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Returns Policies for a Pessimistic Retailer


  • Glenn, David

    (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)


Manufacturer buy-back policies are studied in the context of asymmetric demand information. A manufacturer offers a new product for sale to a retailer who makes a single stocking decision prior to the sales period. The two parties formulate different demand forecasts, either because they cannot share all relevent information or because the shared information lacks suffcient credibility. The manufacturer's pro t is, therefore, limited by the retailer's forecast which is relatively pessimistic. Offering to buy-back unsold items can induce the retailer to order more while supporting higher wholesale prices. It can also signal credibility for the manufacturer's optimistic forecast. Yet, the actual effect of buy-back depends on how the retailer regards the manufacturer's information. This paper characterizes two extremes: the retailer either deems the manufacturer to be better informed or less informed about demand. Buy-back serves as a signaling mechanism on the one hand and as an inducement on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Glenn, David, 2004. "Returns Policies for a Pessimistic Retailer," Working Papers 04-0111, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:illbus:04-0111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gérard P. Cachon & Martin A. Lariviere, 2001. "Contracting to Assure Supply: How to Share Demand Forecasts in a Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(5), pages 629-646, May.
    2. Kandel, Eugene, 1996. "The Right to Return," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 329-356, April.
    3. Preyas S. Desai, 2000. "Multiple Messages to Retain Retailers: Signaling New Product Demand," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(4), pages 381-389, August.
    4. Barry Alan Pasternack, 1985. "Optimal Pricing and Return Policies for Perishable Commodities," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 4(2), pages 166-176.
    5. Wujin Chu, 1992. "Demand Signalling and Screening in Channels of Distribution," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(4), pages 327-347.
    6. Martin A. Lariviere & V. Padmanabhan, 1997. "Slotting Allowances and New Product Introductions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(2), pages 112-128.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sezer Ülkü & L. Beril Toktay & Enver Yücesan, 2007. "Risk Ownership in Contract Manufacturing," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 9(3), pages 225-241, April.
    2. Frank Youhua Chen & Candace Arai Yano, 2010. "Improving Supply Chain Performance and Managing Risk Under Weather-Related Demand Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1380-1397, August.

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