With Christmas now over and no more stress from shopping, we can play with our new toys. Or are we taking them back because we don't like them?

After saying this, stop and think about how lucky we are. Some people in the world live in much poorer conditions and have never even opened a present and never will.

We live in a land where we can shower kids and ourselves with gifts galore. Isn't it great? Some parts of the world call it greed and materialistic, but us here in the free world call it living right. Work hard, make money and buy things.

But each year our cup runneth over. We have to take some things back. I checked with a couple Sioux Falls stores to see what was going on at customer service.

I didn't talk to anyone at Walmart, but I saw a line of people who appeared to be waiting to return stuff. At least that was the look on one man's face who had a shopping cart gripped in his hands carrying a big TV.

A check with Target was next. I visited with a person that restricted me to refering to him as one of the leaders and not by name. The leader told me, "We typically see a larger than normal amount of returns from the day after Christmas thru the following ten days." He added that this year so far was no different than recent years.

Finally I talked to a man who has worked many years for a longtime store in Sioux Falls. I visited with Bob Deaton with the Lewis stores. Bob has been with Lewis for around 20 years.

He reminded me about the time he helped me get a new grill from the 41st and Minnesota Lewis to my house about ten years ago using his personal vehicle.

Bob shared some interesting things about the returns they see after Christmas at Lewis. He remembers the day years ago when they would run a special staff to handle the mass amount of returns. But today he says there's really no spike in returns anymore. He explains the reason is now days people buy gift cards instead of guessing at gift choices.

He feels that as gift card sales went up, the gift return rate headed lower. I asked Bob, besides wrong color, size and style, what's a common excuse for returning heard from customers?

He said gift duplication is a very normal reason given, such as my grandma and aunt both got me the same thing.

Now let's talk about online shoppers sending stuff back. That appears out of control. UPS celebrates January 5 as "National Returns Day," even if no one else does.

The delivery service is expecting to deliver 1.3 million packages back to retailers that day. That would be UPS' busiest returns day ever, topping last year's 1 million.

By the end of January's first week, UPS says it will likely have returned 5.8 million packages, also a record. The National Retail Federation estimates more than $260 billion worth of merchandise was returned in 2015.


See Also: