Retailers that rejoiced over big Black Friday numbers that kicked off a strong holiday sales season now have reason for pessimism. More buying means there’s also more buyer’s remorse, with a National Retail Federation survey finding that retailers will refund 9.9 cents for every dollar they take in, due to returns. The figure is up 0.1 cents from last year, and nearly three cents higher than in a better economic climate.
According to the AP, reasons for the rise in return numbers is not only due to economics, but because retailers have generally made returns easier. Also, deep holiday sales tend to spur impulse purchases that buyers regret once they get back home.
Manufacturers are also taking a larger hit. Combined with retailers, returns are costing the sector 21 percent more than they were four years ago.
Just because it’s easier to return merchandise to some places doesn’t mean the same is true everywhere. Before you buy anything, especially at a discount, be sure to check out the store’s return policy.