How to effectively combat the practice of wardrobing

Wardrobing if
you’re not familiar with the term, you are probably all too familiar with the
practice as a retailer. Wardrobing is the practice of purchasing an item
wearing it once or twice and then returning it. This is probably one of the
number one types of fraud that buyers will attempt because frankly to a lot of
people it seems harmless. What most consumers fail to realize is that this is
not a victimless crime, you as the seller are responsible for the return
shipping cost, plus you are getting back an item in a different condition than
the item that was sent, reducing the value of the merchandise significantly a
loose-loose seller scenario. As a retailer selling in marketplaces like eBay
and Amazon you are also all too aware that the deck is heavily stacked against
the seller when attempting to fight back on this type of fraudulent return
which can sometimes be difficult if not impossible to prove. So what can you as
a seller do to combat this practice? A few things and they all center on one
important thing documentation! Remember in the eyes of the mega
marketplace sites the buyer is always right making the seller always wrong but
if you can provide the proof to back up your claim you stand a much better
chance of getting a ruling in your favor. So what sort of documentation should
you have? Well for starters pictures of the item sold in particular close up shots
of all tags and packaging. Your most likely taking these to list the item in
the first place but these could prove invaluable in the case you get the item
returned in a condition other than the one it was sent in.

Tags removed?
Or clumsily reattached somewhere other than where initially attached all good
indicators of tampering. Stains or signs of distress? Maybe a missing button?
Close up shots of before and after are a great way to catch that criminal. Now
it’s also very likely that when you confront the crooked buyer or contest the
return with the website you may run into this brick wall of an argument, but
how do we know that you the seller did not do the damage? Easy take pictures
when that package is returned particularly of the return label and pictures as
you open the packaging showing that it is still sealed remember the goal is to
document that the item sent was not in the same condition as the returned item.

A few other things to keep in mind is to make
sure before and after pictures are as identical as possible if you took a close
up of the top button of a dress shirt before and now that button is missing
take the same close up in the same environment with the same lighting don’t let
a customer tell you that it’s a different item just because the color looks
different as a result of the lighting. Also if the customer refuses to admit
the damage and you feel like you are getting nowhere contact the customer
service department for the respective website before escalating the case
online. It’s better to present your well documented proof to a human being
rather than letting a computer automatically rule against you. There is sadly
no perfect fix to this problem and it’s definitely a headache fighting with
eBay or Amazon over these fraudulent charges, so pick your battles maybe set a
dollar threshold under $20 is it really worth the headache? Over $100? That’s
definitely worth the aggravation of fighting it.   

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