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Post in Customer Support

Limit on the number of returns?

I have heard several people now mention that Sephora stores will no longer accept returns from them for "too many returns". I have scoured the website and my receipts to see if there is anything that indicates that there is a limit to the number of returns a person has but to no avail. What exactly is Sephora's return policy regarding the number of returns a person can do? I know for one, I get a lot of gifts from people from Sephora and I do return some of them because they are not what I want (mostly unused) and I do return some items I've bought that just don't work for me. One reason I like shopping at Sephora is the return policy but if they are going to limit the number of returns, that would be nice to know and it should be clear on their website what the policy is. Thanks!

Re: Limit on the number of returns?

My sister and I shared an account, spent about $1500 in two months and returned over $400 worth of items, all with receipts and most of it wasn't even used or tried on.  We did keep over $1000 worth of products and were never warned about any limit.  With every return we chose something else to replace it that we kept.  She opened her own account during her Birthday month, still using my credit card (she doesn't have one) ... and we are both banned from ordering now.  Without any warning or explanation!  And when I phone to ask why I'm told there's a note on my account saying they're not allowed to talk to me.  HORRIBLE customer service!  They should at least have the respect to explain why. 

Re: Limit on the number of returns?

Speaking from a retail background; many stores which allow returns or exchanges without a receipt will do so in good faith for the customer. Someone who has been refused for a return will typically be for a reason. ie. An associate saw the customer pick the item up off a shelf and then walk to the counter to make a refund with an old receipt. Or someone who is in the store often but never seems to buy something yet has items to return often and claims the purchase was at another location, or a gift.

An employee working in a good environment, for a company which makes them happy will watch out for the company and will feel a sense of guilt if they allow a customer to make a return when the situation makes the associate uncomfortable knowing or 'feeling' the product was not attained honestly.   

Re: Limit on the number of returns?

there is definitely a limit of returns WITH receipts as well! i've googled it~ there are ppl blacklisted even though they always used a receipt to return items (used and not used). one person wrote that she spent over $5000 in sephora within a year and even made it to rouge, but they blacklisted her because of "too many returns." 

I have a question regarding this then.   I bought about $...

I have a question regarding this then.


I bought about $200 worth of Sephora products for XMAS. ( 3 make up kits ). I returned them within a few days, without a reciept and was issued a gift card. Since then I have been purchasing items on my gift card. I am not much of a make up person, an eye liner here, a foundation, every blue moon etc. I am just wondering, if I return an item I do not like with the gift card reciept it came with do they still need id for that?

I'm not sure there are clear cut rules in denying returns...

I'm not sure there are clear cut rules in denying returns because I've heard conflicting reports.    As a business though, they are certainly entitled to prevent people from abusing their generous return policy.  I have heard of people using up almost an entire bottle of something and then returning it for a refund.  That's just wrong.  Their return policy is in place to protect their customers in the event you buy the wrong shade, the products causes a rash etc.  But unfortunately some people use it to essentially use products for free. 

If you're not taking advantage of the system I don't think you have anything to worry about!  Especially if you are returning/exchanging unused items they have no reason to think you're being dishonest.

Re: I'm not sure there are clear cut rules in denying returns...

Yeah, I am not really worried about it regarding myself by any means as I know I do not abuse the policy at all- I only return things that do cause a reaction, do not look good on me, or that someone gives me as a gift and I don't really want/need (those tend to be without a receipt since they are a gift and often I do not get a gift receipt with it). I was just surprised by the number of people I've been hearing about that have been "banned" from returning items and was trying to get a better understanding as to how that happens. Thanks for your thoughts on the subject! Smiley Happy

It isn't stated on the receipt statements or the site, ho...

It isn't stated on the receipt statements or the site, however their CS has mentioned that they do limit the number of Non-Receipt returns. The Sephora policy was updated a year or two ago. For returns in-store without a receipt, they are required to swipe your valid State Issued ID card. This allows them to track the number of returns that you have. This is common at many department stores, so it's not just a Sephora policy. As a company, they have every right to put limitations on their Non-receipt returns especially if its to deter people from using their generous returns policy in a fraudulent way. If you're returning a gift every once in awhile, then that shouldn't be a big deal, however, if someone makes returns on a weekly basis without a receipt then that would certainly be suspicious.


If you have your receipt or shipping slip, then you can return those items at any time and you shouldn't be hassled for it. If you are, then talk to a manager or contact CS immediately. I for one, have returned items that I've had over 6 months and had no problem returning them or exchanging them for something else. For the best up to date return policy, definitely contact your local store and ask a manager, they'd definitely know. Or call the CS line.

Re: It isn't stated on the receipt statements or the site, ho...

That's a very good question. I'm also concerned about this. If a customer service could explain this or it states clearly on their website, it would be great. Like Walmart states that there should be no more than 3 times return without receipt in a 45 days period.

Absolutely agree with you that there should be a clear cut statement posted on's Customer service page and on the back of Receipts. I've shopped at Sephora since I was 13 and I've never been hassled about returns receipt or no-receipt. I have no first hand experience with the whole banned situation, I've just heard horror stories from Sephora's FB wall and various blogs of people having trouble making returns. Actually, I've even seen CS suggest that bans are kinda at the discretion of store managers, so the whole policy is confusing since it seems to vary from store location. It is Sephora's policy to return/exchange any item with a receipt and have the amount refunded in whatever form of original payment, They've never swiped my ID card when I've returned with a receipt, they only have when I was returning a gift. I've also asked cast members and they've told me that they only swipe ID's if it's a non-receipt return. I'm certain that the majority of Sephora customers don't make tons of returns to warrant a ban. It likely only occurs rarely- probably if a person returns a high amount of merchandise without receipt or if they return numerous things in a tight time span. I know that certain stores like Walmart, Target do have price limitations on refunding merchandise without receipt, so Sephora's policy is very similar to other stores return policies in that regard. As you already know, Sephora's return policy is one of the most generous company policies in the country, they're as accommodating as Nordstrom's, it's difficult to fault Sephora on implementing a policy in order to discourage abuse. It'd just be better if there was a clear statement out there. Afterall, Sephora's CS reps are some of the most helpful reps I've ever dealt with. As a company who caters so frequently to customer's needs, it is a bit surprising that their full policy doesn't explain the process of being banned (limitations, frequency) from making returns without a receipt.

Btw, thanks for your honest responses, I'm sure that the moderators of this board will pass this on to the right department so that eventually the policy will be updated to include an explanation.

Re: It isn't stated on the receipt statements or the site, ho...

Thanks for your answer. I just simply think that if they have a policy like that, they should have it in their FAQs or disclosed in their return policy, as there are people that do not keep receipts (like my hubby! Smiley Happy ). I do already know about the ID and all that, but to say you have free returns and then ban people from returning seems to not be quite right unless you disclose that many (and how many? what is the cutoff?) returns without a receipt could potentially cause Sephora to stop allowing you to return items. And these people I've read about have not indicated one way or the other that the returns were without the receipts so that is just speculation and not necessarily the reason for the "ban." I have not had any issues with returns so it doesn't affect me one or the other, I just think it needs to stated in their return policy that they reserve the right to deny returns.
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