What Are Amazon Liquidations?

Have you ever thought about what Amazon does with all their returned items? Very seldom do they put them back on the marketplace..

When someone receives an item from Amazon and it fails to satisfy, they usually send it back. Reasons could be that the product was broken on arrival, inaccurate descriptions in the listing, or they just decided they don't need it- without ever even opening it. I’m talking everything from iPhones and sweaters to appliances, toys and more.

When Amazon receives these returns, they very seldom put the item back in their inventory (quality assurance and all that jazz). So what exactly do they do with it all? They package them in bulk and auction them off to the highest bidder through a service called Amazon Liquidations! Some people have even made successful side businesses out of this. Note that this does not include products that are just straight up broken- I’m pretty sure those get scrapped upon return.

Amazon Liquidations

Amazon partners with various business client customers and sells them this overstocked return inventory in bulk. They basically say- here's a bunch of random junk, please buy it off us because the cost to reintroduce into the marketplace is greater than taking a lower profit margin. These resellers then compile the assorted products into categories and auction them off to the highest bidder, in an Ebay like web environment. It’s a pretty interesting business model, and the products themselves are good value just as much as they can be humourous to acquire. is one such Amazon partner that auctions off these liquidated boxes, which can be filtered by category, condition, size, price, and much more. If you want an idea of just what might be included in these liquidated boxes, check out this unboxing video by Safiya Nygaard.


Do what you will with this information, but I see great potential in holiday, appliance, clothing, and technology shopping! listings also include a manifest which tells you exactly which items are to be expected in the box upon delivery. Although some items are labeled generally, such as “assorted health and beauty”, others have the exact product year, model, type and more.

Apart from practical use, these Amazon liquidations might just be a fun way to spend your weekend- digging through random stuff with your friends. The prices are significantly lower than MSRP, so what do you have to lose besides a bit of time?

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Aleksey Weyman

Aleksey Weyman is a web designer, music artist and creator of Millennial Moderator