The Saturday Weekend Review #7~ Return Fraud Costs Big Bucks!

Weekend Review

Return Fraud, hmm what could that be. When my friend Karen wrote a guest post for CBB this week on dumpster diving it received mixed reviews and truthfully you either like it or you don’t. Personally I’m all for finding great bargains that people put out to the curb or don’t want to pay disposal fees for that I can use. This lead me this article titled “What Happens To A Product When It Is Returned To The Store” although centred around the USA I’m sure it happens right here on Canadian soil. Have you ever worn something a few times and decided to bring it back to the store wanting a refund? Well, they call that return fraud in the USA although I’m not sure what they call it, if anything in Canada but returning an item.

Did you know that most items returned to the shops might not even make it back on the shelves, even in Canada? My wife has worked in retail when she was younger and she said that one shop could easily repackage some items in store and others would go to the garbage. For example if you open the package  of socks, it may have to get sent back to get repackaged and by that time it may be a discontinued product and it gets discarded. Sometimes items would just build up in a bin out back and forgotten about until the pile got too big or inventory was abound.

You only have to drive around some of the big retailers in Canada to see their dumpster filled with top of the line products that are destroyed or in full packaging. I’m betting they weren’t returned that way looking like Edward Scissor Hands had paid them a visit. Honestly though, do you really want to buy new clothes knowing that someone may have had their sweaty body in it a few times and it hasn’t been washed? That is the number one reason why I always wash clothes when I buy them new because you just never know. Some look down on those who shop at second-hand stores saying how icky it must be to wear used clothes when their new garments, digs, threads, gear call it what you may could have been worn by someone who showers once a week. Either way, wash your clothes  when you get home wherever you buy them.

Return fraud, really who would have guessed it but if there is money to be made or saved there will be someone waiting to scoop it up. According to creditcards.com return fraud in Canada is dubbed bringing back stolen merchandise for a refund, using stolen receipts to return, and returning items bought with counterfeit money. While reviewing the Stats I didn’t see anything that said it was a crime to wear clothes and return them in Canada. Maybe we’re just not at that point yet although common sense tells us it’s not the ethical thing to be doing. It’s one of the hardest things to prove I guess. I can hear it now, “it smells”, “I saw you at the pub last night, look I have a picture of you in that shirt on my IPhone” says the cashier. Non-employee return fraud came in at 32.1% in 2008 according to Stats Canada. In the USA 8.9 Billion dollars will be the loss as a result of return fraud, ouch.

What does your organization do with returned merchandise and clothes?

Do you know someone who buys clothes, wears them with the tags then returns them?

Valentines Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

What’s Been Happening at Canadian Budget Binder?

No  a whole heck of a lot’s been happening over here at Canadian Budget Binder to be honest besides planning for the new design. We had a lovely Valentine’s Day Dinner and I made chocolate Chip Walnut cookies shaped like hearts and she just loved it. It’s also that time of year where my mind starts thinking, what do I need to do in March, April and May as I know this summer is going to be crazy busy for me. I may even think about taking a day off the blog and only post 6 days a week since I’ve posted 7 pretty much since I started one year ago.  I’ve been a bit under the weather the past week and trying to catch up on emails and blog posts but that’s about it. On a good note we did purchase some seeds for the garden mainly flowers for our hanging baskets.

We’ll be heading out this week to Home Hardware to pick out some other vegetables that we want to grow. Last year I saved the seeds from our tomatoes and peppers and will give them a shot this year to see if I can make some magic happen. It will be the first year I saved seeds so I really don’t know if they will work out or not. I’m pretty sure I will have plenty of compost as I saved all the leaves from the fall and they’ve rotted nicely.  I do know we will grow plenty of basil, even more than last year so we can make more basil cubes but also basil pesto as we use it for so many meals, besides it adds amazing flavour to just about anything.

When do you start to plant your garden seeds? 

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Check Out This Weeks Canadian Budget Binder Blog Posts
Canadian Budget Binder Mentions Around The Web

Canadian Budget Binder is fun place where people come to not only learn about personal finance but also to share. Thanks to these sites who linked up to Canadian Budget Binder this past week.  Sorry if I missed you, please let me know. 

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web search terms

What People Searched to Find Canadian Budget Binder:

Search terms really help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder! Any typos below are simply how the person who searched typed it in search, or me ;-) There were thousands of searches this week.. but not too many juicy ahahaha ones.. so I picked out some of the best ones for you.

Top Pick: Banks For Sale In Canada– Yes, I’ll take 2 please with full inventory.

