Your Basket is Empty
Sign in to see items you may have added previously.
See samples, rewards and promotions in .

Item Added to Basket

Free Shipping!

You're only $50.00 away from Free Shipping.

Post in Beauty Confidential

Majorly Miffed About Samples

I know many have noticed lately that Sephora has fallen off the wagon in regards to samples. In a major way. Today I received yet another order without the samples I requested. So I wondered, exactly how bad has it gotten? Since Nov. 6th I have placed 12 orders. That's 36 requested samples. Of that 36 I have received 11. Sometimes the samples were substitutions. Other times there have been no samples at all.


Now, Sephora can claim that they disclose that "substitutions will be made for out of stock samples". All very well and good, but I have been a customer for over a decade. This recent sample fiasco has caught my attention because up until now I have received the requested samples nearly 100% of the time. I am also not stupid enough to think Sephora didn't see/anticpate a problem with the samples and thus removed requested sample listings from the invoices. (This is fairly recent.)


So Sephora, why are you still letting us think we get to pick our samples when in fact we do not? Why is a sample I requested not being delivered with my order but still showing up days later as an available sample? (* cough* Sephora Collection Express Eye Makeup Remover Wipes *cough* Maison Margiela Lipstick On *cough) I realize a free sample isn't something to get my undies in a bundle about... Generally speaking anyway, which is why I haven't said much over the past few months. Some of us though, live in smaller areas where brands like Maison Margiela aren't in store and we place an order specifically for that sample. When we don't receive it, it's a disappointment. When it happens over and over and over again over a period of months... well one starts to think you're either lying or you really need to get your #%$@ together.

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

I have found that if I am planning a purchase, I watch the samples page for a couple days (or I kinda just look at it every day when I'm on beauty talk tbh) and if a sample has been there for a couple days already, there is a much lower chance of actually getting that one. If it has just shown up that day, I'm more likely to get it. I usually get at least 1 or 2 of the samples I request like this. Also if I think a sample might not be very popular (like shampoo) I might pick it. Either way, they are free samples. Mostly foil packs so it's really not a big deal to me.

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Yes, this has been grinding my gears for months!!! Smiley Sad When they had the 5 samples with purchase recently, I just got 1 of the samples I requested. I used to order more online for samples, but since they pick them for me, I dont. Maybe every time they do this when I order, I should call and nag lol!

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

This happens to me *all* the time, to the point that i'm surprised when I actually get samples. I don't mind subs tbh, I really do mind getting nothing. That's been part&parcel of Sephora's trade for a long time, so something is clearly happening at packaging for them to be skipping a whole step. 


I too have been looking elsewhere, in fact, going directly to the source for a number of products. I definitely buy from samples, so when I get them, it only pays off. 


Thanks for raising the issue!

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

The lack of my chosen samples have given me the motivation to shop else place--which I have been exercising.

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

I agree it is annoying


BUT -- I gotta play devil's advocate regarding shopping somewhere else. Specifically, a certain store that starts with a big "U"


What's the deal with running a $75 GWP promo and then only sending it with half the promised items? And then they do literally nothing about it. If you beg, maybe you'll get a $5 gift card to make up for $40 worth of missing stuff. It irks me tons. 


My suspicion is that this is why it's easier to find gifts with purchase than it is to find actual discounts. For $75, they claim you'll get $150 worth of stuff. Instead of giving you 50% off. Because at the end of the day, the $150 promise is an empty promise - somewhere there are terms that say "if in stock". Whereas if they don't send an item you technically paid for, even if on discount, they owe you that money back.


K rant done thanks to anyone who read this

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Just my 2 cents but I've always been pleased with the Ulta promos.  I have never noticed anything missing.  I have received full-sized items in the GWP bags that I actually use!

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Yknow, it's funny how things like that can really impact how we view a company. It's happened to me on EVERY order, so at this point, I pretty much any away from Ulta. If it was once in a blue moon, I would certainly have a different feeling!

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

There's been more than a few times where Ulta's "samples" to me have been nothing more than promotional material (little postcards) advertising a product. in someone took the time to place two advertisement cards into the plastic baggie, seal it, and place it into my box. -_-


The cards don't even have any foil or plastic overlay to peel back and reveal product. 



Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Yeah those "samples" are the worst @lylysa! It's not even usable. I just throw them in the trash. What a waste. 

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Seriously, I get it that Ulta is helping promote brands by tossing in a "Check out this mascara!" ad, but there is no "sampling" a promotional card with no product. I supposed Ulta wants us to repurpose the card as a straight edge to do a super cut cheek or line up a wing or hard line for shadow along the outer eye. 


There was a few time I've received generous samples, like a 3 oz bottle of body lotion, those were nice.

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

I had this same issue on my last two orders, I have another being delivered today...we'll see if I get my samples.  I did contact customer service about this and they gave me 250 beauty insider points to compensate. 

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

The same thing happened to me recently. I'm considering shopping elsewhere from now on. 

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

Hmmm... so your saying I shouldn't expect my sample Sephora Collection Express Eye Makeup Remover wipes in my March order? harhar... 


Everything about this post totally rings true- I live pretty far away from true urban areas so most local stores carry a pretty limited selection. I rely on being able to test products in store- especially fragrances before purchase! When they don't have the product, and I don't receive my sample- I'm not going to buy!


Seriously Sephora! Please at least respond to all of the comments on BeautyTalk asking about customer service issues!

Re: Majorly Miffed About Samples

I love that we have yet to hear a response from them.  I received an order on last Wednesday and had NONE of my samples inside the box...UGH!! 

14 Replies
Conversation Stats
  • 14 replies
  • 22 Hearts Given
  • 13 Contributors