I’ve just started buying Costco customer returned pallets for our eBay business and so far, I’ve been happy with the merchandise. The clean merchandise has sold well, but I’ve failed to deal with the damaged items. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

As you already know, there’s a certain amount of risk involved when buying returns, but there are things you can do that will help recover otherwise lost dollars from damaged merchandise.

Here’s what I’ve done over the years:

Sell broken items “as is” – You would be surprised at the number of broken items that sell for top dollar on eBay. You and I may not be able to fix some items, but there are people across the United States who do nothing but buy items to fix through eBay. While a broken camera or blender might be worthless to you and me, these types of items can be repaired by individuals with specific knowledge and the right tools.

Repair damaged merchandise – Obviously some customer returned items will be damaged less then others. Sometimes you can make a simple repair to a cord, button, or other simple part.

Order replacement parts – If a particular item is missing a piece or has a broken part, often you can order that missing/broken item from the item’s manufacturer. Go to the manufacturers website or check information within the items package for a parts reorder form. It’s worth spending a couple of dollars to fix an item if that item has a high resell value.

Donate unsellable items
– as a last resort, donate items that cannot be repaired to a local thrift store or church. Again it’s possible someone can benefit from an item that shows signs of compromise. A good example would be a set of dishes where 4 pieces are broken; there are many families in need that would welcome a short set of dishes.

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