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Retailers coming up with stricter policies and free returns soon can be a past

At present, gift purchasing and returning go hand in hand. As per research, consumers are going to return about 18% of products sold during the holidays. Costs are increasing, and this is squeezing the margins. Thus, several retailers are reconsidering their policies in terms of returns. Maybe, they will shorten the return window or even start to charge restocking or return fees.

Stores like Old Navy and Gap are popular for their return policies. And they have shortened their return window to within one month. REI and LL Bean once promised that they would offer lifetime returns. But now, they are charging a fee of about $6 for all the mailed returns.

These returns are not to cover the costs but to deter the customers from returning. During the pandemic, free returns were very convenient. But now, the rising shipping and labor expenses are making things problematic. Retailers struggle with their excessive inventory. And most of the time, the returns do not end up on the shelf. This makes it difficult for retailers to improve sustainability and streamline expenses.

The rule is that the supply chain will move only in a single direction. So, the more amount of money the retailers will lose, the more price they will raise to makeup.

Therefore, changing the return policy is easier than increasing the buying price. It is easy for the customers to digest.

If the return option is crucial to you, it is better to know the policies beforehand. For this, you may need to dig up more. Customers need to know what to return and when to make better decisions. So, it is essential to consider the return policy while making a purchase. Or else it may harm your bottom line.

If you want to avoid returns, you may consider in-person shopping. It minimizes the gap between reality and your expectation.


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