The boxes are already stacked to the ceiling at the UPS Store on Meridian Avenue in San Jose. Inside are shoes, kindles and other items purchased online that are being returned. UPS expects to handle a record-setting 550,000 parcels on National Returns Day.
"It will be busy because a lot of returns are going back and also there are some people who don't want to ship during the Christmas season, they'd rather wait and then ship afterwards," said Avtar Nat, a UPS Store franchisee.
Online holiday purchases grew 15 percent this season, compared to a year ago. Yet returns are expected to increase by less than 8 percent. UPS this year hired a social media expert to help consumers with the return process, which online merchants are making easier.
"They offer return shipping labels for any items you want to return, and the beauty of that is I can take all my returns to the UPS Store all at once, or I can just put in a call ticket, and it can be picked up from my mailbox so I don't even have to leave my house," said Melissa Dawn Lierman, a UPS social media moderator.
Some online retailers pay for return shipping. A few don't. UPS is turning to Twitter to host two one-hour online parties on Tuesday, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 5 p.m. Lierman will try to answer shipping questions while having some fun.
"So we'll be having questions and talking all about our holidays and returns. We have UPS staff on multiple handles to answer any of your questions and concerns," said Lierman.
Return shipping volume is expected to be high all week with the most packages reaching merchants by Friday.
Returning merchandise can be a hassle, but at least UPS is trying to make the process a bit easier for consumers.
UPS is hosting two Twitter parties at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, where you can ask how to do merchandise returns.
January 3rd, 2012
1p.m. (EST) and 8 p.m. (EST)
10 a.m. (PST) and 5:00 p.m. (PST)
Hashtag for party is: #HolidayReturns