Power 107.5

NEW JERSEY – Tiffany Luxinger worked at three of one of the largest lingerie retailers, and  now she’s exposing a shocking secret, “We would re-tag it and put it back on the sales floor.”

And it gets worse.

She says, “If a product comes back as returned it obviously has an odor to it.  We’ll put it on a hanger.  Hang it up to dry overnight, so the odor has time to come out of the product.  We’ll re-tag it the next day and put it back on the sales floor.”

It’s a shocking practice that may be more common than you think.

NBC took it’s undercover cameras to an upscale mall in New Jersey – buying underwear, lingerie and bikinis at eight major retailers.  They took the skimpy apparel home, removed all the tags and the protective strips to make it look like they had been worn.  Then they marked each pair with two tiny black dots.

A week later, they went back to the store and tried to return everything – this time wearing hidden cameras.

Every store took their items back for full refunds.  But at Bloomingdale’s, Victoria’s Secret, and The Gap, the clerk re-tags the returned underwear, then puts it back out for sale.

And time after time the telling black dots clearly mark the returned panties.

Amazingly, it’s not illegal to sell used underwear.  But an NBC microbiologist  says used garments can harbor dangerous germs and diseases that can survive on fabric for weeks.  He claims, “Fecal material would be the most concerning substances.  You could have bacteria viruses, fungi.  These are things that one person would be able to transfer to another inadvertently through the garment.”

But that didn’t stop most stores from rushing the items back on the rack.  NBC never found its returned clothing at J. Crew, Saks or Express. 

While all the stores said it’s against their policy to re-sell used underwear, employees say it’s not always the reality. 

In fact, Tiffany says stained items even made it back on the sales floor.  She offers, “Yes, the employees, they’re in a rush.  A lot of them don’t care and they don’t double check if it’s used or not.”

So the hidden camera investigation took it one step further.  Before returning the underwear, they visibly stained several pairs with baby oil, expecting no one would take those back, right?  Wrong.

At The Gap, Bloomingdale’s, Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s, they not only took back the panties, they put them back out for sale. 

In statements, the stores involved said, their “customers’ safety and satisfaction are top concerns” and “their employees made a mistake is re-selling used merchandise.”

Stores said the investigation prompted them to educate their workers about the policy.  Tiffany says always wash your underwear before you wear them.

Information from: NBC