I remember a specific term being used, but I don't remember exactly what it was. The word (or maybe phrase) was describing the act of buying something to wear to a party or event that the person returned when they were done with it.

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    – tchrist
    May 17, 2020 at 18:08

3 Answers 3


It's called wardrobing

Wardrobing is a form of return fraud where an item is purchased, used, and then returned it to the store for a refund.1 It is most often done with expensive clothing - hence the name - but the practice is also common with tools, electronics, and even computers.

It's discussed in this Quora thread

Is it common for people to buy clothes, wear them once, and return them?

  • 21
    Seems like "Wardrobbing" would have been a better term, and it's so close ... Apr 21, 2020 at 13:47
  • Yes, that would have been clever.
    – Barmar
    Apr 21, 2020 at 14:43
  • This may be a "correct" answer, but it is merely suggestive of some trendy, rather than despicable.
    – Martin F
    Apr 22, 2020 at 4:11
  • I'm not sure what you mean by trendy. It deprives the store of revenue they could have gotten from selling the item. Even though you returned it, you might as well have shoplifted it as far as the store is concerned.
    – Barmar
    Apr 22, 2020 at 5:09
  • 1
    And the question didn't ask for a "despicable" term. This is the word for what they described.
    – Barmar
    Apr 22, 2020 at 5:10

From the Wikipedia page on return fraud:

Perhaps the most well-known form of this abuse is "wardrobing" or "free renting" – in which the person makes a purchase, uses the product(s), and then returns the merchandise.

Another source also mentions the term “deshopping”.


Shopping liar. I had a fine jewelry store and a prominent country club lady would try out rings and necklaces for local event. She never bought them just used them. I was hoping she would lose them. Haha

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