SIRAS: Consumers Know PMP, PC Return Policies



Portable 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 to TWICE.

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, 2010.

“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.


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