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BuyBay supports partners in the future with in-house solutions to make returns management more sustainable and profitable

Amsterdam/Cologne, November 29, 2022 – With Black Friday, the peak season in e-commerce has begun, and the thought of the upcoming Christmas season‘s returns worries many responsible parties. With annual costs in the triple-digit millions, the issue of returns management remains a problem child for online retailers. So, what can retailers and manufacturers do to streamline processes around handling returns and save resources? The use of intelligent software and processes can help companies to inspect and evaluate (“grade”) returns and remaining stock, as well as resell them through the most appropriate channels. Instead of blocking warehouses, losing value, and eventually being sold through bulk buyers, sometimes at per-kilo prices, or even being destroyed, the goal is to return them to the consumer cycle as quickly as possible. BuyBay already supports numerous partners by taking over the returns processes. Now the returns specialist has launched the first pilot projects with partners to use the BuyBay software as an in-house solution directly on-site, in order to reduce transport routes and make returns management even more sustainable.

“Many of our partners prefer to outsource the often complex product testing and merchandise preparation to BuyBay. Especially suppliers with a particularly diversified portfolio cannot cover the necessary testing and grading processes for all product groups internally,” explains Alexander Lange, Head of Business Development Germany at BuyBay. “However, there are also industries and use cases where it would be advantageous if the processes could take place in-house. Especially for large-format products, such as for instance household appliances (white goods) or furniture, avoiding transport routes would reduce the logistical effort and shipping of goods, thus saving costs and emissions. That’s why we’ve decided to let our partners use our software in their own warehouses in the near future.

Smart software as the basis for intelligent returns management

In recent years, BuyBay has established itself as a partner for outsourcing parts or even the entire returns process. This successfully works with both well-known e-commerce companies and brand manufacturers. The basis of BuyBay’s success and the heart of its intelligent returns management is the company’s in-house developed software. With the help of this software solution, all processes within the returns management are supported with information and AI-based algorithms.

Step 1: Goods receipt and routing

Immediately upon receipt of a returned product, the “Vault” software component enables automated routing and an initial assessment based on a combination of predefined rules and external information. The most important basis for this is the so-called EAN (European Article Number), which provides information about the product category, the current price, the color, and other product characteristics of the return.

Step 2: Grading and test processes

The “Verdict” module uses this information to specify the steps for the appropriate grading process. For example, the software determines which test processes are necessary and evaluates whether reprocessing is worthwhile. Depending on the product group, these processes can range from the test wash of a washing machine and pixel tests for TV screens to professional data erasure for electronic devices and data carriers.

Step 3: Selecting the sales channel

The next step is to determine the most suitable sales channel. The software module “Flux” suggests the most suitable channel and the appropriate marketing based on the product’s condition and other information, and can initiate this automatically. Sales platforms can be the partner’s own web store, external B2C marketplaces or auction platforms such as BuyBay’s own platform BELUGA Auctions. The specifications of the sales channels are also taken into account. Some marketplaces do not accept products with visual defects, but only as-new goods where, for example, only the packaging is damaged.

Step 4: Quick selling at the best possible price

To determine the best possible price that is attractive to buyers while still providing sellers with the highest possible profit, many factors must be taken into account. The software module “Cassandra” monitors the market prices of several hundred thousand products. The solution takes product conditions, product search queries, and various other data sources into account. Due to the rapidly changing market situation, prices are updated several times a day and adjusted accordingly. In this way, the software helps to sell the item at the best possible price in a short time. This prevents further value losses by storing returns for too long. For example, the period for reselling the returns through BuyBay is a maximum of 90 days.

Efficiency and sustainability

AI-powered applications and (partially) automated processes serve new ways to drastically reduce the costs of returns. If the processes are carried out directly in the warehouse of a manufacturer or carrier with the help of the software, additional costs and emissions can be saved by not shipping it to the BuyBay warehouse. This makes the partner’s returns management even more sustainable, streamlines processes and saves resources. Starting in 2023, BuyBay’s first partners, leading brands and large fulfillment companies, will use the software in-house.

About BuyBay

BuyBay is an emerging, technology-driven company headquartered in the Netherlands that believes returns and overstock management, including resale, can work better, more transparently, and more sustainably. The company’s vision is to “give returned products a second life.” And doing so, not only make the world more sustainable but also increase the profits of its partners.

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