Amazon customers will reportedly be charged a fee for some returns to UPS Stores.
The tech giant is applying the new fee in cases in which the customer returns a product to a UPS Store when they could have returned it to a Whole Foods, Kohl’s or Amazon Fresh location that is within the same distance or closer, Seeking Alpha reported Monday (April 10).
Reached for comment by PYMNTS, Amazon provided a statement by Lauren Samaha, Amazon spokesperson: “We offer convenient, easy returns to Amazon customers, with one or more options for label-free, box-free returns at no cost.”
The tech giant has added the new fee to help cover the cost of returns, according to the report.
This report comes at a time when retailers and brands across product categories are looking to change the way they handle returns — a service that is rising in cost.
For example, H&M started charging for returns in September 2022, following in the footsteps of Zara.
Brands are also rethinking their return policies, shortening the return window and charging a return or restocking fee. These adjustments are meant to cover more than just retailer costs but are instead geared toward deterring the shopper from deciding to return an item.
Others are deploying technology to cut off returns and the hassle of chargebacks. In these cases, some retailers are deploying virtual try-on tech, which is a solution that can be especially valuable for those who handle product categories like apparel and accessories that are infamous for high returns.
Some retailers are also adjusting their return policies to be stricter. For example, some that have long had generous return policies are shortening their regular return windows.
As PYMNTS reported Nov. 15, returns are problematic in several ways. There’s the costly reverse logistics of paying the return shipping, the fact that returned merchandise is often never restocked for future sale, and the thorny issue of disputes and chargebacks that retailers must also contend with.
Enough retailers and brands are changing their return policies that the number of online searches for “do I need to pay for returns” has increased by 247% in the United Kingdom.