Amazon may be the biggest e-commerce retailer on the block, but it gets a bad rap for its sustainability credentials (or lack thereof).
Despite a rocky start, the e-commerce giant knows a good business play when it sees one — and with the rise of environmentally-minded consumers, investing in a new sustainable selling program was a no-brainer.
Enter, Amazon Second Chance.
This little-known program allows you to recycle, repair, and return devices — sometimes trading in your old electronics for gift cards. And there’s also great news for sellers looking for new ways to earn cash: Amazon Renewed — an online marketplace dedicated solely to selling refurbished electronics.
But do Amazon’s latest attempts to reduce e-waste present new opportunities for your business? And if so, how can you get involved?
In this ultimate guide to Amazon Second Chance, we’ll dish the goods on the new sustainability-focused program and let you know if it’s a suitable space for you to trade in, recycle, or sell pre-loved electronics and smart home devices.
The Scoop on Amazon Second Chance
- All about Amazon Second Chance
- Amazon Second Chance: Options for e-commerce sellers
- Amazon Renewed: The lowdown
- What are the benefits of selling on Amazon Second Chance?
- What is the downside of selling through Amazon Second Chance?
- Amazon Second Chance: Wrapping it up
All about Amazon Second Chance
In a nutshell, Amazon Second Chance features tons of pre-owned, refurbished electronics and smart home devices that customers have returned. These devices are Amazon certified, which means they are guaranteed to work, look brand-spankin’ new, and each one comes with a limited warranty.
Here’s how to get involved:
- Trade in pre-loved items: Amazon Second Chance is the perfect way to get rid of electronics lying around your house while earning back a bit of what you spent on them. Plus, the list of eligible items for trade-in is pretty substantial.
Categories for trading include:
- Kindle devices and other e-Readers
- Streaming media players
- Bluetooth speakers and headphones
- Echo and Alexa
- Home security devices
- Wireless routers
- Gaming devices, consoles, and controllers
- Computers and laptops
- Recycle old devices and packaging: Most local recycling centers won’t accept old electronics, so it’s hard to know what to do with them. Especially as electronics contain many harmful chemicals like lead and lithium that you definitely don’t want seeping out into the earth. Amazon Second Chance is the perfect alternative.
- What’s old is new again: You can shop bargain bin prices when you hit up the Amazon pre-owned market. Here you’ll find deals on pre-owned, refurbished electronic devices certified by Amazon. Each product comes with a warranty and live customer support free for 90 days post-purchase to help you get to know your products.
- Recycle Amazon packaging: Amazon Second Chance also allows you to recycle specific types of Amazon packaging. So, if those blue and white envelopes and boxes spill out every time you open your closet — this program is perfect for you.
Amazon Second Chance: Options for e-commerce sellers
Amazon comes up with new ways for sellers to make money all the time — and Amazon Second Chance is no exception. Their innovative Amazon Renewed program allows sellers to offer gently used electronic goods — and help boost their sustainability credentials at the same time.
You can sell three types of products through Amazon Renewed:
- Refurbished — used products that were returned because they were faulty or the customer no longer wanted them.
- Pre-owned — products that are used but in better condition than refurbished products.
- Open-box — unused products in a returned open package.
Amazon Renewed: The lowdown
Who can sell on Amazon Renewed?
As with all things Amazon, there are a few hoops to jump through before you can sell on Amazon Renewed.
Let’s break it down:
- Amazon explicitly states that only sellers who maintain a high quality and performance bar can sell through Amazon Renewed. So, if you already sell pre-owned, refurbished electronic goods and you’ve got a great Amazon IPI, it may be worth applying.
- As a qualified Amazon Renewed Seller, you must be willing to have devices professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned, so they look brand new and work like a charm before you repackage and sell them.
- You must have proven experience in the pre-owned product field to get accepted as an Amazon-certified refurbished seller.
