The dark side of Amazon returns: Boxes getting sent back has metastasized to an $816 billion yearly problem

E-commerce may make shopping more convenient, but it has a dark side that most consumers never see.

Say you order an electric toothbrush for Father’s Day and two shirts for yourself from Amazon. You unpack your order and discover that the electric toothbrush won’t charge and only one shirt fits you. So, you decide to return the unwanted shirt and the electric toothbrush.

Returns like this might seem simple, and often they’re free for the consumer. But managing those returns can get costly for retailers, so much so that many returned items are simply thrown out.

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