Vendors have a new message for consumers who want to return an item: Save it.
Amazon.com Inc., AMZN 0.65% Walmart Inc. WMT -0.01% and other companies use artificial intelligence to determine if it is economically viable to process returns. With less expensive or larger items that can have a lot of shipping costs, it is often cheaper to recoup the price and allow customers to store products.
The new method, made known by Amazon and a few other chains, became widely accepted during the Covid-19 epidemic, as more and more military companies in online stores rethink how they handle profits. “We are getting a lot of questions about what you will see in the coming months,” said Amit Sharma, chief executive of Narvar Inc., which explains profits to retailers.
Lorie Anderson of Vancouver, Wash., Was surprised when she tried to return online purchases to Target with batteries from Walmart. The chains gave him a return but told him to keep things.
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“They weren’t expensive, and it wouldn’t make much sense to bring them back by mail,” said Anderson, 38,. “It’s a problem picking up a box and throwing it in the post or UPS. UPS -0.38% This was one thing I was not worried about.”
A spokesman for Target Corp. TGT 1.31% said the seller gives customers money and encourages them to donate or keep the item in a few cases where the company finds that that is easier than returning the purchase.
A Walmart spokesman said the “keep it” option was designed for non-commercial purchases and was determined by customer purchase history, product value and cost of processing returns.
Amazon did not provide any comments.