Resale offers a great opportunity to holiday shoppers in a bind for last-minute gifts. According to the National Retail Federation’s survey, “Consumers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items, and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year.” For shoppers on a budget, this might come as a shock. Add in holiday shipping constraints, more and more out-of-stock retail shelves, and other supply chain factors, resale may just be the answer this holiday season.
Whether it’s gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, the secondary market has it all! In fact, you can often find the same items on the primary market (or of similar value) on resale marketplace sites. Think high-ticket price items like TVs, designer clothes, electronics, and more. Even popular sneakers can be found on specialty resale sites! Partaking in resale this time of year couldn’t be a better idea as consumers continue to prove the popularity of shopping secondhand; while more and more savvy entrepreneurs are starting a liquidation business out of return and overstock inventory.
In this article, we cover:
- Supply chain issues
- Resale solutions to holidays on a budget
- Looking ahead at the power of post-holiday returns
Supply chain issues explained
You may have heard the term ‘supply chain’ floating around the news. As the pandemic impacts businesses and individuals far and wide, shopping and demand for products have been on the rise. Simply put, demand is far exceeding supply. On the supply chain side, strains include backlogs for consumer goods manufacturers, warehouse disruption, delays for trucking companies and freight deliveries, railyards, and of course, shipping overseas. Retailers have had to adjust store assortment based on availability, while consumers are faced with longer wait times. (Read more about holiday shipping constraints here.)
However, while manufacturers and retailers are dealing with shortages and delays, resale businesses have an opportunity to benefit, as well as consumers.
Why resale is the answer to holidays on a budget
Solution #1: Resale prices
Due to the nature of liquidation inventory, it can be acquired at pennies on the dollar. Resellers pass on savings to customers, typically at below retail prices.
Retailers will strive to hit their bottom lines amidst supply chain constraints this holiday season. This may lead to prices for popular categories — like apparel, consumer electronics, and toys, especially— to increase. CPI measures that consumer inflation rose 0.8% in November, good for a 6.8% pace on a YoY basis and the fastest rate since 1982. Holidays on a budget is the perfect time to offer great merchandise at a discount! You can capture the attention of shoppers looking for a deal with awesome resale prices.
Solution #2: Availability
Due to the rising supply chain issues, such as manufacturer’s delays and shipping constraints, consumers might be in a pinch this holiday season. Primary shelves won’t be as stocked as they were in years past. Retailers will also have to choose where to send products with shortages all around. That being said, limited availability and in some cases, inflated prices, can leave shoppers frustrated. According to a GlobalData survey, 49% of respondents said they are considering alternative gifts this holiday season—which can be a good marketing angle for you and your business! For more tips on holiday marketing, check out 19 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Your Resale Business.
Solution #3: Access to inventory shoppers might not find in stores
Stores are constantly clearing out their customer returns, overstock, and other liquidation inventory. This means if Sally buys the latest Samsung Smart TV at her neighborhood big-box store, takes it home, and then decides it’s not a fit, she can return it, and said store will have to either choose to discount it in-stores or liquidate it. (Retailers put less than 10% of returned items back on primary shelves.) Registered businesses can then purchase this inventory from private, online auction sites like the ones B-Stock operates.
With the current obstacles retail stores are facing this holiday season, shoppers may choose to save money by bypassing the hustle and bustle of stores altogether and shop from resale marketplaces. On sites like eBay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace, resellers can list seasonal, customer-returned inventory from top retailers that include popular gifting categories such as apparel, electronics, and toys.
Solution #4: Overstock
Resale often includes selling popular retailers’ overstock inventory. This is inventory that didn’t sell in stores — either due to over-purchasing or seasonality — and has to be moved out in order to make way for newer inventory. That’s brand new inventory up for grabs and at a fraction of the price! You can purchase overstock inventory to resell and finish out the holiday season. Or, kick off the new year strong with a fully stocked arsenal of liquidation inventory.
Solution #5: Rise in secondhand
Consumers haven’t ruled out items on the secondary market this shopping season. Mercari reports that 77% of adults are likely to buy secondhand this holiday season. Consignment sites like thredUP and other popular apparel resale sites like Poshmark, Depop, and eBay are good places to sell liquidation apparel inventory — where consumers seemingly can’t get enough. Interestingly, 33 million consumers bought secondhand apparel for the first time in 2020! Resellers can easily position secondhand products as the perfect solution to holidays on a budget.
Solution #6: More shipping options
Everyone wants their deliveries to arrive on time—holiday inventory and seasonal gifts included. Good news! As a reseller, you can offer flexible shipping options on resale marketplaces or your own eCommerce site. For example, some resellers are willing to either meet in person or have customers come by for a pickup if selling locally. With large online retailers, consumers are at the mercy of shipping delays and expedited shipping fees. You can potentially bring in more customers this season by offering flexible shipping options such as these.
The power of holiday returns
Don’t forget, once the holiday season is over, there are plenty of returns to go around. In 2020, the amount of holiday returns totaled $101 billion! Year after year, retailers handle returns post-holidays by liquidating. This year, we’re predicting $112-$114 billion worth of merchandise will be sent back to retailers post-holiday!
You can start a successful reselling business when you purchase holiday returns and turn them for a profit— all while working from home, too. It’s a quick way to get inventory in bulk and you only pay as much as you want with an auction setup. Plus, holiday returns are easy to market since they are likely gifts from the most recent season.
If you’re a business ready to start sourcing inventory for the holidays, and at a good price, why not start with liquidation inventory from B-Stock? Happy shopping!