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What does refurbished mean?

05 November, 2022 | 6 Min Read

Guide to Refurbished Items on E-commerce Platforms

Introduction

First, let’s define what refurbished is, where to find refurbished items, and how to profit off them.

What is a Refurbished Item?

A refurbished item, is a product that’s been returned to the manufacturer for any reason, fixed, and put back on the market for resale. They may have minor cosmetic damage or be missing original packaging or accessories, but they should work just like new items.

Where Can I Find Refurbished Items?

There are a few ways you can find refurbished items:

  • Check out an online marketplace for certified sellers of preowned tech products.
  • Shop at brick and mortar stores that sell used/refurbished electronics.

Why Should I Sell Refurbished Items?

There are many reasons why you should consider selling refurbished items:

  • The global market for refurbished electronics was valued at $24 billion in 2018 (Forbes).
  • The refurbished electronics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% from 2019 to 2025
  • 65% of consumers are willing to buy a used or refurbished product from a trusted retailer, and 42% have already done so (Nielsen).
  • Selling refurbished items is an ecofriendly option, as it reduces eWaste and the need for virgin resources (Refurbisher Forum).
  • The refurbished market is a great way to enter the ecommerce space with little investment and low risk (Shopify).

How Do I Profit Off Refurbished Items?

When you’re getting started, you’ll want to consider what kind of products you want to sell and how much money you’re willing to spend on inventory. You’ll also need to decide which platform or marketplace you want to sell on and what type of seller account is right for your business. Lastly, make sure you have the proper certifications, insurance, and licenses in place before listing any items for sale.

Consider What Type of Products You Want To Sell

The most popular categories for selling refurbished items are: cell phones, tablets/laptops/computers, gaming consoles & games, cameras & camcorders, wearable tech (smartwatches & fitness trackers), home audio & theater systems, and TVs & home theater projectors.

What is Amazon’s Policy on Refurbished Items?

From Amazon’s Condition Guidelines for Refurbished Products:

A refurbished product is any product that is:

  • Returned by a customer
  • Inspected and tested to meet the same quality standards as a new product
  • Repackaged under the supervision of the manufacturer, seller, or seller-approved vendor
  • Sold at a significant discount from a new product with an identical or similar function

What Are The Different Types of Seller Accounts on Amazon?

There are 3 types of seller accounts on Amazon: Individual, Professional, and Business.

The main difference between them is the monthly subscription fee: $0/month for Individual accounts and $39.99/month for Professional accounts. Business accounts have no monthly subscription fee but are only available to sellers who sell in volume (Seller Central Help).

Glossary Of Terms

Average Selling Price (ASP): The average price at which a particular item is selling. You can calculate your ASP by taking the total revenue from all sales of a particular item and dividing it by the total number of that item sold.

Business Account: A type of seller account on Amazon that has no monthly subscription fee but is only available to sellers who sell in volume.

Certifications: In order to sell certain types of products on some platforms, you may need certain certifications. For example, if you want to sell cell phones, you’ll likely need to be certified by the manufacturer of the phones you’re selling in order to access inventory.

Condition Guidelines for Refurbished Products: Amazon’s guidelines for what qualifies as a refurbished product. Per Amazon, a refurbished product is any product that is returned by a customer, inspected and tested to meet the same quality standards as a new product, repackaged under the supervision of the manufacturer, seller or seller-approved vendor, and sold at a significant discount from a new product with an identical or similar function (Seller Central Help).

Eco-friendly: friendly to the environment; not harmful to the environment.

E-waste: electronic waste; any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic appliance (Merriam-Webster).

Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA): a program that allows Amazon sellers to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and Amazon picks, packs, ships, and provides customer service for these products (Amazon Services Europe).

Individual Account: A type of seller account on Amazon that has a $0 monthly subscription fee.

Manufacturer Refurbished Products (MRP): products that are returned directly to the manufacturer who then inspects, tests, cleans and repackages the product for resale. These products carry a warranty from the manufacturer and are often sold at significant discounts (The Balance Small Business).

Marketplace: an online platform where multiple sellers can sell products to multiple buyers. The three most popular marketplaces in the US are Amazon, eBay, and Walmart (The Balance Small Business).

Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN): a program that allows Amazon sellers to fulfill orders themselves rather than using Fulfillment By Amazon (Amazon Services Europe).

Online Marketplace: See Marketplace.

Professional Account: A type of seller account on Amazon that has a $39.99 monthly subscription fee but does not have the same selling limits as an Individual account.

Refurbished Item: a product that’s been returned to the manufacturer for any reason, fixed, and put back on the market for resale. They may have minor cosmetic damage or be missing original packaging or accessories, but they should work just like new items (The Balance Small Business).

Refurbisher Forum: “The Refurbisher Forum is a group of companies (“Members”) committed to refurbishing electronics in an environmentally sound manner and making these products available at affordable prices to people who otherwise would not be able to purchase them” (The Refurbisher Forum).

Return On Investment (ROI): the percentage of profit you make from each sale in relation to your initial investment in that item; calculated by dividing your net profit by your total investment and multiplying by 100 (The Balance Small Business).

Seller Central: Amazon’s seller platform; where you create and manage your seller account, list products for sale, process orders, etc.

Selling On Amazon Fee (SOA): the fee that Amazon charges per item sold; calculated as a percentage of the total sales price including shipping charges, gift wrap charges, and any taxes paid by the buyer (Amazon Services Europe).

Third Party Refurbished Products (3PR): products that are returned to retailers or other organizations who then inspect, test, clean and repackage the product for resale. These products often come with some type of warranty from the refurbisher rather than the manufacturer (The Balance Small Business).

Total Investment: the total amount of money you spend on an item, including the cost of the item, shipping, storage, and any other related costs.

Hivearchive is a web-based application that helps Amazon FBA sellers track their sales and profits. It provides data analytics and visualization tools to help sellers understand their sales data and make better business decisions. Hivearchive also offers a Profit Tracker tool that helps sellers track their profits over time.

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