Returning online buys to Amazon, Walmart and your favorite brands causes problems

A postal worker stands in the back of an open USPS truck full of packages, with a pile of packages partially unloaded onto the ground below him.

A US postal worker prepares to deliver packages on Cyber Monday in 2021. E-commerce buys have a return rate up to five times higher than goods bought in stores.


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Record online shopping this holiday season has fueled another record for e-commerce companies: returned goods.

Prompted by a clogged supply chain, millions of shoppers began browsing Amazon, Walmart and other online retailers even before Black Friday, when holiday discounts traditionally start. Cooped up at home because of the pandemic, people didn’t stop clicking. Online sales reached $205 billion in the US, according to Adobe, a new holiday season high. 

Not all of those purchases worked out. Not having been able to see or try products, many people shipped those gifts, as well as their own online purchases, back to retailers. The

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Minnesota communities still capturing sales tax revenues despite ‘Amazon effect’, new research finds – InForum

NEW LONDON, Minn. — Concerns that online shopping has eaten away at sales tax collection in rural Minnesota communities have been largely unfounded, new research from

Minnesota’s Center for Rural Policy and Development

determined.

The findings were presented via webinar Monday, Dec. 13. Speaking from his home in New London, research associate Kelly Asche laid out what the Center for Rural Policy and Development termed the “Amazon effect”, the broadscale shift to online shopping among consumers.

Asche outlined three disruptions the move to e-commerce has caused: uniform pricing, an increase in experience-based, in-person shopping and the incorporation of technology into brick-and-mortar retailers. The result, Asche said, is that brick-and-mortar establishments have needed to spend more to remain competitive and have therefore become less profitable.

While taxable sales have increased 32% among Minnesota retailers since 2010, the figure is paltry in comparison to the 171% increase among out-of-state retailers. Despite this,

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How to Tell If eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace Items Are Stolen

Image for article titled How to Tell If eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace Items Are Stolen

Photo: PixieMe (Shutterstock)

Long before the start of the seemingly never-ending pandemic, it was hard to resist the convenience of online shopping. But while buying something directly from a reputable retailer—or straight from the manufacturer—tends to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting, the rise in popularity of online marketplaces, particularly those on Amazon and Facebook, has made it more of a crapshoot.

These spaces operate more like virtual flea markets—except without the option of inspecting the items (in person) yourself. For this, and other reasons, it’s not uncommon for stolen goods to end up for sale on these sites. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, what it refers to as “organized retail crime” (ORC) currently costs retailers an average of $700,000 per $1 billion in sales, and roughly 75% of retailers surveyed in 2020 saw an increase in ORC that year alone.

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How to Return an Amazon Item Fast and Often Free Ahead of the Holiday Season

As online shopping has taken over the retail world, returning items to online store has slowly been streamlined over the last few years. Amazon’s return policy is pretty straightforward at this point, and in many cases, you can return an item from home without dropping it off anywhere. Here’s a quick explainer for Amazon returns and how to determine if yours will be simple.

If you try to initiate a return on something you purchased from Amazon, the site will typically instruct you to take the item to a UPS store, a Whole Foods or a Kohl’s store, among other vendors. If you’re looking for a way to avoid this step, you could start by carefully choosing the reason for your return. According to a report by CNET, the “reason for return” menu on Amazon’s site determines what will happen to the merchandise when you send it back, and

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