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Reasons why you might be required to pay for the privilege of returning an item purchased online



Little Rock, Arkansas – It’s not uncommon for the season of giving to lead to the season of returning gifts, whether it’s because the item wasn’t quite what you were hoping for in terms of size, color, or overall quality.

It is imperative that consumers who shop online and return items keep in mind that some businesses may start charging a fee for the convenience of doing so.

There have already been reports of this happening to a few customers in the state of Arkansas.

“Nike charged me — if I didn’t take it back to the store they were going to charge me for a return,” the shopper said.
This year’s higher costs for labor, shipping, and supplies have prompted an increase in the number of businesses searching for ways to cut costs wherever they can, including through the use of online return policies.

Some online shoppers are choosing not to make purchases because of the high cost of return fees, which typically range from about $3 to $10.

Another shopper mentioned that they might be encouraged to start shopping in person again as a result of these price increases.

“I think it will make shopping a lot harder and we’ll probably go back into stores,” the customer said.

This is something that could actually be beneficial to local stores like Conway’s To a T Boutique, who are hoping to see more customers switch to shopping in person. This is something that could actually benefit local stores.

“I like to shop in person better, and so knowing [return charge possibilities], I definitely will shop local even more now,” To a T Boutique employee, Kacey Schaeffer said.

Retail industry experts believe that the practice of having customers pay a fee in order to return items purchased online will most likely continue, particularly given the emphasis that traditional stores, such as To a T, place on the advantages of patronizing locally owned businesses.

“Whenever you shop local and stuff, it’s a lot easier because you can come in here and try on things. If it doesn’t work, we can do store credit, we can return, we can figure something out and you don’t have to pay to get returned,” Schaeffer said.

The National Retail Federation estimates that customers will send back online orders totaling 102 billion dollars in the year 2020. In the previous year, that figure more than doubled, reaching $218 billion.

In addition to the elimination of costs associated with returns, To a T Boutique boasts that they provide something that cannot be found in online retailers: a sense of community.

“We love to build a community where we can not only help you with your New Year’s outfit, [but] create a friendship within our community and Conway,” Schaeffer said.


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