New York – High End, Online Kids’ Boutique Bans Returns From Jewish Areas By Necessity, Says Owner


    New York – A website that sells designer-only duds for kids whose no returns policy applies only to five areas that are home to thousands of Orthodox Jews has explained that its rules were enacted as a matter of business and not discrimination.

    Shan and Toad, an online boutique selling exclusive fashions for babies, girls and boys, is based in California. Its website offers full returns on non-sale items except swimsuits, less a $5 restocking fee, on all pre-authorized returns that are sent back within seven days of receipt to all customers.

    Except those living in Brooklyn, Monsey, Monroe, Lakewood and Passaic.

    The return policy, which is clearly posted on the website, was born out of necessity explained its Orthodox Jewish owner Shana Laub according to Northwest Now.

    “It has nothing to do with prejudice against race or religion because that is not the case,” said Mrs. Laub, the mother of three girls. “The only common thread between these areas would be a high volume of returns and an unwillingness to follow store policy.”

    Shan and Toad, which has over 20,000 Instagram followers and describes itself as the “chicest childrenswear e-boutique,” noticed a pattern of customers in those five areas routinely placing large orders, often ordering a particular item in multiple sizes hoping to get the right fit for their child or children.

    Those orders would deplete the store’s inventory, preventing other customers from placing orders, with items frequently returned days or even weeks later. In the interim Mrs. Laub was faced with the decision of ordering more merchandise at significant cost or being unable to fill customer orders.

    In many instances clothing was returned to the site in poor condition after having been tried on and shipped back and forth. Mrs. Laub said that when she told customers that she couldn’t accept returns to lateness or damages, they threatened to dispute the credit card charges.

    “The losses resulting from returns were becoming too great to sustain and we needed to implement a change,” said Mrs. Laub.

    Shan and Toad made the changes to its return policy a year ago and since then returns from the five designated areas has dropped from 34 percent to 13.3 percent. Mrs. Laub said that outside of those five locations, the store, which ships its luxury fashions worldwide, has just a 2.8 percent return rate.

    Tod Marks, a shopping expert and senior projects editor for Consumer Reports said that he has never encountered a return policy like the one at Shan and Toad, and he encouraged consumers to always familiarize themselves with any store’s return policy before making a purchase.

    “You’ve got to read that fine print,” said Mark. “You have to be understanding of the kind of business that they do.”

    Although New York State law, like many other states, does not require any stores to accept merchandise for returns, all stores in are legally required to post their refund policy. Stores that fail to do so are required to accept returns for 30 days from the date of purchase. New York State law does not distinguish between online and brick and mortar stores.

    At least one Shan and Toad customer who asked to remain anonymous said that she had no problem with the store’s return policy, noting that Jewish owned clothing stores in Brooklyn rarely if ever offer cash returns.

    “Every other store has only store credit so it is all the same to me,” said the Brooklyn mother of three.

    “There are people who sometimes order thousands of dollars worth of clothing for all of their children and then return it all,” added another customer. “It’s just not fair to the stores.”

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    1. Wow, finally someone said it the way it is and took action.

      I too am in the fashion business servings the frum community, and it’s a real shame not only in the amount of returns way past the allowed time, but the quality and condition of technology items.

      You have no idea the amount of money we lose daily….

      And yes, it’s primarily from these areas mentioned in the article.

    2. I agree with Shan & Toad many ultra orthodox (I am one of them) people in my community simply buy for the holidays and return afterwords or buy for a wedding or simcha ( come on you readers you know who you are)this is against Halacha and must stop Kudos to Shan & Toad for taking a stand.

      So lets not Feign indignation and play the race card..

      we earned it Deal with it

    3. It’s a shame that we act this way. I’ve heard some other companies that do something similar. I understand this policy if clothing comes back late or wrinkled but I believe people should be able to order multiple sizes in order to see which fits better. This is just something online stores have to deal with since they don’t have physical changing rooms.

    4. Unfortunately. ..I can understand the policy…makes total sense…it shouldn’t, but it does..Period…end of sentence.
      We all know why the policy changed and they are entitled to run a decent business based on morally responsible behavior on the customers part….
      You know who you are…all those online shoppers,taking advantage of policies! Time to make changes of your own’s Elul and it’s Elul all year long…

    5. “..often ordering a particular item in multiple sizes hoping to get the right fit for their child or children”

      Well, yeah… I order all my clothing on-line and if it’s a brand I haven’t worn before I buy two sizes and keep the one that fits. That’s par for on-line clothes ordering. All brands have different sizing.

