Dealing with Returns

No matter if your store does a high volume of business during the holiday season or not, you will eventually deal with returns. How you deal with them though may be a deciding factor on your bottom line. Recently a National Retail Federation survey indicated that retailers across the board are looking at a $2.9 billion loss due to fraud this post-holiday season.

The most common fraud experienced by retailers is of stolen merchandise, or merchandise purchased with fraudulent credit cards. Having your staff and yourself more aware of customer’s actions while they are in your store can reduce both of these. If a customer has a return, have them bring the item they are returning to the cashier immediately upon entering the store, then allow them the opportunity to go find a replacement. Many times customers will come in with a receipt but no product to return, go pick up a product from your shelf and return it for a profit. The stolen credit cards though will require training of your cashiers, and should be practiced every time a purchase is made with a credit or debit card.

For the first time ever, retailers were questioned about e-receipt fraud and yes, even that sector is feeling the impact of thieves. Though the loss from this is much less, it still is a factor in the $2.9 billion.

What are other retailers doing about this? Not much. According to NRF’s study, only around 10% of the companies they surveyed are changing their policies on returns. The fear is if return policies become too strict, people may shop other retailers. If only these retailers offered gift cards, their returns would be much less.

What are some of your methods to curtail loss, especially during the holidays? Do you have methods that you can share with your fellow fishing tackle retailers? If so, feel free to share them with us all on our Facebook page.