I don’t purchase a lot of clothes online because I have difficulty finding the right sizes for the person I am buying for. Clothes sizes tend to vary by manufacturers so there is not always a uniform consistency. I recognize that my preferences are not necessarily representative of the public in general as more and more online only stores open up, selling merchandise over the internet versus in brick and mortar locations. This does open up some concerns over the issue of wardrobing. How difficult is it for online stores to control potential fraudulent returns due to wardrobing? I ask this because stores will be conducting inventories over the coming months and in the process, will have to account for all aspects of shortage. Online stores may not have a shoplifting issue, but they do have to contend with internal theft and the possibility of fraudulent returns and that is where the use of Alpha Shark Tags can be helpful.


Wardrobing isn’t necessarily a common term but it is a type of return fraud and does impact a store’s profits. The issue arises when someone buys an article of clothing, wears it a time or two, then returns it to the store with tags intact and a legitimate receipt and the buyer gets their money back. The purchaser hides the hang tags or removes the tags carefully, and replaces them when they are ready to return the garment.  Since all the required items are present many stores will give the promised refund if the customer is not satisfied.  The problem for a store owner or manager is that frequently this used merchandise cannot be sold again at the original price for which it was sold. There are frequently odors of food or perfume on the clothing, food or drink stains, possibly cigarette smells or even makeup stains that won’t entirely come out. This means destroying the item and maybe getting a partial credit from the manufacturer, if any credit at all.  The store loses profit, if not gross margin.


Alpha Shark Tags effectively eliminate return fraud because if an item is returned with the Shark tag removed, the store turns down the refund.  “How does this work?” you may ask. Alpha Shark Tags can only be attached to a clothing item once.  The only method to remove it is to cut the tag off. Once removed, the store should already have a policy in place that explains that when a garment is returned and the tag has been cut-off it will not be accepted for a refund or exchange. The person who engages in wardrobing can hide manufacturer tags but there is no hiding a brightly colored Alpha Shark Tag. These tags are placed on a garment in a very visible location. When placed properly, the tag will be seen when the “customer” wears the item in public thereby defeating the method of fraud. 


The question arises, “What am I supposed to do if I buy something and try it on and it doesn’t fit or it was a gift and the person I bought it for doesn’t like it?” There is no problem created for the purchaser when the item does not fit or is simply not what a gift recipient wanted. As long as the tag is still intact the item can be returned with the proper receipt information.  The tag also has no effect on how a garment fits so the item can be tried on and the wearer will know if it is the proper size. The clothing can be returned to the online store and refunded and the store will be able to repackage and sell the item as new, a win-win for both parties.


Return fraud does impact profits and hurts inventory. It doesn’t matter whether the store is a walk-in building or an online entity wardrobing hurts the bottom line of both. Use Alpha Shark Tags and begin improving your next inventory today!


Wardrobing is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.