Serial returners

Opinium, on behalf of Barclaycard, ran a survey amongst retailers and consumers. The survey has revealed that two in five retailers admit to charging for returns as a way to discourage shoppers from returning non-faulty items. However, this is a risky policy as more than a third of consumers say charging for returns would put them off shopping somewhere. 

A tenth (12%) of retailers have stopped offering a free returns service because it became too expensive. This shift comes in response to the trend of shoppers abusing the returns system. Consumers have the right to return items if they are faulty or do not fit, but estimates show that a quarter of returned items are unfit for resale. Often, this is because they have been used, are marked or have parts missing.

Despite the problems, the majority of retailers still give refunds because they want to keep customers happy and some are instead finding ways to handle items which are unfit for resale. Around a fifth of retailers  have created a system for stock they couldn’t resell, including partnering with another firm to resell items at a loss, or moving to a bigger warehouse to store excess stock.


Read more about this research here.