Since its founding in 1997, United Parcel Services (UPS) has grown to be one of the major shipping services in the world. The company declared January 5, 2017, National Returns Day as they expect people to return more than 1.3 million packages with the company on that day. The first full week of January will be extremely busy for the company as it expects customers to return more than 5.8 million packages during that week.
What is the Changing Landscape of Returns?
Retailers will suffer about $260 billion in lost sales. The news is not all bad, however, as over 45 percent will make an additional purchase from the company’s website when they send back a return. This compares to about 70 percent of buyers making an additional purchase when returning to a brick-and-mortar store.
While many customers used to complain when they had to return an item, retailers are making it much easier for people to send back items now. About 60 percent of companies provide free shipping on returns. Almost 51 percent offer a hassle-free return policy. Forty-four percent offer an easy-to-print return label while 40 percent include a return label right in the box.
Cathy Sparks, vice president of global direct-to-consumer retail concepts for sports company Nike, says that:
“people exchange unwanted clothing items for ones that better suit their routine or style. The same can be true for footwear.”
She recommends sticking with socks, hats, and other accessories if you do not want your gift returned. She also adds that many gift recipients would rather have a gift card so that they can pick out an outfit for themselves.
Another highly returned item is gaming equipment. American video game company, GameStop’s senior director of merchandising Eric Bright, says that one of the problems that he sees often is that buyers are not interested in the hobby themselves. Therefore, he recommends that buyers visit stores in person allowing them to get help from a knowledgeable store employee even if they end up making the purchase online.
Jeanne Tamayo, a global lifestyle buyer for grocery chain Whole Foods, says that while quirky gifts are fun to open, many people end up returning them. They send them back rather than letting them become clutter on their counters.
What are Some Tips for Making Returns?
Whenever possible, get a receipt for the item before making a return. This allows the retailer to know that you actually bought the item from them. Some companies will also accept credit card receipts as proof that you purchased the item.
Understand the store’s timeframe. Some products only give you a certain amount of time to return an item. Therefore, make sure that you return the item within that time.
Learn about how the company handles returning the purchaser’s money. Some companies will only put the money back on the buyer’s credit card if they paid using that method. This may leave the recipient with nothing.
Retailers may also control where you can return the gift. Some require that you send it back to a specific address when the item was purchased online. Others will take any purchase back at one of their retail locations.
While many people will try to return their items on National Returns Day, unless recipients are faced with a return deadline, this can be a very bad idea. Shippers are more likely to lose packages when they are overworked. Retailers are also more likely to process return information incorrectly when they are faced with hundreds of returns at one time. If you cannot return an unwanted present, remember that there are many places that you can sell it online.
Image Source: Wikipedia