Americans expected to return up to $170 billion in holiday gifts

(NewsNation) — The party’s over, the cakes, cookies and candies have been gobbled and now comes the question: what to do with the gift you received but really didn’t want?

Inmar, a marketing data firm, says that around one-third of retailers expect to see 11% to 20% return on holiday items. Some estimates place the value of all those returned gifts at $170 billion.

Chanda Torrey of Gifter World says she tries to curate gift lists on her website so you’re able to find the perfect presents for even the pickiest people. She suggests that you read the fine print if you have to return the gift.

“It’s important. Some places have like a month, some places say three weeks, some places say six months, and they’re all different,” Torrey said. “So, make sure you know what the time difference is.”

The 33% of retailers reporting an increase holiday sales will lead to higher returns. That’s where the company Newmine comes in.

CEO Navjit Bhasin explained how artificial intelligence can help retailers reduce returns. Returns and brand loyalty are affected by mistakes made in merchandise, such as sending a rose-colored item instead of a black one.

“The best return is the one but it does not have to happen,” Bhasin said. “The moment a consumer like you and I decide we’re going to return this product, the margin is gone. And then the retailers struggle to say, ‘Hey, how do I cost efficiently get the product back into my supply chain? What can I do to refurbish it? How do I dispose of it?’”

Retailers believe that 10% of all returns are fraudulent. The number one fraud is wardrobing, which refers to the return of defective merchandise that has been used.

Still, many never return gifts even if they don’t like them.

“I am not a big fan of returning,” Torrey said. “In fact, I have bought shoes, got home and discovered that I had two left shoes and was too embarrassed to return them and I’ve done that twice.”

According to a recent survey, six out of ten retailers will enforce stricter returns policies in the new year.

Bhasin suggests considering the environmental impacts of ordering multiple sizes and returning those that don’t fit. To make a better purchase, you can contact online retailers to ask about the sizing, colors, and details of the product.

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