Uh Oh: Nordstrom Has Revised Its Notoriously Liberal Refund Policy

Photo: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
With the holidays behind us, people have been swarming stores to return gifts they don't want to keep. But if you were planning to give something back to Nordstrom, a store famously lenient about returns, you may meet more resistance than usual. The store is cracking down on people who take advantage of its "case-by-case" return policy spokesperson Emily Sterken told Yahoo Style. Before, Nordstrom would issue gift cards to people returning products no longer on sale. Perhaps for that reason, people on social media have reported returning items as much as a decade old.
So many shoppers were buying dresses for just one event and returning them soon after, customers were complaining about new clothes that looked worn. The store's records showed that many dresses had indeed been bought and returned. As a result, people are no longer allowed to bring back Special Occasion dresses without tags, Sterken said.
The retailer also used to offer all refunds in cash, but customers will now have to settle for store credit unless the customer paid in cash. Since the store's system logs people's purchases and examines their IDs when they ask for cash refunds, they can catch repeat offenders. "We’ll follow up with the customer directly and may ultimately make the decision to stop serving them in our stores and online," said Sterken. "Occasionally there have been situations where we have felt a customer wasn’t being fair with us, like when their returns to Nordstrom were greater than their purchases with us or when we have no record of ever having sold the item being returned." You can't blame the company for watching its back. An NRF report found that return fraud around the holidays cost stores over $2 billion in 2015. Of course, if you genuinely got something at Nordstrom you don't want anymore, you should be fine. But be warned: Your buy-and-return sprees may not fly anymore.

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