Are You a Returnaholic?

Returning Too Much Could Get You BlacklistedLast holiday season, retailers lost over three billion dollars to return fraud. That's why according to the National Retail Federation, 17% of stores last year tightened up their return policies. If you have the habit of returning items again and again, you might eventually be rejected, thanks to something called the Return Activity Report, which tracks where and when you make returns.

But, don't be alarmed quite yet: Retailers still accept 99% of consumers’ returns, according to The Retail Equation, a company that helps retailers monitor returns.

Returnaholic Or Smart Shopper?

The other 1% are referred to as returnaholics—consumers whose chronic return behavior points to fraud or abuse of the system (like if someone buys a dress, wears it once, then tries to return it; retailers call this “wardrobing”). This is based on the frequency of returns, the dollar amount of returns, purchase history, and whether these customers have receipts or not.

Are You A Returnaholic?

Here are 5 ways to know if you're a returnaholic:

  • You return more than 50% of the things you buy.
  • You spend more than one hour a day returning items.
  • You feel like your return mania is interfering with your life.
  • Your mood changes when you shop — usually with a strong adrenaline rush. But when you return an item, the thrill is gone.
  • You buy with a mind for using something once or "trying it out," then returning it.

Returnaholism is a close cousin of shopaholism, from which 6% of the country suffers. Some shopaholics also become returnaholics as a way to get around the budgetary constraints of their shopping addiction--this pattern is like the bulimia of shopping. Constantly buying and returning allows addicted shoppers to get the repeated adrenaline rush from buying, without having to suffer the consequences of a depleted bank account. If this pattern resonates with you or someone you know, consider getting help at Shopaholics Anonymous.

How You Get Flagged

Policies vary from retailer to retailer, so there’s no magic number that automatically flags you as a returnaholic. And just because you were considered a returnaholic at one retailer doesn’t mean you’d be barred from making returns at another retailer, even if they both use the Return Activity Report.

Some retailers issue warnings before issuing return denials. If you suspect you might be at risk for a return or exchange denial, you can request a copy of your Return Activity Report.

“Too many people over the years have taken advantage of loose return policies, so stores are starting to make their return policies stricter.”

Either Way, Mind Your Manners.

Even if you aren’t worried about having your returns rejected, it’s still smart to observe basic return etiquette. “Too many people over the years have taken advantage of loose return policies to the point that they defrauded companies, so stores are making their return policies stricter,” says Leah Ingram, author of Suddenly Frugal and The Everything Etiquette Book. “I can’t blame them.”

It’s reasonable to ask a retailer to accommodate all return hassles (such as paying for shipping) if the item you received was damaged or not what you ordered. But, if you've been struck by a case of buyer’s remorse or found a better deal elsewhere, then you should gracefully accept whatever return policies exist, and shop more carefully next time.

Walk The Line

Ethically, you should never try to defraud the retailer by returning something that is not in the condition they stipulate for returns, like trying to pass something off as unworn when it has been worn. Some retailers guarantee satisfaction and generously accept returns even for worn clothing (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom)--returning something after you have worn it several times and grown tired of it is a questionable use of that policy. But if after a few washes it has shrunk past a good fit, or you find the fabric really scratchy or the seams splitting, a return under these policies seems legit. Unfortunately, those who abuse these policies can spoil things for everyone else, since too much fraudulent returning can motivate stores to change their policies.

Research Before You Buy

If you are not a classic returnaholic, but simply return often because you buy impulsively and change your mind later, do your homework before you buy. Although Ingram is constantly looking for ways to save money, she's willing to spend more money on products that she knows are good quality. "I want to know that my well-earned money is going toward a product that I trust and that I'm less likely to return." And while it can feel like a hassle, it is worth the time saved on buying and returning later. Remember that returning takes precious time and energy and gas costs (to find out exactly how much a return is actually costing you, use our time calculator here).

Bottom Line

Generous return policies can encourage more shopping, because in the back of our minds we have that escape hatch. Don't let return policies drive bad shopping habits and more acquisition of needless things--when possible try to buy thoughtfully and with a mind to keep, and save returning as a last resort.

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • http://twitter.com/kclmoneycoach Kelley C. Long, CPA

    Great story! My friend who is a former manager at The Gap used to entertain us with stories of the crazy things people would do to defraud them through returns. It makes me sad how a few bad apples often ruin things for the rest of us by taking advantage of situations and exploiting the loopholes. If you think you’re going to get push-back on trying to return something, then chances are you are probably taking advantage!

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • Sara

    I tend to return a lot of things because of the stores in which I shop. I spend a lot of money at discounters like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and Stein Mart. These stores carry limited quantities of items, and because the prices are typically very good if you don’t “get it when you see it” it will be gone the next time you go to the store. As a result, I will buy things that I like but then realize later I will not get a lot of use out of it or it doesn’t match the item I bought to go with it. However, I always keep my receipts and because I shop frequently I return things within the store’s return time period.

