Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Option Value of Returns: Theory and Empirical Evidence

Contents:

Author Info

  • Eric T. Anderson

    ()
    (Marketing Department, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208)

  • Karsten Hansen

    ()
    (Marketing Department, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208)

  • Duncan Simester

    ()
    (MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    When a firm allows the return of previously purchased merchandise, it provides customers with an option that has measurable value. Whereas the option to return merchandise leads to an increase in gross revenue, it also creates additional costs. Selecting an optimal return policy requires balancing both demand and cost implications. In this paper, we develop a structural model of a consumer's decision to purchase and return an item that nests extant choice models as a special case. The model enables a firm to both measure the value to consumers of the return option and balance the costs and benefits of different return policies. We apply the model to a sample of data provided by a mail-order catalog company. We find considerable variation in the value of returns across customers and categories. When the option value is large, there are large increases in demand. For example, the option to return women's footwear is worth an average of more than $15 per purchase to customers and increases average purchase rates by more than 50%. We illustrate how the model can be used by a retailer to optimize his return policies across categories and customers.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1080.0430
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (05-06)
    Pages: 405-423

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:405-423

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: choice models; consumer behavior; decisions under uncertainty; direct marketing; e-commerce; econometric models; hierarchical Bayes analysis; latent variable models; marketing operations interface; service quality; targeting; returns;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Inderst, Roman & Tirosh, Gilad, 2011. "Refunds as a Metering Device," MPRA Paper 53846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ron Borzekowski & Raphael Thomadsen & Charles Taragin, 2005. "Competition and price discrimination in the market for mailing lists," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Chen, Yongmin & Hua, Xinyu, 2010. "Ex ante Investment, Ex post Remedy, and Product Liability," MPRA Paper 22031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Sales Talk, Cancellation Terms, and the Role of Consumer Protection," Working Papers 465, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    5. Chen, Jing, 2011. "The impact of sharing customer returns information in a supply chain with and without a buyback policy," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 213(3), pages 478-488, September.
    6. Hu, Wei & Li, Yongjian & Govindan, Kannan, 2014. "The impact of consumer returns policies on consignment contracts with inventory control," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(2), pages 398-407.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormksc:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:405-423. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.