7 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Amazon Returned Items

April 8, 2022
Written by Corin Romkey
wooden blocks forming the word return

No seller wants to handle product returns. Unfortunately, once the product is returned, it becomes more of a liability rather than a source of profit. Even though it seems to be a common trend in the business industry, especially in ecommerce, you cannot deny how problematic returned items are to buyers and sellers like you.

Buyers often complain about not having time and resources to pack and ship back the items to the seller. On the other hand, the seller loses profit because of these refunds. Sellers actually spend more money in accommodating return shipping, storage, and other fees that can affect their business if their customers return their products frequently.

So as an Amazon seller, you must look for ways to handle product returns and possibly gain profit instead. In this article, you will learn seven ways to make the most out of your returned items on Amazon. See how this works and if it’s something you can apply to your business!

1. Relist the Amazon returned items

After receiving a returned product from the buyer, you must inspect whether it is still in good selling condition or not. Sometimes, customers return items even though they are brand new because they changed their mind or did not like the Amazon item. 

While you cannot do anything about their decision, especially if the request falls under the guidelines of the Amazon return policy, the most sensible thing to do is to put the product up for sale on the Amazon marketplace again. This way, you can still get some of your money back and just get compensation for the fees you paid.

It will also help to constantly communicate with the buyer and update them on the current status of their requests. This is to ensure that the buyer will not leave negative reviews about your product, especially if you have already refunded them. Should they leave negative reviews, you can work on making them rank high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) again.

2. Send them back to the manufacturer to repair

If you think that the returned goods can still be repaired, consider sending them back to the manufacturer to have them repaired. This is important especially to those companies that are selling electronic devices and apparel but not undergarments.

For example, smartphone companies usually repair their returned gadgets if they are not yet too damaged. Once they have successfully repaired the items, they will resell these as refurbished items on Amazon or other platforms. Basically,  they did not completely lose profit and even reduced the goods they throw out, prompting them to save the environment one Amazon item at a time.

Relisting the items or sending them back to the manufacturer to repair should be the first two steps you consider doing when dealing with Amazon returned items. However, if you think that the cost for the repair is already expensive, it would be best to try other methods.

3. Put them up on other online marketplaces

Amazon might be the biggest online marketplace at present, but it is not the only place where you can sell your products. You should also try selling your returned items on other ecommerce websites like Walmart, Shopify, eBay, Alibaba, AliExpress, or Facebook Marketplace.

Labelling the returned products as “refurbished” and selling them at lower prices to help clear your inventory faster. Moreover, doing this will allow you to at least get some money from the returned items than none at all.

If you have many returned products, consider listing them up again in bulk. This will help you attract resellers who might be interested in buying returned Amazon items for lower prices since they are already in bulk. Later on, they usually sell these items with a marked-up price on their platforms.

woman selling items while surrounded by boxes

4. Offer mystery boxes

Sometimes, people want to test their luck, even when shopping online. They might be hoping to get items worth more than what they paid for. As an Amazon seller, you can take advantage of this opportunity and turn the product returns in your favor by offering mystery boxes to your customers.

Mystery boxes typically contain various random items and are priced at different rates. Therefore, the customers have no idea what products they will receive and what they are worth. If they are lucky enough, they might receive a brand-new or rare Amazon item that can still benefit them. But if not, they might have to try again next time.

While it seems like a fun way to dispose of your returned items, you should know that it has downsides, too. Because your customers cannot return these mystery boxes anymore, they might leave negative reviews after feeling disappointed with what they have received. If your low ratings pile up then your seller account might be suspended.

Negative reviews come with a negative brand reputation. So even if your other items do well on Amazon, negative feedback for your mystery boxes can affect your brand’s overall image and relationship with customers. However, you can always turn this in your favor by making sure you try your best to give your customer’s money’s worth, if not, more.

5. Get liquidation services

Perhaps the most popular option to earn from your returned items is to send them to companies offering liquidation services instead of immediately disposing of them. For example, Amazon offers FBA Liquidations which helps Amazon sellers recover some value from their returned and excess inventory. Moreover, it can provide an alternative for sellers to avoid paying storage fees and disposing of their products.

Amazon has partnered with liquidation marketplaces, such as B-Stock Solutions and Liquidity Services, to help sellers benefit from their returned items. They put returned, damaged, or substandard products up for auction so that interested resellers can purchase Amazon returned items boxes and pallets and look for other ways to sell it.

Some sellers even buy truckloads of goods, hoping to get several valuable items and sell them on their platforms. They often do this at flea markets or other online marketplaces, such as eBay, Craigslist, and Poshmark. Doing this will help you not only recover a few from your returned and excess items but also provide an avenue for other sellers to earn money.

6. Join the Amazon FBA Grade and Resell program

Another option offered by Amazon is the FBA Grade and Resell program, which is by invitation only so far. It gives sellers the chance to relist and resell their returned and unfulfillable items. However, Amazon has to first classify the products into “Like New, Very Good, Good, or Acceptable” based on their guidelines.

Afterward, a stock-keeping unit (SKU) will be generated for your new listing but still under the parent Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). Then, you can set the price for all items you have submitted to this program depending on the grade they received.

However, note that five SKUs will be generated for the used item listing under one parent ASIN. These include the four used condition grades and one for unsellable items. Also, this program is not yet available to all Amazon third-party sellers, so you might have to wait until it opens for sellers like you.

While there is no guarantee that you can resell these items right away, you can still use this option to turn your returned products in your favor. If you need help boosting your sales for the listed used items, consider availing yourself of full account management services.

man holding a box full of toys for donation

7. Consider donating the returned products

Sometimes, it is better to give your Amazon returned items to other people who might need them the most. Even though this option does not necessarily win back the money you spent on your products, at least underprivileged people will benefit from them. 

Fortunately, Amazon has the FBA Donations program. It is dedicated to making it possible for sellers to directly donate their returned and overstock items to Amazon-partnered charities in the United States. 

They do this with the help of Good360, a nonprofit network that aims to connect organizations and nonprofits to partner communities. By participating in this program, you do not have to look for a charity and deliver the items yourself.

Choosing to donate your returned products is a great way to let go of your excess and returned goods, help the community, and save the environment by not disposing of them.

Final Takeaway

In conclusion, handling product returns can be stressful to Amazon sellers, whether new or experienced. However, you can make the most out of this situation by relisting and reselling your product on Amazon and other online marketplaces or sending them back to the manufacturer for repairs.

Moreover, you can explore other options such as offering mystery boxes for your customers, getting liquidation services, and joining the FBA Grade and Resell program. But if you want to help those communities in need, you may also want to consider donating your products.

With that said, if you need help keeping track of your returns, refunds, and reimbursements, it would be best to hire a company dedicated to helping third-party sellers, like Seller Interactive. They have teams of experienced and highly-skilled members who can help you out in your business.

To get started, email them at [email protected] or call 1-800-820-3746.

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