What’s Your Return Policy?

From Black Friday to the Return Desk: it's the Circle of Life!

We’ve all seen the of Black Friday news footage madness – the stampedes, shoving and hysteria. Whether you find these scenes funny or horrifying, I bet you don’t watch them and say, “These look like reasonable people who will use good judgment to make sound purchases.”

Apparently the logic, i.e. “can we really afford this?” doesn’t kick in until well after you get home from the mall and eat those leftover turkey sandwiches.

So, while our spending is up over 15% from last year, returns are also way up, long before the actually holidays hit!

Buyers remorse? This is the ultimate environment for it. You get lured in by the deals, but ultimately you realize you don’t want to be paying this stuff off for the next six to 12 months. Retail Analyst, NBC Today Show

The segment taking the biggest hit is electronics. They will lose $17 billion to returns this year, up 21% in the past four years.  Why do we return electronics? 5% of us claim some product defect, while 27% claim buyer’s remorse.

Despite getting killed by returns, some retailers are seeing the value of a good return policy. For example, Nordstrom.com used to charge a $6 restock fee. Now, returns are free.

For some, this is all a bunch of humbug. The shopping truly is part of the fun of the holiday season. To you I say go crazy…but keep your receipts!

4 thoughts on “What’s Your Return Policy?”

  1. Over the years I have learned standing in line to return items is worse than standing in line to purchase them. The return lines seem longer and each transaction take forever. I try to only buy what I know will not have to be returned (unless there is a product defect) or make sure the store’s return policy is flexible so I can wait a few days and avoid the crowds.

  2. I was trying to think of a time when I returned an item–either a gift or personal purchase. Honestly, I have never done it. So, I guess I am not the ideal person to comment on this. I do admit to on occasion donating something to a local charity several times.
    I think there is a shopper mentality that precludes putting good thought into purchases-if there is any thought at all. The idea of being the first and only person to snag a good deal overcomes the ‘do I really need/want this?’ It seems corporate greed to get one to buy, buy, buy has instilled itself into customers–which of course was their intent all along. Their bottom line will reflect the people who suddenly come to their senses–and return ‘stuff’.
    I said, to begin with, that I probably wasn’t the best person to comment on this topic and I may be off-base, but it is what it is.

  3. I start with a number. Of course a $300 camera will be better than a $150 camera. But I only have 150. So I research, research, research to find the best $150 I can get. Really cuts down on the remorse.

  4. I research everything I intend to purchase. Obviously I spend more time on the more expensive items. I also stick fairly close to a budget and usually stay within it. This country would not be in the financial mess it is if everyone were honest with themselves and purchased within their means. I am retired and normally only purchase what I need and not what I want. I will save and or forego one item in order to purchase something special to me.

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