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How online marketplaces are driving secondary market growth

Returned and excess stock is a problem for every retailer: in the UK alone £60bn of stock is returned each year.

Whether a global retailer or a smaller specialty shop, most companies undervalue their returned and excess stock by 30-80%. Worse, when it comes to damaged or obsolete goods, a great majority of items are sent to landfill or destroyed.

One way for retailers to reduce their losses from returned and excess stock, while supporting a more circular economy, is to tap into the secondary market. Defined as post-retail channels that provide a means to sell and buy returned, excess or other previously unwanted goods, the secondary market includes channels like factory outlets, discount shops, markets, and online auction marketplaces. And, it’s exploding.

Case in point: B-Stock recently revealed that the number of European buyers registered on B-Stock Supply Europe is growing on average 30% each month as businesses buyers, resellers and second end users look to embrace the circular economy.

So how can retailers utilise online marketplaces in order to take advantage of this secondary market?

The good news is, you don’t have to be a global retailer to utilise an online marketplace solution; there are many B2B marketplaces out there that cater to SMEs.

Be sure to look for one that is online auction based (competition drives up pricing); has a built in buyer base interested in inventory across any category, condition, or lot size; and has dedicated account mangers to help you be successful.

Here are some more tips to help SME retailers effectively list on online secondary marketplaces:

  • List consistently: buyers that frequently see your stock are more likely to bid.
  • Assemble your stock by category if possible: lots optimised by category and condition fetch higher pricing.
  • Take good photos: clear images of what you are selling will improve buyer trust. Find out more here.
  • List your stock clearly and accurately: this builds buyer trust and a repeat buyer base.
  • Consider a low start price: this will encourage more bids and results in a much higher final sale price.

By Ben Whitaker, director at B-Stock

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