‘Serial Turners’: How COVID and Free Shipping Made Overbuying the New Normal |

Bracketing was a thing long before COVID, but it appears to have jumped during the pandemic as shoppers avoid the risk of making purchases in person. Low regularly sees customers returning multiples of the same swimsuit, for example, or “six pairs of baby shoes of different colors or sizes.”

Whether supercharged returns survive the pandemic is unclear. While buyers love convenience, these convenience providers have mixed feelings.

Drop-off points collect a small processing fee from shippers – Sip and Ship, for example, receives 50 cents for each UPS and FedEx return, but nothing for USPS. Yet while this rarely covers overtime or insurance, many are reluctant to charge extra for a service that many consumers now seem to see as a constitutional right.

“Most people got used to it, but it’s amazing how many people are getting very, very dollar-dollar,” said Sabrina Rinderle, owner of Queen Anne Dispatch, of the charges that courier services / gift shops have started charging for USPS packages.

The biggest setback, paradoxically, may come from retailers. Returns are expensive: For example, the cost of returning a $ 50 item this year could average $ 33, up 11.9% from 2020, according to an estimate by Optoro, an expert in the industry. so-called reverse logistics.

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