She admits to buying, wearing and promptly returning items worth more than $300!

An Aussie mum has come under fire after admitting that she has been a serial ‘outfit returner’ for over nine years. NSW mum-of-two Chelsea says she has bought over a dozen special occasion dresses, some worth more than $300, and returned each one of them after the event as she doesn’t like to wear the same outfit twice.

Not The Only One

Research suggests that Chelsea is not alone, and while she admitted to that she doesn’t always feel good about returning used items, it’s a habit she developed when she was just sixteen to save money. “I try not to do it too often because I feel a bit bad about it. But (I will) if I have a special occasion like a hens’ night or a wedding that I have to buy an outfit for,” Chelsea said. The refund process has to be carried out perfectly, particularly for online orders, with the item needing to remain completely clean but unwashed, with all tags attached. It turns out that one in eight shoppers buy clothes with the intention of returning them, so we can only assume they have the whole returns thing down to a fine art…

On The Black-List

Chelsea, and those like her, have been faced with some pretty harsh criticism, labelled “disgusting” and “revolting” for returning garments that have been worn. “Wearing and returning clothes after one wear is just disgusting!” wrote one commenter. “How revolting for the person who eventually buys that dress you’ve already had your sweaty body in!” said another. It’s reported, though not confirmed, that many online retailers, including ASOS, have started to ‘black-list’ serial returners so if you were thinking of giving it a go, think twice!

As tempting as it is to take full advantage of the generous return policies of many retailers, particularly online stores, we can’t help but think that people who do are ruining the service for everyone else. It’s so convenient to be able to return your items for a full refund if you genuinely find that it doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, so we hope that a few cheeky consumers don’t spoil it for everybody!


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  • WOW! I do know of one or two people who have done this before, but my understanding is only once. And I must admit, I was horrified. To be serial purchasers and returners – seriously?? That is apalling behaviour on so many levels. Whilst I think it’s great to blacklist them, you’d need to be sure they were returning it for those reasons. I have to make regular online returns due to incorrect sizing, certainly not to wearing once and returning. So I’d hate to think I’d end up on a blacklist.


  • So disgusting! Not fair to honest people and I don’t understand how the clothing doesn’t smell after being worn whether it be of perfume, smoke or other scents. Someone paying that much for an outfit deserves brand new not sloppy seconds. If you want to save money use eBay.


  • OMG – how wrong is this – obviously her mum and dad didn’t teach her right from wrong very well.


  • I had a friend that habitually did this and was amazed at her indignation when I said how wrong it was. Because of knowing first hand that people do this, apparently, quite often I always wash before I wear. It ruins things for others if a retailer decides to pull their return policy.

    • I have no $300 plus outfits in my wardrobe…..because I can’t afford it! Maybe that’s what she should reconcile herself to rather than trying to be someone she’s not.


  • You could prob forgive a one off but 9 years is wrong. I wonder what type of example she is setting her children? I always wash clothes before first wear but never thought for this reason.


  • she feels bad about it but does it anyway, how rude, sell it yourself on ebay or similar at least then the buyers know they are buying something previously worn


  • That is not okay.


  • Very sneaky and so not ok !

    • Very sneaky – goes against my ethics!


  • Surely there would be an odour on the item and signs of it being worn? It does seem like an abuse of the system and not purchased in good faith. Retailers should indeed keep a list of serial returners.


  • That’s really wrong, if you can’t afford to buy them then don’t


  • Terrible how about the tags and things that’s dishonest and disgusting


  • This is really dishonest behaviour. I would never do this.


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