The Pros and Cons of QVC Shopping

QVC, a most tempting diversion at 3 AM when you can’t sleep and nothing else is on TV. That’s how it all started. One night, a long, long time ago I simply couldn’t sleep and was channel surfing from the comfort of my bed when I came across the dangers of QVC. I remember my first purchase from the brand was at a quarter past 3 AM on a Tuesday night when sleep wouldn’t cometh. The purchase was a company called ABC and it was a trio of products that included a cream blush, a lipgloss, and…something else, I believe a cheek gel.

Somehow, I suddenly became QVC’s biggest fan and supporter.

There are both pros and cons to world of home shopping.

Here’s the deets!


  • New Shiz!

That’s right brand new launches before they hit anywhere else that includes your favorite counter or fav shops such as Sephora. I’ve had the pleasure of trying stuff months or even a year in advance from my favorite beauty brand prior to said item ever appearing at my local Sephora. I love the idea of getting my greedy little hands on stuff early, who doesn’t love trying out new beauty?

  • Mortgage on my makeup purchase!

I’ve come across products on QVC I’d never consider as a one time purchase at Sephora. For example, I thought the Philosophy Miracle Worker Pads were way costly at $70 but QVC offered them on an Easy Pay mortgage and instantly (and physiologically) they seemed more affordable.

Let me explain…

On many new beauty products QVC offers the option to pay for an item over 2, 3, or 4 payments. So since the pads were $70 they had a three pay plan which was broken down to $23 over the next three months which they would bill to my credit card. Suddenly, things seemed alot cheaper!

  • More Makeup for Less $$!

QVC has specials sets and kits all the time that feature 7 to 10 (or more) full size products bundled together. The great thing is in most cases products end up costing you a heap less as you’re looking at $5-$10 per product.

You’re probably thinking, well, I can get kits and sets from Sephora and my favorite brands. Yes, but NOT full size products in most cases. Most sets include one larger palette or larger product and smaller lipglosses, mascara, or other mini options along with the set. QVC packages their sets with full size products 95% of the time.

  • High End Home Shopping? Seriously?

I think some folks automatically assume home shopping networks means that some washed up celebrity from 60 years ago is trying to sell you her makeup warez. Not the case at all. QVC carries big name brands like Tarte, Bare Escentuals, Philosophy, Perricone MD, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and even house brands from Sephora like their new Hello Kitty and Tokidoki Collections!


  • Everything comes with a price…!

Shipping is tough in the world of home shopping sadly as every single item you buy will cost you shipping which ranges from $3.95 all the way up to $9.95. I can understand charging me shipping on each different brands as QVC doesn’t actually stock product, it’s coming from the company warehouses which accounts for why each brand purchase would need to have shipping attached to it. However, if I’m buying say two Philosophy Shower Gels I do appreciate that QVC discounts shipping by $2-$3 on my next purchase but I’d actually appreciate it if they just charged me a flat rate so I can order all I want from the brand without having to pay shipping on each item from said brand.

  • Free Shipping you say?  Nay!

I fantasize what it would be like to have free shipping from QVC but it rarely happens. On a very, very rare occasion items will pop up with free shipping. I find HSN is way more forgiving in this area as many of their makeup items have free shipping when they first premiere.

  • Coupons please?

Coupons another rarity at QVC. I get an occasional Easy Pay coupon which allows me to space out payments as explained in the above pros however never any percentage ones. Again, HSN exceeds in this area as I get 15% off coupons quite alot from them.

  • Ouch! Is that a finance fee?

Easy pay is an awesome, handy tool but it comes with a price! Finance fees are charged when you’re spacing payments out so be aware that you’re coming out of your Easy Pay aka Makeup Mortgage ahead of the game and not paying $140 for something that retails for $70.

Note: I’m talking about finance fees you’d see on your credit card or Q card not fees attached to each payment on their own but the ones you’ll see accumulating on a credit card. Of course, fees on various credit cards will vary and depending how long you take to pay your credit card off, etc…

Overall, QVC Shopping pros definitely outweigh the cons however a few quirks do exist in the home shopping world and you have to be careful not to step into the potholes when taking advantage of the steals and deals available. I’m a big fan girl of QVC but I think it can definitely rethink it’s shipping methods when it comes to cosmetics but it still won’t stop me from enjoying all the great offerings they have.

Do you shop QVC?

What are some of the Pros and Cons you’ve experienced from home shopping?

Do share!

  • 3/9/11 13:14 LiAnn – Sparklecrack Central:

    I’ve shopped QVC occasionally. I tend to stick with just BE schtuffs, not really branching out much, because I do like having an idea what I’m buying and I know BE’s general quality and options and sizes and so forth.

