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The ‘Reverse Logistics’ of Returning Stuff

But the manufacturer often bears the brunt of the reverse-logistics costs. The goods could become outdated and unsellable during the returns process, especially with electronics.

Retailers and manufacturers also make calculations about where to store returned products; if they are, say, damaged or out of season, they should probably go back to warehouses, not stores, Guide said.

Guide said using the specialized retail term underscored its importance as a business imperative. “‘Product returns,’” he said, “make it sound like, ‘Oh, retailers are going to take it back, and it’s no big deal.’”

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