WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Online shopping can be easy, but returns can be a hassle

Posted December 30, 2016

— This holiday season online retailers will see a record number of returns, according to experts. Next week, mail carriers, including UPS, are expected to ship 5.8 million packages back to online stores.

Many shoppers love being able to easily check off wish-list items by simply clicking a button, but what others are learning is that the return process can be a hassle.

According to Consumer Reports, Kmart, Sears, Forever 21, GameStop and Barnes and Noble have some of the toughest return policies.

Barnes and Noble will not take anything back that has been opened, and Kmart will not take back open movies, music or video games.

With the average cost of return shipping just under $7, each package can add up.

Consumer Reports said to make things easier keep all of the original packaging, including packing slips. Also, look up each store’s return policy before shipping the items and find out if the store has a time limit. Finally, once the return has been mailed, keep the tracking number.

If the store does not allow free mailed return, WRAL Smart Shopper recommends taking the items to a brick and mortar store. That way shipping and handling will not need to be paid.


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  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Dec 31, 2016

    Em2s - Actually, this is Mikaya's story. She gets all the credit. And I agree - that's a huge volume!

  • Em2s Dec 31, 2016

    That's an incredible volume of returns! Timely piece with useful tips. Thanks for posting, Faye!