Durban - We all know them. The women who go out and buy an outfit for a function, hide the tags and then simply return it the next day. They walk and work among us regular folk. But did you know there are those who simply "buy" an outfit, take a selfie, post it on Instagram and then return the entire outfit?
Yes, you read right.
According to a survey commissioned by Barclays, at least one in 10 shoppers admitted to buying clothing just to post pictures on social media and then return the clothes to the store.
The survey revealed that the biggest culprits were those aged between 35 - 44 and of those at least one in five admitted that they have bought clothes to wear once just for the hashtag moment.
According to the survey, "Fashionmistas" (men) are more likely than women to return clothes after wearing them and are more embarrassed to be seen in the same outfit twice. Men are also more inclined to wear clothes without removing the price tags so they have the option to try and return them, the survey revealed.
Surprisingly, it is men who are more ‘socially self-conscious’ than women – with 12% posting a clothing item on social media and then returning it to an online retailer compared to only 7% of women. It’s not just virtual vanity, one in 10 men also say they would feel embarrassed for a friend to see them in the same outfit twice compared to 7% of women. More men, 15%, also admit to wearing clothes with the tags on in case they want to return them, compared to 11% of women.
Additional Barclaycard research has also revealed that men are bigger spenders on fashion than women.
The rise of the ‘try before you buy’ policy, which allows shoppers to order clothes online and only buy them if they decide to keep them, may well be contributing to the ‘snap and send back’ trend. More than three in 10 Brits 31% say they are more likely to return items they purchase online using ‘try before you buy’ because they don’t have to pay for the item beforehand.
Barclaycard Payment Solutions head of strategy, George Allardice, noted that it was interesting to see the social media trend further fuelling the returns culture.
"We know from our research that returns are having a big impact on retailers, with a huge figure of £7 billion pounds per year in sales that they potentially can’t recognise. Retailers are adopting new processes to make returns easier as they know how important this is to customers. But to ensure shoppers are getting more wear out of their clothes - for posting on social media or for those real-life moments - retailers could think about introducing more varied photography and video content to their websites. By showing how to style items for different looks and how they will appear when worn, they could reduce the number of shoppers ‘snapping and sending back," Allardice said.