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What happens to your Amazon returns? Sometimes they go to the highest bidder

(NEXSTAR) – Amazon makes it easy to return something you don’t want, so you probably don’t think about what happens to that box when it leaves your house. Turns out, an ill-fitting dress or an unwanted frying pan—or whatever else you don’t want to keep—goes on a fascinating journey.

What is the fate of millions of Amazon returns? “Every item returned to Amazon is carefully inspected by our trained staff through a rigorous process,” a spokesman told Nexstar via email. “If it meets our high standards to be resold new, it will be offered for sale again.”

That’s the first and most obvious answer: it’s going to be sold again. It’s also the most boring answer – because lots of returned goods find a second life in the liquidation market, where they are sold by the pallet at a deep discount.

Anyone willing to bid on a pallet of mystery goods can end up having a batch of returned items shipped to their door. Whether or not there is anything of value in that shipment may turn out to be a mixed bag. There is a whole subgenre from YouTube Content dedicated to bidding thousands of dollars on a pallet of Amazon returns and then unwrapping them to tabulate whether it was worth it to see if the YouTuber’s game paid off.

This is how the whole process works. Sellers using Amazon’s platform can choose to have returned items shipped back to them – so they can figure out what to do with them – or they can direct their returns to liquidation, according to Amazon.

Before the returned items are sent to a wholesale liquidator, Amazon says someone inspects the products and puts them into one of four categories: “Used – like new, used – very good, used – good, and used – acceptable.”

Sellers set the asking price for their used items just like they do for new items, Amazon says.

From there, the items are packed into boxes—sometimes with similar things, sometimes with things that aren’t similar to them—and are ready for sale again. But this time, they’re available in places like the highest bidder liquidation.com or bstock.com.

A pallet was found during a recent search of the liquidation sites 432 “Pharmacy” items — like nasal spray and contact solution — for $776. (“An 88% savings!” claims the site, based on an estimated retail value of $6,964 for the £391 shipment.)

Another palette of “health and beauty” The items had an estimated retail value of $25,160. The top bid when we checked was $2,601.

Each pallet comes with a manifest explaining the contents of the shipment. But what it doesn’t tell you is the condition each item is in.

One YouTuber, Safiya Nygaard, spent $500 (after shipping) on ​​one Palette with 50 different health and beauty products. As she unpacked the shipment, she found that some of the items were in good condition, like unused soaps, makeup, and hair tools. But there was also a hairbrush (with hair in it) and a Waterpik toothbrush that were missing most of the important parts. Other items were just random, like a guitar case confusingly mixed up with the show.

Another YouTuber to go by the name HopeScope, paid $1,032 for a shipment of clothing valued at over $9,000. She called keeping just a small handful of the items she bought and donating the rest a “disaster” in her video.

Others have attempted to “flip” the pallets by reselling them for profit. But as Nygaard points out in her video, most of the items were pre-owned, which would make them difficult to sell (in good conscience, at least) at their original retail value.

Amazon’s Notice of the 2021 liquidation resale program, which is estimated to “give a second life to more than 300 million products each year.” It’s not clear what percentage of Amazon returns end up in these liquidation sales; The company declined to provide specific data on how many returns it processes annually for “commercial sensitivity reasons,” the spokesman said.

Amazon also said it works with charities to donate “surplus product,” but didn’t specify how many of its returns end up as donations.

“When there are no other opportunities to reuse or recycle (e.g. for legal or sanitary reasons, or because they are damaged), we send products for energy recovery – we turn non-recyclable waste into usable energy sources,” said a spokesman.

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What is energy recovery? It usually means they burn the stuff CNBC explained. Energy recovery involves the conversion of non-recyclable matter into heat or fuel through “combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas recovery,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

An Amazon spokesman called this option the company’s “last resort.”

https://www.kron4.com/news/national/what-happens-to-your-amazon-returns-sometimes-they-go-to-the-highest-bidder/ What happens to your Amazon returns? Sometimes they go to the highest bidder

Nate Jones

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