Before the pandemic I spent a surprising amount of time doing returns. I’m indecisive about purchases, and I’m always between two sizes and bad at judging. So even in-person purchases sometimes went back. And I’m bad at getting online returns to the post office, so my practice was to return those to stores too. It was a rather nice way to spend an afternoon, walking around our shopping district.

Then everything shut down hard and I had little interest in shopping for months. I bought a few things online and missed the return windows for two items, embarrassingly. (I put the items up on Poshmark so I hope I’ll get some money back.)

Now fall collections are out so I’m shopping a lot more — but still only online. And since I often have to try things in two sizes to know if they’ll fit, I’m worried that stores will flag me as a bad customer for a high return rate. Of course I try to be judicious in what I order, but it’s still likely I’ll return something. Have any of you had problems with this in the pandemic?

San Francisco is still under much stricter rules than most of the country (with good success). Stores are slowly reopening, but I feel safer staying home and using my risk budget on other things like going in to my office once a week. So for now I’m not going to try things on in stores. I might be willing to return online purchases in store but maybe better to stick to mail returns even when it costs a few dollars.

And on that note, I just noticed that Uniqlo is changing their US return policy on Oct 26. No more returning online orders to stores, and the return period is down to 30 days. I imagine every store is struggling with the new reality and they probably lose a lot from returns... glad I noticed before ordering a lot!