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I typically only make returns when there’s something wrong with the product or I have been given the wrong product. I do A LOT of research and sampling before purchasing anything beauty related, so I haven’t found that I’ve needed to return many items. If I order things online, it’s usually because they aren’t locally available, and if for whatever reason I don’t love a particular product, I’m more likely to just give it away to someone who wants it rather than return the product.

I will return something if it is really poor quality or if it unexpectedly breaks me out or irritates my skin. I don’t have sensitive skin and will research products before I make a purchase normally. I don’t like to return products after they have been used without a good reason. I have also returned products unused and unopened if I recieved it as a gift and online swatches/review have lead me to believe the product is just not for me. I work in retail and hate it when people wear something and then return it when there is no defect with the item. It feels like they are cheating the company, ya know? So I try not to do it myself.

I most often have to return because a product causes an allergic reaction break out 🙁 If the color is just wrong because I’m too pale, I just give it to a friend or family member.

I usually return products if they are nt good quality. I used to return products if they make me breakout or the color is not right for me but now i try to do research or get samples first before i buy because returning cn sometimes be a hassle. I dont feel ashamed returning things if they dont work for me but it is time consuming esp. when the store is a bit far.

I don’t think we can return any makeup or skin products in London. at least not where i shop. 🙁

you can’t actually return beauty products where i live.. ony when it’s defective i quess. I just returned my Honey touch from rituals (it’s kinda like a body butter) cause when i opend it the colour was bright yellow while it’s supposed to be white.

so yeah only when it’s defective i quess.

Funny, I’m about to return a product to Sephora for the first time. Usually, I just can’t be bothered to return something so I give the product to my sister. Today, though, I’m going to return the YSL Glossy Lip Stain I bought because it makes my lips freak out and burn. 🙁 So I guess I return stuff when I’m allergic to it?

I return things if I don’t think that they’re working as advertised, the quality isn’t there, they don’t work for me – and I don’t think that they’ll work in my kit – and if it’s not worth the money that I’ve paid for it. I only work with companies who will give samples or who have good return policies. For MAC, I tend to exchange rather than return when I deal with the free-standing store. It makes for a more pleasant experience and they don’t ignore me if I walk in with a bag.

I’ll typically only return an item if it unused/unpened. I’ve only returned two products that were used due to a negative reaction. I bought the Sephora Moonbaked Eyeshadow pallette in In The Nude, and it irritated my eyes. I actually kept it, though, thinking maybe it was something else that was causing the reaction. Then I bought the pallette in In The Dark, and the same thing happened. I normally don’t have adverse reactions to eye products, and I use baked mineral shadows all the time, so I really don’t know what happened.

As for returning an item due to a lack of quality, I just bear with it and not purchase the brand unless I can test it in person. If it’s really horrible, I’ll call the company directly and let them know, and they’ll typically work something out. I doubt companies even notice if the reason for a return is due to quality; they may see it as someone just deciding they don’t like the color, or realize they can’t really afford it. The SAs really don’t care why it’s being returned, and they don’t usually say anything; management doesn’t typically care, either. It’s not like buying a dress that doesn’t fit, which the retailer can sell again; the makeup has to be thrown away, causing prices to go up. The MSRP is not randomly set by the product manufacturer; they make their profit once the retailers buy the product. They work out the MSRP based on the numbers provided to them by retailers. Although cost of manufacture hasn’t increased much, prices have; the cost of any loss has to be absorbed somewhere.

I’ve returned products if they turn out to be of very poor quality, or if they cause any sort of allergic reaction (which rarely happens).

I’ve also returned foundation a few times. After being colour-matched in the store, I’ve gone home and looked in the mirror only to realize the colour is WAY too dark/yellow (I have super pale skin).

