The Classy Investors

  /  Economy   /  “Lost in a Warehouse: How Returning a Holiday Gift Might End Up at Auction”.

“Lost in a Warehouse: How Returning a Holiday Gift Might End Up at Auction”.

The holidays are here and that means that gifts have been exchanged and enjoyed. But what happens when something doesn’t quite fit the bill — when it’s not exactly what your loved one had in mind? Many consumers are opting to return such goods and are in search of the hassle-free return process. Unfortunately, a great many of them are unaware that these items may end up in warehouse auctions and be sold off to the public. Warehouse auctions used to be limited to large companies who employed third-party auction houses to store, sort, and resell their unwanted merchandise. Now, with the increasing popularity of internet return policies, companies have begun to take advantage of these auctions to get rid of their surplus goods. The process is simple; when someone returns an item, the company stores it in a warehouse and eventually marks it down for a warehouse auction. These sales typically offer discounts of up to 80% and attract a large number of buyers looking to get a bargain. The problem is that your returned gift, which is listed in the auction, could have identifying information attached. This means that someone else could buy the return and know who it had previously belonged to. Even if the item itself doesn’t have any identifying information, it is possible that a serial number is used to track returned goods, the warehouse seller knows who the original owner was, and buyers may find out who the previous owner was by asking around. The best way to avoid this situation is to shop carefully, as many companies will accept returns only if the item is unused and still in original packaging. If you do have to return a gift, make sure to remove all identifying information. It’s also a good idea to check the store’s online return policy to make sure that the item won’t end up in a warehouse auction. The holidays are the time for giving, and returning presents can be an even bigger hassle than buying them. Unwanted gifts can be a source of distress for both sender and receiver, and it’s important to remember that these returns might make their way to a warehouse auction. Make sure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself, and your gift, and you’ll have one less worry when the holidays come around.