A TikToker and Saks Fifth Avenue worker’s clip went viral after sharing a complaint about customers who buy items, wear them once, then return them.
In a video with more than 1.7 million views as of Friday morning, TikTok user Jordyn (@_jordynrich) shows herself staring at a computer screen in disbelief.
“Pov: you come back to work & see someone returned the $3000 outfit they wore on Instagram,” she writes in the text overlaying the video.
@_jordynrich life of a sales associate 😭 #fyp #saksstylist ♬ OH MA GAWD – m🦇
According to the Saks Fifth Avenue website, “Returned items must be presented in the same condition as when they were received: unworn, salable, undamaged, unaltered, with original tags and packaging (if applicable), and with proof of purchase. Returns that do not meet this policy will not be accepted and will be sent back to you.”
However, numerous commenters on TikTok claimed that this “unworn” clause isn’t always enforced.
“Yep!!!! I hated that at Saks & Nordstrom!!!!!!!! They are high end thrifts stores!” a commenter said. “Everything has been worn & [returned].”
“Girl this why I quit Saks,” another added.
Several users noted that returns are marked against a sales associate’s commission, causing a greater source of frustration for them. The TikToker also confirmed in a comment how employees have to “make up” for the returns, saying they “gotta sell a little harder.”
“If I have $5000 in sales for the [day] and someone returns something for $2000, then I’m down to $3000 for the day,” she explained.
Many users also shared their thoughts on Nordstrom, which has a substantially more lenient return policy. Per the company’s website, “We will do our best to take care of customers and deal with them fairly; we ask that our customers treat us fairly as well. From time to time we may not accept a return. There are no time limits for returns or exchanges.”
This has led to customers buying items, wearing them a few times, then returning them to the store, several viewers claim.
“My friend worked at Nordstrom and said the monclers would get returned every time,” one user wrote.
“No bc when I used to work at Nordstrom this lady would return something every week like girl,” shared a second.
“I think these stores need to start putting [an] obvious tag on certain items of clothing saying if removed no return,” a third offered.
We’ve reached out to Saks Fifth Avenue via email and Jordyn via Instagram direct message.
Update 1:52pm CT May 15: In an Instagram DM exchange with the Daily Dot, Jordyn says she was let go from the company for making this TikTok.
“Saks has actually released me as an employee because of my TikTok this past Friday,” she explained. “According to them I was ‘processing a return,’ when in reality I was not actually in the middle of a transaction nor was I singling out a specific customer.”
“It was something that started off as a joke that I never meant to blow up the way it did—but it proceeded to actually bring awareness to the fact that us style advisors work really hard for our commission, and the return policy is like a slap in the face because it does have a big impact on us.”
For context, Saks employees are given a commission when they make a sale. However, if a customer returns the item, that commission goes away.
“If someone makes a purchase with me and comes back to return it, it deducts from my sales,” Jordyn detailed. “If I’m at $10,000 so far for the week…the item(s) that they returned [are] deducted from that $10,000. Our sales period ends on Saturday and starts again on Sunday, so if they make that return on Sunday and I haven’t made a sale yet, I’d be starting out negative however much the return was for.”
As far as the sort of return she references in the video, she says it “usually happened around holidays or when there were big events going on such as a concert or something. Birthdays too.”
“We could definitely look up purchase history and see that there were repetitive returners, but there was nothing we could really do but hope if we come across that customer they don’t hit us with a large return,” she noted. “We still had to process their return. Sometimes, the purchase even exceeded 30 days. In my almost 2 years of working there, I’ve only seen one person be banned, but I believe looking through his online purchase history they believed he was scamming somehow.”
“There are managers that are lenient and there are managers that are strict on the [return] policy,” she stated. “I’ve been told before to still process a return when tags were nowhere to be found, I’ve been told to process a return on shoes when anyone could tell they were worn, etc. Some managers follow our return policy strongly, which is great, but some don’t or are scared of what the customers reaction would be if they couldn’t return.”
Jordyn further shared that she was surprised by Saks decision to let her go, especially because she says her videos inspired people to reach out to her for assistance in shopping with the company.
“Despite the way bigger issues the store that I worked at has, it’s crazy to believe it was so easy to let me go over a TikTok,” she wrote.