Consumer returns are one of the biggest areas of opportunity for people interested in buying liquidation inventory. The market is enormous, the prices are low and sometimes the quality can be good.
So how big is this market? While there is no perfect data on it, some research has found that approximately 8% of all retail sales end up as customer returns (excluding auto sales and food sales). Of course, this number is much higher in certain categories and lower in others. For example, some consumer electronics categories have 30% return rates.
If you consider all US, non-auto and non-food retail sales, according to the US Census Bureau, the total sales are approximately $560 billion. This suggests returns of approximate $45 billion (at retail value).