Have you ever tried to return an item you purchased online only to be told to keep it? That’s happening more these days due to higher costs.
According to the RLA returns survey results for Q4/Q1, 61% of respondents noted higher costs. Among the cost pressures cited were:
RLA’s Executive Director, Tony Sciarrotta, told supply chain publication DC Velocity in a December interview, “The cost of all of these returns used to be hidden in many different silos,” including transportation, customer service, and sustainability, with no high-level view of the end-to-end cost of a return, Sciarrotta explains. “Now, because of volume, companies are starting to see that they are paying more to ship goods back than [those goods are worth]. It’s a complicated world, and I’m glad that more people are paying attention to it.”
But is letting customers keep their returns a wise decision? It depends, but more times than not, no.
Sciarrotta views the practice as unsustainable and recently shared his top reasons why the practice is not practical.
Identifying returns costs across the entire organization is an important first step for businesses, and the RLA offers a calculator to help determine savings. Also recommended is the RLA article, Finance is from Mars, and Reverse Logistics is from Venus. Other cost mitigation considerations include: