In a bid to get some market attention as the holiday seasons starts to get into motion – in the world of retail, at least – PayPal is offering to cover the shipping costs of items that need to be returned. Of course, those items have to have been purchased online using PayPal.
The “Return Shipping on Us” program offers three main benefits to the company. One is that, according to PayPal, it helps to facilitate the online purchase process, putting numerous customers at ease about shipping costs and helping to drive up purchases, of which PayPal takes a cut. A corollary benefit here is that it helps to endear PayPal to merchants, who should theoretically see their revenues climb. And a related, third benefit is that it helps to endear the service to consumers, who may become more inclined to use it. The service has already seen trials in Europe and Australia, but this is the first time it’s coming to the US.
There are a couple of catches, of course. The deal applies on up to four purchases and no more. And for each one, it only covers up to $30 in value, though in many cases that should cover the full cost of shipping.
The expansion of Return Shipping on Us to the US appears to reflect the company’s broader ambitions; PayPal basically wants to become the world’s leading payment processor, and to that end has been making inroads into a range of areas, from international money transfers to in-store mPayments. Return Shipping on Us is yet another bump up for its profile since the company went independent and public this summer.