UPS streamlines returns for online sellers

boy in a shirt that is too small

Returns are part of retail. New return-label billing and pricing make dealing with them easier.

Online shoppers are a savvy bunch. Two out of three check out an e-tailer's return policy before placing an order, according to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study.

What's more, free return shipping, a hassle-free "no questions asked" policy and a return label right in the box are the top three elements of a "best returns experience" among online shoppers surveyed.

"Just as online sellers are looking for ways to make returns easier and more convenient for consumers, we at UPS are always looking for ways to make things easier for shippers," says Jim Brill, a UPS marketing manager. "Our new return-label billing and pricing policy is just one example."

The new policy, effective July 7, 2014, applies to printed or electronic return labels.

Here are three key benefits:

  • Savings. "Shippers who want to improve customer satisfaction by providing a return label in all packages won't be charged until the label is used on a returned package," Brill says. Previously, some shippers paid for return labels in advance. "This change should make it a bit easier for savvy online retailers to meet the needs of their customers."
  • Easier, all-in-one billing. "The return-label fee will now appear on the same UPS invoice, alongside the transportation fee for the returned package," Brill says. Previously, the cost of return labels could be invoiced separately, making it difficult to track the full cost of a return.
  • Faster bill reconciliation. All-in-one billing will make it much easier for companies to reconcile their bills. "Because label fees and transportation costs were typically spread across separate bills, possibly months apart, it took shippers a lot of time to reconcile amounts," Brill says. "This will streamline things."

What about shippers who already ordered labels? Will they get charged twice? "We've made sure our system won't let that happen," Brill says. "Behind the scenes, we know which labels have been charged and which haven't. Starting in July, labels requested will be billed with the return package – and the changeover should be seamless for the shipper."

Learn more about UPS Returns®.

Request more information about UPS Returns and how a streamlined returns process can help you build customer loyalty.


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