If a product doesn’t perform up to standard, I would return it (though of the 2 things that let me down, in both cases, I think I kept them too long, thinking it was me and I “should” be able to make them work; when I realized they just weren’t good – at least not for me – I’d lost the receipts!). The only item I have actually returned in the past 5 or more years (rather than just wishing I’d returned it) was a Mac Paint Pot from the Cham-Pale collection because it was just too sheer but glitter-laden for me to be able to get any use out of it.

Well if it doesn’t work out for me, I return it. But I always get samples of things that I can sample like foundations, concealers, and skin care.

The last thing I returned was a loose powder. It just didn’t keep my oils at bay, and I’m not willing to deal with frequently touching up, foundation separation, nor oxidation since I do have very oily skin.

And while I try to look for absorbant ingredients in powders like silica abd Nylon-12. I also look for the absence of emollients and heavier binding agents like squalane, mineral oil, or various fatty acids. The ingredient lists only tell me what ingredients are present, not how much is present.

I will return things usually when they are defective (like my UD Eyelash Curler) or just such poor quality that I cannot work with them (like NYX lipsticks). I know lots of people like NYX lipsticks, but they just slip around too much for me! I have enough makeup at this point that I don’t need a lipstick lying around that gets no use because I dislike the formula. I’ve also returned Covergirl’s LipPerfection lipsticks because they did not stay on my lips, they stayed on my teeth =/.

For lip, eye and nail productI won’t return if I purchased it in person, knowing full well its colour and how it looks in real life, even when I come home and its not for me. I feel like I had every opertunity to see and its my mistake. I will return for crappy formula, or wrong colour (un-forseen), or in general crappy product (like a MU brush). side note: I rarely return anything that has samples.

I don’t feel obligated to keep items that I’m not happy with. This means both colors that don’t suit me and of course anything that causes a rash or negative reaction. I think the most returned item for me has been foundation. I’ve tried many drugstore brands and only found one color match. Even the match had to be returned because it broke me out. I’ve also returned a couple of HE foundations due to poor color matches. I’ve had associates at the department stores and Sephora sell me things they had no business selling me in the first place (this used to happen more when I was a newbie). I don’t feel bad about returning these items.

Generally I don’t return mascara, I’ll usually just use it for a little while then throw it out. I’ve never really found a mascara that I’ve hated enough that I feel it’s unusable except for a sample size of Bad Gal, which I threw away after 2 uses.

In general, I value my money and don’t think it should be wasted. I don’t want to give the impression that I try and return things, because I don’t. However, I feel as a customer, I should be satisfied with my purchases. I only shop at stores with generous return policies.

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It shouldn’t be! Cosmetics have a RIDICULOUSLY high mark-up, and companies with return policies already figure out how to accommodate for returns without losing money when they initially set their prices. If companies really lost money because of return policies, we wouldn’t see so many generous ones — but what are the chances that you return one product only to buy something else? Or that because there’s a good return policy, you’re more apt to buy from that retailer or that brand?

So glad to see you make this comment – I was starting to feel bad reading some of the other comments in this thread. I shop for my make-up at places like Sephora and MAC because they have such great return policies. There are so many companies that don’t stand behind their products, and the quality of their products anymore. That drugstore lipstick marketed as ’24 hour’ that barely makes it to 15 minutes? If you bought it, that’s your problem now.

The reason I surrender $30 for a blush is because I expect a great blush. I could buy the CoverGirl blush at Shoppers Drug Mart for $5, but it might look chalky in sunlight, break me out and have a wear time that doesn’t make it past my morning coffee. If your $30 blush looks chalky, breaks me out and doesn’t last then you’re darn right I’m returning it. That extra $25 wasn’t just because I had a good day and felt like donating to your company. That extra $25 was (ostensibly) for a better quality products that had more R&D effort as well as to cover losses from product returns. If I find the product lacking in those areas, of course I’m going to take advantage of the return policy they themselves instituted.

Companies won’t hesitate to make logical, emotionless decisions regarding their bottom line, why should I?

P.S. If it sounds like I’m just a ruthless person, I should probably add that this rant is coming from a Canadian perspective. Despite dollar parity, cosmetics are marked up 10-40% here depending on brand, making going high end an even bigger commitment.

