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Love Your Returns!

I hated returns when I was in the catalog business. I viewed returns, not without reason, as margin-killing time-wasters. The returned merchandise was often unsellable due to customer damage, missing items, or shopworn packaging. I had employees who did nothing all day but handle returns. In our lower-margin lines, I calculated I’d have to sell ten more products to make up for the expense of one return. We always kept smiling while we authorized returns, but inside I was cringing. And I wasn’t the only return-hater. Years ago, it was a common practice in some mail order segments to ship products in packaging the consumer had to tear apart to open, meaning that any return involved the added inconvenience of locating new packaging for the return. […]

By |April 19th, 2011|

What’s A Return Policy Worth?

Ask catalog or Internet retailers what a return cost them, and they will likely be able to cite some very specific numbers reflecting shipping costs, processing labor, damaged packaging, and so on. But it turns out there’s a specific value that customers apply to returns, or, more accurately, the OPTION of returning a product. That value varies by the type of product, the product price, and other factors. […]

By |April 14th, 2011|