jennypenny1995

Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I've been a VIB for a few years now, and my local Sephora is within walking distance of that "other" brand. I've heard rave reviews about their rewards program, most especially about their generous giving of free product with each new level reached and not samplers.

 

Today, I headed to my Sephora store for the VIB event, got my bag loaded up, and then...went to Ulta. I was actually there to get a tube of NYX lip gloss since I've heard so much about it, but I went through the whole store out of pure curiosity.

 

The verdict? While Ulta does carry drugstore brands and their rewards are pretty lofty in comparison...Sephora has my heart. Ulta felt too "superstore-ish". No offense, but a little...below...the standard and prestige of Sephora.

So, Sephora, heed our call! Amp up our VIB rewards. Tidy up the shelves and demos in your stores (our store is a tad lacking in that dept.). And, keep up the great work! = )

jennypenny1995

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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MAJOR "agree" with the cleanliness at Sephora vs. other brands.  My last stop at Ulta made me feel like I needed to go wash my hands.  Oh, and their packaging/boxes were all dented and just messy.

Genie1000

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Sephora hands down over Ulta!  I spend about equal at both stores, as Ulta does carry some brands that Sephora does not.  However, I always get nice discount and better free goodies from Sephora.  I literally have a drawer full of nice full size freebies from Sephora and nothing from Ulta.  If Sephora started carrying my shampoo and conditioner (Sexy Healthy Hair), I would shop there exclusively. 

vanillammm

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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what kind of full size freebies do you get? I can't recall ever recieveing anything full sized from sephora...

 

kittichick

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Me either...

brigitte4000

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Sephora!!

 

1) Staff: Sephora staff have always been more knowledgeable and helpful in my experience. In several ULTAs I have had a hard time just getting help from the staff, but at Sephora they always ask me if I need help. 

2) Atmosphere: Sephora just feels more luxe vs. ULTA which I think as someone else put it is more superstore like. I definitely feel more awesome shopping at Sephora.

3) Rewards: ULTA rewards are super restricted. The only thing that is nice is once every few months they have 20% entire purchase and sometimes they'll do $10 off a purchase. I think that Sephora's rewards are much better, you just kind of have to save your points until something really awesome comes up. Plus, I love the birthday specials they give out at Sephora too.

4) Returns: this is definitely the most important to me, Sephora staff have always been much more understanding with returns (even trying to suggest other products for me to try). They never seemed annoyed or rude about when I am making a return which I really appreciate. I absolutely hate returns at ULTA. Plus, I'm pretty sure Sephora has a much more lenient return policy anyways. 

5) Overall, if you need drugstore products you can go to Walgreens or something--In my experience their sales are better than the price you get at ULTA anyways. If you want the more higher end products, I'd stick with Sephora. 

kittichick

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Wow, this says SO much to me about how important the store managers must be, because my experiences at my local stores are SO different!

 

1. Sephora staff are more knowledgeable, but I find their attentiveness to be pretty equal. In fact, my local Ulta is sometimes better than my Sephora!

 

2. Sephora definitely wins in atmosphere. :smileyhappy:

 

3. Rewards - apparently depends on which rewards program you're in at Ulta. Even still, I get SO much free stuff from Ulta because of all the GWPs that don't need a code.

 

4. Returns - My Sephora's staff always gives me attitude and a big hassle when I make returns. My Ulta's staff is always super nice about it, even when I have a PILE of stuff I'm returning.

jennypenny1995

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Most def agree with #1, 2, and 4!

onomotopoeia9

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Sephora definitely is winner by me, although better perks are more than welcome. Considering my loyalty and the fact that a huge percentage of my earnings end up there, I would expect more appreciation...At least just for us VIBs!!!!!!!

kittichick

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Agreed!

starletta8

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

I can comment on the Ulta premier level perk for your birthday- $10 off ANYTHING.  No "premiere" restrictions, just not on salon services, and you can't combine with any other coupons (like the F+F that starts today- which is ok on salon services (!)).  And you have a month to use it.

 

I don't know if I'll even use the Benefit gift for this year- so it was nice to be able to buy what I needed with that discount instead.

kittichick

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Aw, geez! We don't get that in the Club at Ulta! As far as I know, we don't get any borthday gift. I'm only now beginning to understand how bad the Club rewards program is. :smileysad:

jls2013

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Sephora just moved to my area a little over a year ago and I must say I was already a loyal Ulta customer.  Sephora first lured me in when they had an item in stock that Ulta had sold out.  For me they only carry 3-4 brands in common that I purchase and since they both carry my staple Smashbox I can pick refills and new wherever I go. So my destination depends on what I'm shopping for. Sophora has hooked me on some higher end products - Dior polish, bumble and bumble, Nars...how did I live without you before?  On the other hand Ulta's buy 2 get 1 free regular specials on Redkin/Matrix rock.

 

I am sucker for the free samples from Sephora but noted my Ulta started doing that on occasaion now as well.  I have found the Sephora staff is more helpful.  I do like that Ulta applies my points as cash off as I don't always feel the insider/VIB rewards are things I want.  Now if they extended those to the little try me items at the cashwrap area I'd be a serouisly happy girl!

 

jennypenny1995

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Great points!  Agree: Would rather have $$ off than samples of products I don't want or aren't ideal for my skin type, etc.

 

what if Sephora allowed you to choose samples from the actual product's page after you've checked out?  That way, you'd get something you actually want to try.

mkupgk

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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I did my first ulta purchase online. They carry brands from drugstore to high end. There reward system is quite similar to sephora.  i found a coupon online for a 10$ off a 60$ purchase and they were also giving out a huge bag of deluxe samples for that amount so it was a win win for me.:smileyhappy:

connieconcon

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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I think Ulta has much better rewards for frequent shoppers.  Right now is the first time I've ever lived within 30 minutes of an Ulta, but I find that I'm just used to Sephora.  Lucky for Sephora.  Haha.

jennypenny1995

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Wow!  Interesting feedback!  I did notice on Ulta's rewards that their sales are NOT on high-end/prestige brands and are only drugstore brands.  Forexample, I bought NYX lip glosses on sale for $2.49, which are normally about $5 a piece.  So, "win" there, but am def not impressed that they never do AS SEPHORA DOES and offers a flat discount 3 times a year--Spring, Oct/Nov, and then for your birthday.

 

So, I'd say Sephora comes out ahead by offering a discount on even the Dior, YSL, and other prestige lines.  Yay for us!

KayyLynn

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Ulta does send out 20% off coupons that you can use on most high-end cosmetics, I think it excludes Lancome and maybe Lorac? I have already gotten two this year and I hardly ever shop there!

starletta8

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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They do Friends and Family at least twice a year at 20% off.  They don't always send out the coupons- but I see the coupons pop up at the Starbucks in the same shopping center ahead of time.

 

It's even allowable on SALON services. I don't see premier restrictions on the coupon, either.

DTalksAll

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

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Wait, you get a discount on your birthday? 

buzzbee3

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Um I don't think so. They have the BI % off twice a year, and you get a birthday gift for your birthday not a discount on your purchases

jennypenny1995

Re: Sephora vs. Ulta - The Verdict

Oooooooh, that's right!  But, you do get a discount when you renew your VIB status.  Forgot about that one!

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