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Retailers are now charging return fees—should you?

ECOMMERCE NEWS

Yep, you heard it right. Customers may now have to pay for returning items!

USA Today reported that almost 40% of retailers are charging return fees this year, up from 31% in 2022. And it's not because they love getting customers' side-eye—but because they're trying to stay afloat amidst the turbulent economic currents.

🔄 Why the change?

Returns can be a retail headache, and they're not cheap. Processing them can cost retailers up to 39% of the original price! No wonder big names like H&M and Zara are testing the waters with these return fees.

Retailers feel the pinch as consumer demand limps and operating costs become unpredictable. That's why they're cutting unnecessary expenses, starting with one of the chunkiest—returns.

Here are some retailers joining the no-more-free-returns game:

  • Amazon: $1 for returns made at UPS stores.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch: $7 deduction from mail-in refunds.
  • DSW: $8.50 for non-Gold or Elite members.
  • H&M: $5.99 for return shipping for non-loyalty members.
  • Kohl's: No return shipping costs are covered, plus a 15% restocking fee on larger items.
  • REI Co-op: $5.99 subtracted from the refund amount.

🌟 On the brighter side

It's natural to have reservations about eliminating free returns. After all, this might scare some customers off. If you're struggling with the decision, you can weigh 2 factors:

  • Does it align with your sustainability goals? ICYDK, returned products generated 9.5 billion pounds of waste and 24 million metric tons of CO2 emissions last year.
  • Are the potential savings greater than the potential losses? Remember, it's not just about the money but also the quality and quantity of your customer base.

Ultimately, base your decision on your actual business scenario rather than just joining the bandwagon.

TOGETHER WITH STACK INFLUENCE

Here’s an easy-peasy way to enhance your brand awareness

Even with the easing inflation, maintaining a stable cash flow remains challenging. Many sellers are channeling their maximum creativity to attract new customers—so should you!

And Stack Influence is here to help you start! Here are the answers to some FAQs about this amazing brand partner:

How does it work?

From beauty, fitness, book, tech, food, wellness, fashion, pet, and other hot Amazon categories, Stack Influence has got you covered. They connect you to 11 million+ amazing micro-influencers to enhance your brand awareness.

📱 What are micro-influencers?

They're the brand's frontmen in the social media arena. What makes them stand out is their much more intimate relationships with their followers—something you can leverage to reach high-intent audiences.

Even better, you can hire them in exchange for free items! Imagine getting genuine reviews and recommendations without big cashouts. It's a win-win!

📈 Does Stack Influence offer other services?

Yep! Aside from boosting your social media presence, they can:

  • Manage and monitor your ad campaigns' performance;
  • Create reusable user-generated content (UGC); and
  • Optimize your ad budget—

—all leading to a significant revenue boost!

🫵 Last question: Should you sign up with Stack Influence?

If you want to level up your brand and revenue, you should do so A-S-A-P! Set up your campaign now to enjoy all perks sooner rather than later!

BITES OF THE WEEK

BLACK MARKET

Amazon and FBI warn against rising holiday scams

While shoppers are busy finding the best holiday deals, bad actors work double-time to find the best targets. Amazon knows this well and warns everyone to be extra sharp when spotting online scams.

But what exactly do you need to look out for?

🚨 According to Market Realist, there are 2 types of scams on the rise this holiday season:

  • Email scams - Scammers pretending to be Amazon reps send emails about ‘an issue’ with your account. They urge you to open the attachment and click the link, taking you to their website to try to collect your sensitive data (bank details, addresses, etc.).
  • Prime membership scams - Fraudsters call, text, or email you about a fake membership fee issue. Then, they ask you to share your credit card or bank details for supposed “payment verification.”

What should you do about this?

Did you know nearly $800 million was lost due to scammers in 2022? Amazon has already taken steps to combat these scams, shutting down over 45,000 phishing websites and blocking 15,000 scam phone numbers.

Still, it’s best to have your own anti-scam tactics. The FBI provided some tips for protecting your business:

Lastly, trust your guts—if something seems fishy, it probably is. Always keep an eye out to prevent scammers from stealing your holiday joy and sales. 👀

SELLER REFRESHER

4 effective ways to avoid shipping delays this peak season

On-time delivery is one of the most important metrics of an online business, especially during peak seasons. But no matter how polished your shipping strategy is, delays can happen due to unforeseen circumstances like:

📍 Fortunately, SellerApp has a to-do list to help you deal with such events:

  • Use a reliable shipping service with accurate tracking information and estimated delivery times. Tip: You can always use FBA for stress-free fulfillment.
  • Monitor your inventory levels to avoid stocking issues. Consider using demand forecasting tools and software to determine your optimal and safe inventory level.
  • Keep customers informed at every stage to build trust and reduce cancellations or negative feedback.
  • Check your performance metrics regularly to see which areas in your supply chain need attention.

Some logistics factors are beyond your control. But whatever happens, don’t panic. Having a clear and calm mind is the second best way to make the right decisions. 💭

The first is to be proactive and prepare your business to brave through unexpected issues and delays.

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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