Giving Returned Products a New Life
Amazon is beefing up its business in Australia, where on June 8 it launched its own resale platform, Amazon Warehouse, to compete with rivals such as Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Amazon Prime Day 2021 will host 65 hours of online sales from midnight on June 21 to 5 p.m. EDT on June 23.
Amazon Australia country manager Matt Furlong said Amazon Warehouse was giving returned products a "new lease of life".
Furlong said: "Items are returned to Amazon for a variety of reasons - sometimes the item is not what the customer wanted at all, or it may have a cosmetic defect or damaged packaging. These items cannot be sold as new, but are still of good quality and in good condition."
How Amazon Warehouse works
Amazon Warehouse offers discounts on used and returned "out of the box" items in 30 categories, including electronics, household goods, books, music, clothing and toys.
Amazon offers used products including smartphones, home appliances and laptops, but the company says customers can buy with confidence as all orders will be "fulfilled directly and quality-checked by Amazon". Buyers will also enjoy Amazon's existing customer service and return rights.
Amazon says products undergo a "thorough quality check to ensure functional and physical condition" before going on sale. The project was then rated on one of four criteria: liking new, very good, good, and acceptable. This rating determines the "depth" of the discount.
Amazon Prime Day has yet to go mainstream in Australia
Since its launch in Australia in 2017, Amazon has been gradually expanding its presence in the local retail space. But unlike in the US, the platform's Prime Day promotion has yet to gain a foothold in Australia. Research by digital advertising agency Criteo found that just over a quarter of Australian shoppers were familiar with the campaign.
Amazon is still building its business in Australia. "But they are going into the market with determination," says Colin Barnard, managing director of Criteo. This is a giant. It's a marathon, not a sprint."
Barnard said that while Amazon was still trying to consolidate its position, there was an opportunity for Australian retailers to "upgrade". "We still have some good local competitors, such as individual retailers like JB Hifi, and similar competitors like Catch. So there is still room for Australian retailers not to let Amazon do what they want."
Barnard said consumers who want to support local retailers can still benefit from Amazon Prime Day, as many local stores offer promotions at the same time.
The Australian online second-hand market is expected to grow from $7 billion in 2019 to $35 billion in 2024, according to ThredUp's 2020 Resale Report.