Yesterday saw record Christmas return values – and they are still flooding in today says delivery expert ParcelHero. ‘Take Back Tuesday’ saw ParcelHero’s average return order values soar by 22% over last year’s biggest returns date… and the parcel price comparison site says many more returns are pouring in today.
Says ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT: ‘We have seen many more costly items returned this year than on Take Back Tuesday 2016. Clothes and footwear topped the list of unloved items being sent back to the retailer, with some items worth many hundreds of pounds. Canny online shoppers know they have 14 days to return goods for any reason and get a full refund, under Consumer Contracts Regulations; which means getting returned gifts sent back is increasingly urgent.’
And David says that, unusually, returns are still climbing today. ‘At 10am this morning we saw a huge surge in online returns bookings, as ever-more unwanted items were sent back to the seller. We think many people took an extra day’s holiday this year and today looks like becoming Wing-Back Wednesday as they catch up with returning unwanted gifts.’
Adds David: ‘It also looks as if many more consumers are avoiding post office queues by sending items back through couriers – who will pick up their return items from their work, home or postal lockers.’
Says David: ‘Remember items bought online before Christmas have until the 7th of January at the latest (that’s if they were received on Christmas Eve) to be returned for any reason. Anyone with an unwanted gift must either return the item within 14 days or notify the seller in writing or email – in which case you have a further 14- day grace period to return it.
‘The good news is you have longer for items discovered to be faulty. People have 30 days, that’s January 23rd for an item bought on Christmas Eve, to notify the seller there is a fault, under the Consumer Rights Act, for automatic refund or replacement of an item received damaged. That applies to items bought online and in store. And some retailers, such as Amazon, are even extending Christmas return dates until the end of January this year.’
Concludes David: ‘With record return numbers this week it’s clear canny shoppers are squeezing the most from the Consumer Contracts Regulation’s 14 day no quibble law; but this is concerning for smaller traders, who can’t afford the cost abnormally high returns incur. Returned items are now costing UK SME retailers over £20 million a year and some online retailers are seeing returns as high as 60% over the Christmas and New year period. There will undoubtedly be some online stores that will close as a casualty of the sheer volume of returns this year.’
ParcelHero has a final tip for returning gifts which over-eager receivers have accidentally damaged the packaging for or thrown away too soon. Retailers do have to accept unboxed returns in many circumstances. See https://www.parcelhero.com/blog/expert-shipping-advice/5698 for full details on how to return items not in their original packages, and what your rights are.