On average, online returns cost UK retailers about £5.2 billion a year. This annual report by PaymentSense found that there was a 39% increase in returns from January 2020 to 2021. While retailers deal with ‘serial refunders’ (which refers to customers who make excessive returns on their purchases) the rate of returns will only grow from here. And for small businesses in the UK that are searching for inventory, this can turn into quite the opportunity. Retailers will often liquidate this type of merchandise if it can’t go back on shelves or would take too much time to inspect and repackage. Therefore, customer return pallets get liquidated and sold off at auction to the highest bidder. Which is where you come in!
If you’re in the UK and need a good source of securing inventory for your business at deep discounts, look no further than return pallets. We break down where you can find return pallets in the UK and how to buy them!
Why buy return pallets?
For retailers, returned goods quickly turn into a loss if it’s taking up warehouse space. So for retailers to recoup some of their losses, this inventory is set aside to be liquidated and must make a quick exit. And when a retailer liquidates returns, they are often palletized so that they can be auctioned off in bulk.
There are a few reasons that make UK return pallets so worthwhile:
- Inventory comes from brands you and your customers will recognize
- Purchasing via auction means you only pay what you want for inventory
- Returns can still be in working order or like-new condition
- Merchandise is deeply discounted and can then be sold closer to RRP (retail recommended price)
- Buying inventory in bulk saves on shipping costs
So you can see why return pallets make for a good investment! Businesses can start with one or two pallets or work their way up to full truckloads of returns inventory!
Where to buy return pallets in the UK
Clearance stock auctions, or liquidation auctions, are where retailers list their customer returns on private auction sites, like the ones B-Stock operates.
Liquidation auctions directly from retailers’ warehouses
Return pallet auctions listed on B-Stock are coming straight from retailers’ warehouses. It is a trusted and secure way to find return pallets in the UK. Plus, you have verified logistics partners on B-Stock that help with shipping and access to a dedicated customer service team in case of any issues.
Keep in mind that just because someone can auction off a pallet of returns (or job lot that includes an assortment of items) doesn’t mean it is coming directly from retailers. It has now passed through multiple hands, possibly a jobber who has a long-established relationship with a retailer. These jobbers purchase large amounts of inventory at once and then break apart pallets to resell pallets to smaller buyers – usually at a markup – after cherry-picking the most valuable items.
Again, these job lots or return pallets can be picked through by middlemen and lack transparency. You won’t be getting an official manifest from retailers that account for the goods contained within the lot and in turn, can’t account for every item in order to make your potential profit calculations. Knowing how much you can resell individual items for on the secondary market is an important part of reselling returns!
How to buy return pallets in the UK
1. Decide on your source
Research the site or company you will be purchasing inventory from. Some UK sites specialize in wholesale returns and others in ex-catalog stock. You also want to pay attention to the site setup as not all of these goods will be available for auction but at fixed prices. If you’re looking for return pallets that you can bid only what you want to pay, B-Stock auctions happen daily with start prices as low as £100.
2. Submit a valid VAT number
Your business must first be registered to purchase goods in bulk and tax-free. To register on B-Stock’s European marketplaces, please provide a VAT identification number. VAT stands for value-added tax and lets you buy job lots tax-free, with the expectation that you charge this tax to your customers when an item sells. For VAT exemptions and more information, visit this site.
3. Browse auctions
You should consider product category and condition, auction size, and shipment type. Each product category has its own considerations. For example, the amount of space it will require to store inventory and your potential profit margins. Carefully select auctions that make sense for your business. If you’re not ready to jump into a truckload of returns, start with one or two pallets at a time. On the flip side, if you’re a larger business looking to save on shipping costs, purchasing several pallets at a time makes sense.
Don’t forget to consider Brexit restrictions. For UK-based buyers, you will only be allowed to place bids on auctions located within the UK, unless you have a business address registered in an EU member country.
4. Place a bid and win
Your bid will be a calculation based on the auction’s estimated retail value, item condition, quantity, and shipping costs. Our system uses your proxy bid amount to automatically bid incrementally on your behalf. To get the most out of this system, we recommend you bid the highest amount you are willing to pay, which is known as your maximum bid. Once entered, the system will manage the bidding for you, acting as your proxy.
Start purchasing return pallets on B-Stock Europe
By now you know the opportunity returns hold for your business! Plus, where you can find and how to buy return pallets. With B-Stock as a trusted source for thousands of business buyers across the UK and the rest of Europe, you won’t want to miss out. Browse return pallets in the UK today!