March 20, 2018

UIta Stock Rises, Sephora’s Return Policy Back in the News, and More!

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‘ello ‘ello!

How’s your day going? Hopefully well! I hate to ruin it but Sephora’s return policy is back in the news today with threats of being ban making the headlines. What’s this all about? Well, several months ago I wrote an article about returns being tracked by the Retail Equation. Basically, this means if you use your license to do returns and forget your receipt it is tracked by an online system. Apparently consumers actually return more than they spend and last year alone there were nearly $15 billion dollars in return losses. Great news, if you’re dumpster diving but not so great for your favorite brick and mortar stores like Ulta, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

Sephora is allegedly sending out e-mails to anyone who abuses their return policy telling them they could be potentially banned from returns if their behavior continues. If you keep receipts though and return using those you likely won’t be penalized.

Moral of the story? Don’t abuse the generous return policy that stores offer.

In other news, Ulta’s stock has been in a slump for a while now but just recently it hit a high of $300 and apparently Wall Street expects it to go up even higher with all the current changes that Ulta is making such as opening new stores, bringing in brands like NARS, Chanel, and MAC, plus the many other changes that have been made in the last two years. Ulta was never considered a hard competition for Sephora but that’s changing with the many, many improvements they have done in such a short time.

So, if you own Ulta stock you’re allowed to dance around the room and sing that age old tune that comes with a good earnings day! “Happy days are here again…..!!!!!”

And here’s an interesting tidbit of the day, a recent article circulating the Internet says that beauty apps will never take over brick and mortar stores for your makeup purchases. I’m guilty as charged. I buy everything online. Groceries, clothes, shoes, games, and of course, makeup and even fragrance! Yes, I blind buy fragrance online and I have very few regrets.

I’m busy with life, work, and of course, my blog. It’s easier for me to just click and submit and have something shipped to my door. Plus stores are always so slow getting the latest products out be it makeup or otherwise. Not to mention the selection in stores is really dismal lately due to people like me that shop online. For example, I love Target’s A New Day Collection but they have like five items in store from the collection and a mountain of stuff online.

Anyway, it looks like most beauty and makeup junkies actually prefer to shop in store. Because really, beauty and makeup is something you want to experience with your senses before committing. Touching something, visually seeing it up close, and trying it on or swatching it isn’t something you can do from an app or a desktop computer. So, word on the street is that makeup counters and stores are here to stay and apps, computers, and the Internet will likely never put them out of business. So, if you work counter makeup or at stores like Ulta and Sephora your job isn’t in jeopardy anytime soon.

That’s your beauty news!

Any beauty news you’d like to share?

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Molly

    I prefer to buy in store because I can see it, but my Sephora is always out of stock on things and my Ulta rarely has palettes and lipsticks that are unused. 🙁 I think my Sephora might have more associates than makeup. lol.

    • Isabella Muse

      I can relate. A lot of the stores I frequent (not necessarily makeup ones) simply don’t stock things!

  • Jane

    The internet has crippled bricks and mortar and I am pretty much done on blind buying makeup. It’s just too risky in terms of not liking it. Avon used to sell those tiny little tester tubes and I so wish more places sold makeup like that. I really want to try Rodin’s lipstick in the new color Lucy (I think?) but no one near me sells it.

    I’m still in a snit with Sephora. It’s one sided; have no fear that I am so deluded that a multi billion dollar international corporation notices I’m gone. 😀

  • Susan

    I would love to see stores clamp down on returns. It’s getting ridiculous — I read of many women saying, “Well, I don’t know if I want it or not, so I’ll just buy it and return it.” They don’t research and they don’t swatch. Or they want a promo that’s a gift with purchase, so they buy the required item and immediately return it, keeping the promo. >:-( They end up making things more expensive for everybody else.

  • Sienna

    I see this return policy as a good thing. However, there also needs to be training for the employees and take things case by case. I say this because I have been a victim because whenever I order from Sephora online and return in store they always ask for my license even with a receipt. Sephora split an order and sent in part 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 and i r3ad tge reviews and decided to not even open the products figuring they could resell them instead of tossing them but the sales associate opened the shrink wrap AND the product so they had to be tossed. She said online stuff didnt show up in the system even with receipt so when she scanned my license for the 2nd return I got a warning which i didnt feel was right. When I worked in retail we only used drivers license for non receipted returns and it was a fine line because not all were shoplifters somevwere regular customers.

    • Emily

      I had this happen to my recently. I got the Toofaced Life’s a Festival palette and had it shipped to my work. It arrived broken so I returned to the store on my lunch break the same day. I had the receipt in the book but they couldn’t find my order. They were so mean and rude to me. They called customer service and stuff like allegedly said customer bought this online and its broken. They finally after 20 minutes too it back but gave me a strike and took my license. It made me so MAD! I spend a lot of money at Sephora infact I’m ashamed to admit I’m already Rogue again. It left a really bad taste in my mouth I called customer service and they had no idea why I was treated like that but said my account was fine.

