Returned goods too many times?

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  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,861 Forumite
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    For me it is reasonable because uk retailers are so inconsistent on sizing. I know some people that can be anywhere from a 12 to an 18 in womens clothing depending on the shop.

    A few years back I bought three of the same design jeans from a retailer, having tried a pair of blue in the changing rooms, I went back and picked up another identical pair, and a pair in black in the same size. Got home and the second two didn’t fit…

    If retailers were consistent to their own sizing, let along the rest of the high street/e-commerce world, this issue would have a lot less distance to run.
    I completely understand and appreciate this (that a size 12 from one retailer can be quite different to a size 12 from another) in fairness to clothing manufacturers, there is no defined or recognised standard on what measurements each size should be. In fact there's been a strange shift where the measurements used in sizes have increased over the decades alongside the population.

    And I could understand a return on that basis - that you believe you are a size 12 (for example) and order a size 12, but when it arrives it is smaller than you expected, so you return it and order the size 14.

    What actually happens though, and what I do not agree with, is the very common practice where a consumer believes they are a size 12, so orders a size 8,10,12,14,16 with the intention of returning all those that don't fit - thus guaranteeing a return is needed and possible repackaging of the others.

    The retailers are working to phase out toxic consumer behaviours like this (and others like using the items for a purpose and returning them (e.g. an influencer doing a photoshoot)) - in some retailers, repeat offenders are being come down on, in others, free returns are being pulled.
    Know what you don't
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,549 Forumite
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    edited 26 October 2023 at 9:06AM
    Bradden said:
    Whilst that is true... retailers also enjoy a much bigger customer base with online shopping/distance sales - the downside is returns.

    If a customer cannot try clothing on prior to purchase then i see nothing wrong with buying multiple sizes and returning those not needed.

    If they were buying in a shop then they would be able to try them on - it doesn't seem unreasonable to do the same at home. Some retailers don't even have shops and save on rents etc significantly with only offering online sales via Amazon etc. They should factor in these costs not blame the consumer IMHO.




    I think this is a point often missed.

    @Exodi I've previously ran an online business and whilst lucky to have been in a market that didn't see many returns one thing was clear, that if the price point meant obtaining the buy box on Amazon the stock moved fast. Although Amazon may see your returns rate being OTT I'm assuming the sales volume on Amazon is the highest?

    It also perhaps depends upon what you sell but I've started to notice in recent years a lot of items are more expensive on Amazon than on say eBay, perhaps in part due to the fees but the way Amazon gate categories which limits competition to a degree and have a faster turnover of stock that can in part offer higher margins. 

    For yourself as a independent business I would assume you are looking for enough profit to justify your time but the bigger companies are looking for volume to drive down prices through economies of scale as the cheaper goods are the more they sell. 

    In general rather than to the poster tagged, ideally any company is looking to drive away competition and be in a position where they achieve that volume without the benefits the consumer enjoys. Amazon is a great example of this, they have a very strong position and prices have risen, they took away their 30 day price match policy, they took away extending Prime by a month if your parcel was later than stated, they come down harder on customers who make excessive or questionable returns but what must be remembered is that it is these companies that used these tools, such as easy returns, to entice customers, grow their business and build a foundation for long term profit, and as a result imprinted such ideals on the consumer.

    Whilst I don't like this system of mass consumption that we currently live under, it often feels like the finger is pointed at the individual without many realising that everything you see around you is a product of profit driven by very large companies seeking market dominance, as feeble minded consumers we are used in whatever way is required and it is that we should find abhorrent rather than those who fall victim to the system by over indulging. 
  • Bradden
    Bradden Posts: 1,078 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    Bradden said:
    Whilst that is true... retailers also enjoy a much bigger customer base with online shopping/distance sales - the downside is returns.

    If a customer cannot try clothing on prior to purchase then i see nothing wrong with buying multiple sizes and returning those not needed.

