WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 28: Shoppers look at footwear December 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. Retail spending in the United States rose during the Christmas holiday season 5.5 percent to levels seen in 2007 prior to the nation's recession. …
Warehouses full of merchandise coming in by the truckload. Flat screen tv's, laptops, video games, telescopes, power tools and even cement mixers!
This giant "Genco" facility is mission control for stuff many big name companies couldn't sell in retail stores.
Genco is just one U.S. wholesaler selling straight to consumers for bargain prices on what's called the secondary market.
Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of secondary stuff is finding its way to a growing number of new sites and stores where you can buy it without the big markup of a middle man… the savings range from 40 to 90%!
But before you buy-know the lingo so you're not surprised!
If something is "new" it really means "new". Perhaps retailers just had too many, like this computer mouse.
If a product is "open box" or "damaged box" like these -- it means the device has been opened or the box is damaged, but it should still work just fine.
The riskiest stuff is: "as is": what you see is what you get. The product could have missing remotes, or no instruction manuals. The pay off? It's the cheapest stuff.
"Refurbished" stuff: is a very popular secondary market sale.
It was returned to a retail store with a problem, but it's been fixed up, re-tested and deemed good to go!
In fact-- the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports in the past two years it's gotten only three safety complaints about refurbished items--compared to thousands of complaints about new stuff.
The secondary market isn't just for electronics.
Bargain hunter Jaime Palmucci has a closet full of secondary market finds.
She got this 360 dollar dress for one dollar along with amazing deals on these Marc Jacob sunglasses and earnest sewn jeans.
She follows secondary market sites using social media--on Facebook, Twitter and on blogs to find out the very latest deals.
She also uses comparison shopping search engines like priceblink.com.
Insiders say using social media is the way to shop because inventory is always changing and-- you can check out the reputation of sites by reading comments people leave.
The most important shopping tip: know the merchant's return policy-and what your options are if something is defective!
Make sure you understand what the shipping charges are as well-especially with big box items like flat screen TV’s and computers, so you don't get stuck paying fortune.
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