Are free returns a thing of the past? What to expect when returning Black Friday finds
More and more companies are charging return fees. Here’s how to avoid them this holiday season
Online shopping is becoming more and more popular, but some stores are actually losing money as consumers return products that can’t be resold. The situation is prompting some stores to charge a return fee.
The biggest spending season of the year is in the next two months. Deals offered on Black Friday prompt tons of purchases, but also plenty of returns.
Here’s what to expect from the return process this holiday season.
How much do returns cost retailers?
Last year, the National Retail Federation found that the return landscape had changed with online shopping as Americans were returning more than ever.
This was because of the mentality adopted by many shoppers that they could order multiple products and simply return the ones they didn’t want. It’s a mentality that 63% of consumers have, reported Axios.
Freight, packaging and labor can cost companies a third of the price of the actual items being returned, Heidi Isern, who is VP of a software creator company for retailers called Navar, told Axios.
In 2022, America’s growing return habit cost companies $816 billion, per the NRF.
Are companies charging for returns?
A study from Navar found that more than 40% of retailers are charging a return fee when the return involves shipping an item, per Axios.
What stores are going to charge a return fee?
Large retail stores like TJ Maxx started charging a return fee in addition to having the consumer pay for the return shipping earlier in the year, per Business Insider.
Retailers charging a return fee on all or some items when the return is mailed include:
- TJ Maxx.
- Abercrombie and Fitch.
- Urban Outfitters.
- J. Crew.
- Best Buy.
- American Eagle.
- Coach outlet locations.
How much does a return fee cost?
Return fees vary from retailer to retailer, but can range from a flat fee of $3 to a percentage of the retail price of the item, per Business Insider.
How can I avoid return fees?
Avoiding return fees is as simple as returning items to the physical retail location, rather than mailing the item or items back, reported Business Insider. It’s unlikely that a store will start charging a customer for bringing the item back to the store because it also tempts them to purchase something else while they’re there.
Can items bought on Black Friday be returned?
The vast majority of retailers allow returns after Black Friday. As far as the timeframe for returns, some like Walmart or Amazon even extend their return window during the holiday sales, including Black Friday sales.