Today I thought I would talk about the update to Sephora’s Return Policy. There has been some upset about the recent update and I thought I would share my thoughts on it as well!
Sephora is infamous for having an amazing return policy. You are able to return any purchase within 60 days of your purchase date with a receipt. (If you don’t have a receipt then usually they can look you up with your Beauty Insider account). You can also return online purchases for free within the 60 day grace period! After 60 days, depending on the situation, they will offer store credit or deny the return. This return policy is great because it allows you to try products that you’re interested in without being fully committed to them. If something really doesn’t work for you, you can easily return it!
So recently, it was announced / discovered that Sephora is monitoring returns through a system called The Retail Equation (TRE). Meaning they could possibly black list a shopper from making any more returns. Essentially, if Sephora determines that you are a “serial returner” or have unusual return behavior then you will be blocked from making any more returns. This could be the case, even if you are returning the product within the 60 day grace period which follows the Sephora return policy.
A Sephora representative clarified that a customer would only be blacklisted if they had unusual return behavior like attempting to return items without a record of purchase or returning more than what your account says you purchased.
Here is the official statement:
“We make every effort to accommodate returns, but a small fraction of customers take advantage of our policy, in many cases returning more than twice as much merchandise as they purchase,” a rep for Sephora said in a statement. “This limits product selection and unfairly impacts other clients. When we identify excessive return patterns, we notify those customers that we may limit future returns or exchanges if no proof of purchase is provided.”
Customers are expressing concern about this change in policy as they have already started to receive emails that they may be prohibited from making future returns. One woman commits that she feels like she is being punished for following their own policy.
I just have to say it – I am on Sephora’s side. It is completely understandable to have some restrictions in your return policy. I am so thankful for their already flexible return policy but Sephora is not there for you to try every palette / every shade / every product and then return it. If you purchase something, and it genuinely doesn’t work for you then you have the ability to return it which is already very generous.
Once a product is purchased, used, and returned, it must be discarded. It would be unsanitary and irresponsible to distribute a used product so everything that you return, automatically gets thrown into the trash. I think it is irresponsible of a consumer not to do research before purchasing a product, especially a beauty product that cannot be re-sold after returning.
I think if you are really obeying Sephora’s guidelines and using it as a safety net instead of a standard, then you don’t have anything to worry about. I don’t think this will affect an everyday consumer. From my understanding, this will only affect the customers that are taking advantage of the policy.
I think Sephora has an obligation to their brands to monitor returns because ultimately, the brands take any returns as a loss in their business which is unfortunate. Of course, returns and theft are always accounted for when brands decide how to price their items so really this could come back to benefit us all. If Sephora sees a decrease in returns then that means, less wasted products and maybe less expensive products. This would be very long term but I do think it is a potential benefit of the updated return policy.
Anyway, these are just my thoughts! What are your thoughts on the updated policy? Do you feel like it is unfair? I would love to know!
Featured Image Photo Cred: Houstonia