Retail technology company Optoro predicts that U.S. consumers will return about $100 billion worth of bad goods they buy between Thanksgiving and Christmas,media outlet Techspot reported. The Financial Times stresses that gifts purchased online are almost three times more likely to be returned from physical stores.
Large numbers of returns can also be a huge problem for retailers. Most will have to be handled separately, which increases labor costs, and some items, such as laptops, will need to be checked for damage and missing components. All this undermines any potential profit margins.
In fact, Forrester estimates that 50 percent of all online merchandise returns have virtually no residual value. Andy Mantis, chief commercial officer at 1010 data, an analytics firm, said: “Retailers must sell goods at a discount if there is any minor damage. “
In the U.S., about 5 billion pounds of returns are fully processed each year and eventually landfilled, according to Optoro.