Some retailers turn to liquidators especially for holidays
Turns out that retailers like Amazon aren’t too interested in restocking your returned impulse buys.
Instead, they’ll often wind up in warehouses like one in Garland, where returned goods (including some that have never been opened) are auctioned off for cheap.
The Dallas Morning News reports as holiday sales pick up, so do returns. The end of November marks the beginning of busy season for people who work in returns management, so the Garland warehouse where Liquidation. com sorts, packages and auctions off returned goods will kick into high gear through the new year.
There’s a “Christmas effect” that comes with shopping at the warehouse, manager Scott Birlew said.
Liquidation.com has contracts with companies like Amazon, The Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond and plenty of others, so what gets returned to those businesses can end up bundled in “mystery” boxes and pallets, where items are grouped and sold off for much less than their normal retail prices.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get, and you’re pretty sure there’s something there you’re going to like,” Birlew said. “You just don’t know what it is yet.”
That mystique of the return bundle has inspired a niche genre of YouTube videos, in which vloggers and professional resellers buy pallets of returned goods and open them in videos that can last anywhere from 20 minutes to nearly an hour.
YouTuber Frank Passalacqua, who makes tech-focused videos as randomfrankp, posted a video in August titled: “I Paid $250 for $1,932 Worth of MYSTERY TECH! Amazon Returns Pallet Unboxing!”
In it, he takes out each item one-by-one, examining them. Among the gems in the boxes: a pair of wireless headphones that normally sell online for about $328, which is more than he paid for the whole lot.
But of course, the bundles aren’t without their duds. YouTuber Safiya Nygaard bid on a health and beautythemed mystery pallet that included a few hair-removal items and some hair stylers, among a slew of other unexpected items in the lot. In her video, she tested out each product. Some didn’t work, and others were clearly used, like an electric razor with hairs stuck in the blades.
At the Liquidation.com warehouse in Garland, one of the company’s five warehouse locations in North America, staffers sift through boxes and boxes of returned items, sorting trash from treasure.
Each day, anywhere between two and 20 trucks drop off loads of goods that other retailers don’t want to deal with. The majority of the items are returns, but there are also shelf pulls — new items that a company had too much of, or items that have since been overshadowed by a newer version — as well as salvaged items, Birlew said.
The end of November marks the beginning of busy season for people who work in returns management, so the Garland warehouse where Liquidation.com sorts, packages and auctions off returned goods will kick into high gear through the new year.