In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The new service will pick up returned items as it delivers replacements.
UPS plans to launch in October UPS Returns Exchange, a combined pickup and delivery service designed to take the headaches out of processing returns of online orders, the company says.
Sumeet Shroff, director of new product development, says UPS developed the service in response to retailers’ demands for a way to pick up returned products that would increase customer service, speed up the returns of products, ensure that the right products are returned undamaged, and reduce the likelihood of fraudulent schemes that seek credit for or replacement of products that don’t actually get returned.
UPS delivery drivers will inspect returned items according to retailers’ instructions—such as that they match the original order and are not visibly damaged—before accepting them for return delivery to the retailer, Shroff says. Drivers will provide retailers with real-time updates of returns and deliveries via handheld devices connected to the UPS corporate network.
“We’re targeting especially returns of products we consider to be of high value, such as those retailing for $250 or more,” Shroff says. UPS also expects the service to be popular among retailers who want to provide an extra level of service to their highest value customers, he adds.
UPS will charge an additional fee for UPS Returns Exchange, based on the volume of returns and deliveries and the size and complexity of the products being processed.
The service will be available beginning in October to everywhere UPS delivers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and Europe, UPS says.