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The goal of reselling is to find product to sell, to sell the product, and to profit from the sale, but unfortunately that isn’t always possible for one reason or another. Whether that reason be returns, damaged product, or something else, when you’re not profiting, reselling sucks plain and simple. The important thing is to be ready for these woes and this post will help you do just that.
If you’re new to reselling or just want a refresher, check out the posts below:
I talk more in-depth about the “returns” process here, but here’s a short rundown if you haven’t read that post. Returns are the bane of the resale world. They’re likely to show their ugly heads at some point in your reselling career, so it’s important to expect and prepare for them (especially if you use Amazon to sell your product).
The process of a return on Amazon is simple, the customer simply contacts Amazon and let’s them know they are shipping back the product. Amazon makes it extremely easy to return things, hence the higher return rates they have compared to eBay. Here are the three things that constitute a valid return, the customer doesn’t receive the item, the item shows up damaged, or the customer decides they don’t want the product anymore (in 30 days). If any of those three things happens, you will have a return on your hand very soon. Here’s how you can prepare and hopefully avoid such an event.
First, only sell product that is well reviewed. Products that have high marks (4 and 5 star items) are less likely to be returned, because people are more satisfied with them. Second, sell items on Amazon that Amazon cannot sell. Many stores sell exclusive products that other stores cannot sell, unless they’re sold by marketplace sellers (you). If you sell an item that Amazon can’t sell, Amazon can’t lower their price on that product. If you sell an item that Amazon can sell and they do lower the price after you sold the item at a higher price, you will likely have a return en route to you.
Will those suggestions completely protect you from returns? No. Returns are something that you need to plan for in your margins. Expect about a 5-10% loss in profit due to returns. That way when they do happen, it won’t suck as much.
There are many ways to lose a deal. You could buy a product that changes price before you get it to Amazon Fulfillment, UPS could lose your package before it arrives to the Fulfillment center, a store could cancel your order before it ships, ect. Losing a deal happens to the best of us, so it’s something you should expect. I think the most common way to lose a deal is for a website to cancel an order that was too good to be true. For example, a few months ago AT&T was running an awesome GoPro promotion where you could get $75 off up to three of them. I, of course, bought three and had my order cancelled. When I tried contacting them, they said that I could only buy one even though the store let me buy three. So, I settled for one and was on my way. Everyone loses deals. The best thing you can do is shake it off.
I’ve run into this problem quite a few times. The funny thing, is it usually only happens when there is an amazing portal deal, like 10X at a store. I’ll often search these stores up and down for hours trying to find a great deal that can be taken advantage of, but I’ll end up empty-handed or with product that makes very little money. There’s no way around it other than skipping the deal and hoping you have better luck next time.
If you struggle with sourcing at certain stores, I suggest checking out SlickDeals or FatWallet. Both of those websites have huge communities that submit hundreds of deals each day. It’s very likely you will find a deal or two at the store your sourcing from by searching those two sites.
No matter what gets thrown at you while reselling, just roll with it. This is a game similar to manufactured spending where doors close and doors open, the trick is learning to adapt.
Have you had any major reselling woes or suggestions on avoiding them? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments.