Background

This well-known national retailer is recognized for its wide assortment of products. With a top selection of brands available, this retailer has a separate agreement with each vendor on how returned, overstock, damaged, and buyback product should be handled. Proper handling of every disposition for each unique vendor was a challenging proposition, and mistakes would negatively impact relationships with the vendors. There were also many items that would not qualify to be returned to vendor, so the retailer needed a partner that understood how to maximize asset recovery on a wide variety of product categories, in a way that would minimize brand protection concerns for the vendors. Another concern was the product mix that included items that were oversize, heavy weight, dangerous, and hazardous.

Needing a partner it could trust to manage and execute the complex disposition rules associated with each vendor's product that also had extensive experience with asset recovery, the retailer selected Liquidity Services to design and operate a complete returns management solution.    

Solution

Liquidity Services has provided full returns management services to this outdoor retailer since 2010. We arrange transportation from each of the client’s stores and receive all returned goods into our returns centers. Items are unloaded, scanned, and sorted to the optimal disposition based on the client’s business rules that are configured into our system, and items are directed to be shipped back to the appropriate vendor, liquidated in the secondary market through our multichannel marketing approach (including via our online marketplace Liquidation.com), or recycled through an environmentally friendly process. 

Stringent requirements for large vendor buyback events and safety recalls are managed by Liquidity Services on short notice in collaboration with the retailer and vendors. For items designated to be returned to vendors, Liquidity Services manages the process of obtaining the return authorization from the vendors and invoicing the vendors on behalf of the retailer.

Accurate, timely invoicing allows the client to quickly debit vendors for the amounts owed, and detailed reporting provides all backup documentation the retailer may need. A full suite of reporting is provided to the retailer, tying into its inventory and finance systems and providing a seamless integration for all necessary business functions.

Results

This retailer has partnered with Liquidity Services for full returns management services for the last six years. The high level of excellence in vendor returns management and invoicing has led to multiple vendors complementing the retailer on the professional way in which returns are managed. Robust liquidation channels have been established that deliver strong recovery levels to the retailer, while addressing any brand protection issues that the vendors may have. These results have led to a long-term partnership and peace of mind for the client that it made the right choice in selecting Liquidity Services.

Liquidity Services handles the end-to-end process of returned goods shipped directly from each client store. What was once a headache is now an efficient process, managed by Liquidity Services.