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Bloomingdale’s Cracks Down On “Wardrobing” Fraud

Note to scammers who buy a fancy dress for a special occasion, wear it once and then try to return it: you’ll be out of luck at Bloomingdale’s.

This fraudulent practice is called “wardrobing.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that wardrobing costs retailers $8.8 billion in 2012.

Here’s what Bloomingdale’s will do throughout its chain to prevent such costly practices:

A three-inch black plastic device will remain attached to certain Bloomingdale’s garments after the sale in a difficult-to-conceal, highly visible place.

After the device is removed it can’t be reattached to the article of clothing.

Without the tag, Bloomingdale’s will not accept it for a return and refund.

But industry experts say the tagging concept to prevent wardrobing may offend customers with its implied mistrust.  Some big chains, such as Nordstrom, will not be using the device.