Reverse logistics, that is, all operations related to the reuse of used products, excess inventory and packaging materials, gain increasing attention globally both for their promising financial potentials, the sustainable growth alternative they offer and the environmental positive impact they have. In this paper, we introduce reverse logistics and we explain how the adoption of e-commerce provides new possibilities to existing business models and what are the new e-business models in reverse logistics that have emerged. We compare these three new e-business models, namely, returns aggregators, specialty locators and integrated solution providers on a number of aspects and identify keys for their competitive advantage. Finally, we discuss conceptual and actual opportunities for these e-business models to thrive and advance and present some e-commerce tools that are being developed with the aim to address the distributed, dynamic and knowledge-intensive aspects of applications that contribute to the advancement of e-businesses in the field of reverse logistics.

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The research presented in this paper has been supported by the European Commission as part of the TMR network REVLOG (EBR 4061 PL 97-650). This network investigates Reverse Logistics issues and is a co-operation of researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), Eindoven University of Technology (NL), INSEAD (F), University of Piraeus (GR), University of Magdeburg (D) and Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki (GR).
Econometric Institute Research Papers
Erasmus School of Economics

Kokkinaki, A., Dekker, R., de Koster, R., & Pappis, C. (2001). From e-trash to e-treasure: how value can be created by the new e-business models for reverse logistics (No. EI 2000-32/A). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from