The only thing as bad as having a buyer ask for a return then ship you a box of rocks instead of the pair of Gucci shoes they bought from your Poshmark is having a buyer return the Betsey Johnson gown worn, ripped and filthy (yet claim they never wore it). The good news is that you CAN prevent this and it's surprisingly easy, fast and mega cheap! Here's exactly how to eliminate "wardrobing".
STEP 1: Buy a CLOTHING TAGGING GUN. It sounds expensive but they're actually mega cheap. A decent tagging gun will cost under $20.
TIP: Avoid the way-too-cheap guns. Yeah, they're only $5 but they jam and break. Additionally the needles are crap. The needle is made from super cheap metal and it will bend. Once it bends the needle is trash. What I'm saying is that a $4 gun will end up resulting in you having to spend $40 on additional $4 guns to keep replacing it. It's way better to just buy the $12 or $15 gun one time.
STEP 2: Pick a type of “UNSTRUNG” TAGS - The one and only goal of the tag is to make sure there is no way to wear the garment without removing the tag, like this:
Do you see how the buyer can still TRY ON the item and make sure they like it, yet not wear it? This is your only goal. I mean, technically if they wanted to look like a total moron they *could* wear it, with a big ol' tag hanging off the front. Thankfully, 99.9999% of people (including dishonest people) aren't going to want to look like fools.
Here’s a couple tags that should work great. If you want to stamp them with your logo or whatever you can. Other options include writing the item number for inventory purposes or even applying some form of writing or sticker that cannot be replicated.
TIP: You want to make sure that the HOLE on the tag is SMALL!!!:
If the hole is too large the buyer will be able to slide the fastener out of the tag and wear the garment, then slide the tag back on and return it as "New With Tags".
If you want to capitalize on the marketing opportunity, grab some super cheap, really fantastic business cards OR "Thank You Cards" / "Order Comment Cards" and shoot directly through the center into the garment! Another option is to add a cool "Return" sticker onto your tag. These ones from eBay.com are pretty awesome:
STEP 3: Choose a FASTENER. A fastener is the little plastic thingy that is shot by the gun through the fabric (technically, the seam of the fabric).
TIP: The SHORTER the “fastener” the more DIFFICULT it is to remove and wear the garment. I would advise getting 1” fastener for thin items, like a tank top, panty or lingerie:
TIP: ALWAYS SHOOT INTO A SEAM! If you shoot into the actual fabric it will leave a hole and, if the fabric is loose knit, it can be easily slid out so the item can be worn prior to return:
TIP: YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST MAKE SURE THE END OF THE PLASTIC FASTENER CAN NOT BE MANEUVERED THROUGH THE TAG HOLE!!!!! One alternative is just to shoot the gun directly through a sticker or cardstock, because there is absolutely no way possible to remove the plastic fastener from the sticker without breaking the fastener or ripping off the sticker. You can use “Thermal Stickers” because they are already on paper:
If you're mega broke, grab a pack of cheap “sample Cardstock” and cut to small tabs (like 2”x 3” or so):
STEP 4: TEST IT OUT. You absolutely have to try tagging some of your own, person garments just so you can try them on with the tag to make sure it is secure. When you are trying on your items, DO NOT BE DELICATE! Remember, a buyer doesn't give a hoot; they're going to whip that skirt up around their waist and tug on all sides to make it fit. They're going to jam the tee over their head and smash it around their chest. So when you do your "test run" you can't be gentle. You want to make 100% sure that the buyer can't hit you with "Sorry, the tag fell off but I never wore it need to return it"...then it comes back to you covered in dryer lint. - So with that in mind, if there is any way the tag CAN actually fall off, then you have to revise the plan until it's so secure that it can only come off when cut (or ripped so hard that it rips an actual hole)
TIP: Have a kid? They are AMAZING at finding your companies vulnerabilities! Go ahead and grab some of your junk clothing or stuff from the laundry hamper then tag it with the gun and fastener plus whatever you want to be your "tamper-resistant" thing. Then tell your kid you will give them $1 (or an ice cream) for every tag they can remove WITHOUT breaking the fastener or ripping the tag. Trust me, if there's a way that can can be snuck off, that kid will find it with a quickness.
STEP 5: Create your policy around your tag. Make sure the buyer knows they MUST have that specific tag attached to the item to qualify for a return, no exceptions whatsoever. If you think this sounds crazy, Nordstrom and other big stores do this! They have their own custom printed tags that they REQUIRE to be on the item to return it. They especially apply these to gowns, dresses, bridal merchandise and most high end items because they're sick of every prom dress being returned the day after prom. Anyways, create your policy and make sure to print a copy and place it inside the parcel in a way that it is impossible for the buyer to not see it. Also, add the info to your listing and / or Terms section.
FINAL NOTES: There is no way to prevent insane customers or dishonest people. All you can do is try to eliminate as much dishonest as possible by not leaving the door wide open for someone to take advantage of you.
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