How Retailers Are Recouping Costs From Returned Merchandise

by MR Magazine Staff

Returned purchases are a major drain on retailers, particularly after consumer purchase activity spikes around holidays. Retailers are trying to make some money off returned goods, often through third-party logistics companies that route them back to off-price clearing centers, charities, and e-commerce markets for used goods. Last week, outdoor goods retailer REI launched its used goods e-commerce store, a move it said would let it more cost effectively re-sell used goods while responding to customers who have been demanding affordable, high-quality used outdoor goods. It’s beta tested the site since October of last year. “There’s been inherent demand for lightly-used, high quality, affordable gear, and given customers trends and behavior, we found it critical to deliver an e-commerce solution for our member base,” said Peter Whitcomb, director of strategy at REI. “We see used gear as both extending our potential market size and also talking to [prospects] who perhaps in the past haven’t shopped with REI.” Read more at Digiday.