Ho Ho Ho, This gift has got to go!

The thought, it meant a lot...

but it didn't hit the spot.

So I guess I'll send it back

and find something more on track!

Millions Of Us Return Gifts

Do you ever return gifts?  Wrong size notwithstanding? I guess it's a pretty big deal and it can be a pricey perk for the retailers who offer it.

Back in the day, when grandma bought you socks you kept and wore the socks.  Even Christmas gifts that missed the mark were appreciated and preserved for sentimental value.  Leap ahead to today and you'll find statistics like this -

Holiday gift returns are expected to be higher than ever this year as online shopping sales surge with two out of three consumers returning at least one gift during the holiday season

More Shopping Means More Returns

Yahoo News reports that the National Retail Federation is expecting a 13% increase in online sales this Christmas to $222.3 billion.  The sales have been happening earlier than ever too since more consumers began their holiday shopping early this year as encouraged by the "experts" due to supply chain disruptions.

More and earlier shopping has meant more time for returns. Optoro, a company that manages returns and excess inventory, says more than $66.7 billion worth of products are expected to be returned by the end of 2021. Yikes.

Is Bracketing Bad For Business?

To be honest, I had never even heard of a practice called "bracketing" but I guess it's what you should expect when you offer free shipping and free returns. It appears that the "savvy" shoppers buy multiple sizes or colors of a single item, pick the one they like best and return the rest.  The problem is, it's not the same as just bringing a couple of sizes of the same thing into the store dressing room.  Last year's returns generated 5.8 billion pounds of waste and 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions and Optoro experts say that will increase this year. Yikes again.

On the surface, all these returns would seem to be an expensive hassle for businesses but it might work out for customers and retailers with some hard-to-find top quality merchandise becoming available again and stores could avoid losses by making more full margin sales while cutting down on discounting.

We hope you get what you want this Christmas, no matter which end of the sales transaction you are on!

LOOK: See what Christmas was like the year you were born