Case Study: B-Stock

Reducing Returns Waste through Reverse Logistics

As e-commerce and omni-channel retail continue to grow, so does the volume of returned inventory. In 2021, a record 16.6% of all merchandise sold was returned, up from 10.6% in 2020 according to National Retail Federation. For e-commerce purchases specifically, the average return rate was even higher at 20.8%, up from 18% in 2020. Many returns are often either destroyed by being incinerated or are sent to landfills, having a major impact on the environment. U.S. returns generate an estimated 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions and create up to 5.8 billion pounds of landfill waste each year (Source: Optoro).

A Scalable Re-Commerce Strategy

Since 2008 B-Stock, the world’s largest business-to-business online re-commerce network, has addressed this returns waste issue with their technology solution, offering to sell returned and surplus inventory to a network of vetted business buyers. The company handles inventory from a number of ecommerce leaders and sells it through more than 60 specialized online marketplaces. Items range from apparel, cell phones, appliances, to consumer electronics.

When B-Stock needed a Canadian partner that could set up a scalable end-to-end, reverse logistics strategy for one of their largest retail clients, they turned to SCI.

“SCI stepped up with a state-of-the-art facility that could manage everything from inbound staging, palletizing, storage, to inventory management for auction.”

- Paul Busch, Director of Sales at B-Stock

“SCI stepped up with a state-of-the-art facility that could manage everything from inbound staging, palletizing, storage, to inventory management for auction,” says Paul Busch, Director of Sales at B-Stock. “The client’s returns are processed the same day as they are received and immediately made available for auction. Sales cycle time, from when an auction goes live to paid and shipped, is 12 days or less.”

Section 321 Shipping

The 12,000 square-foot facility near Toronto receives multiple truckloads each day, with items ranging from clothing to electronics to patio furniture. In addition to receiving, inspecting, and tagging returned merchandise, the SCI reverse logistics team also removes items that cannot be resold and returns them to the manufacturer or arranges for environmentally appropriate disposal.

“As reverse logistics leaders, we are proud to work with B-Stock to reduce environmental impact by giving these items new life, and helping retailers build customer satisfaction and recover revenue,” adds Dave Mack, Vice President of Omni-Channel Retail at SCI.

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