The dark side of return fraud and abuse in beauty retail

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.


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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