Amazon Renewed sellers get access to exclusive selling tools as well as a global marketplace that allows you to expand your store beyond your local reach. But, like anything else sold on Amazon, this program has its drawbacks. A major one is the strict criteria to qualify. Let’s take a look.
What are the qualifications to sell on Amazon Renewed?
Once your products meet the strict performance platform requirements, you have to follow a pretty aggressive plan of action to get your online store approved.
Here are some of the requirements to get selling on Amazon Renewed:
- Provide invoices of at least $50,000 for refurbished products (the same you want to sell on Amazon) sold in the past 90 days from the date of the submission.
- As an existing Amazon seller, you must also have an order defect rate (ODR) of 0.8% or less in the past 90 days, or your application will be rejected.
- You must also provide a warranty of at least 90 days for all refurbished items you want to sell.
- Further rules apply to selling Apple products, so be sure to do your homework.
What can you sell on Amazon Renewed?
As a seller, you can offer refurbished, pre-owned and open-box products in these categories. Just don’t forget — when you list an item, you must indicate that it’s refurbished and not new:
- Automotive Parts
- Headphones & Audio
- Home Appliances
- Home & Industrial Tools
- Kitchen Appliances
- Laptops & Computers
- Musical Instruments
- Outdoors & Sports
- Office Equipment
- Television Sets
- Video Game Consoles
How do you set up a refurbished product shop on Amazon?
The first step is to become a registered Amazon seller (if you aren’t already). Once you register, it’s important to make sure you have enough inventory to begin selling on Amazon Renewed.
If you don’t already have inventory built up, look for products that are:
- High demand, low competition: Your aim is to sell hundreds of products each month without needing to fight off tons of competition, so look for niche products that fill a gap in the market. (Psst! Google is your best friend when seeking niches.)
- Don’t compete with Amazon: Look for products that don’t compete directly with Amazon products or private label sellers — your products may get denied if you do so.
- Price competitively: Check out the current Amazon Buy Box prices and aim for a price within 2% of what you see.
What are the benefits of selling through Amazon Second Chance?
Amazon Second Chance may have a tough application process, but it’s 100% worth the effort.
- Amazon’s high standards and rigorous application process means far fewer competitors make it through the doors. This opens up the perfect opportunity to move returned electronic products that you may not sell elsewhere.
- Amazon Renewed gives you the opportunity to reach a different demographic than those you find on standard e-commerce platforms. Shoppers who seek products through Amazon Second Chance are savvy, looking for bargain prices, and are more likely to return in the future for more discounted devices.
- A 90-day guarantee backs Amazon Renewed products, making purchases more appealing to customers. Amazon protects sellers with a full disclaimer, setting consumer expectations to anticipate a not-quite-perfect product condition.
What is the downside of selling through Amazon Second Chance?
There are obviously a ton of benefits to Amazon Renewed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for every online retailer.
- Depending on the type of customer you serve, selling ‘renewed’ or ‘refurbished’ products may hurt your brand’s image — especially if you usually deliver luxury or premium items.
- Your products will also appear in searches with new products, which means you’re not just competing with other pre-owned devices. When you create a listing, it’s crucial to make it crystal clear exactly what you’re selling to not confuse your products with something new.
- Pricing is another key factor when selling refurbished electronics. If you price too low, arbitrage sellers may pick up your products and turn around to sell them at a higher price on competing e-commerce sites. That’s why it’s important to keep your eye on the Buy Box for your product and stay close to that price.
Amazon Second Chance: Wrapping it up
Amazon Second Chance is a great way to get more involved with the recycling economy.
And for sellers, Amazon Renewed is an excellent opportunity for the right business model — especially if you’re looking to expand your second-hand electronics store and open new doors for your business.
Though the program guidelines are stringent, once your application’s accepted you can gain access to a new market of Amazon enthusiasts looking for pre-loved electronics. And with fulfillment on your side, you can expand your business to a bigger global market with less competition. It’s a win-win.