We try not to be too paranoid about the cleanliness of things we purchase. We’ll purchase used books, buy vintage clothing, drive pre-owned cars. But the “Ick Factor,” as it’s known in the world of science, jumps off the charts when it comes to used undies. But that’s exactly what NBC claims to have discovered at several retail stores.
The reporters headed to New Jersey where they purchased dainties and unmentionables at Nordstrom, The Gap, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and J. Crew. They took their purchases home, removed all the tags so they would appear used and made a small identifying mark on each undergarment with a marker. They also stained some of the product with baby oil to see if those would be restocked by the stores.
A week later, it was back to the stores to try returning their purchases. Despite the removed tags, all 8 stores accepted the returns and offered full refunds. Even better, most of them retagged the underwear and placed it back on sale almost immediately.
And as for those baby oil stained items? NBC says the found them on sale again at The Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
It should be noted that the reporters found no evidence of this at J. Crew or Saks during their investigation.