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Post in Customer Support

“Too many returns” is a thing?

Ok, so I discovered weeks ago that Sephora can ban you for returning too many things?! Since I don’t have a Sephora near me to test products, I’m constantly having to return things that I order online and am not satisfied with. Unfortunately, I’m getting scared that I’ll eventually be banned or something, because I evidently return a lot of things (though I keep most - I’m VIB). Pretty much all of the items I do return are sent back within a couple days of receiving (I’m within walking distance of a post office). Anyone have experience with this or know what I should expect? I think I’ve returned 10ish items total to Sephora (some are in transit back to them), and I am currently VIB, so I’ve evidently kept a lot of the items, too. HELP?!?!

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?


DO BETTER!!!! I got a message yesterday while at the counter doing an exchange. Are you serious, SEPHORA???


Yes. I do a lot of exchanges (NOT RETURNS), because the products may not deliver or work as described once you try them out of the store!!!! On every single one of my exchanges, I have always purchased more than what I am exchanging and I have never, ever received  a refund for any of the products. 












BYE, SEPHORA !!!!!!!

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Dont bother calling TRE- they are shady AF.


and ignore RebeccaBT, the Sephora rep on here who is on it and also shadyyy. She knows all about TRE and that when u call, TRE says they can’t do anything and to call Sephora who in turns tells u they can’t do anything and to call TRE! Lol.


There is currently a class action lawsuit against them for violating our privacy rights and for being shady AF.


Google it and add your name to the list so that you get paid when Sephora and TRE settle - which they will because violating privacy laws is not cool. Just look at Equifax - they are paying people hundreds/thousands back through the class action lawsuit.


Also don’t call TRE because they will data mine your phone call, log all your info, etc and still say there’s nothing they can do. Then they’ll say to call Sephora and as you can see by this lameeee canned response by some random Sephora not hack employee, Sephora says to call TRE.


so they are just giving you the run around.


sephora- superrrr shady you’re tracking and violating privacy of customers- forget about the returns, what are you DOING with our personal data and beauty insider account info??’ Who are u selling it to? We are disgusted by your actions.


see you in court.


Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

A friend of mine also received an email couple days ago stating "significant return behavior limits the product selection", she have been ROUGE for nearly 3 years(we got into makeup around the same time), we do try quite a good amount of product out and return is unavoidable since we don't have a nearby sephora to test out the product before purchasing. But we do keep majority of it and if they really pull this on us, we may turn away from sephora since the main reason we love sephora is b/c of the lenient return policy and how they make us feel at ease when returning a product.

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Same exact thing happened to me today! I don't live anywhere near Sephora so I don't have a choice but to order online and if it doesn't work out then I return it but always within a day or two of receiving it. The only reason I shop with Sephora is because they had such a great return policy which I did need to use given the fact that I live nowhere near as Sephora. I can't go and get samples or try things out in store. Especially Foundation, I have the hardest time getting matched with the foundation so every time I decide to try a new Foundation I have to order several colors in order to find the right one. Maybe they should offer to send out samples so people can try this stuff and then, buy it . it would probably save them some money and headache and prevent people from having to return things that don't work out for them.

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I never received an email, but today did receive a strange second receipt and an “oh, um, just so you know...if you return again, it may not be accepted.” I replied “What??!! Without even a heads up?? I’m buying a really expensive item that might not work for me (I have rosacea and very reactive skin). Are you saying I might not be able to return it?? I’ve already bought it!” She said, “Our policy changed. You should have gotten an email.”


I let her know I had not.


Look, I admit I return things when they don’t work for me, and sometimes I don’t find that out for a week or more. I also live in a rural area without a nearby Sephora and don’t have all the money in the world to blow on $70 face creams that give me cystic acne. However, my rant is not

about that. If you want to limit returns, that’s your right. Just TELL people the policy has changed. If you change a return policy to the point of being rude and condescending to your loyal customers, then you had better make sure that that new policy is posted at every register, on the back of every receipt, at the checkout of the website BEFORE they actually make the purchase and that emails go out that are advisory and not threatening (not that i would know, because I never even got an email), because it is posted literally nowhere that there is ANY limit on returns at ANY time. IN FACT, any time I am on the fence about a product, I get pressured with a “hey, if you don’t like it, you can return it, no problem”. I was deeply embarrassed in the middle of a very busy Sephora and treated as if I were doing something wrong when it never occurred to me it would ever be a problem. Especially a return with a receipt on a product I had realized in my car was the wrong one and returned about 30 minutes later UNUSED WITH RECEIPT.


