Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | January 20, 2011

Stop the Fashion Crimes Already-Wardrobing

It’s crime stoppers month…dun dun dun! First the fakes, now wardrobing! Tags still in place, a customer buys, wears and returns; worse still, there are even serial wardrobers.Kim Kardashian has even admitted to being a wardrobing offender. Alas, Kim is not alone; a survey conducted by OnePoll found that 28% of women surveyed admitted to wardrobing merely for the thrill.

I doubt Vanessa Hudgens needs to wardrobe...imagine if she did it for the thrill, though?

Come on now, that’s just tacky.  Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in December 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.4…better but still no bueno. It’s one thing to buy something you fell in love with only to discover its defective later. But to go into Prada knowing full well you cannot afford something and getting it anyway is sheer sin. A National Retail Federation spokesperson claimed that retail return fraud had surpassed $16 billion in annual losses, in 2007 . Feels like stealing, eh? I know that this doesn’t seem like a big deal to many, i.e. so what?

So…retailers lose lots (talk about sticking it to the big man). So…countless employees have to do the tedious logistics work that goes into your return. A retailer might sell the item and Jane Doe gets your second-hands. A retailer can’t resell the item at full price and might even resort to sending it away or destroying it. Your fellow consumers pay the price for your actions. Luxury goes further down the tube. Karma will be a B and retailers will develop suffocating return policies that the day you need to legitimately return something you will have to move heaven and earth.

There is a program where companies can single out their worst wardrobing offenders (sounds creepy right) and temporarily forbid them from returning. Guess, Express, Sports Authority, Staples and KB Toys are already using it. By the by, some stores have raised their inspecting practices on returned items right in front of you (and other customers), i.e. checking the crotch area for wrinkles, looking for deodorant signs, smelling it for perfume, etc. If you don’t want your wonderful Nordstrom customer service to join the bandwagon, then stop the wardrobing. Although I have to tell you, even Nordstrom is getting more particular about returns. So if you seriously need to return, keep your receipt, keep the items in good condition and please don’t wardrobe, it’s like telling a white lie, it’s still a lie.

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