Why is January 2nd Nation Returns Day?
UPS is one of the largest shippers for online retailers and one of the largest carriers for shipping online customer returns back to the retailers. In years past, UPS considered January 5th as Nation Returns Day with the largest single day for return shipments of 1.5 million packages on January 5th 2017.
However, according to UPS, things have changed including the date for National Returns Day. In 2020, National Returns Day is January 2nd (today) with an estimated 1.9 million customer returns being delivered back to retailers on this single day.
While January 2nd may be the biggest single day of return shipments, it’s not the only day customers return packages. The entire month of January is commonly known as “Returnary” for online retailers as the entire month is a big month for returns considering most retailers offer 30, 60 or 90 day return policies during the holiday season.
It’s estimated that a total of $90-95 Billion (with a capital B) worth of merchandise will be returned over the 2019 Christmas holiday season, including returns during the month of January 2020. This is a 15-20% jump over the 2018 holiday season. So as online returns get easier and easier, online retailers who don’t have a customer return loss recovery process in place keep losing more and more. This “cost of doing business” continues to grow.
1.5 Million Packages Returned on December 19th
Wait, what’cha talking bout Willis? That’s right, on December 19th 2018 UPS returned 1.5 million customer return packages to online retailers. But how, you ask? Because of self-gifting during the December holiday season many people buy themselves gifts that eventually get returned. Sometimes people buy multiple gifts and once they pick the final winner, they take advantage of free returns for the others.
UPS also states that approximately 1 million packages are returned to online retailers each day in December with December 19th being the largest day of the month of December.
When is National Returns Day?
National Returns Day is simply the largest single day for online customer return shipments being delivered back to the online retailer. According to UPS, National Returns Day has moved over the years:
- January 5, 2017 – 1.3 million packages
- January 3, 2018 – 1.4 million packages
- January 3, 2019 – 1.3 million packages
- January 2, 2020 – 1.9 million packages (estimated)
- January 2, 2021 - ?
Note: December 19, 2018 UPS saw 1.5 million online customer return shipments as customers returned self-gifting items or gifts they decided not to give. In 2019, 1.6 million customer return packages were returned to retailers each day for the week of 12/16/19 - 12/21/19. Yes, before Christmas.
It’s expected that these statistics will become harder to track in the future as Amazon manages more and more of the last mile delivery, they are also expected to begin picking up customer returns soon. Also, Amazon has setup a partnership with Kohl's to be their premier return drop off service allowing customers to drop off their customer return package in person at their local Kohl’s store rather than shipping it using UPS. I expect Amazon’s blue delivery trucks to pickup at Kohl’s bringing the van’s back to the warehouse full instead of empty. Sounds more efficient to me.
Why Does Back-Track Care About This?
Back-Track is on a mission to help Amazon sellers recover part of the $32 Billion in "Lost Value" in their Amazon customer returns. Back-Track will reBOX, reNEW or rePAIR customer returns for Amazon sellers to help them resell the product once again as refurbished or through Amazon's Renewed program.
We believe that re-purposing the product and extending its life is better economics for Amazon sellers and also better for our environment at the same time. Having less Amazon customer returns destroyed is a good thing.
From our experience working with Amazon sellers, our data shows that about 80% of Amazon's customer returns are "Not Defective". These are products that function as they were designed and can be resold again to someone else.
For every item that Back-Track reNEWS or rePAIRS that's one less item going into a landfill prematurely. That's one less item draining profits away from Amazon sellers. That's one more item in the hands of a consumer like it was originally designed for.
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