 This is how you treat people who spend money in your store? Not okay. 

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I thought that Sephora used a third party that looked for patterns in customer returns (and that this third party monitored all returns a customer made, not just at Sephora).

If this is true, the third party might have flagged you for excessive returns no matter what the reason. Some customers seek to abuse the return policy ( not saying that any of the posters here have done so) and as a result stores change their policies, making it hard for the rest of us.


They could be less threatening in their emails though.

RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I am VIB rouge and yesterday I received a disturbing email that seemed even threatening, in my opinion, from Sephora. Frankly, I thought it was a hoax until I came to read about what’s happening in this community. My “significant return behavior limits the product selection.” I am an honest person who does not buy from Sephora willy nilly. If a product genuinely doesn’t work for me I return it. It isn’t often that I return. I have made returns for oxidizing foundations, natural products that I discovered my son is allergic to putting him in the hospital, and products that just didn’t meet my expectations. I buy products with the sole intention of keeping them! I have bought a lot from Sephora obviously, by being rouge and it’s shocking to me how they say return it on the one hand but then punish you with a threat on the other hand for making returns. I am surprised at the dishonesty in Sephora and the poor customer service. There has to be a better way than sending a mean and threatening email. Maybe just post the rules of engagement somewhere on the receipt -“if you are unhappy with your purchase feel free to return, however please understand that we will only accept 5% of purchases as returns” or something like that!

Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I am also VIB Rouge & received the same email from them, on 2/26/18. My response:


To whom it may concern:


Is this really how you treat your "preferred customers"? If so, I'd hate to be non-preferred. You sent me this threatening email which basically is suggesting I go elsewhere? Because that is certainly the tone of your letter to me. I buy A LOT of merchandise from your stores in which I actually do keep. What is unfortunate is that you address me, as the consumer when you need to address your overly ambitious sales associates who push products on us and promote returns by saying things like, "If it doesn't work for you and you don't like it, you can always return it for something else even after you've tried it!" This is especially if  you are just going to ban people after for too many returns. I say this because I have very sensitive problematic skin and I always go in looking for something to help and that's what they tell me. I always have my receipts for returns. ALWAYS.


Also, because of YOUR incompetent system, I am forced to give an ID if making Sephora JC Penney returns inside of a regular Sephora or vice versa. So it appears as though I do not have a receipt--even though the purchase shows up on my VIB Rouge account. Not to mention that I have purchased and kept a way higher ratio of products than I have actually returned. I buy for myself and my two adult daughters. FURTHER, I have not returned anything in months. So I am unsure what you are referring to or why this email is so delayed if it was that important enough for you to send such a discouraging email to your clientele. But whatever, Ulta's reward program and product selection are way better anyhow. I now have the option to go Diamond there. Your letter just disgusted me to no end. BYE SEPHORA!"



Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

True. I was recently given a notice too and I have been a VIB Rouge member for 4 years. If Sephora didn't already know, that means customers like us have spent over $4000 - shouldn't we be able to return the things that does not work out for us? Like hello Sephora, there's a reason why we are Rouge members. We like to try out things and quite frankly, Sephora store items are always out of stock! Also, what happens when we get first release for online products because we are Rouge? Or what happens when we purchase online exclusive items - HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GET A SAMPLE/TESTER FIRST? Also, Sephora has a e-commerce platform for a reason. If I do not wish to make a trip down to a crowded Sephora and instead buy things am I supposed to get a tester??? 


We spend over $1000/year to be a Rouge member. And it seems like the only people who are complaining in this thread are Rouge members - which makes it even more hilarious. We cannot possibly be abusing the return policy by returning products without the intention of keeping them because hello...we spend over $1000 a year for this membership!

Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I received this notice as well today in store when I was returning a product WITH a receipt. I called Sephora customer service who basically told me there was nothing they could do, but give me the number to the TRE. Diamond status at Ulta is looking better and better! It’s a bummer we are being punished for buying too many products, testing them out, and not liking them. I might add 99% of my returns have had a receipt too. 😢

Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I have received a notice today about not being able to return products any further. How it happened. I bought an eyeshadow palette. Stepped out of the store in to NYX cosmetics and found a better palette with red shades that I wanted. So I came back maybe 10 minutes later. Returned the product that I didn’t even bring home yet. With the receipt, obviously. And it gave me a warning. 

