Product Conditions: Customer Returns

Customer Returns lots mostly consist of items that were once purchased from a store (or online store) but then were returned back to the store. Different department stores have distinct return policies, which can affect the condition of the merchandise you may find in the various lots we offer.

Merchandise in Customer Returns condition is usually not examined by department stores, prior to making their way into liquidation lots. There are also many department stores that don’t separate items in customer returns condition from items in shelf-pulls condition (discontinued, end of season, overstocked goods); making it common to find many products in perfect reselling condition within customer returns lots.

DNC Wholesale always labels lots as ‘Customer Returns’ even when they only include a minor percentage of returned items. The percentages of items that may contain blemishes and items in good condition (“working percentages”), can vary greatly on customer return lots, depending on what department store the lots come from. Furthermore, the percentages can also vary depending on the products’ categories.

Generally speaking, the recognized industry average when estimating “working percentages” is said to be composed of around 65-75% in good working condition, 20% in repairable condition, and the remainder 5-15% to be used as scrap/parts, etc. In practice though, no individual lot will have that exact breakdown, but these percentages fairly represent the average expected condition of customer returns lots. Ultimately, this is simply a rough estimate and the actual working percentages on any lot can be more or less.

Most Customer Returns lots may have some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Store is overstocked with such items.
  • In-store display items.
  • Items that the store does not want to or cannot re-shelve.
  • Out of season items.
  • Discontinued items.
  • Out of box goods.
  • Damaged exterior packaging.
  • Defaced barcodes and/or labels.
  • Cosmetic blemishes.
  • Signs of handling – both external packaging and the item itself.
  • Slight defects when returned by the customer.
  • Often, additional internal store tracking or return labels can be found on the items.

If you are familiar with Customer Returns lots and prepared to put in the necessary share of work and effort, then this could be very profitable for you. This is a profitable business for the large majority.

Working with merchandise in Customer Returns condition may not be for everyone. Not all the items in a Customer Returns lot will be retail ready. If you are not prepared to receive a percentage of items to be missing parts, defective, cosmetically blemished etc., we advise you to purchase only overstock lots.

All Customer Return merchandise lots are always sold as is with no warranties, and if any warranties are found within the goods, they are invalid and cannot be legally used.

We at DNC Wholesale work mostly with Overstock and Closeouts/Shelf Pulls lots, but if requested we are able to obtain items in all the conditions mentioned. All of our lots shown on the Products page are in Overstock/Shelf Pulls condition, unless otherwise stated.

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