      “At least one Shan and Toad customer who asked to remain anonymous said that she had no problem with the store’s return policy, noting that Jewish owned clothing stores in Brooklyn rarely if ever offer cash returns.”

      Obviously on-line stores where you can’t try something on beforehand should have a different return policy than B&M stores if they want to remain in business. Most on-line only stores have less overhead than B&M stores so they should be able to afford better policies.

      She has the right to implement any return policy she likes (I think), but I for one hope this decision comes back to bite her & believe it will.

      • Nothing new – other online businesses actually do the same. Its time that people act like menchen and not ruin online shopping for the rest of us. How come the rest of the country doesnt get this treatment? Its because they dont abuse the return policy.

        • Most on-line clothing stores do not do the same. Most clothing stores advertise free shipping and free returns and abide by their policy… as another person commented – these retailers don’t expect everyone to know their exact size for every brand.

      • “She has the right to implement any return policy she likes (I think), but I for one hope this decision comes back to bite her & believe it will. ”
        Ditto to that! All these area also have lots of children they cloth and I bet the purchases are also greater in these areas than any other area. If these no return areas were to stop shopping at Shan and Todd I wonder what would happen to their bottom line.

    6. i personally know the shop owner, the sweetest woman in the world, who literally had no choice but to implement stricter return policies. People would try to return things to her that werent even bought from her store! Rabbosai, this is not FRUM.
      YOU ARE STEALING!!!! For goodness sake, its ELUL.

      • so you know the shop owner ? the “nicest mother of 3” ,well does this mother know my wife with 5 kids ? who had know idea or cared that this site is “Jewish” owned and placed a order for a $115 pair shoes for a 5 yr old , shipping from timbaktoo , and once the shipment was in transit read online on the other websites about this ridiculous policy , luckily the shoes fit well , if not we would of been screwed ,did this nice lady even have a pop up box when checking out “hey no returns to your zipcode ” ? nope…. , she took our money and didn’t care
        so now im supposed to under stand here ? this is the world of e-commerce she should deal with it , she saved on a fancy 13ave showroom , this is the cost of doing business , if she is from “ours ” im sure that the way she started here business anyway was getting word of mouth/instagram from friends and relatives in these neighborhoods , and all of a sudden we are no good anymore

        • I am not affiliated with and do not know this store. I do know that most sites post their policies and it is the buyers job to check out the policy and even print a copy.
          I do not get the site saying you are not good, just that their business model is being broken by a specific zip code.
          I am sure they considered the number of orders vs the number of returns.

          By the way, as a store that accepts credit cards, I can tell you that frum people are vicious and cause tzures for no reason. Imagine a chargeback from AMEX because ourr policy precluded returns after 7 days. We would have worked it out but the person waited 90 days and complained to AMEX, never asked us.
          Try the trick, oh, my check bounced, just use my AMEX. We had to spend weeks reacing her around her trips to Florida but she claimed it as AMEX fraud.

          • Re, “I am sure they considered the number of orders vs the number of returns.”

            I am sure she did not consider that. And she did count percentages. And I mean a percentage of items purchased not orders. (A goy will order one pair of shoes while a yid with 5 kids needs 5 pairs) If she would calculate percentages she would see that we are equal or lower.

            In my opinon this is simply done because the hiemisha community will pay anything to part of a fad. So for a hiemshia yidden once her store is the” in store”, everybody will shop there regardless. But by “goyim” they can go else where. Its about the store owner taking advantage of our societal behaviors. Its similar to jewish stores that don’t take credit cards for less than $5, but if its a goyisha buyer all of a sudden they take the credit card. (I have seen this with my own eyes.)

            I am sick and tired of jews taking advantage of other jews. Now I will hear everyone scream oh but its a mitzva to support our jewish stores.

        • Yeah she should have had a pop up for those zip codes. She didn’t do her homework on this one. I hear where she’s coming from, but on the flip side in my pre-marriage days no people stringent in kashrus would by china or flatware in department stores, as non-Jews would buy a few sets for some whatever celebration, use, wash, repack and return.
          So we didn’t invent this hack. It’s inexcusable, though.

    7. One factor consumers have to understand is this a store buys a limited amount so that they have enough for their season and do not have too much left over to put on sale after the season. It is one thing if a consumer buys multiple pieces to try to get the right size it is not great for the business but I can understand the reasoning. However when consumers and we know who we are that buy something with plans to use it for particular season and then in the last minute realize they have something better or something similar which suddenly is on sale because it’s much later in the season then they will have no compunction about returning the first purchase and leaving the store stuck with merchandise when it’s the last days of the season.
      My apologies for typos and poor grammar this was done by Voice on Android.

