Do shipping fees influence your makeup purchase?

It tends more to impact what retailer I purchase from than whether I make the purchase, but I often pay higher shipping fees if the retailer has it first, regardless of if it might come to another retailer (with free shipping) in a week.

— Christine


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Kiss & Make-up Avatar

To some extent, yes. But in general I don’t paying for shipping, as long as it stays affordable. What bothers me MUCH more are the extra fees and VAT that Swiss customs charge on goods coming in from abroad. And lately they seem to have gotten even stricter about it. Post-delivery invoices just keep piling up in my mail box, it’s so frustrating.

Pearl Avatar

It seems like most places offer free shipping now BUT if it’s free shipping with $xx purchase, I will buy the amount needed (and probably then some) to get free shipping. If the retailer does not offer free shipping, I typically shop elsewhere online or I’ll go in store. Exceptions are MUG (their shipping is pretty cheap at $1.99) or MAC ($5.00 for 2nd day option).

Anne Avatar

I’m like you too in that it affects which retailer I buy from more than if I do, but in some cases it does affect the purchase. I remember over the holidays I was trying to find some stuff from Lush that was from their holiday collection, and it turned out some of it was only being offered online and there is never free shipping on their site, so that annoyed me and I didn’t make the purchase.

Also, if there is free shipping over a certain amount (that isn’t ridiculously high, more like $25-$35) and I’m almost there, I may throw in an impulse buy or another item I was going to wait on to avoid shipping costs and “get something” for the money I would have spent otherwise on shipping.

Kirsten Avatar

Yes. I’m more inclined to buy from Sephora or Nordstroms because of their free shipping. If I want something drugstore or that Ulta carries I’m more likely to go into the store itself.

Rachel R. Avatar

Same for me; fees are more likely to influence who I order from. It frequently influences when I order, too. If the shipping rates are higher, such as overseas shipping, and the items are permanent, I’m more likely to wait till I have the money and enough things I want to place a larger order. Average shipping fees of $5-7 or whatever don’t bother me. I’m far enough away from most retailers it’s either a wash on the gas, or worth the hassle/time it saves me from going to the store.

Lulle Avatar

Oh yes! I do a lot of shopping from Nordstrom because they ship free without a minimum purchase. Sometimes I give up on something that’s only available on one website because what I want doesn’t reach the threshold for free shipping. Other times I’ll add stuff I don’t need to my order to get there…

Katherine T. Avatar

Yep, I HATE paying for shipping! Sometimes, I only want 1 product, but will find other stuff just to get free shipping. For Colour Pop, I keep a running wishlist, then when I have enough stuff to meet the $25 minimum for free shipping, I put in an order. If I have to pay $5 for shipping, I think gee, that’s the cost of a Colour Pop shadow, so NO WAY am I paying for shipping!

K Avatar

Oohooo yes.

I used to live in America. (Born there, thanks mum n dad.) Then I fell in love so I came all the way across the sea to Finland. Shipping, which I used to balk at five dollars for? That’s cheap now. Under ten is still damn good. I’ve paid as much as thirty sometimes. I don’t see shipping as “extra” anymore, it’s now part of the price. Ten bucks shipping on three items? Add about an extra 3.25 to each of their prices. Do I still want them at that price, or are they desirable only when cheaper? It’s helped to curb my spending a lot, so I do appreciate it. But dang, if there’s one thing I miss about ‘Muricah…

Gillian Avatar

Definitely. There are products that I’d love to get but for many sites, such as some in the US, the shipping is just too expensive for me. Sometimes it’s more than the cost of what you wish to purchase! I have done the odd massive haul to justify the shipping costs if I really can’t get what I’m looking for elsewhere, but I can count them on one hand. Well, less than one hand!

Unless I really want something and I’m willing to pay over the odds for it then I resign myself to the fact that I won’t be getting it! ?

Mariella Avatar

Yes, shipping fees certainly do impact which retailers I purchase from. With MAC, I almost always wait for free shipping, which they have often enough. I’m VIB Rouge at Sephora so shipping is free. But as I’m in Canada, ordering from many other companies generally involves not just shipping but also duty and so the cost for even a relatively inexpensive product can really climb.

