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Online shopping has totally revolutionized the way retail works. Companies have to adapt quickly to new technologies that emerge, though they’re not always as quick to move behind the scenes. While customers are scrolling through products on their iPhones, warehouses are dumping returned inventory because they don’t have the processing power to deal with it. That’s where Blinq comes in.
Blinq is owned and operated by Optoro, a company that assists companies with their returned and overstock inventory (AKA reverse logistics.) According to Optoro SVP of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing, Larisa Summers, many retailers are still using “wildly inefficient” processes when dealing with returns. Summers told us in an email that, rather than ship inventory back and forth, which can be expensive, retailers just send returns (even unopened or unused merchandise) to a landfill. (!!!)
According to research conducted by Optoro and reported by CNN, approximately $380 billion worth of merchandise is returned every year, only half of which is resold by the original retailer. Much of the rest, some 5 billion pounds worth, goes straight to the trash. Not only is that incredibly wasteful, it’s terrible for the environment.
Instead of letting brand new products sit in landfills for all eternity, Optoro intercepts before they get there. Because Optoro handles reverse logistics for major retailers, they have access to a huge inventory of returned products. Each return that Optoro processes is entered into their system, which evaluates its value based on market prices and the item’s condition. Optoro then sends it where it will “recover the most value,” be that back to the retailer or manufacturers or to Blinq, where new or like-new items are sold at deep discounts. It’s a win/win/win for everyone involved.
Because its all dependent on what gets returned to retailers, Blinq inventory can vary widely. Sometimes there will be only one item available at a time which can sell out fairly quickly, so if you see something on Blinq you really want, you’ll want to snag it quickly just to be safe.
Since it’s all based on customer returns, search for something specific on Blinq might not return what you’re looking for. They have a pretty impressive inventory, though. Optoro works with major brands like Target, Best Buy, and Jet.com, so they have a wide range of products from electronics to designer clothes to home goods.
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