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Nordstrom Is Changing Its Popular Return Policy

February 1, 2017, 4:02 PM UTC
Nordstrom Expects First Quarter Earnings Per Share To Drop
CHICAGO - APRIL 01: Shoppers enter the Nordstrom store April 1, 2003 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Nordstrom, Inc. announced yesterday that based on quarter-to-date sales, first quarter 2003 earnings per share are expected to be below expectations. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

This piece originally appeared on Real Simple.

In the past, Nordstrom (JWN) customers enjoyed a very lenient return policy. The department store used to accept all returns even if it had been months (or years) since the purchase date, the product had been used, or there was no receipt. Now, that’s all about to change.The first revision to the policy is that special occasion dresses (like gowns or formal attire) will need to have the original tags attached in order for the retailer to process the return. This comes after Nordstrom received complaints from shoppers that new clothing they were buying appeared to have been worn.

In addition, the retailer completed an internal audit that showed a high percentage of special occasion dresses had been bought and returned.According to their website, Nordstrom still maintains a “case-by-case” return policy. However, the company does keep an internal log that tracks who is buying and returning goods and how frequently, so repeat offenders could get caught. “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,” Nordstrom spokesperson Emily Sterken told Yahoo Style.

Another change has to do with refund payments. Although you used to be able to receive a cash refund for returned items, you will now only be able to receive a credit in the original form of payment or a Nordstrom gift card.

The changes could be due to a National Retail Federation report that found this type of fraud cost the company over $2 billion in 2015.