I Don’t Return Online Shopping – Yes it’s an issue

Whether its biting your nails, a little-too-frequent social smoking, procrastinating laundry to the point of developing very creative problem-solving skills – everyone has those slight flaws in their system that they try to hide for fear of judgement or humiliation by other (more-or-less) secretly flawed individuals.

Mine is that I don’t return online shopping when I really should.     


I don’t have any valid excuses for this behavioural anomaly, and quite frankly I didn’t realise it was one until I pitched this article – originally under the title ‘Who even returns online shopping?’ – and was met with looks that emanated part confusion, part mild disgust. So, if you can’t relate to this article, as I’m afraid many of you won’t, then just read it for an ego-boost, because no matter how messy your life feels right now, at least you’re getting your money back for pants that don’t fit and baker-boy hats you bought on impulse in a library-induced trance (side note: I feel like I use that phrase a lot, but know that every time I do, I mean it).

The faces and names of the various postmen from various delivery services have, over the course of the last semester, become familiar to me. Not familiar like a cousin or anything, more like your great-uncle’s third wife or that person you matched with on Tinder that one time and can never be quite sure of identifying at the library. Familiar enough to let me know I order a lot of stuff online. 


I make it sound worse than it is – I may order a lot online, but obviously most of the stuff I buy doesn’t actually need to be returned. But the occasional purchase just doesn’t do it for me. I try it on, I think it over, I stack it on top of its packaging, leaving it ‘for later’ on the limited floor space of my tiny room (a masochistic yet ever-failing way to motivate myself to actually return it this time, because I don’t like clutter), where it stays for a couple of days before gradually being pushed, bit by bit, nudge by nudge, underneath my closet or my bed, the included return-address sticker never peeled off.

And that’s where it stays, out of sight, out of mind, until my next closet-declutter (which are admittedly relatively regular), when I either sell it (or give it) to a friend for less, or donate it alongside a bunch of stuff I may or may not have actually gotten use out of.

As you might be able to tell, this behaviour is mainly toxic to my bank account. But you know what they say, the first step to solving your problem is realising you have one. Or something.      

Find this baker boy cap in charity shop near you soon!

To make matters worse, I live about a two-minute walk from the post office.

I’m going to be honest – I really thought this article would turn into more of a self-improvement sort of thing, but so far I’ve just really elaborated on the fact that I have a very impractical habit of emptying my bank account and then failing to replenish it in the easiest way possible, instead holding onto items that I’m never going to use simply out of laziness?

I’m not sure what my point is here. I’m not going to argue for not returning online shopping, mainly because I agree it’s pretty stupid. But yeah if you want a moral to this story it’s to please return your online shopping. Or don’t buy it in the first place? But who am I to give advice on the matter. All I can say is that you have my utmost admiration if you actually reseal the bag, peel off that return sticker and bring the whole shebang to the post office.

As for my unreturned online shopping, you may find it dispersed in charity shops on South Street. You know, further down from my flat than the post office.  

-Maja Hollmann

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