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Buying loads of stuff online with the intent of returning 99% of it

(53 Posts)
Vagabond Tue 19-Jul-16 16:05:58

This practice is destroying online retail. Retailers can't afford the cost of postage, re-packaging, re-warehousing etc....

What do you think? I understand people doing doing it if they are seriously trying to find that ONE outfit. But it's my understanding that a lot of people do it for the 'thrill' and because 'it's fun to get packages in the post'.

Hell, I LOVE getting packages in the post but my usual intent is hoping it all fits and and that I'll keep it. I hate the faff of returning stuff. Nowadays though, companies make it so easy to return's like a changing room, but at home.

Would be curious to know what you think about the morals of it all.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Tue 19-Jul-16 16:08:59

I'm not sure what I think, presumably the retailer assesses these costs when working out their pricing? If they don't do something this fundamental then I tend to think they have bigger business problems!

Anecdotally I personally don't know anyone who just orders to get parcels in the post but I do know quite a few who order the same thing in a couple of sizes to make sure they get the right fit - seems logical to me.

So I think YABU.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 19-Jul-16 16:11:39

This practice is destroying online retail. Online and big box destroyed the high street. Plus ca change...

Vagabond Tue 19-Jul-16 16:14:56

I think buying things in a couple of sizes is sensible too. I do the same.

I play a sport with a lot of younger women and they all comment about the stuff they've ordered with a clear intent on not keeping more than 10% of it (if any). And they order hundreds of pounds worth of stuff per order. I think it's a bit weird.

myownprivateidaho Tue 19-Jul-16 16:16:56

I wouldn't shed any tears over the retailers-- these kinds of losses will be priced into the purchase. However it's obviously not great for the environment.

VeryBitchyRestingFace Tue 19-Jul-16 16:17:50

But it's my understanding that a lot of people do it for the 'thrill' and because 'it's fun to get packages in the post'.

I find it hard to imagine this is a widespread problem, far less one that would threaten online retail as an industry.

Vagabond Tue 19-Jul-16 16:18:16

Mrs Pratchett, do you think the high street has been destroyed?

I don't know if I agree with you. Perhaps the high street has become more entertainment and browsing, rather than just plain shopping. The high streets are certainly still busy.

But, certainly the high street of old (butcher, baker, fruit/veg) is almost gone, sadly.

AppleSetsSail Tue 19-Jul-16 16:18:38

Consider the savings in not having retail outlets? That pays for a lot of postage.

Also, some retailers force the buyer to pay for returns if they suspect what you've suggested. Boden, for example, sends a warning along with its packages.

LurkingHusband Tue 19-Jul-16 16:19:13

Back in the 1970s we had catalogue shopping which was pretty much the same business model.

Once again, age and guile beat youth innocence and a bad haircut ....

AppleSetsSail Tue 19-Jul-16 16:20:01

But it's my understanding that a lot of people do it for the 'thrill' and because 'it's fun to get packages in the post'.

Re-packing the clothes and getting them to the click and collect place isn't that fun.

AdultingIsNotWhatIExpected Tue 19-Jul-16 16:20:46

I've been guilty of NOT returning stuff that wasn't right because of the faff of returning by post, or I've left it on my to-do list for too long…

… so it balances out, some people keep stuff that's not quite right to save the faff of returning, stuff they wouldn't have bought had they tried it on in a shop

Gymboree567 Tue 19-Jul-16 16:20:55

I feel bad returning things so try to only buy what I think I will keep, but sizing is so difficult I have shoes in a 4,5 and 6 and clothes in a 6,8 and 10, so multiple size ordering is my only option
Although if you read my latest post about returning a radley bag that had been reduced in the sale, I was told by customer services I should return the bag and reorder at the lower price, surely it would have been more cost effective if they had just refunded me the £10 difference!!

FuzzyOwl Tue 19-Jul-16 16:21:06

I find getting packages in the post can be really annoying and returning them a huge faff. Generally I will collect from my nearby store, try the clothes on in the changing room and return any that I don't want.

Considering I am currently pregnant and very few shops sell maternity clothes unless you buy online, I don't have any sympathy for the stores right now.

AppleSetsSail Tue 19-Jul-16 16:21:47

Adulting makes a very good point.

tofutti Tue 19-Jul-16 16:21:56

But it's my understanding that a lot of people do it for the 'thrill' and because 'it's fun to get packages in the post'.

No one could be that sad, surely? confused

Who the hell wants the faff of queuing at the post office to return a parcel, or waiting at home for the Hermes he-man?

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Tue 19-Jul-16 16:21:57

If you buy from a shop you cant try on , i recently ordered a load of trousers from two different retailers in my usual size retailer 1 3 pairs one fitted two too small sent those back so ordered from retailer two another 3 pairs one pair huge one a bit loose but kept them because they were comfortable and one pair got stuck just past my knees they were so small so two pairs went back if they were comsistent with sizes i wouldnt have to send so much back

Shopper99 Tue 19-Jul-16 16:21:59

The retailers are saving loads by moving to warehouses rather than retail spaces. I think they are ok. I would imagine the cost renting a shop would be more than postage costs.

They will have strategists predicting future trends of how their markets will make purchases. Plus ordering online gives them a better insight into which kinds of customers are likely to return loads of stuff.

They'll be fine, they just need to keep up with the way that were shopping.

Postal companies will need to do the same too....

Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Tue 19-Jul-16 16:23:00

*can try on

8angle Tue 19-Jul-16 16:23:05

Most online fashion retailers - Asos, Zalando etc expect and get a 50% return rate. They are able to be profitable with this. the traditional bricks and mortar retailers that are trying to build their online businesses are struggling with this because they are trying to adapt their existing logistics to it. It is possible and the best will survive / thrive...

BuntyFigglesworthSpiffington Tue 19-Jul-16 16:23:08

This practice is destroying online retail. Retailers can't afford the cost of postage, re-packaging, re-warehousing etc....


Retailers like ASOS save ££££££ by not having any physical shops. Bit rich if they start complaining.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 19-Jul-16 16:23:44

It'll be factored into the over all cost.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 19-Jul-16 16:25:23

Depends where you live. In naice areas, it's all organic gluten free cafes and independent book shops. In crappy areas it's really not. Estimates that 1 in 9 or more shops are empty.

LurkingHusband Tue 19-Jul-16 16:26:06

If you buy from a shop you cant try on

MrsLH gave up years ago - even when shops are accessible, changing rooms aren't.

fastdaytears Tue 19-Jul-16 16:28:17

God of all the things I feel guilty about my ASOS returns is not one. How do you know if it'll fit before you try it?

Vagabond Tue 19-Jul-16 16:33:06

I agree that purely online shops have costed in the price/cost of customer returns.

But a lot of these businesses are 'bricks and mortar' high-street retailers who are trying to compete online and they are failing because of the rate of returns.

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