Large retailers consider paying customers not to return items

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(WTVO) — Some major outlets are considering letting customers keep items they wanted to return — and the money they paid as well.

According to CNN, retailers such as Target, Walmart, American Eagle, and Gap, are facing a high level of inventory and would rather not restock the items.

One retail expert says the risk is that deceptive customers may try to seek free merchandise through a series of orders.

“One thing retailers need to track and ensure is that customers that become aware of the [Keep it] policy do not begin to abuse it, by seeking free merchandise over a series of orders by getting a refund but getting to keep the merchandise,” said Keith Daniels, partner with Carl Marks Advisors.

Amazon started the practice several years ago with some types of products, including lower-priced bulky items or in instances where it would be more costly to cover the shipping cost of the return.

In certain situations, Walmart and Target confirmed that they already employ the “keep it” return policy.

In a statement to Nexstar, a Walmart spokesperson said that once a customer starts a return, the company looks at a “variety of factors” to figure out what the best solution might be for that person.

“In some cases, they may not have to bring or ship the item back,” the spokesperson said. “These factors include everything from product value to supply chain costs to what’s the most efficient and sustainable returns solution and, most importantly – what’s going to lead to the best possible customer experience.”

A Target spokesperson told Nexstar that the company looks at returns on a case-by-case basis and, in a small number of instances, will suggest the customer keep or donate the item.

Gap and American Eagle did not return a request for comment.

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