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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 561846, 14 pages
Research Article

No Refund or Full Refund: When Should a Fashion Brand Offer Full Refund Consumer Return Service for Mass Customization Products?

Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Received 7 December 2012; Revised 5 February 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Pui-Sze Chow

Copyright © 2013 Tsan-Ming Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We analytically explore in this paper the consumer return policy under fashion mass customization (MC) program. To be specific, we model the stochastic fashion MC program with the consideration of consumer demand uncertainty. If a consumer return policy is implemented, we further consider return uncertainty. By modeling the optimization objective of the risk averse MC fashion brand via a mean-variance approach, we derive the closed-form optimal solution under each case. We then conduct both analytical and numerical sensitivity analyses. For the scenario with full refund and return, we reveal the analytical conditions under which the optimal retail price and the optimal number of options available for customization (called the “optimal modularity level”) vary monotonically with respect to the salvage value and the return service charge. For the scenario when there is no refund and return, we show that the optimal retail price and the optimal modularity level are decreasing in the MC fashion brand's degree of risk aversion, the demand uncertainty, and the price-demand sensitivity coefficient. In addition, our numerical analysis indicates that whether the risk averse MC fashion brand would prefer offering consumer return with full refund to no return depends heavily on the demand-return correlation (DRC) parameter.