Our company has a pretty standard return policy. If the customer has their receipt, we have no issues whatsoever. Without a receipt, they are dealt with at the manager’s discretion. We could give them store credit, provide an exact exchange, or simply refuse and send them on their way. You have to be fair and consistent with refund decisions; you never want to allow yourself to use social bias when you choose to accept or reject a return. I have had experiences with all of those situations, and Checkpoint Tags have been the deciding factor in several.
How do Checkpoint Tags help with refunds? First of all, I guess the simplest way is that if the tag was not properly deactivated, it will still cause the system to alarm when the person brings the item through the door. That is a rare occurrence, as it is usually just the delivery guy that causes mine to sound, but it has happened. Maybe they just swiped the product from another retailer down the street and they heard your store is the place in town that will take stuff back. Once a business has that reputation, you can bet theft will increase right along with refunds. The big box down the street from our store is fighting that battle now.
The second way they help is a little less obvious, but something a trained eye can easily spot. If they stole the product, they most likely removed any anti-shoplifting device before they attempted to bring it in for a refund. If the item has a high retail, or you know it is a target for theft, look closely at the package. Inspect it for the tell tale marking or tearing that is often left by someone ripping off a Checkpoint Tag. There may be some residue left from where it had been attached. I know what items we tag in our store, so if the item they are trying to return is on that list and missing the label, then I can use that to my advantage. I can also check our inventory and see how many we are supposed to have and see how many we have sold in the past few weeks. If the box has a mark and the numbers don’t add up, the return is not happening.
Another way they can help you determine whether a refund is warranted, is they can be used to identify where the item originally came from. Our company has actually purchased special Checkpoint Labels that have our store number and location printed directly on them. I had a man come in to return a diabetic testing meter with no proof of purchase a couple years ago. The box was a little squashed on all the corners so I got suspicious. It actually did have a store identifier Checkpoint Tag on the top of it though, which indicated he had got it from one of our stores. He claimed the device did not work properly. Something told me he wasn’t being truthful, but I would never accuse someone of theft without absolute proof. I told him the only thing I would be willing to do was to exchange it for the exact same item. He thought about it a moment and said that would be fine with him. I felt I had made the right decision, until I handed him the new box, and he asked me for a receipt. I told him there was no receipt involved in an exchange, and I added I wasn’t giving him anything that would make it appear he had paid for this new meter. He said he wanted something, so if this one did not work, he could get money for the device instead of just accepting another one. I looked at him a moment, silently picked up the new box and sat it behind the counter with the old supposedly defective one. Then I called the store listed on the label, which is what I should have done in the first place, to inquire if they had reported any instances of theft with this item. He asked me what I was doing, and when he heard me tell the person on the other end why I was calling and asking for the manager on duty, he ran out the door empty handed. I should have listened to my gut feeling in the first place, and not wasted all that time with him.
For more information on Checkpoint Tags, contact us at 1.770.426.0547 or Antishoplifting.net