I have a couple of customers that I dread seeing come through the door. One or two in particular are just habitual returners. Our store offers a rewards program that gives coupons based on the purchase of certain items you buy. So they buy those things just to get the coupons and then they come back later claiming they needed to return it for some ridiculous reason. And I’m not allowed to ask for the return of the coupon. They get away with this blatant return fraud and it drives me crazy. Although it is not really considered wardrobing because they are not using the item before bringing it back, there are times I have to take a markdown on the item. I can’t be sure they didn’t leave a cosmetic item like lipstick in a hot car all day, so I have had to just throw it out sometimes.
It’s bad enough to buy something with the intention of returning it for a full refund, but I just read about a much worse trend. Now there are people that go in and buy high end merchandise, then come back later and return a knock-off or counterfeit item that looks similar. For example, a lady went and bought a super high priced designer hand bag for about $500. She waited a couple of days and came back to return the purse claiming buyer’s remorse. Of course, she had her original receipt and the sales lady recognized her from the original purchase. What the clerk did not realize was that she was actually refunding a very well made fake that the lady had bought for around $20 at a local flea market. This takes return fraud to a whole new level, folks.
There is a solution though, and it is the same one that stores use to combat wardrobing. Alpha Shark Tags were introduced to the market many years ago to solve that problem and they can be used to stop this as well. Many clothing retailers have suffered losses from return fraud for years. The shopper comes in and purchases a party dress along with shoes and some other accessories. A couple days later they come back with the receipt and expect a full refund because that was all the store policy required. Take a moment and just imagine the sweat stains in the armpits, the cigarette smoke smell, the makeup ring around the collar, and even the scuffs on the shoes. And this clown is now standing in front of you claiming she just doesn’t want the stuff anymore and you are supposed to give a full refund with a smile. That’s wardrobing in a nutshell and that is exactly why Alpha Shark Tags were invented. Now store staff just clips the tag right on the front of the dress (sometimes with a copy of the store’s return policy) and if the tag is removed, the item is not eligible to be returned.
If your store is going to sell merchandise that is known for being copied and sold at deep discounts, you need to know how to identify the authentic stuff and weed out the knock-offs. It can be difficult. Sometimes the police that raid these flea market booths have trouble telling the difference. One way you can tell if the stuff is real or at least really sold by your store is use Alpha Shark Tags. Clip one inside all your designer hand bags and before a return can be processed, you open the bag and inspect it. If the tag is not intact and in the bag, then you send them back out the door and on their merry way.
Get more information on Alpha Shark Tags. Contact us or call today: 1.770.426.0547