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After Christmas Refunds Increases Again

Sisters Holiday Shopping at WalMart
Photo by Chris Franz/Getty Images
Ah, the warm heart-felt feelings that Christmas brings upon us, you know, the “comfort and joy” cozy feelings of giving a wonderful gift to that special someone. It is said that, “it is better to give than to receive”, unless we’re in tough economic times, it’s better to return that gift you bought and let them go without. The tougher the times the higher the return rate, and this years return rate is higher than last years. Retailers will refund over $53 billion to consumers this year. Stores will refund 9.9 cents for every dollar taken in this year, that is up from 9.8 cents last year.

This year it was predicted by the American Retailers Association that, retailers would rake in over $453 billion in sales, so fractions of a penny add up. Merchants make up to 40 percent of their yearly sales in the last two months of the year. People who took advantage of Black-Friday/Holiday discounts on TVs, toys and other gifts are quickly returning them for much-needed cash. The binge shopping quickly gave into buyers remorse.

Consumer electronics are the most returned items. Manufacturers are expected to spend $17 billion just repackaging, repairing, restocking and reselling electronics this year, up 21 percent from 2008.

I have always disliked the Black-Friday door-buster specials, retailers offer, simply because they only have a limited supply, like 5 TV’s at that “special” price and at the end of the day it’s most likely “bargain hunter” customers bought them and not their loyal everyday customers who are forced to pay regular price for a TV the merchant was willing to sell real cheap. And now it’s being returned due to buyers remorse. Who wins in this case?

The answer is the “liquidators” they’re companies that purchase all the returns from the Targets, Sears, Best Buys and Walmarts, for pennies on the dollar and refurbish the product and resell them at super discount (dollar themed) stores or liquidator sales, like the ones that come to Abilene a couple times a year.

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