Not My SKU

Something about returns suggests error — someone, somehow, has miscalculated. That aura has helped establish a market for companies such as Liquidation.com, which functions as a sort of B2B marketplace for overstocks and returns. Liquidation.com provides its clients services “to optimize the recovery of surplus and returned items,” says Asad Haroon, the company’s vice president of business development. These services are especially popular with high-end merchants who want to get a fair price for their goods, yet appreciate remaining anonymous in the process.

Liquidation.com sells items in bulk through online auctions. Clients include both retailers and companies that provide reverse logistics services, and the identities of both seller and buyer remain confidential.

Haroon counts three parts to managing returns: decreasing the processing cost; improving the recovery value for clients; and reducing the number of returns.

For Liquidation.com clients, Haroon says, the most important of these categories is the second. Many companies simply have not allocated resources that will allow them to focus on returns. Haroon cites the case of a client that had a one-man “team” with responsibility for handling returns and overstocks for the entire company. Liquidation.com’s online auction provided the tool for this unnamed firm to manage its returns.

“A lot of times, when it comes to returns, people just don’t have the ability to spend a lot of time on counting things and making sure that the information is accurate,” Haroon says. “The more accurate the information is, the more value you’re going to get for those products. That’s where we add value.”

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