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Return Rates

Return Rates

We monitor the return rates of all our products. We believe the return rates are the best measurement for product reliability and performance. Such data is very useful to help customers select products. We publish return rates for specific products and brands on our web site. The data is updated monthly or quarterly. The margin of error for such data is 1%.

Overall Return Rates
On average, the total RMA orders constitute 4.4% of all our orders regardless of the reason for return. In other words, a customer who places an order with currently has a 4.4% chance of making a return request for various reasons. Since the average quantity of items ordered is 3 per order, the overall return rate on an item-by-item basis is 1.5%. It means that a customer who bought any one single item from has an average of 1.5% chance of returning it.

We classify a return rates according to the following groups:

  • Very low: <0.5-1%
  • Low: 0.5-1.5%
  • Average: 1-3%
  • High: 2-6%
  • Very high: >4-6%

    The exact grouping of one particular product depends also on the product category, since the mean return rates of different categories may be different.

    Return Rates of Product Categories
    Return rates vary among categories of products. Here is a list of product categories in descending return rates:

  • Motherboards, about 35% of all returns
  • Power supplies and cases, about 20% of all returns; mostly due to power supplies
  • CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives, about 5% of all returns
  • Hard drives, about 5% of all returns
  • Processors, about 4% of all returns
  • Memory, about 3% of all returns; most due to compatibilities issues
  • All Others, about 28% of all returns

    Return Rates of Specific Brands and Products
    The return rates of specific products are defined as the total RMA requests for that particular product divided by the total quantity sold for that particular product multiplied by 100. We list return rates only on products that have been sold more than 100 in quantity. Items sold fewer than 100 are considered as not sufficient data for statistical representation. If no return is made on a product that has been sold more than 100, the return rate is marked as 0%. If no return rate is published on one product, it may be because we don't have the time to get around to work on that particular product yet.

    Keep in mind that return rates are calculated regardless of the return reasons.

    Return Reasons
    Here is a list of return reasons in descending order of occurrence as a percentage of total RMA requests:

  • Manufacturer defect or DOA, about 40% of all returns
  • Can't get it to work, about 20% of all returns
  • Wrong item ordered, about 15% of all returns
  • Damaged during shipping, about 10% of all returns
  • Don't like the product, about 10% of all returns
  • Wrong item shipped, about 5% of all returns

    Time Factor
    The return rates change with time. As the quantity of one product or brand sold increases with time, the corresponding return rates may change. Returns happen most often during the first month after the purchase, which has a great influence on new products. As a result, we do publish return rates only on products that we have been selling for more than five months and we may update the data on a monthly or quarterly basis.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Return Rates

    Why do you list return rates regardless of the return reasons? Wouldn't it be more meaningful to list "defective rates" as a measure of the product reliability?

    We believe that a customer return always represents an undesirable and unnecessary experience, regardless of the reason for each return. Statistically, the overall return rate of one product represents the true chance for a future customer to return that product once purchased. We may consider publishing both overall return rates and defective rates once we accumulate enough data.

    Can manufacturers influence your return rate data?

    The return rate data published on our web site are truly independent. Manufacturers do not and will not have any influence on the data.

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