February 18, 2019

Did You Hear About The $88 Off $100 at Sephora Deal?

88OFF was apparently a Sephora coupon code circulating around forums and social media that actually worked! What did it get you? $100 worth of makeup for $12! Yup! That’s right! Spend $100 and get $88 off your order at Sephora Canada (I don’t believe the code was available on the US website).

News sources were quick to jump on this one when it popped up last week but I honestly didn’t hear a whisper about it! Maybe because it was a Canada thing.

Well, chaos was sure to take place when you have a deal like this available.

Here’s what happened.

Ok, so, this coupon popped up and of course, every makeup junkie jumped on it. Who wouldn’t!? But I think if you’re being logical and you see a $88 Off $100 purchase at Sephora you know something is wrong. No way would Sephora offer such a coupon right?

Well, of course not! DUH! Sephora was quick to catch on to people placing orders using the promo code and quickly deactivated it and issued a statement that all orders using the coupon would be cancelled.

This caused an uproar to say the least. People took to social media to flame Sephora for their mistake and felt that they should honor the coupon code.

Ok, so, now the big question. We know it was Sephora’s mistake for somehow activating this code. And boy, was it a majorly dumb mistake! Do you feel they should honor the code for orders that were placed?

Or do you think they were right to cancel the orders?

I’m probably going to be in the minority here but I do understand why they cancelled the orders. I mean, $12 for a bunch of luxury beauty purchases? They would have to eat nearly $100 on each order! If they got 5000 orders, just an estimate, I imagine there were more, they would be eating $440,000. That’s a lot of money to lose! A lot of people will be like, “Oh Sephora can afford it!” but really, it’s a business just like any other business they are here to make money not lose it.

What do you think?

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‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Cindy

    Since I hate Sephora with every fiber of my being because of these stunts they pull, I think they should honor the orders. They made a mistake, let them eat the loss! I had no idea this was going on or I would have jumped on it too. Since Sephora’s attitude with customer service is “if you don’t like it, shop somewhere else,” that’s exactly what I do, aside from the rare Sephora “exclusive” I buy that’s not available at Ulta.

  • Linda

    At the very least, anyone who had their order canceled, should receive a $25 (Canadian equivalent) gift card. I hope Sephora does the right thing…

  • Laura

    I had read on the forums that it was a special Canadian contest, that winners got the code in their email. Some of those people then shared the code when they weren’t supposed to. I feel if you didn’t get an email, Sephora should cancel the order.

  • Tonya

    How on earth did this happen? Was it a disgruntled employee? I’m on the fence with this one. I think people may have been skeptical, but when they tried the coupon code and it worked then they probably felt like it was okay.

    I rarely shop at Sephora and don’t really like them so I don’t have a dog in this fight.

    • Isabella Muse

      someone mentioned it was a contest and the winners got the code via email and shared it! I didn’t know about that part ;-D

  • kjh

    I think it’s a legal thing. If S legitimately made the error, and it was posted (uncertain where) they have to honor it, in the US, anyway, until the retraction is posted. If it was some kind of scam/flame thing, and S can prove it, they do not have to honor it. But what consumer wants to go to court,which would cost more, over the discount? I know about the ‘honoring the posting’ bec at my night job 3 lawyers told me. The thing was, the job did not post their policy not to take back/exchange holiday mdse last xmas. Legally, since it was not posted, they had to. So I did it, in an unorthodox manner, that did not give away that I was actually violating the policy. I get it’s a business, and know it must have been an error somewhere. But the supervisors are responsible for checking/approving the postings. And did not. Heads will roll, but this is just going to stoke the fires of Sephora ire. And don’t forget their margins are huge, compared to other businesses, like groceries. It’s a high margin business, not a volume business, like your market. Add five loonies to a bunch of products (that are massively up-priced to start with) and they make up their shortfall. They effed up. Too bad. They will NOT take the hit, in the long run. Stay tuned.

    • Tracy

      So canada (Québec at least) has a price matching and price scanning policy that states if something scams wrong they have to give it to you free or 10$ off whichever is less. This isn’t law however so it can be just rejected by a store at will. I feel like something like this would fall under that policy if anything

  • Amy

    I think they should honour any order made under the terms they set. That’s usually how these things work (rudimentary understanding of the legal position, at least as it would be here). If orders were made outside those terms, cancel them.

