Purchasing goods from liquidation websites can be a great way to receive a lot of name-brand merchandise for less than retail prices. Most sites will let you bid on a variety of pallets, featuring returned items and popular name brands like Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, and Black & Decker. If you run a consignment or resale shop or are looking to make some extra money flipping used and returned goods online through websites such as eBay, purchasing customer returns pallets can be an excellent way to quickly get stock to sell. Still, many people treat this like gambling, similar to the way others approach storage unit auctions. If you want to make money flipping returned merchandise, it’s best to go in with a plan and know what you’re getting yourself into. Here are a few tips when buying Amazon customer returns pallets online.

Calculate your profit margins

One of the most important things to do when bidding on returns pallets is to calculate how much you stand to profit. For example, let’s imagine you’re looking at an Amazon pallet of 352 toys brands including Mattel, Funko, and Jakks Pacific. It’s important that you look at the retail price and then determine how much you may be able to charge for these assorted action figures. The retail price might be somewhere north of $5,000, making the average cost per unit about $14. If you think that you can get close to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price online, ultimately bidding somewhere close to $3,520 would allow you to break even. To turn a profit, however, you should try to factor in other costs like shipping and packing fees, as well as online retailer fees. If you’re able to win the auction at a number closer to $1,000 or $2,000, your profit margins immediately increase.

Overestimate shipping costs

Shipping large pallets can be incredibly costly. Even worse, shipping costs have the potential to eat into your profits tremendously. It’s important that you remember to overestimate for shipping costs when bidding on returns pallets, so that you can avoid the risks of losing all of your money or working extra hard only to break even. Some pallets are available for in-person pick up, so if you or your friends and family live close to a pallet warehouse, it may be worth making your own arrangements.

Don’t get caught up in the excitement of bidding

Because returns pallets are generally available through online auction websites, it’s pivotal that you remember not to get caught up in the thrill of bidding. Like ballooning shipping costs, a bidding war can be a recipe for disaster and eat into your profits before you even realize it. Calculate your margins ahead of time and be sure to set your maximum bid and stick to it. If you don’t, you risk losing money on your purchase.

Plan ahead and buy seasonally

One final tip to consider when bidding on Amazon customer returns pallets is to think seasonally. Often, people will need decorations or costumes for the holidays, and these items command less of a premium throughout the year. Thanks to returns pallets, you can easily purchase seasonal items for Halloween or Christmas in July, often snagging great deals, only to make your money back and then some during the holidays when buyers are more likely to spend close to retail price. This tip can turn even the smallest of pallets into a cash cow.

Thanks to their easy-to-use interfaces and parallel to other online auction sites, it’s never been easier to buy pallets of returned goods. If you’re on the hunt for a way to increase your store’s stock or are interested in flipping some products on the side or getting name brand clothing cheap, it’s hard to go wrong with buying Amazon customer returns pallets. By following the above tips and doing your research, you’ll be able to find success buying pallets online. So make a plan, and enjoy the process — happy bidding!