Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #342

13 facts about returning gifts.
Now that the holidays are in the rear view mirror, let's take a moment and look at what happens to any gifts we received that we didn't want. (Most of these facts come from; some from my own experience/cranium.)

1. Americans toss out 25% more trash over the holidays. Now much of that is wrapping, decoration, shipping boxes, food leftovers and other holiday-related debris. But some of it is unwanted gifts.

2. Baby Boomers return gifts least often; Gen X and Millennials return the most. For those of you who, like me, can't keep the generations straight: Baby Boom is 1946 to 1964; Gen X is 1965 to 1980; Millennials are 1981 to 1996.

3. Boomers are more likely to re-gift than return. I know I'm a re-gifter and I was born in '57.

4. We are now in "peak return time." Most gifts are returned in the first three weeks of January.

5. Clothing is the most returned gift. The reason given most often is fit. I received a t-shirt from my friends Nancy and Paul and it's too small.

6. Most consumers exchange clothes for another item. Cash/store credit is less common. This surprised me. When I return things, I take the money if I can get it.

7. Only 48% of returns can be resold at full price. Most items are damaged in some way or show obvious wear.

8. Returns cost retailers money. Most of that expense is in employee time. First, there's the counter person at the register who takes the item from you. Then there's the time it takes to assess the condition of the product. Finally there's the cost of repacking it or preparing it to return to the shelf or the rack.

9. Some stores charge restocking fees. This is common for electronics, appliances and high-end clothes. I don't blame the stores at all.

10. Holiday specific returns are tough on retailers. Champagne flutes and paper plates that say "2024," Christmas decorations ... Even if the packaging is pristine, no one wants to buy these things in February.

11. Those that can't be resold at all often go into the landfill. While that's true, it's not always the case. The Brightly article doesn't mention this, but I know that some retailers send clothes to textile recyclers who shred fabric and turn it into useful items like insulation, yarn and industrial cleaning cloths.

12. If it's under warranty, the store may not take it back. If you got a defective appliance, you may have to deal with the manufacturer, not the store that sold it.

13. Gifts that won't be returned. Brightly recommends giving experiences, like concert tickets and museum passes, that can't end up in a landfill.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.