Don’t Let Return Fraud Bite Into Your Profits
I have been getting so many emails lately from other stores about customers dealing in return fraud. In our business we deal more with people digging receipts out of the garbage and coming in to attempt to get those items off the shelf. If they successfully get out the door, or at least make it appear they just came in the door with that item, they then try to run the refund scam. Sometimes they are successful but most times, it’s repeat offenders so we know better than to give them anything. In the clothing and accessory business you have a much more difficult problem customer to deal with: the dreaded practice of wardrobing. There is also a great simple gadget that will stop these people in their tracks: the Shark Tag.
First of all, wardrobing is when a person buys an item with the intention of wearing or using it and returning it. You see it all the time on sitcoms and movies, but in real life, it is not at all funny. In the movies, the person gets invited to a big wedding or other event, and has nothing fancy enough to wear. So, they go to the specialty boutique and buy the most expensive thing there. They plan to return it as soon as they leave, but inevitably spill wine or something on the item at the party and they’re stuck with it. In reality, it’s not usually a big wine stain or something so obvious. The garment may smell like smoke, or have deodorant stains on it. The shoes may have scuff marks, or there may be crumbs all in the bottom of a purse. No matter what the condition, if your store sells upscale clothing or formal wear, that return means double the loss. You lose the money for the item, and you have to take a markdown, maybe a little or maybe the entire cost. Allowing return fraud like this is not a viable business model.
Here is where the Shark Tag comes in to save the day! Attach the tag onto a prominent area of the items you are selling. Another great idea is to print up small paper copies of your refund policy, and utilize the tag to clip it right onto the item you are selling. For shoes, belts, and other accessories, they can also be attached via lanyard. The Shark Tag is designed to be removed at home, with a simple pair of scissors. But once it is removed, the item has been rendered non-refundable. You do have to make this crystal clear to your customers in some way. For garments, such as dresses and blouses, the best practice would be clip it right onto the front of the neckline. It will not cause any damage to even the most delicate items, so don’t worry. It will also not impede the customer from trying on the item in the store or at home. The reason you want to attach the tag to a prominent area, is you don’t want them to be able to wear the item while concealing the tag. It needs to be on a spot where it will be painfully visible. The way it helps deter return fraud is that the Shark Tag cannot be reattached once it is cut. There is no faking it. If the customer attempts to cut it off and put it back on, the store’s staff will easily see the attempted tampering. If the tag is not in perfect condition, as it was when it left the store, then the customer’s refund eligibility is null and void.
You don’t want to make your customer feel like you don’t value their business, and cut off their right to return something that doesn’t satisfy them. However, if their sole purpose of buying the item in the first place was for wardrobing, they don’t have the right to return used, damaged merchandise to your store and expect a full refund either. The Shark Tag just evens it all out for everyone.
For more information on Shark Tags contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 or Clothingsecurity.net