Returning newly purchased items is easier than ever thanks to the internet. In fact, traders have an obligation to guarantee that right, but what about customers who change almost everything they buy as a rule?
That call "wardrobe buyer" Buy and return items compulsively. This is a customer profile that has increased in recent years and has caused a series of problems for some businesses with difficulties.
Harriet Gordon fulfilled the profile.
The 28-year-old worked in London, England, as a human resource consultant and admitted that he only kept half of the items he bought online.
This is usually time consuming US $ 500 per month, but returns an article that spends around US $ 250.
Most of the time because clothes are not as expected or because color or fabric has nothing to do with photography that convinced him to buy products on the internet.
"You see a model wearing things that look fantastic," he explained, but maintained that They don't look the same when tested.
The fact that many stores where you buy offers shipping back home makes the process easier.
Test and dispose
Despite working in the central and commercial area of London, Harriet Gordon said that it was much easier to buy on line and thus avoid the queues and stress of physical stores.
This is similar to what happened to Hester Grainger, a 41-year-old woman who bought seven dresses for a wedding on the website Asos, one of the most popular online fashion stores globally.
I know I will only stay with one, but I want to make sure it is the right one.
That is not a specific case. When you need a new Texas force, ask for five pairs and then select one.
In total, he calculated that he spent between US $ 480 and US $ 510 per month on clothes, but produced so much that ultimately what he spent was usually not more than US $ 90 or US $ 100.
"I spent hundreds of dollars on various items from different stores for a month, but probably returned around 80%," he told the BBC.
Hester, founder of Mumala Club, a platform on line for mothers, say that your buying habits it has to do with short stature.
It measures 1.5 meters and it is difficult to know whether something will fit, so often ask for the same three items.
Buyers like Harriet and Hester are unusual.
A recent study by multinational credit card provider Barclaycard, which analyzed almost half of debit and credit transactions in the UK, said that a quarter of retailers had seen an increase in the number of results over the past two years.
In the case of clothing and footwear stores, consumers returned almost half of what they bought, according to the report.
Social networkhelp increase trends: around 10% of buyers claimed to take selfie for Instagram or Facebook posing with new articles, and then returning purchases.
Geoff Beattie, a psychology professor at Edge Hill University in the UK, said he was surprised that the return amount was no higher.
His own research shows that our pulse is accelerated when we buy Emotion it lasts until we take the item home and we show it, but then it disappears quickly and we regret spending money or the fact that we are not wearing it. So we returned it, he explained.
"What happened next is the most unpleasant part of the whole process," he told the BBC.
Increased online shopping promotes this habit because of "There is no guilt or shame" or the need to provide too much explanation, said the specialist.
In addition, large discounts, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday encourage what is called "shopping for panic", which tends to be more related to subsequent regrets by buyers.
Problems for the store
Returns not only involve shipping costs, but also packaging and cleaning. Also, they are wasting time.
If an item is not available maybe because the item is returned. And to avoid that some stores have to ask for more than they expect to sell.
Another problem is fast cycle mode. When the item has been returned, it may be sold which means that the store can no longer sell it at its original price.
That makes some traders raise prices. According to Barclaycard, in Britain a third of them did it.
The fact that the store is trying everything to ensure sales during sales makes it easier for customers to return goods without paying additional service fees. Sometimes, they even offer options "try before paying".
It cannot be denied that many will take advantage of the system.
But some businesses are fighting against it. Internet giant Amazon, For example, it has started block customers who return too many things.
"We want everyone to use Amazon, but sometimes people abuse our services for long periods of time," a company spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.
Other companies follow his example.
However, Vicky Brock, director of data and innovation at eBound Returns, a software system for managing returns, said it was wrong to assume that those who returned often were bad customers.
Brock argues that a small percentage of buyers generate the most returns, but the group includes the best and worst customers.
"Placing veto rights on buyers by returning goods repeatedly ignores the value of each customer and reveals that the trader he doesn't understand the behavior of his clients well", he told the BBC.
There is data that shows that the more orders that buyers make over time, the fewer returns they make per order.
Providing images of better clothes on the internet and more accurate sizes is one way that stores can reduce the amount of returns, experts say.
Some company companies like Uniqlo and Asos already have advice based on previous purchases and client's weight and height information.
Another option is to direct personalized marketing. For example, if a customer tends to keep using pants but always returns shoes, the ad will only come from the first.
Vicky Brock said the store must act immediately when the trend increases.
Buyers like Hester don't intend to change their behavior. "I don't feel sorry for traders, they are part of the problem because they offer free or very cheap returns. They have to adjust their size better"he explained.