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Brands are for-profit, so I definitely feel that’s their responsibility to ensure they have the right pricing, cost structure, policies, etc. to be a profitable business. If a brand is a quality brand, then they shouldn’t have so many returns that it would affect their bottom line. If it was a concern, brands could surely implement far more strategies than they do at present to lessen returns – how about real swatches? how about realistic claims (like hello, mascara claims?)? how about ingredient lists? how about real photos? how about better color descriptions?

Sure, there are always people who will abuse a generous policy, so you will have people who buy $200 of stuff and return it all and repeat. Most of us aren’t doing that. Maybe a color looks good in the store, but it doesn’t look good once you get home. Maybe the testers at the store are so gross you don’t dare try on a lipstick or lipgloss, but at home, you try it, and it’s something you’d never wear. Perhaps it’s scented (and many testers in-store lose their scent from being left open), perhaps it’s just so-so quality (maybe not awful, but not worth your $30).

I have heard so many estimates in the industry that leaves markup anywhere between 40-90% depending on the product and the brand. This, of course, doesn’t necessarily include costs like R&D and advertising. Many of the big cosmetic houses have been thriving for numerous years – I think they recognize a generous return policy enables customers to purchase shades they might not otherwise purchase (and inevitably, keep some, possibly return others, etc.) and feel better about purchasing sight unseen. I know I shop at stores with better return policies than ones that give me grief–which means they earn my business more often than some other retailer.

I really appreciate this discussion I actually just spoke to my local Sephora store manager about it and she was very generous with her samples and return policy – if you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep it and she has no problem with that.

I work in retail and I’m also studying business in school and really a customer should never feel badly about returning a product assuming they’re not abusing the policy. Like you Christine, I am far more loyal to companies and brands that have generous policies.

Besides I find I rarely do a straight return, typically I exchange the product for something else. Whenever I go into sephora to return I always end up exchanging because I always find there’s something else I need!

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I agree; if a store has a return policy, one shouldn’t feel guilty utilizing it! And I’m sure you’re not the only one who goes in to return one thing and walks out with at least one more thing, LOL!

Exactly! I’m sure the mark-up is even higher on some products. The 10-40% was just referring to US$ to CDN$ mark-up… $33 Tarte blushes hurt my heart.

I’m pretty good about getting a sample first of most face products. Sometimes I feel like a pain in the butt, but I think most SAs understand when I tell them I’m so pale and rosacea-ey that I hate wasting things when they turn orange or itch. Otherwise, I mostly just return the occasional color that I couldn’t try in person, or products that were utterly made of fail, like the MUFE liquid liner that came off in pieces as I was applying it.

Mostly what I return is MAC, because their LE collections kind of force me to buy sight-unseen the second they go live online. However, thanks to your reviews it doesn’t happen as much as it could. 😉

I agree that if you don’t return, the manufacturer will never know about customer dissatisfaction. But I work for an off price retailer that sells some cosmetics/skincare and when these items are returned, we just trash them–they never get returned to the company. So it ends up just being wasted. I always recommend that the returning customer at least calls/emails the manufacturer so that they are aware of any product quality issues. For me, it really depends on the amount paid for the product and where it was purchased. A $10 item goes up for swapping or given to a friend/family member. A $50 item will go back to the store after I’ve called the company to report the issue. For example, when it comes to perfume, I see a few ladies return fragrances they dislike. Macy’s is within walking distance of my off price employer. I always suggest they sample first over there and then buy at my place to save a few $$$. But they’re often too lazy to do that, so we end up with bottles of perfume that are spritzed a few times (still good overall) but not re-sellable. Make me bonkers!

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I usually write a note to the company and say that I’ve returned as well 🙂 One way or another, the company should see returns reflected somewhere in their financial data!

If I don’t like product, it’s the wrong color, bad quality, causes skin issues, I’ll take it back.

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