Unloved Gift Bonanza: The auction sites that sell Christmas Yields and ex-display items at bargain basement prices – including iPhone11 Pros for less than £ 500 and VR headsets under £ 150
- Christmas yields don't always come back after being put back on shelves
- The cost of packaging, transshipment, and labor sometimes discourages stores from reselling
- They sometimes offer them on auction sites that can be bought cheaply
- Often these items are then resold by buyers on eBay or other auction sites
Bargain hunters looking for a deal in January may be looking in the wrong place.
While high street stores and online retailers are cutting prices on their winter lines, savvy bargain hunters are snapping up other cheap deals elsewhere.
Unloved gifts and old shop display items are being flogged at discounted prices on some UK auction sites that specialize in shop returns.
While many returns land back on the shelves, some large chain stores are unwilling to bother to replenish the returned goods.
And they often resell them on "Recommerce" websites – where savvy savers can get a deal at low basement prices.
On one website, John Pye, who specializes in returns, used and ex-display merchandise, is currently offering an iPhone11 Pro, which normally sells for an MSRP of £ 899 and can be bids for £ 450.
Another website, iBidder, sells unused display perfumes worth £ 80 for just £ 2.
One of the offers is for a 64GB iPhone 11 Pro: Current bid: £ 392 / MSRP: £ 889 from John Pye's website
Bargain hunters can bid for an Oculus Quest VR headset: Current bid: £ 90 / MSRP: £ 299 from John Pye
Aspiring baristas can bid for a Delonghi coffee maker: Current bid: £ 51 / MSRP: £ 209 for John Pye
Do you need a new laptop? A Lenvo Thinkpad P1 laptop currently has a bid of: £ 485 / MSRP: £ 2249 for John Pye
If you're happy with an unused display version of a perfume, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette is: Current bid: £ 2 / MSRP: £ 80 at iBidder
Do you want new running shoes? Adidas Tresc Running Shoes: Current Bid: £ 30 / RRP: £ 110 at iBidder
How does the process work?
Some of the top deals on popular household items currently for sale
iPhone 11 Pro 64GB: Current bid: £ 392 / RRP: £ 889 – John Pye
Oculus Quest VR Headset: Current Bid: £ 90 / MSRP: £ 299 – John Pye
Delonghi Coffee Maker: Current Bid: £ 51 / RRP: £ 209 – John Pye
Lenvo Thinkpad P1 Laptop: Current Bid: £ 485 / MSRP: £ 2249 – John Pye
Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette: Current bid: £ 2 / RRP: £ 80 – iBidder
Adidas Tresc Running Shoes: Current Bid: £ 30 / RRP: £ 110 – iBidder
Note: These are current bids from January 3rd at 1:00 p.m. There are also additional fees / buyer's commissions that can add to the overall cost.
Customers often return items they don't want or need to the retailer, regardless of whether those items were purchased online from sites like Amazon or High Street.
However, retailers sometimes do not replenish the returned items themselves for resale because the cost of doing so exceeds the value of those items.
So instead, the retailer decides to reduce its losses and redirect the returned items to third party sellers in the UK like iBidder and John Pye auctioneers.
The contractors then try to make a profit by either selling the products online to consumers or by selling them in bulk to wholesale buyers.
If that doesn't work, just recycle them. Otherwise, the items would be disposed of in a landfill, which would lead to environmental problems.
Over the past few years, ecommerce companies like Amazon have made it easier for consumers to return unwanted items.
The strategy behind this thought is that customers who find it easy to return items are more likely to shop at the same retailer again thanks to the pleasant experience they had getting their money back.
The recommerce market has created a third-party home industry that finds functional, sought-after items at great prices and then resells them on sites like Amazon and eBay.
There are two main reasons a retailer may not be able to resell a returned item, even if it is brand new and unused.
The first is the shipping and handling costs, as well as the shipping and labor costs associated with shipping it to the new buyer.
The second reason retail companies don't keep putting returned items on the shelves is because the longer an item has been out of circulation, the less value it traditionally has. Pictured: sales in Dublin in January
The second reason retail companies don't keep putting returned items on the shelves is because the longer an item has been out of circulation, the less value it traditionally has.
As for buyers, as always, keep the consumer smart as you are not always guaranteed a discount offer.
Due to the nature of the auctions, prices may occasionally increase towards average MSRP prices, and some websites add additional fees and buyer's commissions.