Now I went in to my banking and quickly looked up how much I spend in Sephora. In the last 2 years I spent 15,000 in this store. I am a Rouge member. And I live one hour away driving distance from the nearest Sephora. A lot I order online. 

I am beyond outraged and disgusted. If Sephora can not appreciate brand loyalty like this, then I will find other company which will appreciate my spending spree. Because obviously Sephora can’t. Because I dared to return $60 product back 10 minutes I bought it. 

Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Created an account specifically to reply and say this happened to me yesterday...out of the blue, WITH a receipt (always) and as a VIB member. I felt so much better after finding these posts are realizing I am not alone in my experience and that this IS a "thing." Wow...think I am going to take a large break from Sephora after reading about these practices and especially the whole TRE affiliation. Thanks for helping me with that decision. Just in time for Ulta's 21 days of beauty =D

Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Hi @IdahoDuckie,


I am sorry to hear this. Our decisions are based, in part, on information provided by The Retail Equation (TRE). You may request a Return Activity Report (RAR) that may help you understand the reason for our decisions.  A free copy of your RAR is available by visiting TRE online. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 



Re: RE: “Too many returns” is a thing?

This was their response to my response...


"Hi {       },
Thank you for contacting Sephora.
I apologize for any confusion regarding the email you received and I'm happy to offer some clarity. You are still able to purchase products and return the ones that don't work out for you. However, we've noticed that, many of the products you purchased may not have worked out for you. That's definitely not the experience we hope to offer our clients online and in our Sephora store locations!
The intent of the email was to request that, in the future, you be more mindful of the products you are purchasing and make you aware of the trend we noticed and to help reduce the rate of returns. In the future, if we continue to see a high pattern of returns we could potentially limit or decline returns, regardless of return time frames and receipts. However, we are not at that point and we understand that does not create a good client experience, which is why, in the interest of forthright communication, we sent you the email. The details of our return policy are available on our website and I have included it here for your reference:
'Sephora monitors return activity for abuse and reserves the right to limit returns or exchanges at Sephora and Sephora inside JCPenney with or without a receipt.'
I recommend sampling products in store to find items that fit your needs prior to committing to purchasing them. is also a great resource for researching products and ingredients and browsing user reviews to get a better idea of what might work best before you purchase. Of course, it is never our intent to make any of our valued clients feel offended or uncomfortable. While we would love to retain your patronage, we understand and respect any decision you make. We want you to shop wherever you feel you are getting the best value and client experience.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us by responding to this email or calling us at 833-899-2968."

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Just got this email saying my return privileges may be revoked because of the high amount of the returns I have. Taken by surprise since I haven't bought anything in over 2 months and over 3 months since I returned something. (Wondering why this email is so delayed I guess) but I went through al my purchases in the past 8 or so months and I have kept 80% of the items and returned 20% of them. And I usually place big orders. Didn't think this was enough to raise a red flag and they were also all receipted returns. Now feel discouraged to buy anything and might be taking my business to Ulta because now I'm not sure how many returns is too many and will warrant a stop on my account. The associates are always very eager to tell you that you can return anything that doesn't work out for you. This shouldn't be promoted if there is a limit to the rule. Going to call to get more clarification.

Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Hi @angrypunkgirl,


When a client is banned it is for a specific reason and that client is notified. You do not have anything to worry about in regards to your online returns. As long as they are returned within 60 days and gently used, then you are fine. I hope that this answers your questions.



Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

"Please be advised that if we see your current return behavior continue, we may decline any future return with or without a receipt at any Sephora location, including purchases made on or Sephora inside JCPenney. "


The above is a direct quote from the email I received. I do not understand how this happened given that the employees are always insisting on the fact that any item could be returned. I save ALL of my receipts and now obviously that no longer matters. I spend thousands a year, therefore yes a lot of times items do not work out in my favour and I wish to return said items. And the language that is used is offensive, behaviour, really? If you wanted to send me this email and use it against me for future purchases that would be fine however, anything prior should not be rejected. And I just read the back of a receipt, it clearly states as long as I have a receipt I am protected. 

RE: Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?


Re: RE: Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

Nope, not going to even bother purchasing the necessities from here anymore. 


So sad because I got engaged inside a Sephora in May. Womp womp. 

Re: RE: Re: “Too many returns” is a thing?

I have achieved Rouge status 3x since its offering within their VIB program. Their mistreatment of this "preferred" customer has chased me FAR away. I already did not like their rewards program overall...this is the perfect reason to rid of them & focus my spending efforts & beauty product obsession elsewhere.

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