  • PDO

    I wouldn’t expect them to honor it either…
    Usually companies are expected to honor advertised prices because of bait and switch tactics stores used to practice in the past. But this was not an advertised promotion. It was a mistake. A mistake probably made by single employee in the company that either deliberately (maybe trying to hook up some friends or to benefit themselves and word got out) or mistakenly activated it. So I’m with you on this Muse.

  • MJ

    I had a similar issue where I placed a CosBar order with a Missyou20 generic code I saw online. I only purchased one lipstick. I heard nothing about my order for weeks and then they emailed me that I was ineligible for the code and that they had cancelled my order. I think this is okay, I probably just won’t shop on CosBar ever again because it took so long for them to take any action. Did Sephora respond to people really quickly? If they did, I think it’s fine. Especially since the customers who used it were ineligible as per terms and conditions.

  • Maritza

    Let me start with the code said valid until Feb. 18th, it was given through a buy $88 and get a red “lucky” envelope in celebration of Lunar year. It was not an email with the code, you actually used the code Luckyred to get this envelope type raffle which promise you to be ine of the lucky winners and get $88 of $100. They cancelled orders which is very upsetting but in the province of Quebec the law states that any raffles, coupons etc by law need to be acknowledge and follow through, hence sephora canada is breaking the law by cancelling the orders of ,specifically ,quebec buyers. It is sephoras fault for being lazy and sending the same generic code to the lucky red winners (100 of them) instead of providing a personal code. You dint really understand we are already get not the same sales and deals than usa and their service is less than stellar but we dont have ultas so they get away with their horrible business practices because we have no options. They need to step up and be accountable

    • Isabella Muse

      Honestly, didn’t know exactly what it entailed just hearing the rants about them cancelling orders. Thanks for clarifying!

    • Annie S.

      But did Sephora post the code or was it emailed to someone who shared it? As far as I can see, Sephoras’ mistake was in issuing a generic code. Can they be held liable if a third party (and how did it get to the other site that shared it as a part of a daily deal?) decides to share it?

      Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if I hadn’t read about people making fake accounts to try and score more makeup on the cheap. This is Sephora and they never give discounts this deep. You (the generic you) knew that this was probably a scam yet you tried to scam them back. Do Canadian companies have to honor deals when a coupon/code is used fraudulently?

  • MN Diamond Girl

    I had a similar situation with Ulta a few months ago. I found a Chi curling iron that was $169 that was marked down to $28 (if I recall correctly). I added it to my bag and checked out as fast as I could as I knew the offer was too good to be true. I received an order confirmation from Ulta and thought I was in the clear. About an hour later, I received another email informing me that my order was canceled. Ulta did, however, give me a one time use coupon code for 20% off everything that expired in 30 days. Was I mad? Not really. I knew it was too good to be true, and I’m sure deep down that Sephora customers knew the coupon code was an error on Sephora’s part. It would be nice if Sephora issued a $20% off or $20 off coupon to their customers involved in this situation.

    • Isabella Muse

      That was actually really nice and decent of Ulta! I think maybe 10% off or some sort of gift card as a faithful customer would be nice for Sephora to do!

  • Carol G

    This is my opinion: I think that the fault lies with Sephora using such a generic code for a contest. In other words, if you win a contest they should issue a “user only code” and you should have to be logged into your own account or click the link in the email to activate the code. Ulta uses those types of codes. Ulta also states in fine print, code is for one time use only. So Sephora could have avoided all of this by using a very unique (and much longer & complex) code.

    That being said, here in America it is standard business practice that the customer is always right and if there is a sale price advertised the store should honor it. Not sure how things work in Canada regarding this but if it were me and I used a legitimate code and the website accepted it and the order was processed then I would expect Sephora to honor it as well.

    Plus I agree with the commentor who said how did this happen on Sephora’s end? It’s not like one person is in charge of something like that. It would go through multiple people who would have to approve the promotion and code and the procedure for redeeming it, etc.

