Wehkamp now charges return costs to stop the large flow of returns 13:33 in Economy The webshop charges 50 cents per item that you return. It is no longer free at more and more webshops.

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An employee of a distribution center in Westzaan
NOS News

Wehkamp will charge money for items that customers want to return. As of today, the webshop charges 50 euro cents per article, to make customers more aware of the large flow of returns.

“With the symbolic amount, Wehkamp wants to draw its customers’ attention to the social impact of the flow of goods,” a spokesperson said. Whether the amount will increase at a later time depends, according to the company, on the number of returns.

Expensive and bad for the environment

For many web shops, returning a package was free for years. Companies bear the costs: they have to unpack the items, check them, process them administratively and offer them again. According to Thuiswinkel.org, this costs about 12.50 euros per shipment. That is also bad for the environment, because the packages are transported in vans.

For these reasons, several fashion chains have recently started charging return costs. The amounts vary considerably. For example, H&M customers pay 99 cents to return a package, Zara charges 1.95 euros and Sting and Bever charge 3.95 euros. The difference with Wehkamp is that you can still return items for free in the physical stores at these chains.

Wehkamp does not expect that people will order less because of the return costs and therefore does not foresee a major impact on the company’s turnover. “Items that are only sent back and forth to our customers are ultimately not sales,” says the spokesperson. Thuiswinkel.org also sees that the introduction of return costs is not at the expense of turnover with a number of members. The number of returns is going down.

Order a lot, return almost everything

With the measures, online stores hope to entice people to stop ordering dozens of items of clothing in different sizes, only to then send almost all of them back. Currently, about 30 percent of all clothing is returned, mainly because the size or fit is not right

“It’s mainly about customer awareness,” says Marlene ten Ham, director of Thuiswinkel.org. “We hope to prevent some of the unnecessary returns by encouraging customers who are unsure about the size to try on the clothing in store. Then the clothing does not have to go through a process in the processing center.”

In addition to return costs, webshops now also ask for money for shipping more often. Thuiswinkel.org also sees this as a good development. “It’s good for transparency, because ultimately there is no such thing as free delivery,” says Ten Ham. “It means that there is a small threshold and people have to learn more. And that way, shops can ultimately do business more responsibly.”

  • Economy

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