The Number of Gift Returns on the Rise

A new survey found that most people assume they will make at least one return this holiday season

NBCUniversal, Inc.

It is the season for giving... and for returning unwanted gifts.

By Jan. 2, an estimated 1.9 million gifts will be returned at malls, retailers and through the mail, a 27% increase since last year, according to Statistica.

But why are more gift takers taking their gifts back? According to a new survey from Oracle Retail, the vast majority, or 77%, already have their minds made up that they will be returning at least one gift they receive this holiday season. 

In a survey of more than 15,000 consumers, Oracle Retail found that 65% of those who say they will make some sort of return this holiday season will head to malls, outlets or retail stores to do so. 

That could be good news for retailers.

“The traffic generated by holiday returns holds significant opportunity for retailers to build better customer profiles and generate new opportunities for engagement by personalizing the returns experience,” said Jeff Warren of Oracle Retail.

And which age group accounts for most of the returns?

Oracle Retail found that Generation Z, or those in their early twenties, will make the most returns this holiday season. 

So, what should you do if you want a seamless return? 

Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University, suggests knowing the return policy before leaving the house. 

“You need to know just what the return policy is, whether you are eligible for a full refund, a partial refund, or store credit and the same for any online purchases,” Copic said. “Another important thing is to know when returns are accepted. Oftentimes, the longer you wait the more opportunity there is for a problem with a return.”

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