Retailers lost $9.6 billion last year due to returns fraud, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In view of this huge and ongoing problem that retailers face every day, Retail Strategies will devote the next several posts reviewing the return policies of various retailers. Today, the retailer is J. C. Penney.
With a receipt, JCP refunds returns at the original purchase price, plus tax, in the original method of payment. Without a receipt, returns are refunded at the lowest on-sale price within the most recent 30 days, plus tax, and only in the form of a JCP gift card or credit on a JCP charge card.
Exceptions include furniture; fine jewelry; special occasion dresses; small electrics, electronics and major appliances; online outlet-priced merchandise; monogrammed, personalized and altered items; and made-to-measure window coverings and rugs.
Furniture may be returned within seven days from delivery, with the original sales receipt.
Fine jewelry must be returned to the supplier within 60 days of receipt of order, with the original sales receipt. Personalized jewelry cannot be returned unless it is damaged or defective.
Special occasion dresses must be returned in their original condition with the tag in place.
Small electrics, electronics and major appliances must be returned with 60 days of purchase, with the original sales receipt. Merchandise must be in its original packaging with all accompanying manuals and accessories.
Online outlet-priced merchandise must be returned within 30 days accompanied with the original receipt.
Monogrammed, personalized and altered items cannot be returned unless damaged or defective. Ditto for made-to-measure window coverings and rugs.
“Retailers have often viewed lenient return policies as a cost of doing business with honest shoppers,” NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Joseph LaRocca said when releasing the annual loss figure. “Unfortunately, due to an increase in return fraud, retailers are being forced to strike a delicate balance between servicing loyal shoppers and discouraging opportunistic criminals.”
The NRF reports that the most popular form of return fraud is the return of stolen merchandise.
Retail Strategies will report more on returns fraud next week.