Most Consumers Refuse To Pay For Returns: Study

Discounts may be driving sales this year, with 70% of shoppers requiring a 30% reduction to make a purchase.

But 79% are willing to pay full price if they really like the item, according to The Discount Dilemma and Returns Risk, a study from First Insight.  

Yet 75% of shoppers will be deterred from buying if the retailer charges for returns.

Baby Boomers are most likely to feel this way — 84% versus 71% of Gen Z and 69% of millennials.  

Ironically, 92% of consumers earning $200K will be turned away by brands charging for returns, compared to 70% of shoppers making less than $50K. 

As for timing, 73% of consumers expect 30-60 days to make a return.  

Willingness to pay full price also varies by generation: 87% will do so, as will 83% of millennials. In contrast, 75% of Baby Boomers will pay the total price, and 73% of Gen X. 

Here is how consumers are cutting back compared to last year:  

  • Shopping for deals — 52%
  • Buying less overall — 37%
  • Shopping online more — 30% 
  • Using more coupons — 27% 
  • Buying items out of season to save — 22% 
  • Purchasing more store brands/private label — 19%
  • Shopping secondhand or thrift stores — 19% 

First Insight surveyed more than 900 consumers in November 2022. 

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