Consumers spent 23% more of their own money shipping back unwanted gifts on ‘Wing-Back Wednesday’ (January 2nd – the peak returns day after Christmas) than they did last year, reveals the parcel price comparison site ParcelHero. It’s warning consumers buying from countries such as China may not be covered for free returns, even for damaged or not as described items.
The amount spent by ParcelHero users on unwanted item returns rose by nearly a quarter this Wednesday compared to January 2nd last year. The most returned items were dresses, electronic goods, cameras, shoes and watches.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says: ‘Returns across the industry were expected to rise by 80% compared to a usual weekday; but we did not expect to see so high a rise in the number of returns paid for by the customer themselves. Under UK law all faulty goods’ returns must be paid for by the retailer, but retailers don’t have to pay the cost of returns on items that are simply unwanted.
David explains: “Not every country has the same returns laws as those that apply in the UK and EU. We have seen a rise in the number of items being returned to China, Hong Kong and the USA this week – and this makes sense as China, for example, offers far fewer consumer rights than when purchasing from a seller in the UK. While many of the sites you can buy from, such as AliExpress, offer their own protection policies, these may only include a partial refund for some issues, such as items not being as described, and it’s not the law.”
David concludes: ‘For the sake of smaller UK retailers it’s good that some shoppers now seem prepared to cover the cost of returns for unwanted items; but it’s to be feared that the main reason for the overall rise in spending on returns is because more people have bought from non-EU sites and are having to use their own money to return higher value items for a refund. The cost of shipping items to China is, of course, more expensive than to the EU, and that means it is only worthwhile in the case of more expensive items.”
To read ParcelHero’s full report on the impact of returns see: www.parcelhero.com/returns