Driving down the highway this past holiday season, I heard a story. In the year 1970, when my mother-in-law was 12 years old, she vividly remembers the disappointment her father, Bill, experienced when his wife wanted to return a Christmas gift he was proud of. In order to help her father out and encourage him not to give up on gift giving, she started to help him with buying Christmas gifts for her mom/his wife, Barb. This tradition continued from the time she was 12 until the time her father passed away just a few years ago. She spent endless hours shopping for her dad, all because she never wanted anyone in her family to experience the dreaded feeling of the return.
This story got me thinking. Visit any shopping center in America between Black Friday and Christmas Eve and you are bombarded with signs and salespeople that all send the signals of “buy, buy, buy”. Even the internet has its clever ways of convincing you to buy just one more Christmas gift.
However, oddly enough, you visit those same areas between December 26th and early January and they are conveniently staffed to handle the returns of the items they just convinced you to buy. This period of time is so busy that some retailers have nicknamed it the "13th month". According to the New York Times customers are flocking back to retail stores and online websites in order to make returns, exchanges, and spend their gift cards. This time also means big business for shipping companies. According to CNBC, FedEX and UPS expect consumers to return $90 billion dollars in unwanted goods in the weeks following Christmas.
When did we become a culture that simple accepts that it's normal, and almost expected, for you to return your christmas gifts? Yet, on the flip side, nobody wants to tell the gift giver that they plan to return their gift. In fact, I believe that a return can be just as stressful as buying a gift in the first place. So how do we avoid this pitfall of the gift return?
Well, it is not 1970 anymore and technology has advanced our lives in more ways than anyone could have imagined!
Now, giftUP (and the giftSQUAD) is here to help your family and friends avoid the dreaded return line. The graphic below outlines just how easy giftUP can make your gift shopping experience.
So, if you’re spending your weeks after Christmas still busy at the mall, or the post office. Keep us in mind for next year!
giftUP will be here for you :)