Customer Returned Electronics – How much damage to expect?
Customer returned electronics are not for the timid, I would recommend anyone buying pallets and truckloads of electronics have an excellent marketing plan in place. Customer returns, as you know, can range from box distressed to outright irreparable damage. I know from experience that it is a it of a “craps shoot” when factoring in a damage percent for a particular pallet or truckload. I have purchased some really nice loads that were roughly 40 percent damaged and/or missing parts, but I must say that loads like this are hard to source. I had the help of a few tech savvy friends who were able to work on the broken items, but the balance I had to sell as parts.
I do know that many sellers on ebay who specialize in selling customer returned electronics are able to sell items listed as “damaged, broken or parts”. Spend some time on ebay viewing completed auctions. Search for the terms “broken camera” or “damaged DVD”. Items will sell in a state of disrepair.
When buying pallets and truckloads of consumer electronics there is another concern you should be aware of. That is the art of “Cherry Picking”. The term cherry picking refers to the unscrupulous wholesale liquidator who will remove all of the high dollar, working electronics from the pallet and then sell you the damaged left-over junk. Never buy from a wholesale liquidator who also sells at a retail retail store or on ebay. While impossible to know which liquidators also sell retail, it never hurts to ask. If you are going to buy from a wholesale liquidator make sure that you get full references and investigate each company prior to buying.
It is a very good idea to visit the wholesale liquidation company’s warehouse before you buy. if you visit you can visually inspect the pallets and get a feel for the entire operation. Sometimes spending money on gas or a plane ticket will save you thousands of dollars in the end. I cannot tell you how many people I have spoken to who have lost thousands of dollars on their first purchase because the got excited and did not do their homework before investing in merchandise. Never, ever under any circumstances believe somebody when they state that a particular pallet or truckload of electronics will arrive with a pre-determine, fixed percentage of damage. It is always a different percent each time. Some Brokers will lure you into believing that a certain load has a higher than usual percentage or working items versus damages.
One way to eliminate the “Cherry Picking” is to buy your pallets and truckloads of electronics direct from the retailer.