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Returns policies make 73 percent think twice about buying

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The new returns policies from some retailers, which has resulted in banning serial returners, is becoming a sticky topic for British consumers, with 73 percent admitting in a new survey that they would think twice about purchasing in the future because they are fearful of being blacklisted and do not want to face any “extra hassle”.

When you type “returns policy” UK into Google, phrases like “returns ban hits shoppers” “blacklist serial returners” and “clamping down” are the top search results, giving the impression that retailers have had enough of pernickety purchases.

E-commerce retailer OnBuy.com spoke to 1,424 British shoppers for its ‘Consumer Retail Returns Survey’ and asked how they deal with retail returns and what they think about retailers “clamping down” on their policies.

It revealed that 86 percent of consumers want the returns policy to be “hassle-free”, while 68 percent stated they wanted it to include “free shipping” and 50 percent added that the necessary “returns packaging” needed to be provided by the retailer.

A further 27 percent of shoppers added they would prefer “no limits on returns,” while 18 percent desire a “no questions asked” policy.

The survey also found one-third (32 percent) of shoppers described themselves as a “serial returner” (someone who returns more items than they keep), however, 68 percent of consumers stated that they weren’t a “serial returner” owing to the fact they only return items with due reason.

The most common reason why consumers return products is because it doesn’t fit or suit them (77 percent), while also on the list was damaged/faulty (14 percent), “displeased with customer service” (5 percent) and simply, “want the money back” (5 percent).