The message from boohoo is that if you want free returns you’ll need to pay £12.99 a year to join its Premier customer loyalty scheme. If that doesn’t sit well then boohoo will deduct a £1.99 fee per returned item from any refund it issues. BNPL customers will have the returns fee added to their outstanding balances.
This move to charge for returns by boohoo follows that of Zara which began charging for returns earlier this year. The days of free returns are likely to be numbered as the stance is likely to be adopted by other online fashion businesses which have also seen their bottom line revenues and operations facilities suffer the impact of high volume returns from “customers” who abuse the free returns option.
It is a problem of their own making, however, it is good to see commonsense returning. The cost of processing a return and getting the returned item back into a saleable state has escalated to the point where many merchants are simply opting to sell off job lots of refunded but otherwise unprocessed returns to resale merchants to cut their losses.