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.
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.
- Fixing Box Corners
How-To: Restoring Board Games: How to Fix Broken or Torn Box Corners
Tools: Wood Glue, Small Paint Brush, Packing Tape
- Repairing Creased or Warped Boxes – Iron (no steam)
How-To: How to restore cardboard game boxes (Ironing for men)
Tools: Iron, Exacto Knife (optional), Wood or Ironing Surface
- Repairing Creased or Warped Boxes – Iron (with steam)
How-To: How to repair nintendo boxes – Iron them! – Classic Game Hunter
Tools: Iron (with steam function), Ironing Board, Sheet
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.
- Blow Dryer Method
How-To: How to Remove Stickers, Tags and Labels Easily!
Tools: Blow Dryer, Scotty Peeler, Goo Gone, Rubbing Alcohol, Paper Towel
- Razor Method
How-To: How to Remove Stickers from Your Books
Tools: Razor Scraper, Goo Gone, Paper Towel
*Note: Deciding which method is most appropriate will depend on the product. Additionally, olive oil is a viable substitute for Goo Gone.
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.
- Books: Repairing Pages
How-To: Mending a Book with Book Repair Tape
Tools: Book Repair Tape, Bone Folder, Scissors
- Clothing: Fixing a Broken Zipper
How-To: How to Fix Every Zipper Issue
Tools: Pliers, Pencil, Wire Cutters, New Zipper (specific tools depend on the issue)
- iPhone: Replace a Charging Port
How-To: How to fix the iPhone 5 Charging Port in 5 Minutes
Tools: iPhone Repair Toolkit
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?