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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.

Yeah the store lighting can be pretty deceptive.  Also, I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't accusing you of anything but rather pointing out that the manager was perhaps sporting an attitude due to other people who frequently return items.  

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

A LOT of research has been done in order to find the most effective lighting for Sephora...it's not coincidence.  This applies to all major stores.  The music, the lighting, the colors, it's all researched for a specific purpose...BUY BUY BUY! Smiley Very Happy

 

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

Unopened products ARE GETTING RESTOCKED. My friend used to work at Sephora.

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

Thanks for the info Smiley Happy  It makes me a little uncomfortable buying items from Sephora now.  How do they know it was actually unopened and unused though?  I mean, I could stick my finger into a product lightly to get some color and it wouldn't look used when it actually has been.  Same for foundations, moisturizer, etc that come in squeeze tubes...someone could squeeze product out, clean the tip and say they never used it.  How would anyone know?  There's no safety seal on many products.  

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

You can definitely see if something has been touched or not. If you look at your own products, that are relatively new, there are certain ridges on some products and others will be flawlessly smooth. Plus many skin care products and even many make up products (that are liquid) are sealed. If there's a seal that's supposed to be there and it's not then it's questionable. Plus if you open up a bottle or a tube there's usually reside on the inside of the cap or around the rim of the container. 

 

I'd hope if it were questionable then they would toss it either way. However, they are not the only company doing it so it's best to have them check it in front of you if you're unsure/uncomfortable.

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

Many squeeze tubes have a seal that needs to be peeled off, so they would know for those products. Most Sephora stores probably make opened items into testers.

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

No trust me company's pay professionals good money to find a return policy and a price point to maximize their profit. They use sophisticated  equations to figure out loss and They calculate returns into it. Sephora has the return policy they do for a reason. you have every right to return items within the guidelines. 

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

Well said! Smiley Happy

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

You're so shmart! Smiley Wink

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

I don't think you're wrong for returning used anything to Sephora. They have their return policy in place for a reason and they pride themselves on being able to help clients find products that are right for them. I understand it's unsettling to get a sample made from the same pot/jar that everyone's been putting their unwashed hands/fingers into. Don't take their attitudes personally, it's not you... it's them. They shouldn't take your returns personally, instead they should have talked to you about what didn't work for you. Smiley Sad

 

<3

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

Eh, I'm returning a lipstick that I've used twice. I couldn't get passed the smell of it and since it's Givenchy and therefore pretty expensive, I'm returning it. I feel bad because I know they'll just throw it away but I can't bring myself to lose $36. It was annoy me if they tried to lecture me though...

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

I have had to return skincare several times due due to my very sensitive skin and no, the SAs and manager weren't very nice about it.  My husband makes all the returns for me now while I hide in a corner swatching pretty things.

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

What a great husband!

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

Absolutely not wrong. You can return ANYTHING even if it has been opened. Company policy. I do however hate returning items in store as we do tend to get these ugly looks. Especially being Rouge, we will try more products and dislike some of them, it happens. I do hate that awkward feeling of having to return a used item...the associates see it as negative sales for them. They do need some training on being pleasant about returns...Nordstrom is fantastic with that aspect.

 

This is why I favor returning by mail...don't have to talk to anyone or see anyone or have a reputation at your favorite store that you return a bunch of stuff. I have also returned several items from different orders in one box so that I'm not wasteful with the shipping. It gets the job done!

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

i think they just did that because of the qty/$ of returns really. If you have your receipts from all of them it shouldn't be such a big deal really. I usually don't return more than 2 things at once, that i can recall because i don't need the million Qs lol but i know most of the people so its usually not an issue. 

 

Oh and i will say that while samples do work most of the time, there are some items that you just can't test without the full product. Skincare to me is one of them. Even fdn sometimes the sample is so small, ive had to buy the product before just to get a better amount and ive even returned after because of that. i don't really like those sample jars.

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

If you had all your receipts and returned everything within the policy's time frame, then I don't think you were  wrong.

 

The "you should get samples first!" lecture is such a contradiction.  I've heard of other BT members getting this lecture when they make returns, but from my experience with both Sephoras and SiJCPs across different states, I have only ever encountered one SA who was pleasant about making samples for me.  I never ask for samples (no more than three per visit) without making a purchase first, and yet all the SAs act like I'm trying to take advantage of the sample policy if I ask for more than one to be made.  Does this happen to anyone else?

 

 

 

 

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

Yep!  Last time I went in, the sales associate helped me find the foundation I needed and then when I asked for a sample (just one), she told me she had to help someone else and would come right back.  She never came back.  10-15 min later, after seeing her wait on multiple new people, I asked a different SA who did make it for me.  I think this type of stuff is the norm.

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

Wow, I find that really surprising.  Just the other day I wanted to compare some foundations, and I asked for a small sample of each so I could actually try each one out instead of just comparing the shades.  The SA had absolutely no problem helping me (granted, I didn't fill the little cups to the brim, just enough to get at least one full use out of it).  I've never felt like a bother to them when I ask, so I hate that other shoppers don't feel the same way.  I always thought Sehora would pride themselves on the samples they provide, as that is truly a great way to see if you would even want to consider the product.

