Nearly 2 Million Returns Are Projected to Ship on National Returns Day

Nearly 2 Million Returns Are Projected to Ship on National Returns Day

January 2, 2020         Written By John H. Oldshue

Record holiday sales inevitably yield one thing: record holiday returns. January 2 is considered National Returns Day, and the United Parcel Service predicts to ship 1.9 million packages this year. That is a 26% increase over last year.

Many retailers offer extended return policies during the holidays as an extra enticement for shoppers. For example, Amazon offers full-refund returns through January 31 for items shipped between November 1 and December 31. Their standard return policy is only 30 days.

As a result of these extended policies during the holidays, there is an influx of returns every year in early January. A study from the National Retail Federation and Apriss Retail revealed that returned merchandise accounts for $369 billion in lost sales each year. That is roughly 10% of total retail sales ($3.688 trillion).

Based on those statistics, Americans might be returning close to $12.6 billion worth of merchandise from the $125.5 billion spent on online holiday shopping. This does not account for the $3-$6 per package retailers lose for shipped returns. That could yield $5.7 to $11.4 million in additional losses using predictions by the United Parcel Service. In a recent survey from Splitit, 39% of respondents said that free return shipping was the most important feature in a return policy.

Fortunately for retailers, 63% of consumers prefer making returns in store. Not only does this reduce shipping losses, but it also gives retailers a chance quickly recoaup losses with new in-store sales.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 2, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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