Most "unwilling" to return or exchange apparel at apparel retailers!


Most "unwilling" to return or exchange apparel at apparel retailers! (2022/05/10)

Survey Summary

The following is a survey of men and women in their teens to 50s across Japan on their experience, frequency, and awareness of returns and exchanges for apparel products sold over the Internet.

*This category is for those who have used internet shopping for apparel products at least 5 times.

Survey population: Men and women in their teens to 50s nationwide Number of responses: 100 Survey period: April 28, 2022 - May 6, 2022 Method: Internet survey

Respondent Attributes






Questionnaire Results

Have you ever returned or exchanged apparel online?

(Yes: 58, No: 42)


How often are returns and exchanges accepted?

(less than 5%: 29, about 10%: 20, about 20%: 8, about 30%: 1)

What do you think about returns and exchanges?

(Prefer not to use returns/exchanges: 84, Want to use returns/exchanges: 12, Can't say: 4)

Below are the opinions for each classification.

I don't want to return or exchange them if at all possible.
  • I think a return/exchange system is necessary. However, I would prefer not to do returns and exchanges as much as possible. One reason is that it is simply too much hassle. Another reason is that if the store is 100% at fault, I always want to return the item, but if it is because the size does not fit or the design or material is not what I expected, I think it is my fault, so I will not return or exchange an item for those reasons. I buy online to avoid the hassle of going to the store, so I always do my homework before buying. I have returned and exchanged items due to the store's mistake. (20s / Female / Shizuoka / Others)
  • Because online shoppers purchase items based on images and videos, they do not try on the items themselves. Therefore, even if they arrive at the store thinking they like the item, the color and silhouette may be different from what they imagined even if they are interested in it. I myself had such an experience, and although I did not return the items, there are some items that I have never worn even once. I sell such items on flea market apps, etc. to make a little profit for myself. Therefore, I chose not to return or exchange as much as possible. (20s / Male / Yamaguchi / Full-time employee)
  • It takes a long time to receive a garment purchased online, so it is hard to return it after opening the package when it finally arrives and have to wait a long time for it to arrive. I try to avoid returning items, so I check the size of the item carefully before purchasing. (30s / Female / Hokkaido / Part-time job)
  • The hassle involved in returning an item is too much. Considering that I have to repackage the product and take it to the courier office or post office, I feel that I have to put up with a few mistakes. Also, when I think about the fact that the product I once picked up and returned will be sold again as a product to someone else without being properly cleaned, I feel somewhat sorry, both hygienically and psychologically. (40s / Male / Nagasaki / Full-time employee)
  • I sometimes return items because the texture in my hands is different from the image I saw online, but I feel guilty because it is not a mistake on the part of the store. Also, sometimes there is no particular item that I want to exchange, so I try to avoid this. Also, I would like to choose carefully because I am buying clothes with a purpose - to wear to a certain place - and I want to avoid time and trouble in some aspects. (50s / Female / Hyogo / Housewife)


I want to actively utilize the return and exchange policy.
  • I will make use of them if they are different from my imagination or if the size does not feel right and they can be exchanged. (20s / Female / Tokyo / Full-time employee)
  • I don't want to wear something while thinking it is too delicate, and if there is a return/exchange system, I want to actively use it and feel good about shopping. (30s / Female / Tokyo / Full-time employee)
  • Because I think it is okay to request a return without hesitation if the return policy meets the conditions for online shopping. (30s / Female / Fukuoka / Dispatched worker, contract worker)
  • It would be very helpful if it is possible to sell products on the Internet, because you cannot see and match them in actual stores, and the sizes may be different from what you expect (40s / Female / Tokyo / Self-employed, freelance).
  • I want to return and exchange clothes I don't wear because I can't keep them (50s / Male / Aichi / Full-time employee)


I can't say either way.
  • I want to exchange them, but it's a hassle to inquire, so I give those clothes to my family or throw them away. (20s / Female / Saga / Housewife)
  • I don't really want to return or exchange items because of the fixed return/exchange period and cumbersome procedures, but I think it is better to make use of it because I want to make a purchase that I am satisfied with because I am not buying something after seeing the actual product. (40s / Female / Gunma / Housewife)
  • I sometimes use return/exchange at stores that offer free return/exchange shipping, but I don't often return items at places that charge for shipping. (30s / Female / Miyagi / Housewife)
  • I use it when I need to exchange it for size, etc. (50's / Female / Nagano / Temporary staff, Contract worker)



58% of the respondents answered "Yes" and 42% answered "No" to the question about their experience of returning and exchanging apparel online.

Regarding the frequency of returns and exchanges, the majority of respondents had a return/exchange rate of less than 10%, with 50% reporting less than 5% (1 out of 20 items) and 34.5% reporting about 10% (1 out of 10 items).

Regarding their thoughts on returns and exchanges, 84% of the respondents answered that they "try to avoid returns and exchanges" and 12% answered that they "actively want to use returns and exchanges," with the majority of respondents preferring to avoid returns and exchanges as much as possible.

The most common reasons given for not wanting to return or exchange as much as possible were "the return process is a hassle" and "I feel bad for the people at the store.

Although the return and exchange system in Internet shopping has become very convenient, we found that consumers are choosing products carefully to avoid returns and exchanges as much as possible, rather than enjoying the convenience of the system.


Citation and reprinting of the survey results

Copyright of this report is owned by Normalism, Inc. When quoting or reprinting this report, please link to "Apparel OEM Search" ( and indicate the source of the report. Quoting or reproducing the survey in whole or in part with modification is prohibited.