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The Season of Gift Returns

Now that holiday shopping is behind you, you’ve probably noticed that the season of gift returns has begun.

About 23 percent of returns happen in late December and January after holiday gift exchanges, according to research cited in an article by The Washington Post.  Consumers are returning more items to online retailers than brick-and-mortar shops, with return rates of 5 to 10 percent to traditional stores and 10 to 15 percent to Web stores, the article says.

To keep customers, e-retailers are offering free return shipping and simple return policies, which can be expensive to the stores, the article adds.

Web retailers are using customer reviews, detailed product descriptions, better photographs and other online tools so consumers know better up front what they’re buying — in hopes that an educated shopper will result in fewer returns, the article says.

To read more on how retailers are trying to prevent the need for the flurry of post-holidays returns, click here.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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