    I almost bought my Clarisonic through QVC because it was on Easy Pay; but I did some fast research before I purchased. I found out that the item cost the same price through the Clarisonic web site, AND that they were offering some freebies with purchase for the pink model, AND if you bought it through some third party sites, the product warranty wouldn’t be intact. I decided to suck it up, pay full price, and get both the free products (cleansers, a replacement head, and a bag) and the fully intact product warranty.

    One thing about shopping with QVC, especially for new shoppers: check *all* the mailing options. You might think that choosing the “best delivery option” will always get you the lowest price, but sometimes Priority delivery won’t cost any more – and you’ll get it faster, and with tracking. (I’m such a little kid. I love package tracking. Not only do I know my product shipped, but I’ll know when it’s in my state…my city…my post office box 😀 )


    • 3/9/11 13:16 the Muse:

      liann I concur! I’ve def researched some bigger purchases from qvc such digital cameras and other tech prior to getting it from qvc. at first it seems like a really good deal but in most cases Amazon or even directly from the source is the cheaper option!

      And excellent advice on the shipping btw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • 3/9/11 13:52 Susan:

    I am completely addicted to beauty shows on the Q. I love the value they offer in kits and having access to new and exclusive products. I also love “meeting” the big names in makeup and learning their tips and tricks.

    I specifically remember my first purchase. It was a Bare Escentuals kit (it came in a blue/turqoise peacock bag) and that is all she wrote! I was hooked from that point.


    • 3/9/11 13:53 the Muse:

      Susan same here! I tivo them ;-D! hehe! I really love it, it’s way better than QVC! It has a few cons but overall it’s the best shopping network I’ve come across ;D!


  • 3/9/11 14:29 Makedonka:

    Same here – addicted to the Beauty prices/shows on the Q … the TSVs and occasional free ships with easy pays make things more attainable :) But for everything else – nope, not using Q … issues with sizes, quality are just too many.
    I have to say they have fabulous CS in comparison with the rest of the shopping channels – best one actually.


    • 3/9/11 14:58 the Muse:

      I agree makedonka! anytime I called CS they are always friendly and willing to work out issues/problems!


  • 3/9/11 14:33 Julee:

    The one big con is it makes me buy too much!! They get WAY too much of my money. Just say no, Julee, just say no. I love the 30 day money back guarantee which I don’t think you mentioned.


    • 3/9/11 14:49 the Muse:

      OMG Julee! Thanks you’re RIGHT!!!!!!!! the money back is an awesome point! They TAKE everything back with no ?’s! such a great thing about QVC ;-D ha me too sign my check over to them 😀


  • 3/9/11 14:48 JoElla:

    Oh I so have a love/hate relationship with QVC

    Love that I can score killer kits not offered anywhere else. Love that I can see Holly from smashbox doing her magic, also Bobbi Brown! Love that I can be exposed to cool stuff not offered anywhere near me. Love that I buy ubers from philosophy cheaper than single shipments from philosophy or any other etailer.

    and my favorite.. EVIL PAYS! muhahhahhha… really makes makes by beauty dollar go much further!

    Now here are some Hates

    Advance orders.. GAH! do not tell me about this nifty product, demo it and then want me to order.. only to have to wait for months before the item will ship. I am a “I want this when I order this” type of girl.. this always hacks me off! Not to mention, I usually forget about them and then they hit my bank card. I have had a few ‘advance orders’ cause a slight chaos with my bank account.

    Shipping costs.. really?! 4 bucks for a lip gloss? uuuuuuuuugh! When shipping is almost the same cost as a evil pay.. time to delete that thing out of your cart!

    Philosophy shows.. This line offeres a bazillion and one products, why keep showing the same 12? I hate that!

    Dr Rob. I am sure Mr Clarisonic is a really nice man, but does he live at the QVC Stuidos?

    QVC’s follow the money mode of selling. They used to offer many different brands of beauty, now they only showcase the ‘golden few’.. well the golden few have bored me silly. IMO they bring in a line, see how it does (totally get that) and then over saturate the market with it. *looking at you Philosophy and BE!* You know they have hit the wall when the gang on the Philosophy Girls are bored with the line up!

    I have really cut back on my QVC shopping, I love to watch the beauty shows and then see what I might want, surf the web for a better deal (sometimes cheaper shipping is enough to win me over!) I haven’t really bought anything besides beauty from QVC in a long long time.

    HSN.. now this is a different beast from the same family.
    I haven’t really bought much from HSN after I quit using Serious Skin Care line. I like this line, it does perform well, buuuuuuuuuut….There are only so many Liquid Laser shows I can watch (not to mention the product sucks!) and when they started coming out with new ever show.. it got a wee bit confusing even for this long time user.

