Tampa Bay start-up company will make holiday returns for you — and it's all through an app

Jeanie Arnold is having someone else handle one of the most grueling tasks of the holiday season, making returns.

"For me as a single mom, my time is very, very valuable, and I want to spend it with my kids," she explained. "I don't want to spend it standing in line at a store."

She is one of more than 200 customers in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties using a new app service called Convee.

"So Convee stands for ‘convenient’ because the whole idea is we want to make returns convenient," said founder David Mauerer. "I was in charge of the returns for the family. I've got two young kids, a three and a one-year-old. Doing returns with toddlers is a mess, so I wanted to create a service where parents, people who are working, don't have the time, etc. could just hand the return off to someone else, and they handle it for them."

Arnold said, before Convee, her returns were stacking up in one room. She would have to hire a babysitter in order to head to the store.

"I'm rushing around frantically trying to return all of these things," she described, "and I would miss the return window. I would lose hundreds of dollars or get these store credits I didn't really want. I think a lot of people know the pain of having to make a return, drive to the store, print the label, and box it up. We want to remove all that friction."

To solve this, Mauerer said Convee users can either leave it outside the front door or schedule a time to hand it to the driver.

"And we'll handle the return," he said. "Hassle-free returns is our idea. It's just a flat rate, $6, no matter where it needs to go. We also just launched a membership program: for $11 a month, you have unlimited returns."

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And if you don't have a receipt, no problem.

"Most stores are pretty forgiving about that, right? Obviously, they're not going to put it back on a credit card, but they'll put it back on a gift card, and so we can send that to you securely and give you a copy of that gift card," Mauerer said.

For Arnold, she said Convee is great for older adults like her father.

"My dad, who is a senior, and is no longer driving can now use Convee," she said. "So that's huge because he likes to order things on Amazon, but they don't always fit or work out. Now, he is able to return them without having to drive or schedule a shuttle or something like that."

She said there's been many happy returns with Convee.

"Let somebody else do it," Arnold said. "The fee is so reasonable and then you can spend time doing the things that you actually want to do with people that you love."

For more information about Convee: convee.app.