Thursday, July 1, 2010

Unethical and excessive returns: A disease or criminal?

I'm not talking about clear and obvious fraud. I am talking about all those people in the gray area.

We've all seen them.
  • They buy a camcorder on Friday to film Jimmy's wedding on Saturday. Then they are back in the store Monday to return it. 
  • The girl that buys the new outfit for a party and then returns it the next week.
  • I even saw a $10,000 oriental rug bought and returned the next week. When it was unrolled it had cigarette butts and wine stains on it. Must have been a great party.
  • And my favorite, the big screen TV purchased days before the Superbowl and returned the following week.
While not illegal to buy items and return them at whim, retailers lose millions of dollars every year to customers engaging in unethical – and sometimes illegal – return fraud practices. Return fraud and abuse continues to plague the retail industry and the losses are staggering.  In 2009, the retail industry lost an estimated $9.6 billion in return fraud, $2.7 billion of which occurred last holiday season alone.

Now they are claiming its a disease:  Returnaholics

Here is a fascinating video from the Today Show.

SOURCE: The Today Show and NRF

Mark Libell

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