Time is running out to return unloved presents, warns industry expert Roger Sumner-Rivers
This week many of us will be returning those unwanted Christmas gifts. UK courier service ParcelHero says the delivery industry has christened tomorrow ‘National Returns Day’: January 6th is the day when returns reach their peak. From ill-fitting jumpers and garish earrings to yet another blender, thousands of unloved items will be returned.
In the US 4 million items will be returned this week, and in the UK alone £223 million worth of unwanted gifts will be sent back. In the period after Christmas returns jump by 81% compared to their normal levels. Clothing items are the most returned (14.5% of purchases) and jewellery second at 11.8 %. And more and more of us are increasingly happy to send back items. 62% of consumers are expecting to return items bought online this year, compared to 51% in 2012.
ParcelHero MD Roger Sumner-Rivers says: ‘Many consumers are now aware that they have additional rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations if they buy their items online, and they are making full use of their powers.’
Says Roger: ‘People purchasing items on the internet have a 14 day cancelation period – that period is nearly up, so customers must check their invoices and act fast. However, a number of retailers are more lenient over the festive period. In fact, Amazon.co.uk says any items despatched from 1 November can be returned until 31 January.’
Roger continues: ‘Some items can’t be returned however, including perishables such as food and drink, as well as items such as personalised gifts, and DVDs, music and computer software with their seals broken. It’s also best to retain all original packaging, particularly if returning to a store.’
Perhaps the most fraught area of Christmas goods is unwanted gifts. To return these items you will need proof of purchase and the date ordered. If it was bought online you might need to ask he person who bought it to return it, to receive the benefit of the extra protections given to online consumers.
Roger says: ‘Obviously it’s tricky to confess to relatives and loved ones that you would like to return their gift, but in the long run it’s better than having to wear that terrible sweater every time they visit, and you will end up with an item you really want.’
Hopefully your retailer will have included a free returns label. However, if you are responsible for your own returned goods mailing, online couriers such as ParcelHero will organise a pick-up service from your house to the retailer. For more information see www.parcelhero.com
For more information please contact David Jinks, Head of PR, on [email protected] or by phone on 0208 7584962 (07772 055748 out of office hours)
Leading international online courier ParcelHero® strategically partners with the world’s leading, logistics companies, including DHL, UPS and DPD to provide a flexible, cost-effective range of parcel delivery services to over 220 countries worldwide. Huge bulk purchasing power allows ParcelHero® to offer highly competitive pricing with no compromise in service quality.