Online returns, often unopened, for sale at Waite Park's EZbuy Bins - SC Times

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So these found their way to EZbuy Bins, a new liquidation and overstock store in Waite Park.
EZbuy Bins is run by husband-wife team Mustafa Ibrahem and Maha Alazzawi.
For the most part, the price of products at EZBuy Bins depends on the day you purchase it.
Hunting for treasure among the items in liquidation stores like EZbuy Bins has become increasingly popular, particularly on social media.
And at a time when prices are only climbing higher, shopping at a store like EZbuy Bins can perhaps be a boon to a buyer's stretched budget, Ibrahem said.

Online returns, often unopened, for sale at Waite Park's EZbuy Bins - SC Times

WAITE PARK ― Toward the front of the store is a basket brimming with phone cases. Two separate bins have Funko Pop! bobbleheads at the summit of a pile of other miscellaneous items. A discounted pressure washer is leaning up against the wall, just a few feet away from a new violin in a lined case. Body washes of all colors are neatly lined up toward the front of the building. And behind the storage divider, awaiting the next restock, is a child-sized Minnie Mouse Jeep with working headlights. All of these items have one thing in common: Someone else decided they didn't want them. So these found their way to EZbuy Bins, a new liquidation and overstock store in Waite Park. EZbuy Bins is run by husband-wife team Mustafa Ibrahem and Maha Alazzawi. They opened their business on Aug. 6 at 87-10th Ave S. For the most part, the price of products at EZBuy Bins depends on the day you purchase it. Because Ibrahem and Alazzawi restock on Fridays and Saturdays, shoppers those days have to pay $10 and $9 per item, respectively. "The bins are full with very expensive items and great deals," Alazzawi said. As the week goes on, items become cheaper until Wednesday, when items cost $1. The couple uses Thursday to completely clear out the bins, clean and prepare, and the whole cycle starts over again on Friday with around 3,000 new items, Ibrahem said. Hunting for treasure among the items in liquidation stores like EZbuy Bins has become increasingly popular, particularly on social media. According to a National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail survey, retailers expected more than $761 billion in merchandise purchased in 2021, or 16.6% of total U.S. retail sales that year, would be returned by consumers. That return rate is up from 10.6% in 2020. Online returns rates were even higher, averaging at 20.8% of items returned. About $218 billion of online purchases were returned, the NRF reported. Returns like these don't go back on the shelf, Ibrahem said. In that way, what they do helps recycle the items, according to Alazzawi. "We have Black Friday every Friday," she said. "Honestly. You don't need to wait until November." Alazzawi said they've heard positive feedback from customers and see several return multiple days a week. Not every good item lands at the top of the bins, Alazzawi said; sometimes, you've got to dig. Sheet sets go fast, as do electronics and small appliances. The store has a testing station Ibrahem operates, so if customers want to check that an item (like an Xbox game or a lamp) works before purchasing it, he can help with that. And at a time when prices are only climbing higher, shopping at a store like EZbuy Bins can perhaps be a boon to a buyer's stretched budget, Ibrahem said. That's how Ibrahem and Alazzawi first experienced this kind of shopping for themselves; they were preparing for Christmas and wanted to give gifts to friends while still being budget-conscious. Ibrahem drove to Iowa to visit a liquidation store, and it was a good experience for them. He's been selling items out of liquidation, largely cosmetics and clothes, for about a year to overseas customers. That's how Ibrahem and Alazzawi learned to buy and sell these items, Ibrahem said. According to Ibrahem, the closest liquidation store to the St. Cloud area is nearly three hours away. He travels to, or video chats with, warehouses in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, picking out palettes to use to stock their store. Fridays are the busiest, as people want to get their hands on the newly stocked items, Alazzawi said. But Wednesdays are also busier, since items only cost $1. Some items, like grills or desks, will have a heavy discount, but won't be included in the day's price rate. Clothes are also separated and sold for a set price. Ibrahem and Alazzawi are refugees from Iraq who've lived in Minnesota since 2013. Ibrahem said opening EZbuy Bins is an indicator that the American Dream is alive and well (though Alazzawi was anxious about the big risk involved in opening their own business). "You have to think out of the box," Ibrahem said. "Because there is opportunity here." Ibrahem built the bins the business uses to display their items, and he also did most of the renovation work to prepare the store for opening, he said. And though they work long hours to restock items and keep the store running, it's worth it. "We can work hard and make it happen. ... We might be tired, (work) a lot of hours, stuff like that, but this is your own money. What you pay for it, you get for it."
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