If you work in retail, whether it be as a sales associate, manager, or member of Loss Prevention, you have dealt with bad customers. Personally, I have dealt with countless customers who attempt to abuse the lenience of our store’s return policy. The most common type of policy-abusing customer is the one who buys one or more expensive items, wears it as much as they feel they can get away with, and then returns it for a full refund, essentially turning the business you work hard to operate into a free-of-charge clothing rental store. This practice is well known throughout retail and is called “wardrobing”. Fortunately, there is a simple, cheap, and effective solution to this problem: Alpha Shark Tags.
Every store has a different way of dealing with wardrobing customers. Some store policies are able to easily deny a customer return with minimal evidence of wear or usage. This seems like a simple solution to the problem, but the consequences of frequently denying customer returns can quickly drive away honest customers who are not actually trying to abuse your policies. More commonly, stores will gladly accept merchandise for return as long as it is not heavily soiled or obviously damaged or worn. I am a Loss Prevention Manager at a high-end retail department store and our store’s return policy is about as lenient as you can possibly get, and stopping customers from abusing our lenient policy requires numerous documented infractions. Just recently we collected enough documentation to place return restrictions on a prolific wardrobing customer. After looking through all of the bad returns this customer had performed over the past few years, we determined our loss from taking returns of non-re-sellable merchandise was over $4,000.00. Had we implemented the use of the Alpha Shark Tag, we could have spared ourselves the losses.
The Alpha Shark Tag is an incredibly effective security device, especially when considering how easy it is to use. The tag is inexpensive and easily secures to merchandise. Once attached to your most popular bad-return items, the tag provides a reliable way to stop taking losses on returns. The tag remains on the item even after the customer leaves the point of sale. Once the customer gets home, they can then choose to easily remove the tag with a pair of scissors. There really is no excuse for a customer to bring back an item without the tag still attached once they have been informed that your return policy dictates the tag must still be on the item. Simply stating that the store’s sale tickets and paper tags must remain on the merchandise in order to return it is not good enough. I frequently get items returned that have had the tags obviously re-attached, and others that are very skillfully reattached that are harder for a sales associate to spot. The Alpha Shark Tag is impossible for the professional policy abuser to reattach.
Another benefit of the tag that may be overlooked is the fantastic theft deterrence that it offers. The bright red color and sleek design will quickly turn away any casual shoplifter while not bothering your honest customers. In my experience, thieves are looking for the fast and easy grab, and even if they are just scoping out your store, seeing tagged merchandise will make them reconsider. Applying the tags will also quickly send your return-policy abusing customers out the door looking for a store that is not protected from their bad habits.
Put an end to your losses from your bad customers and keep the honest ones coming in. You aren’t operating a free clothing rental.
For more information on Alpha Shark Tags, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.