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Channel & Distribution

Online retailers do without returns

Returns are annoying and expensive. Some large online retailers such as Amazon are thus apparently doing without the return of unwanted goods. Low-value products tend to be those most affected.

18 Jan. 2018
Source: Strategy&
Source: Strategy&

Mail-order companies would have to charge at least €3.50 per standard order to avoid having to pay extra. This is shown in an analysis by consulting firm Strategy& . The problem: according to Strategy&, 91% of German online shoppers expect free delivery. As returns are not included in the calculation, they could even cause the dealers to run up a deficit in the long run.

According to several media reports, many online retailers in Germany are no longer demanding the return of some goods. Customers receive a credit for the relevant goods in any case. The newspaper “Rheinische Post” reports on a customer who wanted to return a clipboard folder worth €6.77 to Amazon, but was allowed to keep it. Amazon, however, declined to tell the editorial team in which cases they would not demand the return of the relevant goods.

The newspaper “Westfalenpost” came to a similar conclusion: most of the non-reclaimed items had a value of less than €20. The paper quotes the president of the Federal German Association of Online Trade, Oliver Prothmann, as saying that every professional online retailer is now doing the same. Depending on the calculation, it is apparently often cheaper not to reclaim the goods.