‘Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the land,
Came the millions of shoppers, returns in their hands.

Ah, the holidays. A time of snowstorms, blowing budgets and shopping, shopping, SHOPPING. If Santa were real, he’d surely need to hire more elves to keep up with today’s consumer demands. Luckily, buyers are well versed in finding the best deals for the best products, whether on their phones or in a store. But what happens if the things they bought don’t stack up? National Returns Day is what.

On this UPS-coined day—which falls on January 2, 2020—the amount of returns is projected to peak at 1.9 million, representing a 26-percent increase from last year. In what’s expected to be the biggest return season ever, here are some highlights:

  • 11-13 percent of all holiday purchases will be returned 
  • Total holiday returns will reach $90-$95 billion
  • Online holiday returns are projected to reach a record $42 billion 
  • Almost half of all holiday returns will come from ecommerce purchases 
  • There’s been a 28-percent increase in holiday returns from 2016

The Returns 

All hail flexible return policies! In the aftermath of presents—and the holiday hangover— consumers return things, LOTS of things. Whether it’s because they don’t like the color of that sweater, or this jacket doesn’t fit, or those boots don’t look like they did online, all in all, returns are expected to reach $90-$95 billion this holiday season. What’s more, despite most of the returns being in perfect condition, less than 10 percent will actually go back on primary shelves; this is due to the costs associated with processing items as well as product obsolescence (especially after the holidays). So, what happens to all that otherwise-perfect merchandise, and further, what can retailers do with it?

The Solution 

About 95 percent of returned and excess inventory is sold on the secondary market. While this presents an opportunity for retailers, not all secondary market channels are created equal, and how retailers remarket and resell their returned, excess, and other liquidation inventory can make all the difference to their bottom line not just after the holidays, but all year. A proper solution must be automated, sustainable, and scalable—especially in the midst of increased returns. It should also enable the retailer to offset the maximum amount of loss.

B-Stock can help you approach the secondary market with a long-term, year-round solution so you can get the most out of your returns not just in 2020, but beyond. This is why nine out of the top 10 U.S. retailers work with us to sell their returned and excess merchandise. 

Want to learn more? See how we built a sustainable and scalable B2B solution for Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online retailers for home furnishings and décor, by downloading our case study. And if you’re ready to take the secondary market by storm, contact us.


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