Do you return clothes you’ve already worn?

According to a survey by PromotionalCodes.org.uk56% of shoppers have tried to return an item of clothing they’ve already worn: i.e. they wore the item without removing the label, and then returned it a few days later for a full refund – a bit like using clothing stores as their own personal lending library.

Now,we’re always a little sceptical about studies like this. This one used a sample of 520 people, which is probably not representative of everyone in the UK. We know some people do happily admit to doing this kind of thing, though, so today we thought we’d do a quick survey of our own, and ask: would YOU?

woman with lots of shopping bags

Now, in asking this question, we’re hoping the percentage who answer “yes” will be much smaller than the 56% who admitted to returning worn clothes in the PromotionalCodes sample. Obviously there are lots of good reasons to return worn clothing (discovering a faulty zip, or other defect while you’re wearing it, following the washing instructions to the letter, only to discover that your item is unrecognisable after a quick spin cycle, to name but two…), but the desire to simply wear something without paying for it isn’t one of them, as far as we’re concerned. We don’t expect anyone would like to think that brand new dress they paid full-price for had been out on the town the previous weekend, after all, and while we’re all for buying second-hand clothes if it saves us some money, the key to that sentence is the “saves us some money bit”: if we’re buying someone’s used clothing, we expect to get a discount on it, which presumably wouldn’t be the case if the store had been duped into thinking it was an unworn return, still with the tags attached.

So, would you do this? Would you wear something and then return it afterwards, purely to avoid paying?

[Image © Alen-d | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images]

 

6 Comments

  • April 11, 2013

    Claire

    I’ve never done that and I hope I never will! I can understand trying something on at home but not wearing it out while planning to return it. Even if I didn’t think it was wrong I don’t think I could ever relax if I was thinking about how I had to keep the outfit pristine, I’d be terrified of spilling stuff, or snags or getting some dirt on the dress and I think it would ruin wherever I wore it.

    I also hate the idea that someone would have worn my clothing first! It’s mine!

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  • April 11, 2013

    Spiky

    I work at a major retailer, and this happens a lot. Most of the time it’s only our suspicion that tells us that they wore it, other times it’s more evident. I see it happen a lot with formal items- they buy it, wear it to the event, then bring it back. It’s not so bad if the piece is still pristine, but come on, people. There are places that will rent, or you could, dare I say it, buy something to wear more than once.

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  • April 11, 2013

    Lighty_lo

    I work in a departament store and returns are something we have to deal with everyday, people even try to return underwear (which is kind of gross, if you ask me). I do not doubt for a second that 56% of our clients return clothes after wearing them.

    In my personal case, if something doesn’t fit, I give it to one of my many sisters, I hate to do returns.

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  • April 12, 2013

    lizvocal

    I dislike shopping in the first place, let alone planning to go back to the store again. I think this is dishonest, and shows a lack of imagination. Go to a consignment store, shop eBay, remake something you already own. There are lots of inexpensive ways to look great.

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  • April 12, 2013

    Moni

    Returning something you have already worn pretending that it’s unworn and new is fraud. It makes you a criminal. And yes, there are victims to this crime: The economy, hygiene, and moral in general.
    I’m aware that some clothes are expensive and you’ll probably only wear them once. Well, then find cheaper alternatives or look for clothes that you can and will wear at other occasions, too. It’s not that hard.

    The only thing that I have ever returned after having worn it was a pair of shoes that hurt my feet. But I hadn’t worn them out of the house yet, and I really didn’t discover that they pinched when I tried them on in the shop. And I didn’t get money back, but exchanged them for a different pair. And, most importantly: I didn’t plan on returning them. I had to because I couldn’t wear them and they were to expensive to just throw them away.

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  • April 14, 2013

    MsVeve

    NEVER! First of all I absolutely HATE going to a store to return something, even if it’s broken and still in the gurantee. Second, it would just be too weird to pretend that I hadn’t worn it. And third I usually buy things I love and want to keep forever, thus it wouldn’t make sense to return it would it 🙂

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