Retailers get tough on serial returners

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One in five retailers has toughened up their returns policy in the last year in an effort to curb the number of customers over-ordering items knowing they will return the majority of them, research by Barclaycard has revealed.

Another 19 per cent of retailers plan to make their returns policy more stringent in the next 12 months.

The moves come in response to a rising number of returns – 26 per cent of retailers say they have seen an increase in the volume of goods being returned in the past two years.

The survey found that eight per cent of consumers had been penalised by retailers for returning too many goods. That figure rose to 21 per cent for 25-34 year olds.

And there were similar figures for the proportions of consumers penalised for returning goods that had been used or worn.

Penalties range from warning emails to account deactivations.

The research found that 29 per cent of shoppers admitted they order items that they intend to return – a figure that rises to nearly half (48 per cent) of 25-34 year olds.

A fifth of shoppers said they would only shop at retailers that offer free returns.

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