Shop online-only retailers; return in-store and get perks

HOUSTON – Even if you hadn’t before, the coronavirus shutdown pushed a lot of people to shop online. It’s convenient and contact-free, but the worry of having to deal with returns is the biggest thing holding a lot of people back. Now, one service is making online returns easy for consumers and profitable for local businesses.

“Pre-pandemic, foot traffic was valuable. Post pandemic, it’s even more valuable,” said David Sobie, founder of Happy Returns.

Sobie’s company partners with retailers that exist predominantly online and brick and mortar stores. When you buy from an online business but need to return your item, Happy Returns finds a store near you that will accept your return. You don’t need a label or even a box. Sobie knows the fear of hassling with returns is one thing that keeps people from shopping online.

“They hate having to print labels, having to find a box, having to wrestle with packing tape,” Sobie said. “We joke in our office that tape is a four-letter word.”

Benefits for customers

  • Hassle-free returns that take less than a minute
  • Immediate refund issued when you drop your item at return bar
  • Coupons and other incentives from the brick and mortar retailer. Paper Source gives customers a $10 coupon every time they make a return at their return bar.

Benefits for local stores

  • Extra foot traffic = more shoppers