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

You know, I'm going to toss in this bit, regardless of whether or not there was the opportunity to obtain samples prior to making a purchase or not, it's all about delivery and tone.

 

Like you mentioned you might not always feel comfortable getting a sample made in stores due to sanitary woes and worries, but that's not to say that your return couldn't have been made easier and more comfortable if the manager had merely stated something along the lines of, "I'm sorry to see you having to make these returns because the products didn't work out for you! Did you spot anything today that caught your eye that I could maybe make you a sample of so you can try something new that might bring you back in?"

 

Something like that still acknowledges you making a return, but it does so in a way that is more understanding and also caters to your needs and shows they value you business and want you to return. The manager's attitude and statement of using samples as a way to "don't waste so much product" shows she completely misunderstands the purpose of samples entirely. Samples are given out to draw in more business and hopefully even link to return shoppers as they know there's a relaxed "try before you buy" policy rather than a stingy "Nope, spend your money first before trying it, we don't give 'hand outs'" mentality.

 

Heck, of she was really on top of her game she would have inquired over what made the items not work, what you're looking for, and see if you had a free moment for her to show you some things!

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

I agree with you so much.  I really like my local stores -- I'm lucky to have two great stores near me.  I've had times I've gone into the store and come out with 6 samples and bought nothing.  But they recognize me (people here can attest to that) and know the odds are I'll be back to buy the item or something else and being able to try things is great.  I rarely will buy a perfume without wearing it for a while and probably getting a sample -- I need to know how it dries down and really smells on me, for example.  And I don't want to buy an $80 skincare item without testing it first if the tester is something I trust a sample from.  (I'm not too worried about face creams; samples of eye creams from airless pumps, etc, are fine with me too.)

 

I had to return 3 things yesterday to three different stores.  Two were lipsticks and weren't that expensive, but the colors were so off that I knew I wouldn't wear them.  (The neutrals looked like they were in the pink range but were really brown nudes that are horrible on me.)  Neither store gave me any hassle.  At Ulta I returned something unused.  I'd picked up a restock supply for my husband who told me a week later that he'd decided the cleanser was too harsh for him.  Sometimes these things happen (and really why keep a cleanser no one will use as it definitely didn't suit me).  It would be great to have help finding some things.  I almost always find that help very useful and end up being happy with the products that I've found.

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

I had the same experience with lipsticks too. My local Sephora especially the high-end brands section has very dim lighting, everything looks good. When I see the color under daylight, it is a completely different color. I returned it with no question asked.

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

Lip products and foundation/complexion products especially can be a tough call with indoor lighting, I like to do a swatch on my cheek/jaw (if for foundation/concealer/powder) or hand (lip stuff) and then go outside the mall or store to see in natural lighting.

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

I find that lots of retail folks get confused on reading consumers or maybe they've just had a string of bad experiences to where they're jaded enough to think samples are just free hand-outs that people are greedy for and will abuse. Though that's not entirely false, it's not the entire truth either, if someone walks into Sephora and begins chatting away and perhaps seems very random with what they're requesting or even just flat out asks for free samples without being specific (aka, wanting something free just because it's free) then it's more likely that specific person isn't necessarily looking to buy in the future. Of course there are exceptions, maybe someone who got a spur of the moment sample ended up falling in love and had to come back, who knows.

 

But for shoppers who are very inquisitive or even is not afraid to open up and share stories while asking for samples tends to bode well and will make an employee more receptive and want to help. Asking and sharing things like, "My skin tends to be so-and-so, and I've used XYZ before and like/didn't like it, I was think about A or B, have you heard anything about either, what would you suggest? Is it possible to try both?" shows an associate you're invested in trying to find a product and merely need further assistance.

 

Obviously samples shouldn't be treated like a free-for-all, but hey, there are days where you might get lucky and get an extra generous associate willing to spoil you and go out of their way, but things like that are to be appreciated and not taken for granted, and they're most certainly not be expected every single time as standard practice.

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

Do you have a degree in psychology, Lylysa? You always seem to find the correct words to comment on a situation in a way that is really positive and helpful. Your advice is always outstanding and reliable. I don't know you of course, but I must say that I really trust your advice due to your extensive product knowledge and the way you read people so well. You're truly a gem! 

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

Awww, thank you so much, BuxomBabe80! Your trust and confidence in what I share means very much to me.

 

To answer you question, no, I don't have a degree in psychology, but it was always a field and subject matter that sparked my interest. I've had my fair share of customer service jobs so it's very important to understand all sides of the situation. For example, when I'm shopping and receive sub-parr service, I don't immediately take it to heart or personally, maybe the person in front of me is having a rough day and being ugly, snide, or rude in response doesn't merit a pleasant reaction either, regardless of whether or not I'm frustrated. It can also be very tricky to navigate the type of consumers and customers that can walk in and out of a business, not all folks want or need to be helped so being able to key into small and quick details like tone, mood, expression, and even dialogue is important.

 

Even in daily life, these subtle cues can help navigate situations in so many different directions. Since online forums are just words on a screen I try my best to ensure my words are what they're suppose to mean. Smiley Happy

 

 

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