Holiday Shopping Alert: Gift Returns Policies Change @ Sephora Stores & Sephora.com!

Just as a heads up to all you who are planning on shopping Sephora or Sephora.com for holiday gifts, make sure you save the receipt.
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Know your Sephora/Sephora.com return policies.
It’s absolutely critical that you so do– why? Because without a receipt these days, your ‘giftee’ can’t return or exchange it easily. What will happen is depending on the amount of money of the purchase being returned, you may have to buy at least 50% of the amount at the time of the return and you will get a gift card good ONLY at a Sephora store — which makes it hard for those who might not have a Sephora near them. Goodness knows that we all go through the stores at holiday time picking up all sorts of little things and put them as goodies together for “Secret Santa” gifts or stocking stuffers– but would you think that the person who gets that item might have a problem exchanging that item if the fragrance or color or ingredients might be wrong for them?
Returning an Order to a Sephora Store
Visit any Sephora store* and return your purchase within 60 days of receiving your order.
* If you purchased with your JCPenney credit card, our Sephora store will gladly offer you a store credit or an exchange. To receive a full refund on your JCPenney card, please return your products to Sephora.com via mail or to a Sephora inside JCPenney.
Please ensure that you bring the enclosed Packing Slip and Merchandise Return Form that was included in the original package along with the item that you wish to return. A Sephora staff member will process your return at any Sephora store.
> Returning a Gift
If you are returning a gift, please contact Customer Service. We can either credit your Sephora account with online store credit or we can refund the credit card used by the purchaser
Despite the above statements directly from the Sephora.com site, the process isn’t in place on site in stores. Maybe it’s a case by case situation but this is something that you should be aware of before shopping for a lot of goodies at Sephora.com .
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Holiday Beauty Insider Sweepstakes
Gone are the days when you could walk into Sephora and exchange something easily and get a Gift Card from Sephora– good at stores and Sephora.com and could be used interchangeably. You must present a receipt to get a full amount gift card or you have to start buying to a certain amount and then you get a gift card.
(This is how it worked for me going back to August 2009)
I had hit the Downtown Disney Sephora in August around my birthday ( we were there for the day of celebrating inside the park) and had already called Sephora.com to check on return policies and had an extensive conversation with someone online about any forseeable problems in exchanging a great deal of stuff that was given to me (thanks Dad, but I really don’t wear that sort of fragrance, that color of foundation or use that skincare on my allergy-prone skin.
I explained exactly what I had and was told I would have no problem exchanging the items there and/or getting a gift card. Nothing was said about a requiring a receipt because it was a birthday gift.
I did find out when I was in in Sephora that Disneyland Day that I was required to exchange for items on the spot (eeek. I had just dashed in to exchange for a gift card to shop later). So I darted around the store and picked up things and they gave me a gift card that turned out to be a gift card for in store use only— meaning not able to use it online. Unfortunately they didn’t tell me that at the time and I found out while wanting to place an order online.
Darlene, customer service supervisor spoke to me on the phone on Sunday about this situation when I wanted to use the card to buy a new hairdryer. Sephora.com . They would not take the store credit. I could go back into a store and shop or I could get the store to give me a gift card to use online.
I told them at the register that I had spoken to someone at Sephora.com just two days prior and was not informed of those policies and it’s not even on their site (see above for specifics) I wasn’t asking for cash back. I just wanted to buy “later” when I was at home.. and not carry around a bag of beauty goodies.(hair dryer anyone? Not that day unfortunately)
Darlene and I discussed the events of that day — and I have a vivid memory because I wound up not only paying $12 to park to get into Disneyland but I also had to haul a bag of Sephora stuff into Disneyland and pay $7.00 for a locker because some of the products were temperature sensitive and I didn’t want anything to get stolen or crushed. It was a disappointing experience because I had people waiting on me for lunch. I scrambled, I bought, I was unhappy with the forced purchase because no one told me I needed a receipt and not that I expected a 70+ year old man to have a receipt for gifts.
I am a very loyal Sephora customer— despite being scotched out of the “friends and family” promotion along with at least 50 other women (and men) who are into shopping.. and only 2 of the group got the F&F 20% off promotion alert– yet we are all members of the Sephora.com email newsletters + “beauty insiders”. ( ” Yes my email address is correct. Nothing from them ever goes to spam and I follow them on twitter and facebook.” — answers to questions that Sephora.com asked me about my queries about their lack of follow-through on customer loyalty programs!)
So now that I can take what’s left on that card (they hadn’t told me at the time they gave it to me,) I am using that for someone’s gift and going to buy a hairdryer from them to get to the next level of points and prizes.
Essentially bottom line:
1) make sure you keep all Sephora receipts and indicate who got what product. (In case you have to make copies for different people)
2) make sure that the person you are gifting knows you have a receipt in case they don’t like it.
3) make sure you bug them if you didn’t get a friends & family 20% off notification. They need to hear from you.
4) don’t expect a lot of sympathy or understanding on the part of the Sephora or Sephora.com CS people.
5) I did tell them I was going to blog this.
Happy holidays, may you find great bargains and now I am off to buy that hair dryer!!
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com


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Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. LA-Story.com appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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