Wardrobing is a term used to describe someone who buys a clothing item, wears it and then returns it. It’s typically associated with dress shopping for that special event, as they are commonly a high priced item and only worn once. According to the National Retail Federation survey 65% of retailers have experienced wardrobing. The returned garment could be damaged or soiled and can not be resold. What you may not realize is that this practice is actually an illegal process known as return fraud. These returns are costing the retail industry $8.8 billion last year alone. These losses drive higher retail prices for all.
One retailer Bloomingdales is looking to combat wardrobing by introducing special tags called “b-tags” on all dresses priced $150 or more. The b-tags are large black plastic tags that will be placed in visible area of the dress. If the tag is removed the garment cannot be retuned. With the tags in place this should limit the amount of fraudulent returns, but may turn some customers away to competitors. No other retailer has announced plans to adopt similar policy as of yet.
So what are you to do with that expensive dress that you’ve wore once, but can’t return now? There are plenty of options. Here’s a few:
- Sell – e-Bay, Craigslist, consignment shops or there are brand name resellers like Crossroad Trading that can be found online.
- Donate – you can hand them over to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Church, or homeless shelters.
- Swap – possibly with friends or family or Internet sites on line.
- Reuse – If you are crafty, can sew, etc. check out Pinterest for some idea on what to do with that dress.
Have you ever wardrobed? Do you have any other suggestions for what to do with gently used clothes?