (unless otherwise noted).
Holiday Shopping Tip:
Try to use Layaway via Amazon whenever possible on “Renewed” items.
Not only is Layaway free, but as long as you add items to Layaway by October 23rd, you’ll get them in time for Christmas morning madness.
Ask the Reader: Do you have any other clever ways of buying Amazon returns that I missed? Let me know in the comments.
By Kyle James