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Returns System with Rebates

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  • Tatsuhiko Nariu
  • David Flath
  • Atsuo Utaka

Abstract

The demand for goods like seasonal fashion apparel is uncertain but the lead time needed for production is long, and so it is necessary to set the production quantity before the demand is fully known. Once sale begins, if demand is less than anticipated, the price will be low. In a futile attempt to avoid losses themselves, a competitive retail industry selling such merchandise will order too little, which will diminish the producer profit. A returns system is one response but it has problems also. Under a returns system in which retailers are fully reimbursed by the producer for any unsold merchandise, retailers will set their order quantities at the highest level allowed, which is also sub-optimal. So what to do? A slightly more sophisticated returns system is the answer. We show that a returns system with rebates implements the optimal production and sales strategy, attaining maximum expected profit in the channel.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0744.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0744

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  1. D Flath & T Nariu*, 2000. "Demand Uncertainty And Resale Price Maintenance," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(4), pages 397-403, October.
  2. Flath, David & Nariu, Tatsuhiko, 1989. "Returns policy in the Japanese marketing system," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 49-63, March.
  3. Deneckere, R. & Marvel, H.P. & Peck, J., 1995. "Demand Uncertainty and Price Maintenace : Markdowns as Destructive Competition," Working papers 9507, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Mathewson, G F & Winter, R A, 1983. "Vertical Integration by Contractual Restraints in Spatial Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 497-517, October.
  5. Marvel, Howard P & Peck, James, 1995. "Demand Uncertainty and Returns Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 691-714, August.
  6. Howard P. Marvel & Raymond Deneckere & James Peck, 1995. "Demand Uncertainty and Price Maintainance: Markdowns as Destructive Competition," Working Papers 018, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Howard P. Marvel & Hao Wang, 2007. "Inventories, Manufacturer Returns Policies, and Equilibrium Price Dispersion under Demand Uncertainty," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 1031-1051, December.
  8. G.F. Mathewson & R.A. Winter, 1984. "An Economic Theory of Vertical Restraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 27-38, Spring.
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