    And buying a single product is about 3/4’s of a kit.. I overloaded myself with kits. I did like about 90% of the items in the kits, but really, how much stuff does a beauty junkie need? I was on some serious SSC overload and had way too much in my stash, so I stopped and am trying to use up what I have before I even think about buying anything else! They also make really great makeup!

    I loved how HSN did the whole Sephora launch. I don’t have one near me (nor an Ulta either) so it was a great way to see stuff I have always wanted to try!

    HSN has some real stars in their lineup for beauty products and I am totally head over heals with my Wolfgang Puck stuff. If I could I would buy one of everything he offers! Trust me, his kitchen stuff is THAT GOOD!!

    Pros: They send out coupons.. if you don’t get one, ask around or google, you will find them! Flex Pays! OMFG! they have them all the time (but be carefull, easy to get on product overload like I did with SSC)

    I don’t pay sales tax when I order online! BONUS!! Not every State offers this, but try it and see if it works for you. I love that about HSN. I really know what my total is, and what my flex pays are. Much easier to budget. Also if shipping is on an item, it is paid with the first Flex Pay, and not spread out over them.

    Free Magazines! For ones I actually like! I have been able to extend my subscriptions to several this way. If you don’t want the magazine, keep an eye out for the little post card, fill it out, send it back and TA DA a check will arrive at a later date. This really reduces the price of an item.

    Really good pricing on Today’s Special. Like old school QVC beauty pricing. Many kits offered for under 50 bucks. I really miss that from QVC.

    If you know what the TS is, and you have a coupon, you can usually buy it about 30 minutes before it becomes the TS price, and you can score it for the TS price, and use the coupons.. DOUBLE BONUS!
    Cons:… just me going a bit nuts with SSC products. User error on my part, not HSN.

    Also I would like to point out to any BE users.. if you haven’t tried Serious Skin Care’s Bella Rose (SSC’s mineral line) try it. IMO I can get a great color match (never could with BE) and it does not cause me to itch or give me the dreaded “Tin Man” look BE does. Trust me, give it a whirl I bet you will like it.

    Now that have written a mini novel.. those are my thoughts on QVC and HSN. I haven’t really played around much on ShopNBC and have been quite curious about the Isomers line.. this line gets great raves, but confueses the hell out of me.. Ironic, since I used to use many SSC lines together.. go figure.

    So know your prices well, check to see what goodies are being offered on the products website and see what samples you can score before ordering from these channels..Sometimes you really can get a better deal directly from the website, often with free shipping and samples. But if you want a put together kit.. the shopping channels are the way to go!


    • 3/9/11 15:31 the Muse:

      LMAO jo! Does Dr Rob live at the qvc studios! OMG I peed myself hahaha! I think Sephora at HSN was awesome particularly b/c they almost always had free shipping on items from the Sephora brands! MAN that was an AMAZING post Jo ;-D thanks for leaving it! I think readers will adore reading your post!


      • 3/10/11 1:04 Melissa:

        I enjoyed reading both of your commentary. I primarily shop from qvc vs. other home-shop channels and have for nearly 20 years. I have seen tons of changes but still agree with about everything you both said. Thanks to muse for posting and joella for your reply.


        • 3/10/11 9:35 the Muse:

          my pleasure Melissa ;-D happy you enjoyed the post chica!


  • 3/9/11 15:06 nancy:

    QVC charges way too much for their shipping!!!


  • 3/9/11 23:10 sara jo:

    I’ve come to realize anything you get on qvc you must add 12 bucks for tax and shipping. But so many places have $10 now. I haven’t had any easy payment fees but maybe because I use debit cards to buy. Don’t even own a credit card but that may change soon.


    • 3/10/11 9:39 the Muse:

      hi sara sorry I wasn’t clear, I meant finance fees from credit cards :)


  • 3/10/11 6:46 Isabella Casser:

    I watch more now, kits/tsv’s are always a great buy, shipping is too high for just one product

    and I tend to watch way too much.

    HSN has much better shipping deals than the Q, dont know why they just can t get that together.


    • 3/10/11 9:25 the Muse:

      Isabella same here, I tivo the damn shows hahaha ;-D I think merchandise/brands aren’t nearly as nice as QVC’s offerings though over at HSN.


  • 3/10/11 8:24 Jen:

    I have a love/hate with QVC as well BUT I do shop there quite often. I shop HSN too and I feel that they offer better deals at time as JoElla stated. And I too have noticed more brands and stars coming to HSN vs QVC which I find very interesting. I purchase ybf’s January TS and it was 4 products and a subscription to Self magazine for $20! Also HSN has better clearance pricing for items than QVC. Shipping with QVC is high as hayle! But with both HSN and QVC you have 30 days to try a product. With QVC I have returned stuff after 30 days (shhhhh you didn’t hear that from me). As with any retailer they have their pros and cons. Thanks for the tip about Serious Skin Care JoElla. I may check it out.


