Amazon's return policies mean that many items get sent back for various reasons, but not all of them end up back on the shelf to be sold as new products.
Some Amazon products get sent back to the supplier, and others get sold to liquidation companies. These liquidation companies will then sell these return pallets to savvy online sellers like you and I.
You may also be able to buy single products from liquidators, or truckloads with thousands of products.
What Are Amazon Pallets?
Amazon is very customer-centric and their returns policy reflects this notion. It is estimated that $212billion worth of online sales were returned in 2022, equating to an average of 16.5%.
Considering that Amazon sells in excess of $500B worth of products ever year, the amount of returns they need to handle is mind boggling.
So where do all of Amazon's returned products end up?
As many as possible are re-sold as new, after going through an inspection process. Products that do not qualify to be re-sold as new are sold as used products, returned to suppliers, donated to charity, or sold to liquidation companies.
When products are sold to liquidation companies, they are generally in pallets and sometimes they're even sold as a mystery pallet.
So, to answer the main point of this section, Amazon return pallets are simply pallets of various products that have either been returned to Amazon or cannot be sold for one reason or another.
There's many places to find Amazon pallets for sale, and they can be extremely lucrative if you know what to do with them.
Where To Buy Amazon Pallets For Sale - Liquidation Companies
If you're feeling game and want to try and buy an Amazon return pallet, we've compiled a list of the more well-known liquidation companies below. We have not personally used them ourselves though, so please do your due diligence before making any large purchases!
BULQ came from humble beginnings back in 2004, selling products out of a home garage. Now they boast over $500m in liquidated inventory sales and their parent company, Optoro, is one of the biggest sustainable returns management companies in the USA.
Liquidation.com is one of the larger liquidation companies around and they also deal with government, machinery and education auctions on their other websites. Liquidation.com has 10 locations in the USA.
With 12 locations in the USA and 1 in Canada, Direct liquidation appears to be a major player in the unclaimed package and return pallet auctions. Like many other large liquidation companies, they also deal with return pallets and overstock merchandise from retailers like Lowes and Walmart.
Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Bstock has multiple US locations and they also offer auctions for stock in Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia.
Amazon Liquidation Auctions is the official Amazon B2B marketplace for buying amazon return pallets, but it's run by Bstock. It is not the only place you can buy return pallets from but it is a great place to start. You need to register your business on Amazon after you win an auction, and you must also comply with their guidelines.
Good old Craigslist can certainly be a source to buy Amazon return pallets but beware, there's no real way to vet the sellers. Proceed with caution, thats all we can say about this one.
Bluelots is a marketplace where sellers can list their return and overstock merchandise for sale. They appear to be very transparent with their listings and they run auctions, live auctions and buy now sales.
BoxFox appears to be trying to create a marketplace where they connect buyers with sellers who want to liquidate overstock merchandise. There wasn't a lot of information about who they are on their website, but it looks like you need to sign up before you can browse their inventory. They appear to operate their sales in an auction style where you can bid for items listed by sellers.
QuickLotz has a long history in wholesale and retail operations, with headquarters in Florida and a further 8 locations around the USA. If you want anything from small lots up to massive truckloads, check them out.
Relatively new on the scene, 888Lots is part of a larger global conglomerate called Palacci Group. They operate other liquidation outfits in Europe and the UK, which are included in this list.
Eurolots are the European based liquidation company owned by the same owners as 888Lots, the Palacci group.
The UK arm of the Palacci group, Britdeals is a London based B2B marketplace where buyers can buy anything from single products up to huge pallet loads of return and overstock items.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Amazon Return Pallets?
The cost to purchase pallets varies greatly. Sometimes you can buy individual product bundles, or you can buy entire truckloads without even knowing exactly what products are inside.
Let's take a look at this listing over on Bluelots. It is a pallet/bundle of electronic products being sold for $2,150. One of the great things about sites like Bluelots is they list the retail price, and even provide you with a full manifest of what's in the bundle of products.
So if you have a clue about what sells in the Electronics category on Amazon, you may look at this and see that it's going to be profitable for you. Or perhaps you'll know that it's not going to be an easy sell, so you avoid it.
Either way, there's full transparency so you can make an easy decision.
If we jump over to QuickLotz, you can see here they have a bit of a "mystery" pallet for $595. The merchandise is from a variety of categories, which are disclosed on the listing, and while it's great value, there's also a risk here not knowing exactly what products are in the pallet.
If we look at something even bigger than a single pallet, we start getting into truckloads. This truckload of shoes contains 24 gaylords (pallets), each with 300 pairs of shoes each. For a hefty cost of $21,600 you can score yourself roughly 7,200 pairs of shoes.
This might represent a great opportunity for some high volume sellers, or a massive risk for another seller.
The point here is you can buy cheap pallets for a few hundred dollars, or massive truckloads full of pallets for 5 or even 6 figures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Like any sort of transaction online, buyers should do their due diligence. Buying return pallets is a very common sourcing method amongst people who sell online, but you just need to ensure that you have done your homework.
A mystery pallet auction will see sellers bidding for large pallets of products, without knowing what is inside them. Sometimes sellers will get an indication on the type of products, but never full details on what is inside a mystery pallet.
By investing in Amazon return pallets, you can potentially acquire a large amount of stock for a very low price and make some hefty profit margins when you resell them. I would not suggest reselling these items on Amazon. You may have trouble verifying authenticity if an inauthentic claim were to ever crop up.
Britdeals.co.uk appear to be one of the largest UK based sellers of liquidated merchandise, but a simple Google search will also reveal other that are worth investigating.
How To Make Money Selling Amazon Return Pallets
I would not suggest selling most items you purchase via liquidation to be resold on Amazon.
The biggest issue I have seen crop up on sellers who use these places as a source of inventory is not being able to verify authenticity with the invoice or receipt you receive if an inauthentic claim or an IP claim happens.
The best place to sell these types of items would probably be eBay. They still have tons of buyers and the buyer profile on eBay is typically someone either looking for hard to find items or looking to score a deal.
If you want to explore other avenues, here's some good options for you to sell the products you acquired from Amazon return pallets:
- DePop (Fashion Items)
- Facebook Marketplace
- Flea Markets
- Your own Shopify store
Pros and Cons of Buying Amazon Return Pallets
As we get towards the end of this article, you've probably got a pretty good idea on the pros and cons of buying Amazon return pallets. But in case you want to see them side by side, here they are.
Conclusion - Amazon Return Pallets
Securing large lots of Amazon returns or overstock merchandise can be a great way to quickly get hold of a lot of products to resell and get some decent cashflow coming in the door.
But like anything, there's risk involved. If you want a less risky approach, try your hand at retail arbitrage or online arbitrage, then when you have some spare capital see how you go with buying some Amazon return pallets.