Royal Mail predicts ‘mail-back Monday’ will be the busiest day for sending back unwanted Christmas gifts


Royal Mail predicts that ‘mail-back Monday’ – the first Monday in the New Year – will be the busiest day for online returns through the post as shoppers rush to send back unwanted Christmas gifts and online purchases.

On Monday 4 January online returns are predicted to jump by more than 50% in a single day, versus the average number of return parcels per day in December.

Today’s prediction is based on the number of returns parcels handled by Royal Mail through its Tracked Returns service, which is used by more than 500 e-retailers for the return of unwanted online purchases.

Since Christmas, Royal Mail has already handled increased numbers of online returns. The number of parcels returned using the Royal Mail Tracked Returns service increased 41% in the week after Christmas, compared to average number of daily return parcels in December. The greatest number of Tracked Returns parcels have been processed in Royal Mail’s London Houslow, Northampton and Gatwick mail centres.

E-commerce is now the main method for Christmas shopping for more than half (56% of shoppers. It accounts for more than three quarters of Christmas spend (77%) according to Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters research. Last year, one in six online shoppers claimed to have returned or were planning to return an online Christmas purchase. Clothes are most likely to be returned; nearly half of online shoppers (46%) return clothing after Christmas, with toys and electronics being the second most returned categories of online purchases (both 7%).

Nick Landon, managing director Royal Mail Parcels, said: “Monday is set to be a huge day for mailing back unwanted Christmas gifts and online purchases. We expect the volume of return parcels to jump by more than 50% on this single day. More and more shoppers are using the post to return their unwanted online purchases. At this time of year the easiest way for many shoppers to return their items is to pop them in the mail rather than tackle the post-Christmas queues.”