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PayPal Invests in Product-Returns Service


PayPal invested in Happy Returns, a company that helps retailers manage their returns. PayPal’s participation in the $11 million financing round shows the magnitude of the challenge in dealing with returns, especially for online merchants.

Happy Returns offers an easy way for shoppers to return purchases, including in-person drop-offs at Happy Returns’ nationwide network of 350+ Return Bar locations; through the retailers’ own stores; and by carrier.

The company also helps retailers manage costs and streamline returns, providing “aggregated shipping and logistics across all channels with optimized disposition to destinations of the retailers’ choice; all with comprehensive reporting and analytics.”

Update: Response from a reader on Twitter: “PayPal announces investment in returns service providor a couple weeks after announcing a change to their UA whereby PayPal will keep fees on returns and refunds.” Feel free to discuss on this EcommerceBytes Blog post.


Press release follows:

Happy Returns, a leading provider of return and logistics solutions for retailers and their customers, today announced a strategic investment from PayPal as part of an $11M financing round. The two companies share a commitment to reducing friction from the entire online shopping experience for retailers and their customers, from consideration and purchase through fulfillment and possible return and exchange.

“Our mission is to make returns more delightful for consumers, more cost-effective for retailers, and more sustainable for the planet,” said David Sobie, co-founder and CEO at Happy Returns. “We’re thrilled to work with PayPal to make the process of returning more seamless for shoppers and our service more broadly available to PayPal’s large network of merchants.”

Returns of online purchases represent a major challenge and opportunity for retailers. Items purchased online are three to four times more likely to be returned than in-store purchases, and the traditional online return process of packaging items individually and shipping them via carrier is cumbersome, wasteful, and expensive for retailers and customers alike.

Happy Returns’ Full Stack Returns is a combination of software, services, and logistics that enables retailers to offer a best-in-class return experience, including the ability to return products in-person through Happy Returns’ nationwide network of Return Bar locations, as well as through the retailer’s own stores, or by carrier. With in-person returns, items are aggregated at the start of the process, resulting in a return that is immediate and hassle-free for shoppers, and more efficient and cost-effective for retailers. Happy Returns’ Net Promoter Score® of 95 is among the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any consumer-related service.

“Happy Returns has reengineered the return process with the customer in mind and that brings greater cost savings and efficiencies to merchants,” said Robert Clarkson, Vice President, North America at PayPal. “Working with Happy Returns will help us learn more about how returns can decrease the friction in shopping online and how to help merchants address this growing problem.”

Happy Returns has experienced rapid growth, expanding its network of Return Bars to over 350 locations in 63 metro areas by partnering with national retail chains including Paper Source, Sur La Table and Cost Plus World Market to offer its in-person returns service. Its Full Stack Returns suite has been adopted by leading digitally native brands such as Rothy’s, Everlane, and Parachute Home, and the volume of returns and exchanges processed by Happy Returns has grown 800% year over year. To support this growth, the company has opened two regional Return Hub facilities in Blandon, PA and Van Nuys, CA for processing and aggregating returns.

Existing investors U.S. Venture Partners and Upfront Ventures also participated in the funding. Since its founding in 2015, Happy Returns has raised a total of $25 million. The company employs 55 people and is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.

SOURCE: Happy Returns Press Release

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

One thought on “PayPal Invests in Product-Returns Service”

  1. So now PayPal can try to double dip on Returns??

    Keeping the full transaction fee’s on refunds and getting some kind of cut from Happy Returns?

    What a joke

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