what is a return on investment

How to Turn Returned Inventory into Money for Your Business

Returns follow peak season, as every online store is aware. When people shop for holiday gifts, many of the gifts return to the warehouse. How can ecommerce retailers profit the most from returned goods during the busiest time of the year?

The warehouse typically appears like a madhouse during peak season. The last thing on anyone’s mind is often returned inventory because there are so many products and personnel flying to fill orders. However, the busiest season is also when returned merchandise may be sold for the highest price. It’s important to monitor returns.

Every minute a returned item stays in a stack while being processed represents a missed chance to sell it at full retail value. Since every item that stays in the returned inventory bin for too long can cost your company money, ecommerce retailers must treat it as a Red-Hot Zone.


The following main issues hinder returned inventory from becoming profitable:

  •            Receiving returned products inefficiently
  •            The inspection and reporting of returned merchandise takes a lot of time and effort.
  •             Relisting of goods for sale that is delayed

How can your company break free and cease suffering financial losses due to returned goods?


Use your current system for receiving and returns or switch as soon as feasible to a computer-based warehouse management system (WMS) with barcode scanning. Learning the technology will take some time, but as you streamline receiving returned goods, you’ll save a tonne of money.


Barcode Scanning


Workers rapidly scan the barcode on a product tag or order form as returned items come into the warehouse to place the item in your warehouse. Additionally, they can display the item’s new location in the warehouse, such as the Red-Hot Zone or the bin for returned goods.


Anyone looking up that item in the WMS will be able to see where it is in the warehouse and take the necessary actions to handle it. Additionally, the WMS will offer a list of every item in the Red-Hot Zone so that staff members can guarantee that it is immediately emptied.


Inspection & Logging Returns


Finding the time and resources to keep returned merchandise out of the Red-Hot Zone is another way that firms run into trouble. Again, this issue is resolved through technology. Fewer people are needed to keep returned inventory moving since barcode scanning and automation replace laborious human processes.

One person can scan barcodes in the Red-Hot Zone, indicate condition, and keep saleable goods going back into the pick face with the help of an effective mobile WMS. By doing this, it takes less time to receive a returned item, list it for sale again online, and ensure speedy service.


Sell Returned Items ASAP to Profit Protection


Your business will lose money if you wait until after the busiest season to process and relist returned goods. Rather, spend your money on technology that will enable your warehouse to manage returns quickly and sell them. You’ll not only increase the return inventory’s profit margin but also lessen chaos and tension in the warehouse during the busiest time of the year.