Beauty lovers across the galaxy have a few well-known tricks up their sleeves in order to avoid completely falling into eyeshadow-induced debt. One of them involves utilizing the wonders of Sephora’s return policy, which allows shoppers to receive a full refund on returned products within 60 days (no questions asked) with a receipt. If you don’t have a receipt, Sephora still offers the possibility of receiving store credit in return for an exchange.
So basically, a lot of us beauty lovers have been living the luxe shopping life because of that policy. After all, if we can return the unflattering lipsticks, rash-inducing skin care line, or mismatched foundation free of repercussions, why not try them all? While this policy makes a lot of sense for shoppers who regularly experiment with new products, a new report from Racked reveals that Sephora’s policy isn’t as easygoing as we thought. Meaning, the store does keep track of each shopper’s patterns.
In order to weed out the shady shoppers, Sephora uses a system called The Retail Equation (TRE) which weighs a customers amount of store returns to the actual dollars spent in the store. So, for example, if you return more items than you keep, including sale items, Sephora will take note and eventually put a hold on your account.
This may sound harsh at first, but when you think about it, Sephora is forced to throw out any opened or returned merchandise.
So, if you routinely buy five eyeshadow shades and return four, you’re losing the store a lot of money and product. (Let’s hope some product materials can be recycled.)
While certainly, the majority of frequent Sephora shoppers don’t have insidious intent with returns, a CNBC report reveals that return fraud accounted for $15 billion in losses for U.S. companies in the year 2017. That is a lot of money.
If this piece of news makes you feel nervous for your own shopping fate, have no fear, it takes a pretty disproportionate amount of returns for Sephora to hold your account. And even when that happens, it’s not a permanent ban.