From trying to return ‘used’ items to scamming the cashier, people have done all kinds of things to try to fool retail workers. Some of these workers shared the wildest ways people have been attempting to scam them.

A man working as a cashier | Source: Shutterstock

A man working as a cashier | Source: Shutterstock

Working in the retail business means interacting with people from all walks of life. Some of these interactions are positive and fruitful, while others are so terrible that they make these retail workers question their career choices. A few people with retail experience opened up on Reddit about how some customers tried to scam them.

Comments have been edited for clarity and grammar.

1. I Need a Refund!

u/Tulabean: As a teen, I worked at a convenience store. A man walked in and quickly grabbed a package of pantyhose off the shelf, walked up to the register, and informed me that he had purchased them for his wife, but they were the wrong size.

I responded that I had watched him take them off the shelf, so I couldn’t give him a refund as he never bought them. He argued that he had and said that rather than a refund, he’d take an adult magazine in exchange.
A woman's feet | Source: Pexels

A woman’s feet | Source: Pexels

I laughed, saying that the pantyhose cost wouldn’t cover the cost of the magazine, even if he had paid for them.

The man considered this, grabbed another package of pantyhose from the shelf, and asked, “How about now?” Wow. Just wow.

2. The Man and His Pregnant Wife

u/schabe: Some guy came in with his pregnant wife — a traveler from the caravan site half a mile away. We knew him, and he was dodgy, but he’d been in a few times and hadn’t caused trouble.

While studying it, he asked my colleague if he had any other preowned controllers. My friend went in the back, stupidly leaving him alone with the console to check.

A pregnant woman standing by a window | Source: Shutterstock

A pregnant woman standing by a window | Source: Shutterstock

When he returned, the guy had put the console inside its box and closed it. He asked how much the preowned controller would be and said he might come in later with cash (not unexpected for a traveler) to buy them both.

He never came back. A day later, somebody else was interested in the console. When we opened it, it was full of books.

Thankfully, he was too stupid to notice the camera. We called the police, and they caught him in half a day. We got the console back, and he got some prison time. It was his third offense.

3. The Nut Biscuits

A bakery | Source: Pexels

A bakery | Source: Pexels

u/Caitsyth: I worked at an upscale treats shop, where they had chocolates, biscuits, etc. We were having a clearance sale (red price – sales are final) on boxes of our nut biscuits going out of season, and one woman bought the last nine boxes we had. I’m the cashier, so I ring up the sale, and she leaves.

Two days later, I’m the opener, and this woman is WAITING at the gate for us to open. I let her in to get her gone so I could prep for the day, and she accused me of ATTEMPTED MURDER.

She was threatening to get the police involved. While doing so, she ate a whole box of the CLEARLY LABELED nut biscuits in one sitting, and then her throat got tight, and she was itching all over.

But no way does she have a mild nut allergy. She’s claiming we poisoned them and demands a full refund as well as equal value in merchandise as an apology for trying to kill her.

Angry elderly woman | Source: Pexels

Angry elderly woman | Source: Pexels

By the time I had convinced her she had a nut allergy, her claim had shifted to us intentionally not labeling allergens on our packaging.

At that point, I took one of the boxes from her and, with a sharpie, circled the three places on the front of the box that said they were assorted nut biscuits, as well as the warning on the back of all the possible allergens they may have come in contact with.

Her final play that set me off was when she threw her hands in the air and screamed, “FINE, just give me the refund then! I don’t want any more products from you!” Because, you know, the refund was totally on the table.

She didn’t even have a receipt, and when I asked for it, she said I must have stolen it. I said, “Fine, but I must text my manager since I can’t process returns.”

A male cashier | Source: Pexels

A male cashier | Source: Pexels

I texted a buddy in the security office what was happening, and they called the real police since she had been caught trying to steal several times in the mall.

What made my day, though, was that when they tried to escort her away from my store, she slapped one of the REAL cops. They busted out the handcuffs, and I was so happy to see her squirm.

4. I Knew Something Was Off

u/red_balloon_animal: I was covering the break for a customer service employee when a lady brought a box of cookware to return.

I know it was a brand we had just received the previous week because I put together the display and lugged all the boxes out. It was one of the most expensive sets we ever sold.

A kitchenware store | Source: Pexels

A kitchenware store | Source: Pexels

I asked why she wanted to return it, and she said she got another one as a gift. I pull the box off before starting the return in the register, and the weight feels off.

I asked her if it had ever been open, and she said no. The tape on top had not been disturbed, but it’s possible to open some of the boxes through the bottom without cutting them open.

I tell her, “Oh, well, let me just check it to see if it is still sellable.” As I cut the tape, she started telling me how that was “not necessary and that I could get my cash back.”

The box was filled with bricks. I exclaimed in my best Disney princess falsetto, “Oh, goodness! We didn’t sell you this! Here are your bricks back! I can proceed with your return as soon as you bring in the pots and pans!”

5. She Got a Taste of Her Own Medicine

u/[deleted]: So, this lady walks into my store a week after buying a $5000 wedding dress. She’s fuming, waving the dress in the air like it’s on fire or something. “GIVE ME A FULL REFUND!” she yells at the top of her lungs. “You sold me a dress with a hole in the back, right below the waist!”

A bridal gown | Source: Pexels

A bridal gown | Source: Pexels

I’m standing there, shocked. This lady had tried on that dress five times before buying it. She inspected every inch like she was looking for buried treasure. I faced her, trying to keep my cool, and said, “Ma’am, you checked this dress thoroughly. There was no hole. Sorry, I can’t assist you.”

But she’s having none of it. “DO THE REFUND NOW OR YOU’RE FIRED!” she screams. “The owner is my best friend!”

Now, I’m pretty new to this job, and I’ve got three little mouths to feed at home. Losing this job isn’t an option. So, with a heavy heart, I process her refund. She gives me this smug smirk, grabs the cash, and scurries off like she’s just won the lottery.

But here’s where it gets good. Karma, that beautiful force of the universe, wasn’t about to let her off easy. An hour later, she’s back. And oh, how the tables have turned. Her face is as red as a tomato, and she can barely look me in the eye.

A crying woman | Source: Pexels

A crying woman | Source: Pexels

Turns out, she was so busy gloating about her little scam that she didn’t notice her expensive purse was wide open. And guess what? During her victory lap around the mall, her newly acquired $5000 had slipped out, one bill at a time, like breadcrumbs.

She’s in a panic, asking if anyone’s turned in the money. But you know how these things go; not a single bill was found. I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit of satisfaction seeing her get a taste of her own medicine. Karma really does have a funny way of setting things straight, doesn’t it?

While it’s hilarious to see how people try to scam store workers and business owners, it’s disappointing how dishonest people become during such times. Trying to scam a retail worker is not the best idea because it means one has to compromise their self-respect in case one gets caught.

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