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SIRAS: Consumers Know PMP, PC Return Policies


media players and computers
are being returned more quickly
as consumers now pay close attention
to the duration of retailer
return policies, according to an
exclusive SIRAS survey provided

SIRAS, a provider of pointof-
sale product registration services
to manufacturers and retailers,
said stores that establish
and enforce short-duration policies,
even for specific product
categories, are effective in discouraging
customers from even
attempting to return products
outside the policy period.

“Consistently, the two product
categories with highest percentage
of return attempts within 30
days of purchase are portable
media players, most recently at 87.2 percent, and computers,
at more than 94 percent,” said Peter Junger,
president of Redmond-based SIRAS. “These are also the
categories for which many of the major retailers participating
in the SIRAS program have return policies of 30 days
or less. SIRAS’ statistics indicate that most consumers
know that products are being tracked and that return policies
are being effectively enforced.”

Junger said that the analysis for both categories covers
data collected in the one year period ending Oct. 31,

“Given the high cost of computers compared to media
players, it’s not surprising consumers would be very conscientious
about returning PCs they decided they didn’t
want,” said Junger.

“Yet the consistency of this pattern for media players,
which typically cost less than half as much as PCs and
as little as one-tenth as much, shows that most consumers
will follow retailers’ rules on returns regardless of the
product’s price – where they know the retailer to be vigilant
about awareness and enforcement.

“I think these figures show that consumers don’t necessarily
need 90 days to make up their minds about keeping
a product, and more importantly that retailers can customize
their return policies by product category to improve
profitability,” he said.