      I’ve made other online orders and returned before without issue.

      I think the take home is not to return everything. Only return if its broken or you really can’t use it. Returns should be a very small percentage of your totally amount purchased overall in my opinion.

  • kjh

    I only return when it’s their fault, as in half empty scent, when the others were fine. If it’s my fault, like that dreadful backtalk, east coast version, I own it. They never ask for a license, but the issue is clearly theirs. So true that unless people are avid about it, for ingredients, e.g., they don’t do the research as they should. I checked Ulta stock no more than 2 weeks ago, and it was 209. go, Ulta! Bad/faux/unresearched returns only result in higher prices, eventually.. So it benefits the conscientious consumer.

  • Kish

    Sephora is just a hot mess lately. It’s like they are in panic mode because of Ulta’s big push. I occasionally return stuff I purchase online to the store because it doesn’t take as long. I hate waiting for over 2 weeks to get my credit back. Half the time they ask for my driver’s license, and half the time they don’t. I always have the packing slip. It makes no sense. Also, I ordered a skin care kit last week that just happened to pop back up in stock. They mis-sorted it, so it took three days to arrive instead of my standard two. No big deal, I wasn’t worried. Well, Friday I got a voicemail from Sephora Rouge stating that they were sorry about my shipping delay and that they wanted to make up for it by sending me an email coupon. OK, that’s pretty cool. But it’s now Tuesday and I still didn’t get it. LOL

    • Isabella Muse

      I hear a lot of horror stories about Sephora lately which thankfully I haven’t experience. Slow shipping, missing shipments due to lasership, wrong items, etc! I really haven’t had any issues thank god!

  • Robin

    Some of the items I want to try are not sold within 100 miles of where I live. I do the research, but sometimes it’s a bad purchase. I’ve only returned one item to Sephora in all the years I’ve shopped there. The shadows were way too dark for me (Sephora baked eye shadow palette). The only other makeup purchase I returned was everything by Mac. I had a makeover and discovered I was allergic to the products.

    I would be willing to buy sample sizes to try before I buy.

  • Brian

    Sephora has not been on my good side lately either. I made a purchase using their $10 make coupon that they sent some members with Rouge/Flash shipping that had received their packages late over the holidays. Lo and behold my package took 4 days to arrive. Not a big deal but I would be annoyed if I were paying for Flash.

    On top of that, one of the products I received had expired.. with the date clearly printed stating December 2017. I called customer service and they refunded me but they acted like this happened regularly and it wasn’t a big deal. When I asked if I could get a replacement (because none of the Sephoras near me carried it), they said that the replacement I would receive would “probably be expired too”. As of now, it is still in stock and being sold on their website. That along with the customer service rep not apologizing once left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Isabella Muse

      omg that’s awful! what product was it that was expired?!?!? I’m shocked!

      • Brian

        I got several shades of the Sephora Rouge Balms. Sucks that they were expired too because I was really looking forward to trying them even though I have plenty of tinted lip balms lol

  • Miss Ralph Nader

    So I am a pretty bad returner, and did get that email from Sephora- which did piss me off, but only because Sephora was already on my bad side due to orders being wrong, obnoxious customer service, etc…. let me explain why I return. Yes, I swatch things. Sometimes those things change color on my skin later, or look different in different light. But mainly it’s because of promises or false advertising of merchandise- like long lasting, non- comedogenic( which I know now ingredients and almost all those claims are bull) non-drying, volumizing, lengthening, on and on. Those claims are not subject to any regulations and are usually not true. If they were we wouldn’t need so many new products launching constantly! And a lot of stores’ associates are like “ bring it home- return it if you don’t like it!” I’m much better now because I’ve had to learn ingredients and do research, but if the claims weren’t so false usually I think all stores would have less returns.

  • Desertwoman

    I live in a small town with a Sephora-in-Penney’s (very small selection) so sometimes I have to order online to get something I want. I research online vigorously but sometimes the product just doesn’t work for me, so I return it to the little Sephora store with my invoice. But, recently I read about the Retail Equation returns thing somewhere & decided to look up my account. Lo & behold, their records show every return I made to Sephora was WITHOUT a receipt. Incredible. I have a love/hate relationship with Sephora. Love the Flash shipping. Really wish Ulta had it.

    • Isabella Muse

      they def track when you don’t have the receipt and use your license! Sort of weird and oddly scary they keep that info on consumers but I do get it!

    • Miss Ralph Nader

      So am I understanding correctly here? That you had the receipt or invoice proving you purchased the item, but you are listed as NOT having a receipt? What’s up with that? Sephora can look up your account if you sign up as an Insider- so they know if it was actually purchased by you or not- regardless of having a receipt or invoice in your hand. I will have to check mine- but I’ve always had either the receipt or they look up my account to get trans number and payment info. I’m confused as to what good it does to make your clients look like they never purchased the items they are returning. And I’d be curious if they refused a return with a receipt how would they explain that in store without sounding condescending and without getting the client mad?