Question – I have heard that Costco customer returns are some of the cleanest liquidation loads you can come by. Is there any way to buy Costco customer returns direct from Costco, or do I have to purchase through a wholesale liquidator?
Costco does open up the bidding process for new salvage contracts from time to time. Contracts are usually based upon a single store and whoever submits the highest bid is awarded the customer returns contract. As a wholesale liquidation buyer, you can talk with each store and ask them how often the bid process is opened up to new contractors.
As a Costco salvage returns contractor, you agree to take any and all returns that are available on a weekly basis. This in itself poses a challenge for those who do not have ample warehouse space. To make matters even more difficult, customer returns more than triple after the end of year holiday season. If you fail to take available returns, you guessed it, you lose the contract.
On the other hand, there are a bunch of long-standing Costco salvage contracts that will prove to be almost impossible to outbid. Several large companies, liquidators, and exporters have been buying from Costco for years. If the local Costco close to you is spoken for, there may be no other option than to purchase pallets from a contracted liquidator.
The statement in your question is accurate…customer returns from Costco are very clean and well sought after for that reason! Talk with your local Costco store to see if there might be an opportunity to purchase returned merchandise direct.
Our 2020 Liquidators Guide chronicles 12 years of wholesale product sourcing experience and includes my personal black book of direct source contacts! As an industry expert, I'll share the success I've enjoyed along with the mistakes I've made buying and reselling liquidation merchandise.
If you are thinking about buying pallets of liquidation merchandise from a liquidator, broker, or direct from department stores, you need to check out The Liquidators Guide