Amazon is known for being quite generous when it comes to returns. For the consumer, all you need to do is send the package with the items you don’t want back to Amazon.
Keep reading to learn what happens to Amazon returns.
Amazon receives millions of returned items every year, and they either throw them away, burn them, re-sell them as pre-owned, or sell them to liquidation sites. As Amazon is becoming more environmentally conscious, less of its returns are being disposed of, and most are being liquidated.
If you want to find out where Amazon returns go, as well as what items they liquidate and if it’s worth buying them, keep reading! We have everything you need to know right here.
Unless you purchased your item from a third-party seller and are returning the products directly to them, when you send an item back to Amazon, it first arrives at one of their many warehouses.
Once it arrives, Amazon claims that they inspect every item to see if it is fit for resale. Although there has been some debate as to whether or not Amazon actually does this or if they just get rid of them, that is the official statement.
If items are damaged or not worth refurbishing, one of three things can happen: they can be thrown in a landfill, burned, or sold to a liquidation company. Amazon also claims that they are no longer burning or throwing away returned items, but we can’t really be sure.
What we do know is that they are liquidating a lot of their items. How it works is they sell hundreds, if not thousands, of items to a liquidation company that then puts the items into large packages, set a value for the entire package, and sells them on their websites to the highest bidder.
Amazon loses quite a bit of money on returns, and a way to make that profit back is to sell the items again! So yes, Amazon does sell returned items on Amazon.
Unfortunately, it’s far less common than you might think. Because of Amazon’s satisfaction guarantee, every returned item that is eligible for resale needs to be thoroughly inspected, which takes time and manpower and can be expensive.
Also, the item has to literally be pristine in order to be resold as new; otherwise, it can be sold as refurbished, but it has to pass quite a few tests.
The cheapest, fastest, and easiest way for Amazon to make money on its millions of returns is to sell them in bulk to an external retailer.
In this case, they do not need to take the time to test the items, re-box them, re-list, and re-sell them; they simply send them all off exactly as they were returned.
Retailers such as liquidation sites buy the grouped boxes at an extremely low price point and put them up for auction on their sites with an estimated value but no clear photos of what the packages include.
But these returned item bundles don’t always have to go to retailers; individual people can buy them as well! And sometimes, you can pay less than 5% of the estimated value of the package.
Realistically, Amazon can sell almost every returned item in bulk packages, but the most common products are electronics, appliances, clothing, beauty products, and children’s toys.
More often than not, the bulk sales are in unmarked boxes and wrapped in professional-grade plastic wrap, so you really don’t know what you are getting until it arrives. Be prepared to receive anything Amazon sells, and that’s a lot of different products!
Whether or not it’s worth it to buy Amazon returns from an Amazon warehouse really depends on what you plan to do with the items.
If you just want to keep them for yourself, it’s probably not worth it. You may receive hundreds of pounds of clothes that don’t fit, broken electronics, items in incorrect packages, and hundreds of pounds of products in your home that you can’t get rid of.
However, if you sell items on eBay, Amazon, or any other online retailer, you could make a ton of money off buying returns from Amazon warehouses. You just have to do the work to list them, send them, and so on, but it may just be worth it.
Most items returned to Amazon are now liquidated or re-sold on the site. Although there are still rumors that Amazon throws away or burns thousands of products every year, the company is trying to change its image and promote a more environmentally friendly option.