There’s Money To Be Made In Returning E-Commerce Orders

by MR Magazine Staff

Every week, dozens of people walk into Petals N Wax, a Marina del Rey gift store, to return items they bought from online retailers. They bring in blouses from Eloquii, shorts from Chubbies and bags from Everlane. Instead of telling them to buzz off, Evelyn Taplin, who runs Petals N Wax, gladly takes their items and issues refunds to their credit cards. The practice would be totally bizarre were it not for the fact that Petals N Wax is partnered with Happy Returns, a Santa Monica start-up trying to make money by making it easier for people to send back e-commerce purchases. The company sits at a unique intersection of frustrations: Customers who buy things online don’t like the arts-and-crafts experience (packing tape, shipping labels, boxes) of online returns. Online-only retailers, feeling pressure from the likes of Zappos and Amazon to offer free returns, are bleeding cash to do the same. And bricks-and-mortar stores losing foot traffic to online competitors are struggling to entice people back. Happy Returns frames itself as a solution to each of those problems. Read more at Los Angeles Times.