  • Linda

    I did not renew my Sephora flash shipping subscription due to the price increase. Sephora is huge now and the way they do business needs to “catch up” with the large volume of sales. They are too big for amateur hour.

  • M.

    Personally, I think that people complaining about this sound ridiculous and entitled. Mistakes happen, even to businesses. Maybe somebody had a bad day and screwed up, or maybe they assumed that the people who got the special coupon code wouldn’t get greedy and send it to others. Whatever they case, I don’t think that it’s all that big a deal for them to have cancelled orders. If they sent a reasonable discount code to those that ordered then that would be a nice response, but they don’t owe anybody a discount save for the original people that the code was sent to.

    I once had a code from Physician’s Formula that discounted $4.95 as well as making shipping free. I made several single item orders and the company ended up cancelling them. I got over it.

  • LS

    I believe that they should honor it. Even airlines honor error fares. We know that they certainly wouldn’t refund money to customers if they had accidentally listed prices too high! The company still got PR out of it (that was positive until the cancellation).

  • Maritza

    Exactly. To add to the injury the even cancelled the winners orders first saying the code wss not rral and then the winners complained and took photos of their lucky coupons so then sephora when ahead change their wording and said oh we did not cancelled the codes your items ordered are out of stock. So everyone got screw over including the winners. Sephora lied to customers and wont take responsability.

  • Kate

    Almost all promotional offers in the US now have something to the effect of “(company) reserves the right to modify, cancel, or revoke this offer at any time and for any reason,” which universally protects them from any legal issues if they need to take back an offer. Next time you get a code in your email, read the full terms… something like this will always be there. Even if I were to walk into a store and use a measly one cent off coupon that was advertised far and wide, that store would still be well within their rights to deny me that offer. It protects the company if any unforeseen situation arises (coupon gets abused in some way they didn’t initially realize was possible, etc.), but the fact is that it is 100% legal for a company to cancel an order for ANY reason (other than discrimination against protected classes). All this stuff customers are tweeting about there being a legal obligation to honor promotions is not true. They are offered at will any can be taken back at any point before an order has been fulfilled. The only consequences for the retailer are those small retributions a customer can exact (bad review, tweets, etc.). I’ve even seen some people tagging consumer agencies in their tweets because they believe an order confirmation is a “legal contract,” which of course it is not. It sucks when you think you might luck out and get an awesome deal like this, I get it. But no one was ever entitled to it, and Sephora does not owe it to anyone to honor any promotion. Is that fair? Eh. Is it allowed/within their rights? Yep.

    I mean, also, how ethical was it for these people to see an offer that you KNOW they realized was most likely a mistake (or at least not made for widespread use) and still rushed to take advantage of the offer, getting items at priced several times lower than they even cost to manufacture? Why would you expect good faith in a situation like that?

    • kjh

      you are totally correct. there is always a fine print ‘x reserves the right….’ caveat that absolves them in cases like this. there would have to be. but, as usual, big S handled it with their usual grace and tact, and managed to lose customers via a promotion. Helas.

  • Christie

    Didn’t realize it was only for CDNs, but the code could be entered if you spent $88+. You’d get an envelope which was 1 of allegedly 200,000 scratch cards: 1 grand prize of $888 gift card and 100 $88 off coupons. I made a purchase in-store and, having completely forgot about this promo, rec’d a scratch card with my fragrance purchase. It was a non-winner, but the envelope itself is $8.00 off a purchase of $30+ so that’s a win in my books!

  • Dia

    Sephora doesn’t honor anything. They don’t know the meaning of the word honor. I’ve placed orders with them where I used codes for bonus minis or samples. The orders would go through, and then I would get an email a few days later saying they’ve fulfilled my order and charged my credit card, but had to cancel my free shampoo or lipgloss sample or whatever, because it was out of stock. So sorry for the inconvenience. This happened twice.

  • Cindy

    Sephora makes 440k about every 3 seconds. So yeah, they should honor the coupon code.

  • April

    A lot of companies make mistakes, realize, and cancel orders. Sephora isn’t the first one. If I were them, I would not honor the orders. That is a big loss. Mistakes happen. Btw, I don’t particularly care for them either, but business is business.