Returns Online, Inc., Seattle, and the U. S. Postal Service said yesterday that they have joined forces to provide the management of product returns.
Returns Online offers a start-to-finish returns management infrastructure for the retail industry, including online, catalog and brick-and-mortar companies. It has integrated its processing services with the USPS’ Merchandise Return Service to offer retailers a unified method of handling postage, tracking, and processing of returned products. This is accomplished through a return-shipping label that incorporates both a USPS postal permit and a unique Returns Online barcode.
For return packages which do not fit into a mailbox, the consumer can request a door pick-up by leaving a note in their postal box, or by calling a 1-800 number to request a pick-up during the next regular delivery. In addition, consumers can drop off packages at any of the 312,000 USPS collection boxes or 38,000 USPS offices.
“Our merchants' customers do not have to go online to locate a drop-off point or request an expensive home pickup,'' said Shannon Hauser, founder, chairman and CEO of Returns Online. “We are working with USPS to develop a program where customers can leave returns packages on their doorstep for pick-up or take them to one of the 350,000 USPS drop-off points located throughout the country. With a prepaid shipping label generated by Returns Online, the consumer bypasses the need to stand in line at the post office. This is the ultimate in convenience and customer service.''
The USPS has also assigned Returns Online's National Returns Center a unique zip code for all consumer returns. The dedicated zip code reduces the time it takes for a consumer's package to get to the National Returns Center for processing.