Retailers, consumers and prices
You’ve been there before. The sales lady in the store skeptically fingers your return item, then gives you a withering look.
“Was there anything wrong with this item????” she asks dubiously, as you flounder to prove your innocence.
Return fraud is expected to cost retailers a whopping $3.68 billion this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s a 34 percent jump over last year, spurring 11 percent of retailers to tighten their policies.
Bringing stolen merchandise to stores to demand a credit is the most common form of return fraud, according to the survey. Also high on the list is “wardrobing” — wearing a special occasion item, for example, and then returning it the day after the party.