Fixer-Uppers: Tips for Repairing Merchandise for Resale

No matter where a reseller sources products, they’re bound to find merchandise that, though valuable, is a little rough around the edges. Sometimes the damage is a result of poor shipping and handling. Products found at clearance, at a secondhand store, or at a yard sale pass through many hands and often aren’t treated delicately.

While some make their living fixing and reselling goods, this can be frustrating for resellers who don’t—and there are two reasons why. First, standards for products online are high. Listing a product as “new” on Amazon or eBay requires that the product be in new, original wrapping and that the packaging be intact. Many products found online or through retail arbitrage won’t qualify for that rating. This makes getting a high price for a product challenging, not to mention the fact that resellers are competing with the same product listed “new” on other sites or even within the same marketplace.

Second, product quality directly impacts a reseller’s relationship with customers. Many customers are skeptical of listings that report damages, or will report a bad experience when they receive a damaged box or product. To maintain a positive rating and encourage good customer feedback, resellers are incentivized to deliver products of the highest possible quality.

Often, damages cannot be helped or won’t make a difference to the product’s ability to sell, but there are measures a reseller can take to improve the quality and appearance of individual products. Below are some tips for common, simple repairs that can increase both selling potential and customer satisfaction.

Repairing Boxes
Many products come in boxes—to keep pieces together or to protect the product inside. Luckily, a damaged box can still serve its purpose, and is often the reason why resellers are able to find great products at major discounts. But to customers, unfortunately, a box in bad condition gives the impression of low quality.

A few easy repairs can bring the product even slightly closer to that like-new rating. While these may not be perfect fixes, even a minor repair can go a long way in improving the customer’s impression.

Removing Price Stickers
Often, when sourcing merchandise, resellers will find multiple price stickers on the packaging of a product. Removing these cleanly, without residue, is a major headache. Not only can the process be time consuming, but also, if done wrong, can negatively impact the value of a product in an instant. Here are some creative methods to get rid of those stickers.

*Note: Deciding which method is most appropriate will depend on the product. Additionally, olive oil is a viable substitute for Goo Gone.

Specialized Repairs
Beyond packaging, resellers may need to address minor issues with the products themselves. Since resellers sell many different kinds of product, it would be impossible to collect every possible repair in this post. However, here are a few straightforward tips and tricks for commonly-sold items that can double as starting points for resellers.

  • Clothing: Fixing a Broken Zipper
    How to Fix Every Zipper Issue
    Pliers, Pencil, Wire Cutters, New Zipper (specific tools depend on the issue)

Final Consideration: Weighing the Cost/Benefit
These repair methods are incredibly useful for getting products closer to that “like-new” rating and increase the likelihood of customer satisfaction. However, for resellers moving a lot of product, it’s important to weigh the cost/benefit of making these repairs. Before investing time and resources in a repair, always consider: How much time will the repair take versus the ultimate increase in value?


2 Responses to Fixer-Uppers: Tips for Repairing Merchandise for Resale

  1. TreasureGambit April 30, 2018 at 8:17 am #

    A heat gun is also a very useful tool when taking off stickers & labels or that leftover sticky mess from said stickers! 🙂

    I’ve found it useful to invest in certain small packaging products to make it look more ”brand new” and professional.

    • BULQ April 30, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

      Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

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