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Convert your returns into profits: A complete guide to refurbished inventory

30 Nov, 2022 | Business Tips, Sales

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Turning your returns into refurbished inventory

One of the biggest sources of frustration for ecommerce sellers is returns. In addition to the hassle of hidden expenses associated with returns, it frequently takes ecommerce firms some time before they realize they are losing a sizable amount of earnings to returns.

However, handling returns is more complicated than just putting products back on the shelf for resale. This is particularly true for electronics returned because of a defect. Instead of writing it off as a loss, refurbishing the item and restocking it for resale can save you money.


What are refurbished products?

The term “refurbished” refers to devices returned under warranty and resold by the seller after being fixed for any flaws and properly serviced.

Refurbished goods and refurbishment, in general, have several advantages. The most important one is sustainability, as refurbishing goods decreases the raw materials used and electronic waste generated as a result of eliminating obsolete devices. Another benefit is that buyers get a better deal for a near-perfect product.


Best Practices for Selling Refurbished Products

Retailers have many opportunities in the refurbished market. Adhering to best practices will ensure the highest chance of using this expanding client base. Here are some key strategies you should consider when creating a secondary-market plan for refurbished goods.

Expand your online presence

Most people who purchase refurbished products do so online. Given this information, retailers will suffer if they concentrate on only one channel or category of product. It is essential to have an engaging web presence tailored to draw in sizable numbers of qualified customers eager to purchase restored goods. In addition to having your own online store, you could also offer your refurbished inventory on different ecommerce websites and marketplaces that accept refurbished goods to maximize visibility.

However, tracking your inventory across various sales channels can take a lot of time and money. To actively coordinate your inventory and orders across multiple sales channels, you must establish an omnichannel order management system.

Emphasize the deal factor

Refurbished products might offer the features a customer wants at a price far lower than that of a brand-new item. These days, online shoppers are frugally astute and keen to test out new brands and items without making a significant upfront investment. They want to experience different types of gadgets that not only meet their technical needs but also satisfy their budgetary requirements.

In addition to highlighting the similarities in the features and functionalities of the brand-new goods and the refurbished product, showing the difference between their prices side by side is one straightforward approach to highlight the deal aspect.

Applaud them for being eco-friendly

Nowadays, a lot of shoppers are concerned about sustainability and want to act responsibly toward the environment. Consumers are price-conscious but also worried about how their purchasing habits affect the environment. More importantly, many consumers are aware of the link between purchasing reconditioned goods and practicing sustainability by keeping an eye on their entire carbon impact.

Businesses that recognize their environmentally conscious customers and honestly and openly highlight this aspect of refurbished products will see an increase in brand loyalty and favorable word-of-mouth. You can also send them personalized messages congratulating them for going green, as acknowledging their effort helps create a positive image for your brand and encourages them to shop again.

Build trust

The more details you can offer to support a consumer’s decision-making process, the better. Consumers often say the only critical factor after the price is accurate information about a product’s condition. This information includes essential product features, whether or not accessories are included with the purchase, and product images so customers can better understand the item they are considering.

Make sure the manufacturer or the refurbishing professionals conduct a verified test on your stock. It’s critical to offer certification details regarding the product’s quality and to offer a product guarantee. This increases customer confidence in your business.

Establish a brand name

Customers think a strong brand cares about appropriately portraying its goods across all platforms. This presents both an advantage and a substantial complication. Consumers who are eager to test out a product from a specific brand and buy an item in secondary markets where the company hasn’t placed as much focus risk having a bad experience and possibly sharing it with their friends and family.

On the other hand, retailers can enhance the customer experience by resolving customers’ issues faster and offering friendly return policies. To achieve this, strong reverse fulfillment logistics is essential – including a POS system that tracks all the transactions and efficiently issues refunds to clients who initiate the return process.


Marketplaces for refurbished products

In addition to a brick-and-mortar store and your own online website, listing your refurbished products on different marketplaces will prove fruitful for your business. Marketplaces worldwide are addressing the rising customer demand for refurbished goods. Given that the worldwide market for refurbished electronics is anticipated to reach US$ 272.91 Billion by the end of 2031, generic marketplaces have created focus segments for these products. A prime illustration of this is the many landing pages specifically redesigned to showcase refurbished products for sale. In addition to Amazon’s renewed section, well-known marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook are also jumping on the refurbished product bandwagon.

Challenges of selling refurbished products on the marketplace

The top three challenges are:

  • The need to meet the requirements of each marketplace as well as map the various condition levels of the listed products.
  • The limited supply of each item. Advanced automation is needed to link orders to your systems and coordinate stock levels between the various marketplaces when selling products with limited stock simultaneously on numerous marketplaces. As a result, stock levels on all marketplaces must be adjusted as soon as an item sells on one of them to prevent multiple sales and unintended cancellations.
  • The need to manage your product margin across different online stores based on the retail price and inventory levels.

In order to sell refurbished products effortlessly on the marketplace, you need an inventory management solution with marketplace integrations to streamline and manage your sales across multiple channels all at one platform.



People are increasingly turning to refurbished goods to try out new products from their favorite brands and to be more environmentally and economically mindful in their purchasing decisions. The emergence of the refurbished market offers opportunities for astute businesses. Still, it may rapidly become a challenge and a barrier to growth for unprepared companies that lack a strategy.

Companies should develop a plan to take advantage of this expanding industry. Additionally, connecting their program for refurbished products with best practices can enhance outcomes and guarantee a positive client experience in secondary markets. With DEAR, retailers can effortlessly manage their returns and resell them as refurbished goods.

Schedule a call with our experts to know more!

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