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A return with a lecture just what I wanted.


My Local Sephora is usually fantastic, never had a complaint about them... until today.

I returned 5 products in-store today.. from 4 separate purchases I made during spring fling. 2 unused and unopened... and 3 products I really disliked.

So the teller calls over the manager because it is a larger return, which I totally understand.. The manager looks at me and says.. You want to return all of these, you used them all.. and are returning them? Don't you know you can get samples so you don't waste so much product." and gives me an eye roll and a condescending look.

So I tell her that 2 are unused and the other 3 products were all skin care and did not work for my skin.. I thought used products that didn't work were able to be returned.. Is this not the case? Or does everyone, get a lecture when they return a product used?

Curious if you guys make returns of used products? I personally am really turned off getting samples from jars and such because people are constantly putting their dirty hands in to the product and them I am supposed to put that on my face. Just a gross thought for me.

Am I wrong in returning used Skincare?

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

Hi kas045,


I replied to your post here>


Please respond to my private message when you get a chance. I would like to forward your feedback to our retail division. Thanks! Smiley Happy

<3, Randee

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

If you went in and asked for five samples I would think you would still be getting a condescending look.  People would feel more comfortable asking for samples if they weren't so stingy about it in the first place. That's how my store is anyway. But I know what u mean about getting samples from jars, that is gross especially since those can't really be sanitized properly. Unless they make samples from a separate jar that hasn't been out for everyone to dip their fingers in. 

And I think lylysa is totally on point about how the manager could have handled this better.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I'm a stickler for sanitation, with obvious reason, and if I were offered a sample or even asked for a sample that was given out in an unsanitary manner (i.e. if an associate used their finger to scoop out product or if a lipstick wasn't dipped in alcohol and shaved down prior to the product being dispensed), I would still take the sample but just not use it.


The fact of the matter would be that an associate took the time out to create a sample, regardless if I asked for it specifically or if it were offered to me, and as long as their intention wasn't to purposely blare out a "HEY LOOK, I'm giving your DIRTY product!!!" then it's a smile, thanks in appreciation, and chalk it up to a minor loss.


That way I'm not insulting the associate, and I'm sure there will be more chances to try a product out in the future.


Now if an associate just has no regard to a product's condition and has a blase "Ugh, I GUESS I'll make you a sample" attitude and for example's sake maybe didn't see there was cotton fuzz on a lipstick, I would just politely go "Ooo! Do you mind I clean it off with some alcohol first? My eye just zeroed in on that cotton lint, good thing I saw it so it didn't wind up on my lips later!" I'd try my best to be cordial about it and keep it lighthearted so it's not like I'm attacking the associate or putting fault on them entirely. If they then tried to be rude or ugly about things, then I'd maybe have to ask to speak with a manager or even speak to the associate directly and let them know there's no need to get huffy at me and that I'm sure if they were the customer they would want an attentive associate that would actually care about the job their doing.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

This is basically the reason I never return stuff. If I get something I hate I end up just trying to use it up because I'm too chicken of how they'll treat me at the store when I try to return it. 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I hate returning products to sephora. I've been made to feel like a criminal. Or the S.A. tried to convince me to keep it the product. It's very uncomfortable and I won't be made to feel bad about returning products that don't work for me or that I simply change my mind on. Or I returned a lipstick with a receipt that I had purchased in the fall but it just kind of got pushed to the back of my stash. I put it on 2-3 times and I just hated the color on me. Went to return it with the receipt, the product was clearly barely used. And I was asked why i was returning it, I said the color is not good for me, and she said "Well why are you returning it so late?". Um because I own a lot of make-up? And what does it matter? It was an UD lipstick, so it's not like it was some item that they no longer carry. And the silly thing is that you could avoid that whole lecture/rudeness about taking too long to return something, by simply not bringing in a receipt at all and just getting an exchange/store credit. Really dislike the attitude the employees have about returns, especially because it doesn't impact them personally one bit.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I'm so sorry you got this treatment. That's horrible customer service. You're not wrong. If it doesn't work for you then it doesn't work for you! and it is gross getting samples. Who knows where those things have been or where the people have touched them have been. :/

I find it weird that they would do this to you, since I go into my Sephora all of the time and get treated horribly when I try to get samples.. But, for example, when I went into the same Sephora and was looking for the Urban Decay De-slick I wanted to buy the smaller one.. They only had the bigger one on the shelf. I asked the SA and she just kept telling me not to worry because if it didn't work with my skintone I could just return it. It's almost like sometimes they hope that you'll just buy the stuff for $X and then be so scared as to never return it.

I've only ever returned 1 thing (I'm still battling the after effects of the breakouts it caused)... It did make me super nervous when I did return it. But it seemed to go over well. I tried to use good humour to charm them into not being mean about it... but when stuff costs so much and doesn't work/works horribly then you definitely shouldn't be made to feel like it's your fault. It's THEIR return policy and they should take that up with their own company, not out on you.  

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

Well, once in a while I do ask for samples, before I purchased the big easy and benefits moisturizing cream I asked for one and they happily gave me some - even some perfume! 

I buy a lot at Sephora but most of the purchases I'm not happy with either I go and return but I have never been given that condescending look, the ladies are real nice. Those girls need an attitude check, they shouldn't treat a costumer that way no matter what. 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I purchased a Anastasia brow to go kit (checkout impulse buy) and when I got home the tweezers that were supposed to be in it weren't and I'm a bit annoyed and debating if I should try to return it because I can't stand the customer service at the only store near me which is an hour away

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I don't tend to have a lot of returns, maybe three a year.  Usually I hold on to my return until I know I'll be buying something/s that will be a lot more.  This week I returned a $32 lipstick, but made a $145 skincare purchase.  My store is so great that I doubt they'd even care though. 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I'm not going to say I make a lot of returns, but I make enough, especially at the beginning of my makeup journey. But I can honestly say that I have never been lectured or had an employee say anything condescending to me or look at me a certain way.  