    • 3/10/11 9:54 the Muse:

      Jen thanks for your thoughts! Ha shhh me too on that 30 day. I sometimes go over a day or two b/c I simply can’t get to the PO but neither QVC/HSN ever gave me an issue. But than again I rarely return so maybe they are giving me a break ;D!


  • 3/10/11 9:30 Regina:

    I don’t have cable so no temptations there! But my mom shops it for skin products and she purchased my tria light system and clarisonic from them and I love them both and my adult acne has really cleared up.

    I think you just have to be extremely selective…, says the girl who’s shopping cherryculture right now at work, 20% off March Madness saaaaaaaaaaaaaaale!!


    • 3/15/11 11:55 Amanda:

      Girl, I don’t have cable either…the QVC website lets you stream their live show so you can still shop it!


  • 3/10/11 9:50 resham:

    I like to buy jewelry pieces from QVC. Apart from the hefty shipping charges, Size is an issue. Also sometimes the product does look very nice n rich n heavy, but when it arrives home, its just so light weight n cheap.
    The photos are deceptive…..returning the product just ends up making me poor by few $$$ again!


  • 3/10/11 10:17 LaurieS:

    I agree about the Q’s customer service. I just called to change my next Tarte TSV shipment from fair to light and it was a breeze. She even let me do one shipment of light and the final as fair so I’ll be all set for winter.

    I only buy their kits or jumbo Wen on easy pay because their shipping for individual items is so high. I’m always stunned they are able to sell anything in their shows besides the big values. But some people seem to buy everything 😉


    • 3/10/11 10:26 the Muse:

      that’s fab laurie ;-D they really do have great CS ;-D!


  • 3/11/11 2:54 Gloria:

    My coworker, Loretta, is the biggest QVC fan. I don’t think she buys anything, but she definitely remembers everything said on the show. I think it really works because she’s one of our best sales, and she knows about all the new products before brand reps come in to train us!!


  • 3/11/11 9:55 sara:

    I love the Tarte and Josie Maran exclusives! But loathe the shipping fee’s and shipping takes forever, because I’m on the west coast….But love the return policy…and easy pay…Thats the only way I ever could have bought my clarisonic…which I love:) I also wish they would put up ingredient lists as I have uber sensetive skin….It’s a love /hate for me too….


    • 3/11/11 11:19 the Muse:

      sara does it really take that long on the west coast? I seem to get so fast here on the east coast :-/


      • 3/15/11 11:54 Amanda:

        pbi: It takes at least 1 week for me too- I live in California.


  • 3/11/11 15:55 sara:

    Ugh it always takes at least a week:(


    • 3/11/11 15:56 the Muse:

      oh man sara I normally get it fast…maybe 3-5 days at most!


  • 3/15/11 11:54 Amanda:

    The most challenging part of shopping through QVC for me is paying shipping! And if you return, then you pay shipping *again*. Sephora doesn’t do me like that, lol.

    I do appreciate Easy Pay since it makes bigger purchases (like my laptop and Clarisonic) easier to pay off.


  • 4/8/14 17:02 Avalith:

    Eh, I bought a Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation that comes with the giant brush from QVC, for the price of the foundation alone, which I thought was a bargain deal. I realized later that they were just trying to get rid of the old model(?) of the foundation, because Sephora and other places came out with a new packaging of the foundation shortly after that. I don’t know if the formula stayed the same, but it did irk me a lil knowing that this foundation was probably… idk.. pretty old lol


  • 4/8/14 20:16 Michelle:

    For me the slow shipping drives me nuts with QVC. It is like they use courier pigeons or something! I live in Las Vegas so I am not sure if this is just a problem for west coast people, but I always know if I want something from QVC don’t intend on it arriving for 2 to 3 weeks. UGH! (and I paid for that slow shipping which is obnoxious)!


    • 4/9/14 9:03 Isabella Muse:

      it depends for me sometimes it is super slow other times I blink and it is there! I’ve ordered sometimes and gotten it within a day or two other times eight days! drive nuts!


  • 5/2/14 14:06 anne fischer:

    I have no clue as to why people buy so much from qvc!!!! My god, you can buy the same thing on Amazon with no state tax, and free shipping!!!!

    The only time I usually buy qvc is when they have a great deal….like for instance: vita mix, with payments strung out. and it was free shipping as I recall, and I did have to pay the state taxes. Think I would have probably done better on amazon, but oh well…..

    The people on qvc, like lisa robertson, for instance, make me sick to my stomach…..these people think they are some kind of stars or something….when really, all they are are hucksters!


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