Posted: 13:13 GMT, 3 January 2021 | Updated: 14:34 GMT, Jan. January 2021

Bargain hunters looking for a deal in January may be looking in the wrong place

While high street stores and online retailers are cutting prices on their winter lines, savvy bargain hunters are snapping up other cheap deals elsewhere

Unloved gifts and old shop display items are whipped at discounted prices on some UK auction sites that specialize in selling shop returns

While many returns end up on the shelves again, some large chain stores are unwilling to make an effort to replenish the returned goods

These items are instead sold on “Recommerce” websites where savvy savers can get a deal at bargain basement prices

One website, John Pye, who specializes in returns, used and ex-display goods, is currently auctioning an iPhone11 Pro with an MSRP of £ 899 The bid is £ 450

Another website, iBidder, has currently unused display perfumes worth £ 80 for £ 2

One of the offers is for a 64GB iPhone 11 Pro: Current bid: £ 392 / MSRP: £ 889 from the John Pye website

Bargain hunters can bid for an Oculus Quest VR headset: Current bid: £ 90 / MSRP: £ 299 from John Pye

Do you need a new laptop? A Lenvo Thinkpad P1 laptop currently has a bid of: £ 485 / MSRP: £ 2249 for John Pye

If you’re happy with an unused display version of a perfume, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Eau de Toilette is: Current bid: £ 2 / MSRP: £ 80 on iBidder

Delonghi Ecom311 Icona Micalit Manuel Espresso Machine Current Bid: £ 51 / MSRP: £ 209 (on sale for £ 109) – John Pye

Note: These are current bids from 1 p.m. on the 3rd January There are also additional fees / buyer’s commissions that can add to the total cost

Customers often return items they don’t want or need to the retailer, regardless of whether those items were purchased online from sites like Amazon or in high street stores

However, sometimes retailers do not replenish the returned items for resale because the cost of doing so is greater than the value of those items

The retailer instead decides to reduce its losses and redirect the returned items to third party sellers in the UK such as iBidder and John Pye auctioneers

The contractors then attempt to make a profit by selling the products either online to consumers or in bulk to wholesale buyers

On some websites – especially the merchant market – many items are packaged in large lots and sold as a collection of items

If this doesn’t work, the stores will often recycle them otherwise the items would be dumped in a landfill, creating environmental problems

Over the past few years, ecommerce companies like Amazon have made it easier for consumers to return unwanted items

The strategy behind this thought is that customers who have an easy time returning items are more likely to shop at the same retailer again, thanks to the pleasant experience they had getting their money back

The recommerce market has created a third-party home industry that finds functional, sought-after items at great prices and then resells them on sites like Amazon and eBay

There are two main reasons a retailer may not be able to resell a returned item, even if it is brand new and unused

The first is the shipping and handling costs, as well as the shipping and labor costs associated with shipping it to the new buyer

The second reason retailers don’t keep putting returned items on shelves is because the longer an item has been out of circulation, the less value it traditionally has. Pictured: Sales in Dublin in January

The second reason retailers don’t keep putting returned items on the shelves is that the longer an item has been out of circulation, the less value it traditionally has

As for buyers, as always, keep the consumer smart as you are not always guaranteed a discount offer

Due to the nature of the auctions, prices may occasionally increase towards average MSRP prices, and some sites may impose additional fees and buyers’ commissions in addition to shipping costs

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John Pye

World News – UK – The auction sites that sell Christmas returns at bargain prices