Parents Are Returning Worn-Out Children’s Clothing to Target


  • Target offers one-year returns on own-brand items, including Cat & Jack children’s clothing.
  • Some parents use the policy to get cash back or new outfits when their kids outgrow their clothes.
  • While some retailers are introducing limits on returns, Target is trying to make the process easier.

Kids can grow fast, and the cost of keeping them well-dressed can add up quickly.

Some parents have taken advantage of Target’s apparent version of the infinite-money glitch to save money.

“Attention all moms,” Jazmine Valdivia, a Target shopper and TikTok user, said in a video posted on TikTok in 2022. “If you guys buy Cat & Jack for your kids, there is a one-year warranty that Cat & Jack offers if your kid outgrows the clothes, whether it’s stained, ripped, whatever it is, they’ll refund you.”

In the video — which has racked up 1.2 million views, almost 85,000 likes, and 26,000 shares — Valdivia shows receipts from returning a large bag of clothing used by her three children for a total of $537.80.

A screenshot of a TikTok video about Cat & Jack returns


“Didn’t spend a single dollar for back-to-school clothes,” she added in an overlay.

Valdivia declined a request for an interview.

Other TikTok users have uploaded similar — albeit smaller — refund journeys in which they test out the company’s policy for themselves.

“Reason number 16293836286 why we love Target!” the user JMS_Steph captioned on a video showing return receipts worth $164.21.

A screenshot of the Cat & Jack page on


While some videos and comments suggest the company is cracking down on the practice, Target’s return policy for Cat & Jack products remains the same as for its more than 45 private-label brands. Workers told Business Insider they continue to process returns on large batches of used children’s clothing.

The employees requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A hugely popular brand with an unusually generous policy

Target says its Cat & Jack label is the biggest kids’ clothing brand in the US.

“We sell well over 300 million units of Cat & Jack a year, which comes out to about eight Cat & Jack items for every child in America under the age of 12,” said Jill Sando, Target’s head of apparel merchandising, during the company’s annual meeting in March.

Like all of Target’s private label offerings, the brand is backed by an unusually generous one-year return policy.

“If you’re not satisfied with any Target Owned Brand item, return it within one year with a receipt for an exchange or a refund,” the policy states.

A Target spokesperson said the return policy reflects the company’s confidence in the value of its private-label offerings.

Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington highlighted the brand on an earnings call last year, emphasizing the policy of “one full year with free returns should anything not meet our guests’ expectations.”

Some returns are unwashed or in ‘terrible condition.’

A worker in Illinois said the largest receipt she processed was about $300. “Absolutely used and in terrible condition.”

A lot of the clothing is returned without being washed, she added, and those products get tossed straight into the trash.

A worker in California said she had seen the trend increasing this year as parents returned for another year, and their friends decided to try it for the first time.

The largest receipt she processed was about $417 — higher than normal because it included a lot of shoes. She said the thing that bothered her wasn’t the monetary value; it was the slow process of manually typing in item codes on the computer. Even working quickly, the return took nearly 20 minutes to complete.

Returns without proof of purchase are capped at $100 a year per customer, but items with a receipt or purchased with a Target Circle membership are basically unrestricted.

Some shoppers say on social media their locations have begun taking a somewhat stricter stance in response to the TikTok trend, including requiring more specific documentation of purchases. Others focus more on the “satisfaction” angle of the guarantee, with heavy use indicating that a customer was satisfied with the product.

Receipts showing the value of Cat & Jack returns at Target


Still, the California worker said many people were disappointed by the value of their returns, which tended to be smaller than they expected due to various discounts at the time of purchase.

Either way, the total value of Cat & Jack returns is almost certainly a small percentage of the total revenue generated by the brand, which now pulls in more than $3 billion a year for Target.

Besides, what do many shoppers do right after returning a batch of Cat & Jack? Buy more Cat & Jack.

If you are a Target worker who wants to share your perspective, please or call/text/Signal at 646.768.4750. Responses will be kept confidential, and Insider strongly recommends using a personal email and a non-work device when reaching out.


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