Question: I’m thinking about purchasing department store returns from Sears but I’m concerned about not being able to sell damaged merchandise. Any suggestions?

Answer: When it comes to damaged department store returns keep in mind that every load is different and there is no way to foresee what you’ll be dealing with. The good news is that often you’ll receive duplicate items so you’ll be able to take parts from one item to use on another. Lets say your load has 3 coffee makers and one is missing the pot and another is missing the lid to the water reservoir. By trading parts around you can make 2 complete coffee makers. Hang on to the dismantled one in case you get more of the same brand in the future.

Another way to make the most of damaged items is to contact the manufacturer and order the missing parts. Often you’ll find that the parts are either very inexpensive or free. I remember one load in particular I received had some outdoor storage containers. All of them were missing items such as doors, lids and hinges. First I borrowed parts from one to the other and made as many complete tool cabinets as I could. Then I contacted the manufacturer to find out if I could order the missing parts. I was amazed to find that the parts and shipping were free!

If all else fails you can sell broken items as is. To most people a non working camera is worthless but to someone who knows how to repair cameras it’s a treasure. There are plenty of people who are looking to buy parts, so be sure to give it a try.


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

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