    If they were buying in a shop then they would be able to try them on - it doesn't seem unreasonable to do the same at home. Some retailers don't even have shops and save on rents etc significantly with only offering online sales via Amazon etc. They should factor in these costs not blame the consumer IMHO.




    I think this is a point often missed.

    @Exodi I've previously ran an online business and whilst lucky to have been in a market that didn't see many returns one thing was clear, that if the price point meant obtaining the buy box on Amazon the stock moved fast. Although Amazon may see your returns rate being OTT I'm assuming the sales volume on Amazon is the highest?

    It also perhaps depends upon what you sell but I've started to notice in recent years a lot of items are more expensive on Amazon than on say eBay, perhaps in part due to the fees but the way Amazon gate categories which limits competition to a degree and have a faster turnover of stock that can in part offer higher margins. 

    For yourself as a independent business I would assume you are looking for enough profit to justify your time but the bigger companies are looking for volume to drive down prices through economies of scale as the cheaper goods are the more they sell. 

    In general rather than to the poster tagged, ideally any company is looking to drive away competition and be in a position where they achieve that volume without the benefits the consumer enjoys. Amazon is a great example of this, they have a very strong position and prices have risen, they took away their 30 day price match policy, they took away extending Prime by a month if your parcel was later than stated, they come down harder on customers who make excessive or questionable returns but what must be remembered is that it is these companies that used these tools, such as easy returns, to entice customers, grow their business and build a foundation for long term profit, and as a result imprinted such ideals on the consumer.

    Whilst I don't like this system of mass consumption that we currently live under, it often feels like the finger is pointed at the individual without many realising that everything you see around you is a product of profit driven by very large companies seeking market dominance, as feeble minded consumers we are used in whatever way is required and it is that we should find abhorrent rather than those who fall victim to the system by over indulging. 
    I writer I follow  has named this... Enshittification.

    https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/



    HERE IS HOW platforms die: First, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die.

    I call this enshittification, and it is a seemingly inevitable consequence arising from the combination of the ease of changing how a platform allocates value, combined with the nature of a "two-sided market," where a platform sits between buyers and sellers, hold each hostage to the other, raking off an ever-larger share of the value that passes between them.


    When a platform starts, it needs users, so it makes itself valuable to users. Think of Amazon: For many years, it operated at a loss, using its access to the capital markets to subsidize everything you bought. It sold goods below cost and shipped them below cost. It operated a clean and useful search. If you searched for a product, Amazon tried its damndest to put it at the top of the search results.

    This was a hell of a good deal for Amazon's customers. Lots of us piled in, and lots of brick-and-mortar retailers withered and died, making it hard to go elsewhere. Amazon sold us ebooks and audiobooks that were permanently locked to its platform with DRM, so that every dollar we spent on media was a dollar we'd have to give up if we deleted Amazon and its apps. And Amazon sold us Prime, getting us to pre-pay for a year's worth of shipping. Prime customers start their shopping on Amazon, and 90 percent of the time, they don't search anywhere else.

    That tempted in lots of business customers—marketplace sellers who turned Amazon into the "everything store" it had promised from the beginning. As these sellers piled in, Amazon shifted to subsidizing suppliers. Kindle and Audible creators got generous packages. Marketplace sellers reached huge audiences and Amazon took low commissions from them.


  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,549 Forumite
    Photogenic First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 28 October 2023 at 9:31AM
    Bradden said:
    I writer I follow  has named this... Enshittification.

    https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/


    Pretty much spot on, they are very efficient at extracting money, they move very fast and have a lot of influence so any government regulation is too late to impede their early growth through questionable methods.

    I'm not sure if any of them will "die" in the near future, I remember it being suggested years ago that Amazon would take Google's place as people would head directly to Amazon for products and they've have the ability to take other parts of Google's business but that doesn't seem likely now. 

    There's talk of this Temu site besting Amazon but I don't see that either, they can't fund low prices forever and shipping from China is unlikely to beat Amazon's fast delivery. (As note questions have been raised about what Temu does with your data, I wouldn't shop there). 
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