Gift returns could mean big bucks for shipping services

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Consumers can expect a few lines as they return Christmas gifts they didn't particularly like.

A new CNBC report shows your shopping loss is someone else's gain. In fact, it could mean big business for shipping giants like FedEx and UPS.

Experts estimated consumers will return about 90 billion dollars worth of goods this holiday season. Those same experts and consultants said most shoppers actually prefer to return their physical products to a store, even if they bought them online.

How does this affect shipping companies? Experts said retailers face costly return rates when customers bring back their merchandise, which brings in extra cash for major players like FedEx and UPS.

These competitors also have another advantage. Major shipping companies have started setting up drop-off locations in places like supermarkets and drug stores, in essence, cutting out the middleman and ensuring customers will go straight to them for any future delivery services.

Experts also said the numbers don't lie when it comes to the sheer volume of package returns this time of year. 40 percent of all returns occur from December 26 -31. Experts added that number will only go up in January when 50 percent of returns are made.

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