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Reselling Home Appliances Via Your Ecommerce Store: How To Make It Work

If you’re an online retailer looking to make some extra money, reselling home appliances second-hand could be the way to do it.

Getting this business model right might make you a small fortune and set you apart from the thousands of other drop-shippers and ecommerce brands out there. 

But what do you need to do to make it work? That’s the topic of this post. We look at some of the strategies you can use to resell home appliances via your ecommerce store and make a success of it.

Key Takeaways

  • Reselling home appliances online can be profitable due to high demand and good profit margins. Popular appliances include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and laundry machines.
  • Source appliances at wholesale prices from manufacturers, wholesalers or liquidators. Compare prices to get the best deals. Attend trade shows to find suppliers and stay updated on the latest products.
  • Offer a wide selection of brands and models at competitive prices. Provide detailed product descriptions, multiple photos, and list key features and specifications.
  • Promote your appliance store through online advertising, social media, email marketing, and by optimizing for search engines. Consider offering free shipping and installation services.
  • Provide excellent customer service with fast shipping, easy returns, and helpful support. Build trust with customers by posting reviews and offering warranties on appliances.

Find Out Who Wants To Buy From You

The first step (as always) is to learn as much as you can about your audience. Knowing who’s going to buy from you helps you refine your marketing and sets your brand up for success. 

There are several groups of people who might be after refurbished home appliances, including: 

Of course, you can probably think of many more people who might benefit from this business, but these are just examples. You’ll need to research who wants to buy from you in more detail and tailor your approach accordingly. 

See What Your Competitors Are Doing

The next step is to spend some time looking at what your competitors are doing. Finding out more about their business models can help you figure out what you should do to improve on existing approaches. 

Trialing other companies’ services is one idea. You could ring them up, order a unit, and see if you like their services.

Another approach is to simply go on their website, look at their business model, and take from it what you think works. Adopting proven strategies can help you get ahead in a tough market and win more sales. 

Work With Reputable Partners

If you’re planning on refurbishing home appliances, you’ll want to work with reputable partners. You need a team behind you that can reliably supply the components you need to bring appliances back to working order. 

Using Maytag parts is one option. A large inventory means you can usually get the items you need for washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, and many others from the last ten years or more. 

Just check you can order parts on-demand. You need suppliers who can respond to your requests quickly, preventing your inventory of unsellable items from growing too quickly. 

Often, you can buy appliances for little to no money and sell them for close to market value simply by replacing a few worn components. Many washing machines can last for years as long as they have the proper seals. 

You should also put aside space for inventory if you need it. Having an extra room on your premises lets you keep parts on-site, allowing you to get what you need faster to fix a machine. 

If you have unfixable appliances, break them down into parts. Having OEM equipment often means you can make faster repairs and don’t need to keep customers waiting. 

Use A Friendly Ecommerce Platform

As you are building your network, the next step is to subscribe to a user-friendly platform. These provide all the software and algorithmic tools you need to get your store off the ground and make your presence known. 

Since the appliance refurb and resale market is small, you should stand out from day one, especially in your local area. Only a handful of firms will be available in the area, and sometimes there won’t be any. 

Various platforms are available to help with this, including: 

Always check the platform you use to facilitate payment gateways. This way, you can start generating an income from day one. 

Also, check it offers SEO and other marketing tools. These help you avoid some common pitfalls when publishing a new site, giving you the highest chance of succeeding digitally. 

Talk About Your Product Sourcing

If possible, talk about your product sourcing. Many buyers want inexpensive appliances for their homes, but they don’t always know where to get them. Make this point as clear as you can, stating how you find your items, the condition they arrive in, and how they leave once refurbished and sold. 

To build customer trust, post videos of the refurbishing process. Show them the time, care, and attention your team puts into restoring old units to their former glory. Don’t be afraid to provide a running commentary of what you’re doing and how it will ultimately serve the customer. 

For example, you could source your appliances from: 

  • Partner organizations (such as office complexes that send you refrigerators)
  • Estate auctions that involve selling the property of a deceased person
  • Pre-owned sales online 
  • Other repair yards 
  • Yard sales

The more opportunities you find, the more appliances you can sell, and the more likely your business will succeed. 

Take Time To List Your Products

You also want to take time to list your products once they become available. If selling second-hand, you’ll need to create a new product description for each item to draw people in. It should feel special to them. 

If you don’t want to write all these descriptions yourself, you can get a writing service to do it for you. Many such options exist and can provide massive output, depending on your requirements. 

You can also hand-write descriptions yourself if you think it’s easier. This way, you have full control over what the descriptions say and you can deploy your personal knowledge, explaining where the appliance came from and how you fixed it. Customers often love these small details because they build trust. 

When writing a product description, don’t forget to include: 

  • High-quality images showing the unit from multiple angles
  • The brand name and model number
  • The appliance’s overall condition 
  • The age
  • Any additional features worth mentioning

This format provides clear information and prevents customers from feeling like they’re out of the loop. 

Be Transparent

When writing these descriptions, be transparent. Point out where there are cosmetic imperfections if there are any. Don’t be afraid to talk about your work and how you overcame difficulties during the refurbishment process. Customers love these little details and will hold onto them once they buy from you. 

If there’s something wrong with an appliance (such as a broken display), just be honest. Many clients will still purchase it from you if they have a full understanding of what they’re getting. If customers are reluctant to buy, simply lower the price or add other incentives. 

Make The Pricing Worthwhile

Most people will go and buy an appliance brand new. Therefore, you need to make your prices as competitive as possible.

Low prices are ultimately the reason why home appliance resale businesses operate. The point of taking old machines (usually for free) and then doing them up is to make a profit at the margin and offer customers a lower-cost unit. 

When prices are lower, people don’t expect the Earth. Instead, they just want something reliable that will do the job for a few years. Highlighting this aspect of your resale business can help with this, allowing you to shift a higher volume of units and prevent more appliances from going to landfills. 

Offer A Returns Policy

Another critical component of making an appliance resale ecommerce store work is to offer an effective returns policy. The point of this scheme is simply to give customers peace of mind. They know that if there is something wrong with their appliance, they can return it to you for a refund. 

People seldom use returns policies, so the risk of losing money to them is minimal. You’ll have one or two customers here and there, but for the most part, people will accept and enjoy their machines. Just make sure you have processes in place that allow you to collect appliances (and replace them if necessary). 

Provide Installation

You also want to provide installation if you plan on reselling home appliances online. Fitting ovens and washing machines isn’t a simple process and not something most customers will want to do themselves. 

Therefore, turn your delivery team into installers. Ensure they have the skills to get units from A to B and fit them in your clients’ homes. 

Providing installation as part of the purchase price reduces friction and helps you generate more sales. Customers are confident you provide the support they need to make the most of their purchase and enjoy everything it offers in terms of convenience. 

Be Responsive

If a customer asks you a question, be responsive. Get back to them straight away with the information they request. While it is time-consuming, it can be a highly effective way to market your online store. The more you reach out and communicate, the more your customers will appreciate your services. 

So there you have it: some of the ways to make an appliance resale ecommerce store work. It’s a relatively niche idea so the competition shouldn’t be too fierce. Plus, it’s the sort of thing you can start from a garage or shed with a bit of know-how. 

Essential Industry Insights for Further Reading

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