A number of popular stores in New York may start paying Empire State customers.

Imagine getting paid to keep an item you want to return. This may soon be happening at your favorite store.

Stores like Target, Walmart, Gap and American Eagle all reported in each company's most recent earnings call about having too much inventory. It's costing each company money to store inventory and costing each company money when you go to return an item your purchased.

Target, Walmart, Gap and American Eagle May Pay New York Customers To Keep Items

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So what's the solution? Well, these companies are considering giving customers back the money they would get for a returned item but allowing the customer to keep the item they just returned.

"It would be a smart strategic initiative," Retail Expert and Managing Director of Retail Consultancy Strategic Resource Group Burt Flickinger told CNN. "Retailers are stuck with excess inventory of unprecedented levels. They can't afford to take back even more of it. For every dollar in sales, a retailer's net profit is between a cent to five cents. With returns, for every dollar in returned merchandise, it costs a retailer between 15 cents to 30 cents to handle it."

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Amazon, Lowes May Pay New York Customers To Keep Items

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Steve Rop the COO of a firm that processes over 100 million return items for Amazon, Lowe's and Walmart told CNN his clients are "100 percent considering offering the 'keep it' options for returns this year."

Rop adds Amazon started occasionally allowing customers to keep items they returned a few years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports Target, Walmart and Chewy also offer return-less refunds on a case-by-case basis.

WARNING

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Just a warning. Nothing is official at this time. The companies mentioned above are considering the return-less return, but nothing has been officially announced. So it's not advised to buy something in hopes of being able to return it for cash and keep the item. Even if some companies do start to offer a return-less refund it may only be temporary.

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