‘Takeback Monday’ begins as consumers return unwanted Christmas presents

Returns of online purchases are predicted to increase today by 63 per cent compared to the average number of return parcels per day in December as people rush tor return unwanted Christmas presents, the Royal Mail has said.

Shoppers are set to return unwanted gifts today.
Shoppers are set to return unwanted gifts today.

Dubbed 'takeback Monday', this is the day that most people in the UK will return their unwanted and ill-fitting Christmas presents.

According to a study commissioned by Royal Mail, the average online shopper in the UK sends back an online purchase every month. Ten years ago, the most common thing bought online was books – whereas now, it is clothes, according to the report.

The proportion of items bought online has increased during the pandemic as non-essential shops have been closed throughout lockdown, with many people doing so for the first time. All non-essential shops in Scotland have been shut since Boxing Day.

Over six in ten of online shoppers surveyed returned clothing, 38 per cent returned electrical goods and 35 per cent returned footwear. The most common reasons for making returns is for clothing not fitting properly and non-clothing goods not working properly. 18 per cent of younger shoppers are more likely to return items because the item was not as described.

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The Royal Mail said that there are many different factors that come into play when it comes to how people return items and who they choose to return them with. Being able to send back unwanted goods for free is top of the list and having proof of return is just behind on 84 per cent. Ease of returns is a strong motivator for 80 per cent of shoppers, whilst having friendly staff is important to 70 per cent.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail said “January is the busiest time of the year for returns – and we expect it to be even bigger this year given the significant move to online shopping over the 2020 festive period. Having a clear, user-friendly returns policy is a vital part of the online shopping experience. For retailers, ensuring their returns experience is in line with consumers’ expectations is key.”

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