F2F Class Notes (Li)[R]


Practice pronunciation. Find some other words that end with -ed.


deter: to prevent someone something

eg. High prices deter people from buying.

barred: to prevent or forbid something

eg. They are barred from entering the country


-ed – aged – repackaged – damaged – based – reduced – hiked- binned (is heard)

ged – like jud

height – eight (same  t-ending)

returner – re-turn-ner (strong ner)



We’ve all done it. We buy something we think we like and then change our minds about it. Whether panic buying, an impulse purchase or shopper’s remorse, we’re fortunate many companies allow us to easily exchange or refund items. In fact it’s so easy these days that retailers are seeing an increase in a new type of shopper: the serial returner.

A serial returner is someone who buys items, often in bulk, only to return most of them. 41-year-old Hester Grainger, founder of Mumala Club, estimates spending £300 to £400 each month on clothes, but returning “around 80%”, she told the BBC. This isn’t unique. Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, says that in the last two years 26% of retailers have seen an increase in in-store and online returns – with the number of items being sent back up by 22%.

It’s a problem for companies. Handling these returns eats into profits. Free delivery for the customer means the company foots the bill. Items may need to be repackaged. They are damaged – making them unfit for resale. Tony Mannix, CEO of Clipper, a logistics firm that handles returned goods for major retailers, said about 5% of them end up “being binned.” Sometimes the fast fashion cycle has moved on. By the time the item comes back, it becomes a cut-price item on a reduced-to-clear rail – at further loss to the company.

Some companies are taking action to deter this behaviour. According to a BBC article, four in ten retailers now say they charge for returns to discourage the sending of non-faulty items. Online retail giant Amazon was reported to have started barring customers with too many returned items. This is something a study by retail management system Brightpearl found over half of UK fashion retailers would consider. And Barclaycard says a third of retailers have hiked their prices to cover these returns.

But Vicky Brock, director of data innovation at ReBound Returns, a returns management software system, believes this isn’t the best strategy. Speaking in a BBC article, she says discouraging returns shows a lack of understanding by the retailer. Using data, companies can reduce returns by helping customers choose better. Some companies such as Uniqlo and Asos already provide a suggested size based on the customer’s previous purchases and information on height and weight. Ultimately, she says, returns are now as much a part of the shopping experience as buying things, and shops need to take this into consideration.