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UPS Offers Tips for Holiday Returns


ATLANTA, Dec. 27, 2005 – It’s a fact of human nature that as sure as the holiday leftovers cool, so too does the enthusiasm many consumers have for gifts that glistened just hours before. And as more of these items have been purchased online, the process of exchanging or returning them has introduced new questions for businesses and consumers alike.
With that in mind, UPS (NYSE: UPS) offers a few simple, yet helpful, tips for shipping goods back to retailers:

Tips for Returns

Always print your online receipt. If you have not saved the receipt, check your email for the confirmation that was sent to you at the time of purchase.

It’s an especially good idea to save all of these receipts in a dedicated holiday file for easy reference.

Ask for, and save the “Return Merchandise Authorization” (RMA). Some retailers provide this to buyers online through a technology called UPS Returns on the Web. This service allows consumers to complete the returns process and print shipping labels from the retailer’s Web site, providing them the RMA and package tracking number, both of which could be essential if there is a discrepancy about the approval for the return.

Never return merchandise to the retailer without first checking the procedures and policies and receiving authorization for the return. While most retailers want to honor legitimate exchanges and returns, simply shipping the item back with a letter inside could be confusing. If a returns package is received that has not followed procedure, it could be misplaced at the retailer’s shipping dock. It’s also possible that the retailer does not accept returned goods at the “return” address on the original shipping label.

Save original packaging. This is especially important for fragile items such as electronics and glassware. More often than not, this packaging is engineered and molded for the safe transport of the specific item enclosed. In fact, many retailers require that items must be returned in their original packaging.

If the original packaging is damaged while opening, ask the retailer if they will provide new packaging or have it re-packaged by a professional. If the retailer does not require original packaging, it’s still important that goods are packed correctly to ensure safe re-shipping. Professionals at The UPS Store have been trained to help with this and other complicated packing needs.

Never ship toys or other electronic items with the batteries installed. This can further damage the item, which could void the return authorization.

Never ship without a tracking number. Most retailers will not credit the original purchase until they actually receive the package. This means that saving a few bucks with a cheaper shipping service can end up costing more if you cannot prove it was shipped back and delivered. All UPS services provide detailed tracking and proof of delivery, assuring a credit for the returned item.
Decades ago, UPS introduced the industry’s first returns service using “Call Tags.” Later, UPS was the first to develop Authorized Returns Service to aid in the return of printer cartridges. In recent years, UPS amassed a broad reverse logistics portfolio with everything from Web-based solutions to Electronic Return Labels, which can be e-mailed directly to customers and printed right from their computers. These innovations harnessed technology to meet the growing needs of online retail customers.

Last April, UPS expanded its offerings to accept UPS Ground Authorized Return Service® packages and other ground return services at its 40,000 drop box locations. These must be labeled using one of the UPS returns services, and package dimensions cannot exceed 16x13x2 inches. The online UPS Drop-Off Locator, which provides a complete list of box locations along with detailed maps and directions, can be found at

UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. UPS’s stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (UPS) and the company can be found on the Web at


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