If I were you I would write a letter to the district manager and let him/her know you didn't appreciate the way you were treated in store. 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I totally agree with this, I have been a customer for many years and have returned many things over the years.  Not once have I ever had an issue, a lecture, any attitude or any other problem.  I think it is the attitude of the associates/manager.  If I were you, I would complain about the treatment I received.  Maybe I am just lucky that the associates in my local store are fantastic!



Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I didn't want to create a brand new thread when this one wasn't too far off from my experience.


I went into my "local" Sephora today (I use quotes because 45 minutes one way in no traffic doesn't feel very local) to pick up some things I needed and return some things I didn't.


I was color matched a few weeks ago to a very lovely formula of Lancôme foundation.  I loved it... until I got in the car.  Holy Toledo, I felt like I belonged in the produce department, so orange was I.  I told myself it wasn't the makeup, and resolved to try it at home.  It was the makeup.  I tried it on different days, at different times, with different primers, powders, etc.  The end result was at least a shade too dark, and too orange.  I stopped using it and decided I would return it.


Between then and today, I managed to find my receipt, and then lose it.  I don't return things often without a receipt, so I figured it was no big deal.  Brought it with me into the store.  Shopped around, asked for a good enzyme mask recommendation, and went to the checkout.  Explained how I had a return without a receipt, which made the manager (I think she was, anyway) listen in.  She wanted to know what shade I had, and then said that that foundation will oxidize.  ...I don't know how that should convince me to keep it, but whatever.  She said the same thing happened to her, so she got a shade lighter.  I'm sorry, I don't know how a lighter shade of orange would help.  I explained how I looked online at the shades available and didn't think any would fit me.  I said I had other things I wanted to get anyway.  She moved on.  Then, the cashier told me that they for sure color matched me right, after all, they're all trained to do it.  Man, I didn't know Sephora employees were infallible.


The whole experience rubbed me the wrong way.  I am no criminal, I am a very loyal Sephora customer, I spend more money there than any other disposable income-type place (it's my only vice, I don't smoke, drink, etc).  Several people there recognize me.  So why the crappy treatment?  Because I returned something that didn't work for me?  Or because I didn't make a $200 purchase?  Either way, I, and other customers, deserve better.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I'm sorry you had a less than desired experience at your Sephora.

You really do deserve better.

It's great that you have such an awesome sense of humor though. 

You made me laugh like three times reading this.

I doubt you had an attitude with them, maybe it was just an off day for that girl....and the other one.

I once had to return something and didn't receive the friendliest service, however, when I complained Sephora and the store's manager did everything in their power to make it right (the girl also didn't credit the points of the purchase I made within the same transaction.)

Hopefully you receive an apology or at the very least, better service next time.

Good luck finding the best match.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

It may have just been an off day for both of them, you're right.  That's the best explanation out there.  Or at least the nicest one.  I won't likely receive an apology, because I'm not the type of person to raise a big stink over something like this.  If they hadn't done the return, been rude to my daughter, or done something else to push me over the edge, I'd be singing a different tune.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

You made me laugh too--all I could envision is that "annoying orange" character, with the talking orange!  And yes, everything oxidizes when exposed to air--it is the whole turning orange and looking awful that is the deal-breaker.  Sorry this happened--did you ever find a good foundation to replace it? 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I haven't yet found a replacement foundation.  I've got forehead wrinkles that I mentioned being concerned about when being matched, which I'm sure is the reason why they picked that particular formula.  Looking like a human instead of like a plant is sadly more important to me than looking young.  I was just hoping there was a happy middle ground between pale, aging lady and smooth, smooth fruit.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.



This is what I looked like after my color match. I really wasn't happy.

Yet,  I decided to keep the foundation, buy more as long as Johnny Depp was working & color matched me.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

This post just made me giggle! Smiley Very Happy

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

That's a good look.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I've only been in a few Sephora stores because the nearest one is over 2 hours away. I have encountered some snooty, rude, and unhelpful staff members, almost all of whom were in one particular store. But I haven't had a problem returning items. They might seem a little annoyed, but they've never lectured me. When I returned something with the seal still intact, the staff member thanked me for returning it unused.


You are a ROUGE member. That means that, even after any returns, you have spent at least $1000 in a year with them. It is appalling that they would be rude to you for returning items, some of which you hadn't even opened. You have every reason to be upset.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

That's really annoying. Rouges deserve respect! I've returned things without the receipt and haven't had an issue. I do try to purchase things whenever I'm returning anything to make me feel less...guilty? 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

I rarely if ever return something, with or without a receipt, and don't get something else of equal or greater value.  I clearly am willing to spend plenty of money there, but I honestly don't know if I consistently make exchanges like that out of a genuine desire to try more pretty new shiny things, or guilt.  Probably both.

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

i think people deserve respect regardless of their status.  The rules are the rules...sephora allows returns on products, even if they don't work...this should be done without attitude regardless of whether the customer is rouge, vib or not even a member!

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.

i've had variable experience/treatment making returns at sephora. but i find that if i tell them 'i called the rouge line and they told me to come here and return this,' i get a lot better treatment. 

Re: A return with a lecture just what I wanted.


I found out this past Monday when I went out on an experimental mission that stating the obvious changes much.



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