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Getting thrifty with shopping?

8 out of 10 Delhi women buy fancy outfits, wear them to functions, then return or exchange them at the store.

fashion and trends Updated: Jun 22, 2012 01:05 IST
Shara Ashraf

It’s a common practice abroad, and Indians aren’t far behind. After a survey by UK-based OnePoll market research company revealed that one in eight women buy expensive clothes, wear them on a night out and return them to the shop the next day, we conducted a snap poll among 200 Delhi women. What they said left us stunned: 160, or 80%, admitted to having returned worn outfits.

One such buyer, Ahana Guha (name changed on request) says, “I attend 15 parties a month and can’t afford to wear a new outfit every time. What’s wrong if I pick up something, wear it once and exchange it with something else? After all I have paid for it.”

TV actor Sonia Singh says, “I have an actor friend who habitually buys fancy dresses, wears them once at a party and returns the very next day.” And it happens online too. Model coordinator Dolly Gupta says, “I see a large number of models shop online, wear a dress at a certain occasion and return it.”

Participants of the survey confessed that they carefully kept away the tag, wore the outfit, dry-cleaned it if necessary and put the tag back before returning the piece. Shopkeepers say they are helpless. “It happens with gowns, lehengas and suits.

We can make out that the outfit has been worn, but we still replace it as there’s little proof,” says Sanjay Sahini, owner, Ritu Wears. Preeti Sawhney of Trendy Diva says, “We have five to six such cases every week ... women return outfits that have lipstick stains, are crumpled or have been washed, but we can’t offend them.” An official at Incense says, “They say, ‘humne sirf try kiya tha’, but the outfit clearly looks used.”

They’re wearing the brand-new outfits to...
Weddings 63%
Parties and
Dates 31%

What store staff find on the clothes..
Lipstick and foundation stains
Perfume
Sweat stench

The trick
“We hide the price tag if it’s stapled on, or remove it ... most tags just have a looped string. We put it back on later.” 6% wash the piece before returning

Shopkeepers say they’re helpless. “We don’t really have a choice ... we have to take it back as there’s little we can prove. They say they only tried it on”

It’s a common practice abroad, and Indians aren’t far behind. After a survey by UK-based OnePoll market research company revealed that one in eight women buy expensive clothes, wear them on a night out and return them to the shop the next day, we conducted a snap poll among 200 Delhi women. What they said left us stunned: 160, or 80%, admitted to having returned worn outfits.
One such buyer, Ahana Guha (name changed on request) says, “I attend 15 parties a month and can’t afford to wear a new outfit every time. What’s wrong if I pick up something, wear it once and exchange it with something else? After all I have paid for it.”
TV actor Sonia Singh says, “I have an actor friend who habitually buys fancy dresses, wears them once at a party and returns the very next day.” And it happens online too. Model coordinator Dolly Gupta says, “I see a large number of models shop online, wear a dress at a certain occasion and return it.”
Participants of the survey confessed that they carefully kept away the tag, wore the outfit, dry-cleaned it if necessary and put the tag back before returning the piece.
Shopkeepers say they are helpless. “It happens with gowns, lehengas and suits. We can make out that the outfit has been worn, but we still replace it as there’s little proof,” says Sanjay Sahini, owner, Ritu Wears. Preeti Sawhney of Trendy Diva says, “We have five to six such cases every week ... women return outfits that have lipstick stains, are crumpled or have been washed, but we can’t offend them.” An official at Incense says, “They say, ‘humne sirf try kiya tha’, but the outfit clearly looks used.”

They’re wearing the
brand-new
outfits to...
Weddings 63%
Parties and
dates 31%

What store staff find on the clothes
n Lipstick and foundation stains
n Perfume
n Sweat stench

The trick
“We hide the price tag if it’s stapled on, or remove it ... most tags just have a looped string. We put it back on later.” 6% wash the piece before returning

shopkeepers say they’re helpless
“We don’t really have a choice ... we have to take it back as there’s little we can prove. They say they only tried it on”

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