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Inside the $644 billion business of reselling returned items, from electronics to bizarre finds

Inside Liquidity Services’ 130,000-square-foot warehouse in Garland, Texas, the aisles aren’t lined with typical merchandise. Instead, they’re stacked with returns from Amazon, Target, Sony, Home Depot, Wayfair and more, all in the process of being liquidated.

“Liquidators are coming in and they’re buying up all of this product in bulk. They’re then packaging it, palletizing it and reselling it, either to be resold on a site like eBay or Poshmark, or even to individual consumers. So it’s turned into a much bigger portion of the industry than we’ve ever seen before,” said Sonia Lapinsky of consulting group AlixPartners.

The liquidation market has more than doubled since 2008, reaching a whopping $644 billion in 2020, according to data from Colorado State University.

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