DigiTtimes is reporting that Wal-Mart may be considering discontinuing sales of GPS receivers due to the high rate of consumer returns. First a quote, then comments…
GPS sales have an average return rate of about 25% in North America and as high as 40% at Wal-Mart, with the return rate being much higher than other electronics products.
Some major channel distributors including Best Buy and Circuit Buy have started limiting returns to within 14 days of the purchase date, while
requiring customers to pay a 15% restocking fee for returns.
However, Wal-Mart currently accepts product returns for within 30 days of purchase and requests no additional charge, which exposes the retailer
to more risk, the GPS vendors commented.
40% return rate! Wow! What could be causing the return rate to be so high? Even 25% is pretty amazing. I imagine that manufacturing defects account for only a tiny fraction. Now this is just my hunch, but I would attribute it to:
- Models with a poorly designed user interface.
- Models with an inadequate number of points of interest.
- Inadequate research (and inexperience with GPS) on the part of consumers. This could of course, result in them getting models with the first two issues, as well as not getting other features that they did want.
Most of my reviews start with Amazon links and yes, I do get a very small percentage of the purchase price. As a result of this, I see how many receivers are returned that are bought through Amazon via GPS Tracklog. Last month, 2.9% were returned.
Now this leads me to believe that folks who visit GPS Tracklog do their homework, and try to be sure they are getting the right unit for their needs. I strive to make my GPS reviews a one stop location for making well-informed purchases, but in general, you have people who research things and then you have people who don’t. And this website has nothing to do with that.