    8. I totally agree with the store’s policy
      HOWEVER How do you think this would have played out and the uprising which would have occurred had the areas been Paterson, Brownsville, East New York and South Bronx?
      We may be a shnorer community but we still are civilized

      • People who return clothing that’s been worn and is damaged aren’t just shnorrers, they are thieves! Don’t pay yourself on the back for being non-violent thieves. You’re taking food out of her children’s mouths.

      • You are right, you would have the Civil Liberties Union, etc. rallying against patronizing this store. You wouldn’t convince anybody that this policy isn’t based on race even as you turn blue in the face.

    9. Buying in multiple sizes when shopping online is an accepted method of shopping. The big shops actually encourage you to just that. I think the problem they (and other shops) have with the frum oilem is that we are a very large population that shops for the same items in a highly concentrated time period. This means that if someone is sitting on an item for a week, chances are it won’t be sold any more. I don’t think this discussion is about people buying items, wearing them and returning them. Those are probably a very small percentage of sales.

      As others have said, she has the legal and moral right to set whatever policy she wants. She knows some people won’t buy there because of this and she made the business decision that it still pays.

    10. Anyone who disapproves of the return policy, doesnt need to shop at this particular store. it is almost comical, that this is a high end store, meaning these are people with money …. Guess its true what they say, money cant buy class.

    11. SHAME ON YOU !!! You are busy with ELUL?What about this chilel hashem!!! I know one thing,Every year highend stores keep opening in these areas.How come???? If these stores wouldn’t make money,why do they come to this community.You are talking about a minority, and its a shame that our own people are talking !!!! Most of the customers are doing what they have to do,why focus on the minority? Its a shame and disgrace that our own people condem their own people.I guess it comes from low self esteem.I AM VERY PROUD OF OUR PEOPLE, THEY ARE THE BEST.The same people that keep talking will turn to those they are talking on,when they are in any situation,they wouldn’t go to the ones that are like they are.SHAME ON YOU.AND ALL YOU START DOING TZIVAH FOR THE EVIL YOU DO!!!!

      • You said, Every year highend stores keep opening in these areas.How come????
        The answer is simple, other stores close.

        Truth be told, it is very easy to become a millionaire in this business. Just start with 2 million and soon you will be left with 1 million.

        You said, Most of the customers are doing what they have to do.
        I am not sure what doing what they have to do means. If it means anything that causes a loss to a business it is not fair. Buying and then returning much later causes a loss because everything has a season and then is less sellable.

      • If they had to change the policy for certain communities, It’s apparently not just a minority. They made a business decision to lose these customers because it was just not worth it.
        I’ll go do “tzivah” now while you run make a return on your kids “showoff in shul clothing you can’t afford” they wore on Shavuos.

    12. Let’s face reality you can’t run a business with that many Returns, I agree. also- there is literally no other way to shop for your children online other then by ordering in multiple sizes. What I don’t understand is why single out specific communities in your return policy. Keep it simple NO RETURNS

    13. Did anyone miss the part about abusing the stated return policy of SEVEN days, not WEEKS as she claims? Did anyone read the part about clothing not coming back in poor condition? Did anyone read the part where she says when she told customers that she couldn’t accept returns to lateness or damages, they threatened to dispute the credit card charges? She does not wish to become the clothing gemach the way Walmart in Monticello several years ago finally put its foot down about being the bike gemach, bbq grill gemach and furniture for the bungalow gemach.

    14. This pure nonsense and made up. No the frum community does not abuse return policies more than others. No most of us don’t send back used cloths

      Listen to This American life issue 591 act 2, entitled “get your money back” on NPR. You will see that “goyim” abuse the policy just as bad.

      So why the frequency of incidents within our community? Because we purchase more stuff. We all have kids and large families and live near each other. I am willing to bet that if you strictly took percentages of purchases rather than volume, Brooklyn would equal biloxi mississippi . (In other words, say they get 100 returns a month from Brooklyn but only 5 returns from Blioxi. wow that sounds like alot. But wait a second, how many items were purchased in Brooklyn? 1,000. How many were purchased in Biloxi? 50. So there you go the percentages are the same.)

      Sorry I don’t buy this nonsense. Now I know to never shop at this website. Or just ship it to Toms River or Queens.

      • I agree with every word you wrote. This company should open up their books and show how these communities were abusing the return policies. Of course it will show that what you wrote is 100% correct. They should be sued for discrimination.

          • Yes that’s the point Jews often discriminate against Jews because they know they can get away with it. She started a fad among Jews. Now I have to shop by her no matter what. She knows that Jews will shop no matter what the return policy is but non Jews won’t . I propose a boycott to teach her a lesson .

