The next time you feel like you’re running low on pocket money, ask yourself: Why aren’t I wearing my duffle bag?
It’s no accident that this is the case.
For years, we’ve been told that people wear their bags all the time—just not for long-haul trips.
It’s not surprising that we don’t see it that way on the road.
And now, as the country struggles to deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it’s becoming clear that it’s not only the cost of carrying all those clothes that is holding back a lot of travelers, but also the cost and time of putting them all back together.
While we don-t have any definitive numbers to tell us exactly how many bags are actually going to make it back to us on time or how many are lost in transit, the numbers are in line with the National Retail Federation (NRF), which estimates that just about every bag that gets stuck on a plane or truck trip will eventually be returned to the retailer.
And the NRF estimates that about 80% of these bags will have been washed or replaced, according to the company’s data.
We don’t yet know what, exactly, these bags are worth or whether they’ll be worth it to return them.
What we do know is that most of the people who are going to have to put those bags back together again aren’t the ones who are most likely to have the cash for them.
A 2016 study by the NRFA concluded that nearly three-quarters of backpackers in the U.S. have “little or no savings in cash.”
(In the case of cash, this means it’s either gone straight into the bank or spent on credit cards, credit cards that are not always backed by a guarantee.)
The NRF’s research suggests that in most cases, it is a bad idea to return the bag to the retail chain because it is likely to be used, abused, or used in some other way that makes it unattractive to the consumer.
It has also found that, on average, shoppers who do return their bags are likely to end up paying more than they bargained for—at least by comparison to what they paid to rent a bag for the trip.
A study from the NRFF published last year found that people who purchased a $400 bag at Walmart in December for $300 were actually paying more for that bag than they paid for the entire month of February.
And a 2014 study found that in some cases, return-to-shipping costs can exceed $5,000.
That study also found shoppers who returned their bags to Walmart paid an average of $9.49 for each bag they had returned, compared to $6.89 for shoppers who didn’t return their items.
(The study also didn’t include return-shippers who bought items from retailers other than Walmart.)
And according to a 2016 report from the U of L Center for Urban Research, the average return-from-shopping cost in 2016 was about $1,900 for a backpacker who bought it at a retailer other than Target.
That’s a lot, but when you factor in the costs of the return-shipment fees, the cost is actually less than the total cost of the trip itself.
The National Retail Association (NRA) says that it is working to reduce the cost by using “value-added” methods like the one that is most commonly used by Walmart and other retailers to calculate return-sales.
These methods are based on what a consumer pays to ship a bag or pack, including fees like shipping and handling, and then deduct the cost to return it to the store or store location.
These are usually paid by the retailer and are a part of the price of the bag.
For example, if a consumer buys a $500 bag for $250, and they return it at Walmart, they will only pay $100 for the return.
But if they also return the same bag at Target, they’ll pay $140 for the bag, or $1.90 for each $100 they paid Walmart for the shipment.
If they also ship the same thing to Target, the consumer will pay $170, or 3.2% of the total value of the item, or about $30.
That means the consumer paid $1 for the product, and returned it to Walmart for a total of $140.
The NRA says that its members are working to develop new methods that will help consumers return their purchases without increasing their overall costs.
But that’s not always easy to do.
When shoppers are told they are eligible for a return-and-shipped refund, they often have to choose whether to do so.
And it’s unclear whether those who do choose to return items will be compensated for the additional cost they will incur if they choose not to return.
The NRFA says that retailers are looking at various options to reduce return-ships fees, including creating more value-added products for customers. It