Guest Post: Bad Buys and Returns

Editor’s Note:  One option Brian doesn’t touch on is returning your ‘Bad Buys’ to your supplier.  There is a little bit of a debate on this.  For example if Amazon sent me grocery products I couldn’t sell, I’d just send them right on back to Amazon.  However, some people are vehemently against this.  Other people fall somewhere in the middle.  I’m looking to write a Two-Perspective article on this topic, with me taking the Pro side of returning bad buys to your supplier and a guest author taking the Con side.  If you’re interested, please send me a message. -mike



BrianBlogRecently a few people had posted about making some bad buys and having some returns to handle.  Both situations seem to be damning to your business, but are they really?  A return could be something as simple as an item a customer didn’t want to the ‘holy crap they sent me the item and none of the parts that came with it’.  Both bad buys, and returns can be dealt with so they have minimal damage to your business.


Bad buys, can happen, and will happen if you haven’t had one yet.  I recently bought a couple of grocery items that have an expiration date within the 90 day guidelines of amazon.  I bought enough quantity of one item to have one serving for the next four months out of the year.  I’m a little upset about it, but I’m not going to let it ruin my business.  I’m going to suck it up, and find alternative ways to sell the quantities I don’t want.  Whether this be ebay, craigslist, facebook friends, co-workers, or even helping raise money  for a charitable cause.  I will be getting my money back in one way or another.


All of the above methods of selling a bad buy can get you your money back, and possibly open you up to a new form of business.  Another way to help get some of your money back is to sell it to someone that has an offline venue.  One option I have is hitting up some of the consignment stores in my area to get rid of my bad buys.  This option may not net me a lot of profit, if any, but I do get my money back, and it allows me to network with local businesses.  


Bad buys may seem damning to your business, but take them as a learning experience, and use them to open up other venues for your business growth.  


Returns can really bite, especially a higher priced item such as a shelving unit that sells for $79.00.  When an item comes back you have the same options as above to get your money back, but you can also open a case with seller central in some cases to get your money back.  In one situation the shelving unit listed above was brand new in the box when it was sold, and came back in six different pieces in a box that wasn’t even close to the manufactures box.  I did open a case with Seller central, showed them the receipt for the item, the picture of the box it came in, and the damage to the product.  Seller central said that they would side with me in this case, because the item did not look like the original item I had sent.  If you do your due diligence, amazon may side with you in order to help take care of some returns.  


I have had luck selling damaged toy returns, on Ebay, craigslist, and facebook.  If you open up your thought processes on the condition the item is in, and believe it is still sellable then you should try and get some money back for it.  I have had a few items get returned to me that I have donated to a local mission and to a daycare center because I knew it wasn’t worth the hassle of a possible return on them.


Eventually you will get returns, and make bad buys in your business.  Don’t let them get to you to the point of wanting to leave the business all together.  Learn from the mistakes of bad buys, and move on.  Open up your selling venues to other areas and you may still be able to profit off of these items.  


Thanks for your time,

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