          • Yes and that is precisely why she would discriminate. Its simple economics. With frum people once you become a fad you have them locked in. So once Mrs. Laub made it she know can do whatever she wants as the frum people will shop there anyway. Since yes its true it cost more to have returns, she figures let me take advantage of the frum crowd because they will shop by me anyhow.

            Its time for the frum boycott stores with unfair practices period.

        • If you don’t like the policy then don’t shop on her site. She has the right to make any rules she wants. But I believe the owner . A number of years ago (way before the internet and online sales) I heard a lecture by Rabbi Frand and he mentioned a Chilul Hashem , in which certain zip codes in orthodox jewish areas , were known to Fisher Price Toys ,as neighborhoods where an unusually large amount of people took undue advantage of their very generous return policy by attempting to return toys which had been abused.

    15. To all the honest yidden shopping no kudos you are a mench. That is who we are supposed to be.
      The owner is being nice. Taking heat because she is a mentch. She could have told the truth which we all now is.. people buy out the store because they are making a wedding or bar mitzvah and when the party and the pictures are all done, they want to return all the klaider. That is whats going on.
      Everybody feel better now.

    16. I buy shoes on line, i order one pair if it does not fit I order the second pair and return the first. I don’t order 3 pairs to see what fits. This is the reasonable thing to do

      • You must have a lot of time on your hands to do that. Online shopping is supposed to save time. Your mrthod does not
        Ordering 3 pair and returning 2 is less costly to the vendor then 3 shipments to you and 2 returns

    17. It’s unreal what they return at Costco— basically rags and claim it was worn just once, or s box of oranges with two rotten ones left and they claim the whole box was rotten.

    18. To #18 and others:
      A question: What does it say about parts of our community that dressing your five-year-old in$115 designer shoes will generate kavod and envy rather than disgust at your wastefulness and superficial values?

      (or is there some other reason that people do such things?)

    19. The article is misleading. According to the website itself, those 5 areas can return but only for store credit/exchanges.

      It is a shame that stores have to do this. The joke goes: “how do you know it is winter in Monsey? When all the air conditioners are returned to Walmart”. Unfortunately that is very true. And a big shame.

    20. Sounds like frum yidden taking advantage of frum yidden. They think they can nickel and dime people, and the people will continue to shop there, just because what, they’re owned by frum? And who would be so stupid as to shop there to begin with, with a five dollar restocking fee even when you were allowed to return? How dumb, when other places accept returns for free, and even pay for the return shipping!

      Some in the frum community continue to waste money by only shopping local or within the fold, like Blacks who’ll only shop in Harlem instead of saving money shopping elsewhere, while their own people take advantage of them.

    21. Couple years ago Land’sEnd had the same policy, no returns from brooklyn and some other heimishe areas. BUT! It’s our people’s own doing. Unfortunately we feel above the law where we can get everything for free and all policies don’t affect us.
      We may be Jewish but that’s even more reason to keep our name clean making a kiddush Hashem. All the more reason to abide to rules and policies wherever we go.

    22. I’m a mom & business owner in the fashion industry

      I shop online & follow all store policies. I am a typical pleasant online shopper, that only returns truly what doesn’t work within store policies. I hardly return though. I do remember returning an item when a company sent me 2 by mistake 🙂
      So yes, these people who do returns on used items, way past return due date, really put a damper on all of us, honest frum shoppers. It’s not fair but that’s the way it is. The bad apples speak for the good ones. (Who gets to hear about people in these zip codes returning products sent to them by mistake, & I know I’m not the only one).

      However, as a business owner, (wholesale, retail & online) I truly have a hard time believing that it is that rampant that you’d have to block returns from the neighborhoods mentioned. Yes, some customers can be difficult. Some are outright thieves. But from my experience, most are honest customers, some easier, some harder, but honest nonetheless.

      Of course I can’t speak for her. If this is her experience, it’s her story to tell. I just want to speak up for the honest ones amongst us (the majority in my experience) and tell my story.

    23. I completely DISAGREE with this return policy! In fact, I was a great customer at Shan & Toad – without ever returning stuff, but now I absolutely refuse to order from them again due to this outrageous discrimination! The frum people order more (& thus return more if it doesn’t work out) as we have larger families, it’s simple math!

