HOW TO STOP Online Customers Using / Wearing It Then RETURNING It

HOW TO STOP Online Customers Using / Wearing It Then RETURNING It

Posted by Big Brand on 24th Jul 2020

If you read our article about The Most Common Reasons for Online Purchase Returns, you unfortunately know that people of all ages make purchases with the INTENTION of using it one time then returning it. This is really crappy for the seller; nobody wants to ship out a new item and get back a worn, used item that might even be damaged. But there ARE ways you can help curb the impulse to return used items.

The method you use to prevent return will depend on what exactly the item you are selling is; for example, is it in a box or is it clothing? Let’s start by looking at ways to prevent used returns on NON-CLOTHING merchandise.

First, depending on the packaging, you can add a sticker that prevents the person from using it then returning (such as perfume, cologne, lotion, electronics, etc).

The idea behind this is “If you open it, you own it.” Of course the buyer could still NOT open it and realize they bought the wrong item and want to return it. If this happens, this is ok because you are getting back a brand new item. The entire purpose is to prevent the scammers.

The stickers shown above are under 20-cents each on Amazon. A single bogus return PREVENTED will pay for all 100 stickers but there’s also cheaper options, like these ones that are only 13-cents each and cool hologram:

Or this 500 pack for only $24:


If the item is clothing (but not shoes, we will discuss shoes nect), you can do what Nordstrom or other stores do; apply your own tag using a cheap tagging gun to the outside of a garment. You have to pick a place on the garment that NOBODY would ever wear it with a tag hanging off. A couple amazing spots are:

  • Directly in the armpit on the outside of the item. Tag right through the armpit seam.
  • Front neckline seam
  • You CAN use a side-seam on the outside of the garment but a genuine scammer can wear it with a cardigan and hide the tag.

You can score a nice, cheap tagging gun that comes with free plastic barbs for as little as $8 on Amazon Prime:

As far as the paper tags go, you can use pretty much anything from Printable Tags to basic Cardstrock tags to cutting out some cardstock paper or even shooting the barb through your business card. Here’s a couple ideas (Amazon):

200 tags for under $7!

TIP: Avoid using the tie-style rope fasteners because someone can cut and re-tie them. Instead, always use your plastic-fastener tagging gun.

Hard-to-find “Item Details” Card! 1,000 PIECES for under $14!!

Smaller assorted-color tags that you can switch the color on monthly or as needed. 1,000 pieces for under $19:

If you don’t like those ideas, here’s some other Amazon options.

There are also THERMAL TAGS. You do not need a thermal printer to use these however, what makes these so cool is that, if the person wears the item, the tag will turn black from their body heat. Please note that this isn't 100% fool-proof. For example, if the buyer places the apparel next to a sunny window during the summer, it is possible the sun could turn the tag black. But, for the most part, the tag shouldn’t be turning black unless it has gotten very warm… which is what happens when the human body emits 98 degrees of heat 24/7.

Of course you do not need to print barcodes or anything on them. Just attaching one is enough. BUT you still want to make sure you are attaching it using your Tagging Gun because it’s nearly impossible to remove the plastic fastener without breaking the fastener or ripping the clothing.

You can even be a total scammer-buster and apply a massive 4x6” thermal tag (500 for $14.99!), thus making it impossible to wear without removing the tag:


We can all agree that people need to try on shoes to make sure they fit.  But people def don't need to wear the shoes for a couple days to make sure they love them if your return policy doesn't allow this, so here's how to prevent bogus shoe returns:

You can use the famous "permanent sticker" on the bottom that we discussed earlier.  Refer back to the first part of this article for ideas.  

You can also use your tagging gun and shoot a label directly through a lace; which allows them to try it on but nobody would wear it with a massive tag hanging off, especially if you write your company name on the label.  

You can also give the buyer one lace or shoe but place the other into a clear bag that has a tamper-resistant label sealing it.  A person should be able to decide is shoes fit by trying on one. 


Your main tactics are going to be:

Where to Next?  Popular Topics:



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