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How often do you return merchandise ?

 
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india100 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 9:52pm

Serial returners, beware: Retailers are tracking you

Jennifer C. KerrThe Associated Press
  •  12, 2013 at 1:22 PM ET

It's not just the government that might be keeping tabs on you. Many retailers are tracking you, too — or at least your merchandise returns.

The companies say it's all in the name of security and fighting fraud. They want to be able to identify chronic returners or gangs of thieves trying to make off with high-end products that are returned later for store credit.

Mari Torres, 39, poses for a picture in her office in Springfield, Va., Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. Each year, consumers return about $264 billion worth o...
Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP
Mari Torres, 39, didn't know returns were tracked. "I honestly think it’s an invasion of privacy,” she says.

Consumer advocates are raising transparency issues about the practice of having companies collect information on consumers and create "return profiles" of customers at big-name stores such as Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Victoria's Secret, Home Depot and Nike.

The practice led to a privacy lawsuit against Best Buy that eventually was tossed out.

Each year, consumers return about $264 billion worth of merchandise, or almost 9 percent of total sales, according to industry estimates.

Many buyers aren't aware that some returns, with and without receipts, are being monitored at stores that outsource that information to a third-party company, which creates a "return profile" that catalogs and analyzes the customer's returns at the store.

"I had absolutely no idea they were doing that," said Mari Torres of Springfield, Va., during a shopping trip with her daughter at the Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Va. "I honestly think it's an invasion of privacy."

Torres, 39, says she's a responsible shopper and she'd like to know what kind of information retailers keep on her, with whom they may be sharing it, and how long they keep it.

One company that offers return tracking services, The Retail Equation in Irvine, Calif., says it doesn't share information in the profiles it creates with outside parties or with other stores.

For example, if TRE logs and analyzes returns from a Victoria's Secret customer, The Retail Equation only reports back to Victoria's Secret about the return activity. It does not then also share that information with J.C. Penney or other retailers that use TRE.

Even so, consumer advocates don't like it.

"There should be no secret databases. That's a basic rule of privacy practices," says Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. "Consumers should know that information is being collected about them."

The retail industry says it's not about monitoring the majority of its shoppers, but fighting theft.

Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, says organized retail crime is costing retailers tens of billions of dollars each year.

LaBruno says the problem goes beyond the small-time shoplifter and involves organized groups of criminals who make a living from the large-scale theft of merchandise. For example, they might switch the UPC code on a $600 faucet with a lower-cost code that rings up at $50. They buy the faucet, then replace the fake UPC tag with the original, higher-priced code, and return the faucet to the store without the receipt for a $600 store credit, which can later be sold online.

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india100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 9:55pm
I cancel a department store CC after the clerk inform me you can only return 100 bucks of merchandise in one year ? I am concern with the way they keep your Identification also .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote LilMissSunshine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 10:13pm
I used to an assistant manager at a retail clothing store and we had a family that would come in and buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff and then return it every week. That stopped after a member of management allegedly reported them. It hurts the stores' numbers. It pisses me off to have someone spend a few hundred bucks on another member of management's LOD (leader on duty) segment, then return it while I'm LOD. Or for them to shop at another store, and return it to mine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 10:26pm
Originally posted by LilMissSunshine LilMissSunshine wrote:

I used to an assistant manager at a retail clothing store and we had a family that would come in and buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff and then return it every week. That stopped after a member of management allegedly reported them. It hurts the stores' numbers. It pisses me off to have someone spend a few hundred bucks on another member of management's LOD (leader on duty) segment, then return it while I'm LOD. Or for them to shop at another store, and return it to mine.
I understand your frustration . I only return a few times a year . Why do they need my ID when i have proof of purchase ? I also feel the limits are awful at certain stores if i have everything in order for my return .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Bored w/Out Me? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 10:29pm
I shop on Etsy "I'm Addicted "

even if I don't like something I've custom ordered I give it away...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 10:44pm
Originally posted by Bored w/Out Me? Bored w/Out Me? wrote:

I shop on Etsy "I'm Addicted "

even if I don't like something I've custom ordered I give it away...
ahhhh. Please place me on your list .Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Momeijheii Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 10:55pm
I simply cannot articulate just how much doing pointless returns pisses me off.
Stores are doing it to combat theft. It sucks for honest people who occasionally return items with good reason, but little fvckshyts are out in droves ruining it for the rest of y'all. 

I absolutely fvcking hate having to break down my till for bogus returns and item buybacks for people that I know are stealing shyt. Most people work for a living, and these people are getting by through stealing, and it's a part of my job to aid that bullshyt? Nope. Not fvcking happy about it. 
Let the retailers track returns. If you're not 'renting' the items, there's no problem.

A few nights ago, at my other job, I actually had to do a refund for a 2 dollar pack of M&M's. I wanted to kick that little skinhead's ass.
/rant


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Blac1Chyna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 11:04pm
They BEEN tracking returns. why do you think they ask for your ID? If you are concerned about that, then dont give them your ID. If you have  your receipt then what do they need it for? Challenge that

I know people who have maxed out the allotted returns so they just use someone else's ID
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 11:17pm
[QUOTE=Blac1Chyna]They BEEN tracking returns. why do you think they ask for your ID? If you are concerned about that, then dont give them your ID. If you have  your receipt then what do they need it for? Challenge that

I know people who have maxed out the allotted returns so they just use someone else's ID
[/QUOT] Rare for me to return. I keep all my receipts . My concern arrives from the storage system they use with my personal info . I return a defective Wii u for example . I was not given a choice not to show my ID . The article was very long ,but if you check out the full story on ABC you may have a better understanding of why i am not happy with the policy . Identity theft was a big problem for example .

Edited by india100 - Aug 16 2013 at 11:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 16 2013 at 11:19pm
Originally posted by Momeijheii Momeijheii wrote:

I simply cannot articulate just how much doing pointless returns pisses me off.
Stores are doing it to combat theft. It sucks for honest people who occasionally return items with good reason, but little fvckshyts are out in droves ruining it for the rest of y'all. 

I absolutely fvcking hate having to break down my till for bogus returns and item buybacks for people that I know are stealing shyt. Most people work for a living, and these people are getting by through stealing, and it's a part of my job to aid that bullshyt? Nope. Not fvcking happy about it. 
Let the retailers track returns. If you're not 'renting' the items, there's no problem.

A few nights ago, at my other job, I actually had to do a refund for a 2 dollar pack of M&M's. I wanted to kick that little skinhead's ass.
/rant


I understand . I notice people trying to return items that are not the store merchandise .

Edited by india100 - Aug 16 2013 at 11:19pm
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