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snopes 05 April 2007 09:00 AM

Illegal to return bathing suits
Comment: I have seen signs in fitting rooms stating that there is a
federal law prohibiting the return of swimsuits. No one has ever been able
to show me or cite me the law. I have tried to research it and never found
it -- talk about an urban myth!

Victoria J 05 April 2007 12:47 PM

Obviously can't comment on the US but in the UK I have often bought swimsuits with a sticker over the crotch. You can try them on and return them as long as the protective sticker is in place. (Providing the store accepts returns due to changed mind etc. - they only have to accept faulty returns).

It is quite odd really - firstly no swimsuit is comfortable with that in place. Secondly you really have to wear your knickers anyway because you don't know who has tried it on with the sticker...

The OP makes no sense either - surely you would be allowed to return a faulty swimming suit, and this would just be disposed of anyway. And if you are returning a non-faulty item the store would not have to accept it (I don't think you have that right except as a store policy ?). Also - why swimsuits and not knickers, or just any trousers (as not everyone wears underwear :eek: ). And why would this be so serious as to have it's own law not just be covered by more general health and safety rules ?

Victoria J

diddy 05 April 2007 02:08 PM

I have worked in retail (Target) for 8 years (until recently). Not true. We will return most clothing (including swim suits) as long as they meet our return policy.

If we can't sell it again (due to damage) we ship it back to the vendor just like other return products that cannot be sold.

RealityChuck 05 April 2007 03:13 PM

First of all, if it were illegal, it would be a local or state health department issue, not Federal. The Federal government has no jurisdiction, primarily because the transaction doesn't cross state lines.

But it's just that the store doesn't want to be bothered. Years ago, when I was as Spencer Gifts, we had a sign that said pierced earrings weren't returnable due to Health Department restrictions. But if you looked in the Store Manager's manual, it said that there were no such restrictions and that if anyone became insistent, we should take back the earrings and clean them in alcohol before putting them back on the shelves.

Often stores will use the Health Department or bogus "laws" to give some force to what is just store policy. The store can make a policy that bathing suits are nonreturnable, but that upsets customers more than if you say that it's a legal requirement.

Ramblin' Dave 05 April 2007 05:22 PM


Originally Posted by Victoria J (Post 124374)
Obviously can't comment on the US but in the UK I have often bought swimsuits with a sticker over the crotch.

I did a stint in the stockroom at a clothing store in the states, and they have those stickers there too.

We'veBeenHad 06 April 2007 06:51 AM

I have seen similar signs regarding underpants. I always figured it was more store policy than "federal law."

Eddylizard 06 April 2007 07:00 AM

Most of the stores I've shopped in (okay I'm not very high class, mostly Peacocks and Factory reject stores) have had signs stating that unless defective, they will not accept returns of underwear for hygiene reasons, but they will accept other products on return..

And to second what was said by Victoria J, swimwear comes with the plastic gusset sticker - though I always thought that was for trying the garment on in the shop changing room, rather than getting it home and deciding you don't like it.

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