Pay to return an online purchase? “Inadmissible” for some, “anti-abuse” weapon for others

This is a (slight) extra cost that can change a lot of things. Since the end of April, the ready-to-wear brand Zara has paid for the return of items purchased online. To restart the package, it costs 1.95 euros. The other fast fashion giant H&M is on the same logic, and other brands could follow. At stake, of course, is the cost of deliveries, which have risen due to rising energy prices and, therefore, transport. Or a loss of profits for companies.

These paid returns are not yet widespread, but if that were the case, how would our internet users react? We asked them the question.

“It’s really taking us to pigeons”

As you might expect when talking about additional cost, the overwhelming majority of people who responded to our request for testimonials are against paid referrals. “It’s going to slow me down,” warns Monique; “in some cases, I don’t buy”, adds Nina; Sandy confirms that this “would be a strong impediment: I will review my need, not buy for fear of not serving and therefore lose money in battle. “.

The same argument comes up again and again: charging for the return would be commercial nonsense. “We try to trust brands in terms of size, material, morphology… If, in addition to buying, trusting and making mistakes, (you have to) pay for the return, I find this unacceptable”, judge Cassandra. Why yes, let’s not forget about delivery. “We have already paid enough and it is often catastrophic,” announces Mégane. So if in addition we have to pay for the return, it is really taking us to the pigeons.”

“I don’t have time to go shopping anymore…”

Free returns are, of course, a comfort. We skipped the passage in an overheated dressing room after 40 minutes of waiting, to choose at home between M or L, a crimson red instead of ruby, before returning the superfluous. But if it’s worth it, what about the geographic distance? Agathe puts it another way: “For rural people, it is not necessarily easy”. This is the case with “Drouet”: “You have to drive 40 minutes to find stores, it is often very expensive and in large sizes, there is almost nothing. I have to order online but the size is not consistent sometimes, I (have to) send it back. If they became chargeable, (…) I wouldn’t know how to dress”.

This saving of free time that could disappear also worries Elodie, but not for the same reasons: the young mother of 3 doesn’t have “much time to shop…”. And so returning a packet is already, by definition, a constraint, some say. “Having to do a shift at work or stand in line for 2 hours on a Saturday morning, I’m discouraged for a while,” complains Florian.

But then how? Lionel has already taken the lead. “I totally avoid sites that charge for returns. (If yes), they don’t want to sell. I’ll look elsewhere.” Another even simpler solution, but one that requires a trip: “I still prefer to bring back or have brought back the object that doesn’t fit in the store”, says Marie. The third way is that of Robert, a merchant at heart. If the size or color of the piece is not suitable, she does not return it… but resells it on Leboncoin.

And why not a compromise?

So many opinions that do not clarify the other part of consumers, those who understand this transition to payment. Aurélie, who works precisely in the delivery sector, says she is “arqui para”. She develops: “Many are those who buy on a whim and return or do not pick up their packages. Or simply those who order clothes every week (I’m not exaggerating)”. Anitshka adds a layer: “People buy 3 different sizes to benefit from free shipping and only keep the clothes that fit them…”. Behaviors that are harmful to the planet, insists Eliana. “Retailers need to be more transparent: tell customers where returns are sent and the carbon emissions their purchases generate.”

Then we have the cons. For the. Only the commitment remains. It is embodied by Jean-Pierre: “I think it’s very normal to charge for returns if you don’t take the item, this will prevent abuse. On the other hand, if you want to change size or color, you can be free”. A philosophy of the “at the same time” that is also that of François. “If it is a failure or a shipping error, it is up to the seller to take care of the return. If, on the other hand, it is for a convenience test, it is up to the customer to pay”, he concludes. That’s good, because we have to leave him. The delivery guy just called.

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