Returns fraud has become so prevalent that more than two-thirds of retailers (69.1 percent) have changed their returns policies to address the issue, according to the National Retail Federation.
Nevertheless, spot checks of the returns policies of various retailers keep turning up customer-friendly rules. Specialty retailers seem to have the most lenient returns policies while department stores, not surprisingly, pile on more restrictions. Even so, most seem to make an effort toward friendly policies.
Target requires that returns be made within three months while Macy’s gives shoppers six months to decide. Bloomingdale’s doesn’t mention a time limit except for furniture and mattresses.
On the speciality side, Duluth Trading’s policy is simple and customer-oriented. For example, after telling customers to fill out a form on the back of the packing slip, Duluth adds that if a customer no longer has the packing slip, she can, “Grab a piece of paper and write down at least one of the following: Your order number. Your customer number. Your name and address.” Pretty flexible, in my book.
Next in Retail Strategies, we’ll look at specific kinds of returns fraud.