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CEA: Product Info Lessens Returns

11/04/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

A new survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) suggests that providing shoppers with more information about products, either before purchase or at the point of sale, will help reduce return rates.

The study, Return Rates and Issues, found that 20 percent of the 1,000 adults queried believe returns could be reduced if consumers did more research before making a purchase. What's more, 16 percent suggested better presale information from sales staff and 14 percent cited more informative store displays as ways to cut returns.

The most common reasons for bringing back a product, that "it was broken" or "did not work like I thought it would," were attributed by CEA to "operator error," given the less than 4 percent defect rate for CE devices.

Sixty percent of respondents were satisfied with return processes overall, although that number has dropped significantly from the 78 percent expressing satisfaction in 2000. The study showed that mobile electronics have the highest rate of return (11 percent), and audio products the lowest (5 percent).