    I have been a victim of people deceptively returning things…I bought a king size comforter which upon opening was actually a queen size. Someone returned it as a king to pocket the difference in price. This made me have to go out my way to return the item and then it was awkward to have to explain it to the store and I felt scrutinized by them – like they were wondering if I did it. A couple of times I have bought pajama sets where someone has swapped a larger bottom with a smaller bottom.

    While I understand the retailer wants to avoid having people use something once and return it I believe most restocking fees are ridiculous. I bought a very expensive GPS unit several years ago and realized almost immediately that the software was not accurate and was not going to work for me. The store wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee which was going to be $120! I ended up getting a manager involved, because frankly, if the device performed as it was supposed to then I would not be returning it. Luckily I was able to get the fee waived, but as a result the company has lost out on many other electronics purchases I have made since. In another instance I bought a sweater from a store that said it could be washed, but when I washed in in the gentle cycle it completely fell apart and looked like a rag. The retailer refused to take the return and as a result I stopped patronizing that store.

    Ultimately, I think that customers should be allowed to return things at their discretion and I think retailers need to make their return policies very clear in advance. I also believe that retailers need to carefully weigh the costs of taking a return versus losing a customer for life – sometimes small accommodations in the grand scheme of things are paid back again and again through continued patronage, word of mouth referrals, and store loyalty.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • 2bunny

    I formerly worked in retail and can also entertain with crazy return stories but I should hope that most people know when they are being honest and when they are taking advantage. Buying an item ,using once and taking it back is stealing…the shop can’t resell that item and it is essentially lost merchandise. If you buy an item and have buyers remorse or it doesn’t fit, then you are entitled to get your money back. I believe most every retailer is clear about their return policy but I also believe that exceptions can be made to a store’s policy.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • eB

    I also worked retail for about a decade and have processed returns underneath a pretty wide variety of return policies, some of them strict and some of them extremely lenient. I worked at Sears where they have I believe a lifetime guarantee on their workwear. There were customers who literally returned painter’s suits they had worn for years that had worn out. I am sure that was part of Sears’ business model because I was told to accept those returns willingly and with a smile. Same for B&N, which would take any book in print without a receipt when I first worked there in the late 90s but since the ubiquity of Amazon.com has gotten a lot more strict. As a consumer, I am probably a business’s dream come true because I very rarely return. More likely I will intend to return something and it will sit on my dresser for six months and eventually get donated because I don’t want to deal with the hassle. However, on the rare occasion I do return with receipt in hand, I want to be treated respectfully, and I don’t find that to be the case lately.

    I don’t like the tone of this article, which to me reads that the honest majority is being punished because of the dishonest minority and that the burden to improve the situation lies with the customers. I think the number of “returnaholics” is actually pretty low, and anyway, that’s a different situation from something like return fraud, like when someone comes and steals a new item off the shelf and tries to return it without a receipt or with a fake receipt. I mean, that’s straight up stealing and a loss prevention issue, not an ethical one as I think that we can all agree that getting money back for something you never paid for in the first place is wrong no matter how you look at it.

    I do vote with my pocketbook, and I am very wary to return to companies like the Gap and Old Navy whose return policies have gotten so strict and unyielding to the point where they are really off-putting. I’m a busy person (aren’t we all?) and I made the mistake of trying to return something with a receipt a few days outside of their posted return period. Not only was my only option to receive a store credit by mail (6-8 weeks) at 40% of my purchase price, but the employee issuing the credit acted like I was the lowest of the low for even trying to return the item, which was in season, never worn, with tags, purchased at full price, and simply the wrong size for my two month old. I had originally planned to exchange the item for the same dress in a larger size, but was told I wouldn’t be able to exchange and that a mailed store credit was my only option. The employee’s scrutiny of my exchange was frankly very insulting and will cost Gap Inc much of my future business. I am sure there are people within the corporation who examine these issues and have to make some hard decisions about what kind of policies they adopt while attempting not to alienate current customers. And maybe the couple of thousand dollars (after all, I have growing kids) I was going to spend there in the next few years is no big whoop to them. But as for me, I’m shopping at Hanna Anderrson and Nordstrom a lot lately. Their clothes last longer, anyway.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

      • eB

        its, not it’s. oops.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

    • eB

      I understand that. I just don’t like LV shaking it’s no-no finger at me. The vast majority of us are responsible shoppers. Companies can take that out on us if they want, but if they go too far it is going to affect customer loyalty. They are the only ones who know if that is a risk worth taking.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.

  • Denisechappel69

    I think they mean like say, someone buys a vaccuum and 2 years later the store is still seling that same vaccuum. They bring in their 2 year old vaccuum and try to exchange it for a brand new one! That in my opinion is return fraud. I knew someone that actually did that, so sad and it ruins it for the rest of us who are making valid legitimate returns. As for myself, I shop a lot at Wal-Mart, so I am bound to have several returns for what ever reason but usually my returns are valid or I had a change of heart and usually their pretty good about it.