    24. I am in the clothing business and I am impressed by all the VIN readers that know everything. Try working a decade in this industry to see what you really know. Actually, try working rather than abuse other working people.
      Running a business that specializes in high end clothing differs from other items because it has a very definite season. 30 days after the arrival of these goods is very late to have any chance to resell the goods. These goods are not as easily sellable as other major retailing PLace s
      To the reader that demanded she open her books to the public; get off your high horse. She has no such obligation.
      To the reader that said she would either not order or order from Toms River, that is dishonestly planning on perverting the store’s policy.
      I truly can not fathom that the owner did not carefully calculate the number of returns vs the number of sales by dollar or unit count.
      By the way, there are always frum people returning to Costco, every time I pass. It seems out of whack compared to the number of frum people I see at checkout. Just saying

      • If running a business that specializes in high end clothing has a very defnte season and thus a no return policy is necessary why don’t they apply the no return policy for non jews?
        Re “To the reader that demanded she open her books to the public”.
        Ok But maybe one day she will have an obligation when someone reports her to the consumer protection agency.
        Re, “To the reader that said she would either not order or order from Toms River, that is dishonestly planning on perverting the store’s policy.”
        And why is that dishonesty? Is there a rule that I have to order it to my house? Preverting the store’s policy? So if I really live in Toms River then I could order it? But if I live in Lakewood? No Giveme a break.
        Re, “I truly can not fathom that the owner did not carefully calculate the number of returns vs the number of sales by dollar or unit count.” I can fathom it. Because I don’t believe that per unit cost analysis was done.
        By the way I have a spouse who works in retail as well. There are returns and a few nudniks but its very managable.
        I aslo believe that you and many of the commnetors are actually Mrs. Laub herself. Thus no credibility.

        • You are so busy ripping my anon #55 comment, I have to answer.
          I have some experience in retail, I do not think Ihave ever met the owner.
          They seem to have a much higher return percentage from certain cities and they can not deal with it.
          I doubt she will ever be forced to open her books to the public. Since some Jews do mesira she will be answering to Government officials.
          Implying that you can get around her policy by shipping to Toms River makes it seem like that is not where you live. If you buy in such a way and then have a major return I do not consider that honest. If you do, it must be a different attitude in the Lakewood area.
          Years ago a bank tripled their fee structure for certain transactions. I was young and exclaimed that I would be likely to go elsewhere in the future. The banker explained that when a fee change is so steep they are basically telling me that they don’t want this business and to please go elsewhere. I see this as the same.
          It is not clear whether your spouse is in a similar business, not all retail is the same. The place I worked at was forced by customers to change a very liberal money back policy to less liberal.

          • I ill just address two issues.
            1) your bank argument. Well in this case Mrs. Laub is dying for jewish customers. I think she would be out of business if not for the Jews. A bank can survive without you. So why does she discrimante? Because she can. Because jews iwll buy by her regardless of their return policy. As a retailer you should know that once something in our community is a fad everyone has to buy it. Thus, once she became a fad why not take advantage of us.
            2) Re shipping to Toms River, Unless there is a rule that one must ship only to his/her home address then its fair game. If she wants to make crazy unfair rules, i have a full right to game the system. After all if she is gaming the system so can I. Secondly, even if she made those rules, one would have to know if she is legally allowed to make such a rule.

    25. I’m so turned off. I’ve been shopping by Shan and Toad for a while now. I gave them tons of business & bought tons of stuff and never returned a thing. (If they’re not good or don’t fit I always have people I give it to who can use it).

      And why did I shop there over other websites that sell the same stuff and don’t have restocking fees?
      BECAUSE I KNEW THEY WERE FRUM JEWS!!! I wanted to support a fellow frum yid. And now they are disrespecting me for the very same reason I started supporting them for. How ironic is that.

      Also, I gave you tons of business, I never returned a thing & I deserve more respect than you considering me part of those people who were dishonest and go blasting it on VIN. You don’t lump everyone together. Why not go according to accounts? This account at this address has abused our policies so we will not longer accept returns from this address, or send out emails privately, stating a new return policy. To brandish me as dishonest, because of my zip code, on the internet for all to see is so disrepectful beyond words.

      I just found another frum owned website and redirecting my business there.

    26. And again,
      1, It seems as though she feels that she could do better without all this so called frum trade. Despite the rumors of great money being spent there are many businesses that cater to the frum community that ultimately see it is an illusion, the profits are not there.

      2, You refer to shipping elsewhere as gaming the system. That does not sound yoshor. If you live in Lakewood and use a Toms River adress and then sunsequentiy return, well that was dishonest because you are causing a loss by lying. You have an alternative, shop elsewhere, like a local frum store.

      A bigger issue is that she might cause some people to try on locally and then buy from her at a possibly lower price. Trying on with no intent to buy from that establishment has been said to be genevah in a Psak. And this form of genevah is done ever day by otherwise frum people.


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