The dark side of return fraud and abuse in beauty retail

By Lucy Tandon Copp 23-Oct-2019

While most people buy their cosmetics in good faith, there are some who have less honourable motivations in mind

The basic premise of buying a product involves a level of trust between retailer and customer. Primarily, it involves trust that the seller is delivering a good quality product that will go some way to meet what the consumer anticipates.

But the relationship is symbiotic. Retailers are also taking a gamble every time they hand over a product to a consumer, and sometimes this backfires, leading to return fraud and abuse.

Tom Rittman is vice-president of marketing at Appriss Retail, a retail performance improvement solutions provider. Here he discusses the key challenges facing beauty retailers and the steps companies can take to protect their merchandise.

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What are some examples of return fraud and abuse?

  • Wardrobing or renting: Buying merchandise for short-term use with intent to return, such as video cameras for weddings, big-screen TVs for a sporting event or a dress for a special occasion.
  • Employee fraud/employee collusion: Returning stolen goods assisted by employees for full retail price.
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