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DoorDash wants to return your packages for you

Delivery worker on bike wearing a DoorDash insulated bag.
Reuters/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
Ready for pickup.
  • Michelle Cheng
By Michelle Cheng

Reporter based in New York

Published Last updated

DoorDash delivers just about everything, and now it’s hoping to return goods as well. The on-demand delivery service is testing a feature where customers can use DoorDash to return packages to the nearest post office, UPS, or FedEx location.

To request a free pickup, the package must be fully sealed with the prepaid shipping label attached, weigh less than 30 pounds, and be worth less than $100. A DoorDash delivery worker will send an update when the item is dropped off. If the service sticks around, it could help resolve customers’ dread of returning items.

Courtesy of company
Screenshot of DoorDash app explaining how the return package delivery service works.

The company declined to share where the service is being tested or the cost. Viraj Bindra, Consumer Verticals Group product manager at DoorDash, said that this is a “very small beta experiment that lets us test and learn.”

There’s also a big revenue opportunity for DoorDash, as returns have soared. UPS said last year that it expected to receive more than 60 million returns (pdf) during the holidays, a 10% increase from the year before. If the service is successful, it could be an additional service for retailers on the DoorDash app.

DoorDash is not the first on-demand delivery service to offer this service. In 2015, Uber rolled out a limited-time delivery return service that was available seven days a week in Manhattan. The pickup service cost $4, and any item with a receipt and return label could be returned to a retailer.

DoorDash wants to move beyond food delivery

DoorDash is the biggest restaurant delivery service in the US,  with the infrastructure to match. Package returns could be a way for the San Francisco-based company to fine-tune its logistics.

More broadly, other delivery services have made returning items easier. Delivery services like UPS and Fedex offer drop-off and pick-up sites in drug stores or auto services stores. Amazon returns can be dropped off, without the shipping box, at Whole Foods.

This also comes as food delivery companies have been searching for new sources of revenue, as food delivery is expected to wind down as the pandemic eases.

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