NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Returning items you purchased from online sales or deals means your shipping costs can add up quickly, but free shipping is not unattainable.
Many consumers experience buyer’s remorse after receiving items they shopped for online. Without the in-person, tactile shopping experience, it's easy to get an item that isn't quite right -- the unforgettable designer dress that's two sizes too small, the milk foamer that takes up your entire kitchen counter.
But returns represent a logistical annoyance and a financial ding to your bank account. In fact Internet Retailer, the e-commerce data company, conducted a survey revealing that in 2014 only 9.8% of its top 500 retailers offered free return shipping. To boot, some 69% of online shoppers describe return shipping as a complicated process, and 46% of online shoppers keep their purchases because returning is too inconvenient.
So how do you send your unwanted goods back without burdening your shoulders -- and your wallet?
Shop in the Right Places
While consumers may be inclined to use the post office, UPS and FedEx to return items -- millions do especially after the Christmas period -- consumers who want to take advantage of free shipping and skip the hassle of standing in line should buy their items through eBay or Amazon. The labels are printed for free for return if you're still within the return time period, said Joe Silverman, CEO of New York Computer Help, a consumer-leaning tech support company.
If you bought online directly from manufacturers such as Apple, Dell or Sony, you should call them to request a free return label since online help will usually ask you to pay the shipping, he said.