  • What do you think of people who buy second-hand clothes?-  I think I’m awesome… how’s that! lol Does it really matter what anyone thinks? Who gives a toss. We create our own stress by worrying over the small stuff in life, it’s not worth it. 
  • Closet Game Challenge Couple- Oh, sounds kinky. What do you do in the closet? I’m sure you’re not folding clothes… ermm
  • What does it mean to be “multi-tasking” by employer– It means your boss wants you to use both your feet, both your hands and your head to do ten things at the same time while keeping your sanity. Try it, everyone else is.  It means, your boss wants you to pick it up a notch and try to get two or more things done at once, in other words, you’re too slow.
  • 55 Ways to Say I Love You– Really, where do people come up with this.  How about, “I love you” full-stop.
  • Dollarama Paint Rollers, any good? You just wasted $1.00 of your time searching for that when you could have just bought one and tested it out for yourself.

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Sorry mate, if I don’t get a pingback I won’t know that you linked to me.. what post was it for?

  2. Guessing they we’re looking for 5 ways to say I love you? If not then that is ridiculous! 🙂 I have the same problem with pingbacks. Hope you’re having a great weekend mate.

  3. Christine Weadick says:

    Search terms…… my weekly snicker fest!!!!
    Return fraud they call it now……. it’s been going on since retail was invented…. Way back when I worked retail and we took back stuff that was a write off a lot. The worst for that kind of thing is kids clothes…..people will buy their kid something…. then when junior outgrows it they take it back…. because “it doesn’t fit and we lost the receipt…. no it wasn’t on sale when we bought it… we paid full price…” Yea….. right…….We had to do the refund… My Mom worked for a place that would take anything back and I do mean anything….. they didn’t sell it in the first place but they would take it back…..She worked in Children’s Wear and she saw it all. Stuff came back that wasn’t sold there, looked well worn, dirty, stained, no receipt, out of season…. you name it…. she saw it….and she had to give these people money back… drove her batty. She knew it was fraud, management knew it, head office knew it…… but it was company policy to take this crap back no questions asked. The customer is always right….Did people take advantage????Hell yes… Every day!!!
    I started some seeds I had here for a while last week. Petunias, impatiens and some nice blue lupines, a short lived perennial. I’m seeing little green sprigs popping up!!! The lupines will go in the garden but the others will be for the hanging pots. I have others to start and some flower seeds that I harvested last year to plant as well. I have a couple of packs of geranium seeds I want to try to grow, Likely won’t go outside this summer but I hope to have them for the year after. I’m using peat pellets right now but the seedlings will be potted up as they get bigger, and then hardened off for outside. The big plans for the gardens this year will be digging up that chamelien plant along the drive and splitting the daylilys. I’ll have to see what other trouble I can get into in the gardens, I’d like to get/grow some more yarrow in the pale colours… the ones I had faded out…

    • You know that doesn’t surprise me, like I said if they know they can get away with it, they will. Sounds to me like you my dear have a green thumb and I might stand to learn a thing or two from you this summer. I’ll be starting my seeds soon. I kept a geranium inside and it’s doing amazing.. shocked really but it’s blooming white and pretty. Ya, the search terms, so many good ones.. some days better than others though.

  4. Thanks for including my link 🙂
    Good luck in both competitions, with your fan base i’m sure you will win easy.

  5. This reminds me of someone I know, except it’s not clothes, it’s tools, They’ll buy a tool, use it for a project and then return it (NO, it’s not me, If I buy a tool, I’m going to keep it!), I find that to be reprehensible. To do the same with clothes is as bad if not worse, I cant believe anyone would go through the trouble of buying clothes for a night out just to return them later!

    • Same here mate, if I buy a tool it’s because I’m keeping it. You know some people do crazy things and the clothes thing is like a revolving wardrobe. They literally can buy and return enough clothes so that they actually don’t spend money on clothes all year.. it happens.. nutty though.

  6. When I worked in retail, we would toss out boxes of stuff because something didn’t look right with them or the were not the right style. There were many people that would pick up those toss outs and be on their way. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Thanks for mentioning my post Mr. CBB. I hope you have a good week.

  7. Those cookies look pretty good! Hope you feel better soon; thanks for the link!

  8. I spent ten years as a retail store manager in California and we had a huge problem with organized groups doing return fraud. It wasn’t the person who would occasionally return it was groups that did this for a living and a lot where very good at it.
    As far as returned clothing, some if not worn went back on the rack. Anything that was worn was stored and then monthly donated to a charity. Anything that was not reusable was destroyed and then discarded.

  9. I actually had a roomate who got arrested for returning stolen merchandise many years ago. Apparently she and a friend would go into a big store, grab an item off the shelf and go up to customer service as if it was given to them as a gift and ask that the refund be put onto a credit card. They got away several times until security caught them and they went to jail for the day. I think they ended up getting community service, but still. I believe stores are much wiser now because you have to get a sticker on the return item when you walk in, but I almost bet you could still get away with this in some stores. Not that I’ve tried!

  10. Ok I did that one time. I needed a pair of shoes to wear to my university graduation, but couldn’t afford them since I’d just started my job. I wore them to the ceremony and returned them, but I’ve never done it since!

  11. I think stores need to get tougher on returns. They should limit the amount of returns per customer, and require a receipt or proof of purchase. Those people who commit return fraud only make prices go up.

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