A man talking into camera.


‘It’s scummy’: TikToker reveals how customers swap price tags off HomeGoods items for fake returns

They're gaming the returns system.


Dan Latu


Posted on Nov 1, 2021   Updated on Nov 2, 2021, 10:18 am CDT

TikTok user @verifiedbluecheckmarc has gone viral with what he claims is a consumer practice to deceive department stores like TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. The video has reached over 230,000 likes. 

The video begins as a response to one user theorizing that HomeGoods is buying and reselling products from thrift stores like Goodwill. @verifiedbluecheckmarc says there is something else afoot.


Unsure if the original post was supposed to be satire but in case anyone was unaware #homegoods #homegoodsfinds #themoreyouknow #learnontiktok

♬ original sound – Marc ($14.99/month)

“What people are doing is they’re going to HomeGoods, they’re going shopping,” he says. “They’ll go back to their house, find anything laying around. They’ll peel off that HomeGoods tag, put it on the thing laying around their house, go back to HomeGoods and get their money back.

“This has been happening at Home Goods, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls for years,” he continues. “It’s because these stores have such large inventories, and the employees have real no way of keeping track of all the actual items that the store holds. So 99% of the time the returns fall through the crack, and it’s pretty bad.”

In a follow-up video, @verifiedbluecheckmarc displays a photo from what appears to be one of these stores in 2013. In the video, he describes supposedly new pairs of jeans with dated styles, apparent distress from wear, and hemmed material. 


Reply to @sarahlynn973 Here ya go! I used to photograph these types of returns all the time before it got excessive #greenscreen #tjmaxx #tjmaxxfinds

♬ original sound – Marc ($14.99/month)

“So I had to dig through the archives, 2013 to be exact, but this was the time I started to see this pop up, when these stores started selling designer,” he says. “And people would take their old crusty designer at home, buy new ones at these stores, and swap out their crusties.” 

Reactions in the comment section include stories from customers and employees about similar experiences. 

@mayamartineau7 commented, “One time they hung up my old sweatshirt that I forgot at the store and I went back to get it and it had a price tag on it and hung up,” one user wrote. 

“They almost did that with my toddlers Uniqlo vest!” @verifiedbluecheckmarc replied.

User6964516221885 said they “worked at Ross” and the TikToker’s theory about gaming returns “is absolutely true.” “At our store you just did the return; no arguing,” the user wrote.

@jessicajbruce said, “I used to work for Marshall’s and had to call a customer’s return out because I recognized the brand as Walmart brand.” 

@perlovo commented, “Yep I worked at homegoods and that’s part of the training now”

Neither TJX—the parent company of Marshalls, HomeGoods, and T.J. Maxx—nor @verifiedbluecheckmarc immediately returned requests for comment. 

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*First Published: Nov 1, 2021, 5:13 pm CDT