A serious post today about  serious – and sad – problem.  There’s been quite a few news articles about returnaholics. What’s a returnaholic?  There are several kinds.  The person with emotional problems who buys, regrets it and returns.  Or the shopper who buys, wears once and returns.  Or, the person who shoplifts then returns the items for store credit or cash.

Stores lose a lot of money on returnaholics, so of course they want to find ways to identify them. If you use a major or store credit card to buy anything, you assume that someone is keeping track of your purchases – and returns.  But even if you don’t use plastic, returns can be tracked by retailers if they use a return activity service.

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If you’re asked for ID when you return something, most likely the retailer is using one of these services.  Your info is fed into a database that holds all your return activity.  For the average person, this isn’t a big deal.  Retailers are looking for returnaholics.

All of us have probably regretted a purchase and maybe some of us did wear something once and return it.  Hopefully, no one has been shoplifting.  But it’s not just how often you make returns that can flag you as a returnaholic.  Return activity reports look for other patterns – purchase amount, type of the item, timing and other things.

Return activity always increases around major shopping holidays but a lot of the returns are just a sad consequence of a bad economy or personal rough patch.  How to know if you’re a real returnaholic?  If you return over half of what you buy or spend hours each day returning things, you may have a problem.  Visit for some help.

Photo by freefotouk

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by on March 11th, 2012