Shopping needs to be easy and fun. It needs to be smooth with less hassle. Unfortunately, it is not as easy sometimes, especially when you have to visit bargain stores with shelf pulls and shop returns. Most of the shoppers cannot differentiate, and less have any idea how to handle them or even the considerations in choosing them.

A) Shelf Pulls

Have you ever walked into a store and found well-dressed dummies and admired how smart and elegant you would look in them? And then there was the one you liked, and next day the model was dressed in another one. Ever wondered what would have happened to them? 

Shelf pulls are items that have been brought into the shop and are displayed for the customers and then removed. They can also be tester items or samples or items that have been unpacked, unwrapped or unboxed to show the new ones in the store and their prices. These items pull traffic to the stores by visual appeal.

How to identify shelf pulls
1. Most of the shelf pulls have pricing tags or discount stickers. 
Since the stores use them initially for display, the tags may not have been removed from them when they were pulled off. 

2. Signs of being handled
Because the staff in these stores are involved in these displays, the shelf pulls may show evidence of handling. That can mean a crease, a dirty spot on white, unofficial folding of a shirt, some dust too. 
3. Absence of labels 

To prevent return, many of the item labels will have been removed to differentiate between the items bought at a regular and bargain stores at a discounted price. 
4. Open boxes or no boxes at all.

These items will be found to be out of the box or the lids to the boxes missing., showing an item that was unpacked from its original case.

Factors to consider when buying shelf pulls
1. Check through the items and pick the best quality. Take your time and sort through.
2. Be ready to get creative with what you buy and take time to either wipe or if there is any sign of tear and wear from the handling, to knit.
3. If you are a reseller, do not remove the original price tag either the discounted tag, as your price will be attractive when you further mark it as a great discount.
4. Check and remove the stickers on the items accordingly
5. Sometimes expect to have either expired, about to expire or some that would not qualify to be sold as new.

B) Store Returns

Store returns refer to items that customers revert back to the stores for various reasons. They may be new or damaged. With the advent of e-commerce, this is becoming a serious problem as items may not look or feel as depicted on the Internet. 

Reasons for returns.
This is how you would identify a store return.

1. The items may be new but wrong fit, unwanted color, or changed preference of taste.
2. Items may be damaged or stale. Examples of these are past-sale dates, a broken handle or even a loose clipper or damaged zipper of a handbag.
3. Items may have gotten little unoriginal marks or ink. A black spot on a white bra can result in return. 

Retailers and manufacturers are incurring costs up to a tenth of the original cost of manufacture and distribution. That noted, returns have also become gold mines for logistics firms, discount chain stores, and brokers. They buy at a throw-away price and sell at a margin. Reselling has been one way of dealing with returns. 

Damaged items have been used as spares. With creativity, even stay away moms overhaul the items by making entirely new items from different parts hence a resale. Other companies, wanting to retain an aura of desirability, either incinerate or grind the returned items


Shelf pulls and store returns are inevitable. On the upside, the create micro-economies and promote small-scale traders as a secondary market. Exports are also big beneficiaries. They export to developing countries creating employment as resales of the same sustain livelihoods. Foreign aid agencies and poverty eradication projects are also recipients of the shelf pulls and store returns.