There is a lot more to buying a truckload of anything then a lot of people understand. If you don’t understand this at worst you can get burned and at best you may be disappointed. There are people that say I don’t buy returns. I only buy new. That’s fine, but you have to find the new products and then plan on paying significantly more than you will with returns. If you are good with those things you are set. The fact is returns get kind of a bad rap. But you need more then just the term “return” to decide what you want to buy. The thing is there is different grades of returns. You can see two offerings of truckloads from the same Big Box with a vast difference in pricing. Of course you classify it simply “returns” and you buy the cheap one. But you didn’t necessarily make the best deal if you didn’t know the difference in grade. So you buy the cheap one, you get a crappy load and you think all returns suck. But they don’t. You just didn’t do your homework. 

In returns there are “Red” loads. Which for all intents and purposes, in my opinion is junk. The loads will be cheap and you can probably make money but it will be a lot of work and a lot of waste. Then there are the “Green” loads. These seem to be the most common and they are certainly better then the red loads. You will get a mix of good stuff and junk. You might get 60% good and 40% waste. But with the waste you may be able to put together complete products with the parts. So you can save some of it. That said, these can be very profitable loads. But then there are the ES and EL loads. These to a large degree are some new products, some shelf pulls, some undeliverable and some returns. These loads you can expect 80-95% clean product. There will be some waste but not much. These are going to be more expensive but there will be less processing, less hassle and presumably more profitable. 

Now I want to mention one other thing. There are some people in this business that don’t understand what they are buying. They buy a truckload of Big Box items for say 20% of retail or less and they will complain that their load wasn’t perfect. Maybe there is 15% or 20% of waste on the truck. My question to them is, do you honestly believe you can buy a pristine load of products that require no processing at 20% of retail? If the load was pristine the Big Box wouldn’t even get it for that price. I’m not trying to be a jerk here but if you believe that and expect that you have no business being in this business. I don’t care who you are you CANNOT buy a premium load at salvage prices. That just DOES NOT exist. The bottom line is not all return loads are the same. You get what you pay for. If you understand the business, know your capabilities and do your homework, you will make money with the load that suits you best.

About the Author

Mike Mauren has worked as a radio broadcaster and producer for over 30 years. He has sold online for 15 years. He currently works selling wholesale, liquidation and closeouts.