Zara is now charging U.K. customers a small fee for returning their online purchases.
The £1.95 fee, which is being deducted from the final returns amount, is waived if customers choose to return the merchandise at one of the company’s physical stores. Any products returned at one of the company’s third-party drop-off points are also subject to the additional charge.
“Customers can return online purchases at any Zara store in the U.K. free of charge, which is what most customers do. The 1.95 pound fee only applies to the return of products at third party drop off points,” a Zara spokesperson said.
Zara’s move to charge an online returns fee follows similar plans by other retailers in the U.K. Next, for example, also charges a £2 fee per return, regardless of whether customers choose to return products directly at Next stores or through a drop-off location.
These surcharges are being levied on customers at a time when shoppers are returning an increasing volume of online merchandise. According to returns solution company ReBound, which handles product returns for some of the most prominent retail players, one in three online purchases are returned.
Today’s high volume of returns represents an increasing cost for retail businesses, which are already struggling to maintain their profit margins.
Aside from asking customers to pay a return fee, some players, such as Amazon, have looked to ban serial returners.