The Washington Post has a piece about how customer returns to stores like Amazon, Walmart and Target are finding their way into so-called "bin stores" around the country, where "that merchandise is now getting a second life as store owners buy truckloads of pallets of returned goods either directly from retailers or liquidation companies. Goods can range from plastic toys and face masks to iPads and power tools. Prices are typically highest on restock day, the day after a new truckload comes in, starting at around $10 per item and decreasing gradually throughout the week.
There's a lot of available merchandise out there: "In 2022, Americans returned $816 billion in merchandise, according to the National Retail Federation." In fact, the bin store segment has gotten so popular that there is beginning to be competition, and in some cases the cost of returned merchandise "has gotten too steep."
- KC's View:
Sure. Why not?
I would imagine that this retail segment will have legs, even in an improving economy. After all, there are tons of folks out there for whom bargain-hunting is a sport, a hobby, even an avocation.