Michele @Binxcat4ever Avatar

Absolutely. With beauty products, I refuse to ever pay shipping. If I can’t get free shipping, I go to another retailer. There are plenty of retailers that offer free shipping. In fact, until MAC and UD recently launched their loyalty programs, I almost never purchased directly from them (as often I didn’t reach the minimum required for free shipping). Now, as an example, I’ve already reached Tier 2 with MAC and am well on my way to do the same with UD. (As a side note, there are also some retailers I hesitate to buy from bc they charge tax on their sites, i.e. YSL. Why would I want to pay an extra 6% when I can get the same product without tax say from NM or Saks? The only exception to this is if something is LE, I really want it, and I expect it to sell out.)

Nicole Avatar

That’s a really excellent point about paying tax. I never did understand why some beauty companies charge tax and some don’t, but it definitely influences whether I’m willing to buy from that company or not. I think where I live I pay around 9% tax (it must be-consistently online and in stores around here if I spent $200 I’ll be charged almost $20 in tax), so if it’s a big enough haul the tax could easily equal the same price as one or two actual products.

Laura Avatar

Yes. I have been trying to buy off the brand’s own site instead of big stores (I feel like it’s supporting the brand more) so the shipping fees do bug me. But I feel strongly about buying from the brand itself, so I will pay it.

Wednesday Avatar

Somewhat. I tend to make purchases less frequently from retailers with higher shipping fees. I typically wait until I have a number of products to purchase before I put the pin in on an order. I do not make purchases from these retailers for single products. That being said, if there is something LE which I really want to get my hands on before it sells out, and the only place to get it first has higher fees, I will invariably choke down the fees to get it here.

Tova J Avatar

Yes, definitly! I buy a lot of makeup from overseas (I’m in Sweden), but sometimes the international shipping fees are so ridiculous I have to pass. 40 dollar shipping for a lipstick? Don’t think so!

Julia Avatar

Very much! I feel like shipping fees are essentially wasted money if you can hit a free shipping threshold and actually get something with those dollars, so unless it’s ridiculously high (Hautelook), I will add to my order to hit that threshold – I’ve gotten some interesting stuff that way πŸ™‚ I also tend to make additional, smaller purchases when sites offer a free shipping no minimum, like UD sometimes does around the holidays. And I think Sephora’s Flash Shipping is basically the best thing since sliced bread! I did it last year and will be renewing.

Katherine T. Avatar

Yes, Hautelook is ridiculous! $100 for free shipping WTH?? I usually only want 1 or 2 discounted products, and after I add in the shipping charges, the deal isn’t so great anymore, AND they take forever and ever to ship. They wait until the sale ends (could be weeks and weeks), then they ship, which takes at least another week or so. By the time stuff comes to my doorstep, I have forgotten what I had even ordered!

Fran Avatar

Definitely! I love free shipping/free returns. It gives me the feeling that the retailer wants me happy with them for the long term. I don’t expect small/indie retailers to offer it because there are people who will take advantage of that kind of policy, but even then free shipping with a small (under $50) minimum and a willingness to work with the customer when a product doesn’t work out well makes me more willing to order from them.

MissJae1908 Avatar

Absolutely! I’m so happy that I found out about the Flash Shipping service with Sephora. Because sometimes my order isn’t $50. It’s $40 and I don’t want to pay an additional $7 for shipping. I could be using that extra $7 to purchase a sheet mask! Now I just need for Ulta to get a similar program.

Carolyn Avatar

Shipping fees tend to make or break a purchase for me. I know that I’m going to be paying taxes no matter what so I only tend to order stuff online when I can get free shipping or if it’s free to ship to a local store location. I recently wanted to purchase the Too Faced PB&J palette but with shipping and duties it would have been $85 for me in Canada! Are you kidding me Too Faced??? Get rid of those ridiculous shipping fees. $20 for shipping then add duties and taxes. Nope! I wish Ulta would smarten up and start shipping to Canada because otherwise I pretty much rely on Sephora for my makeup purchases. The VIB Rouge free shipping makes a huge difference. I also don’t mind if retailers have a minimum to spend to get free shipping. Seriously though how do we still live in a world with shipping fees? Boooooo!

Icequeen81 Avatar

Yes it does, sometimes is the shipping so high , that you think twice if you want purchase a product
if the product is cheaper than the shipping or when the product is already expensive and the shipping is so high that you feel you are buying twice the same product.

Deidre Avatar

Yes and the exchange rate too.Living in Canada if you order from outside of Canada there will be duties/taxes added on too so I really have to decide if what I am ordering is worth it or if I can order it from somewhere else and get it cheaper.

Eileen Avatar

It only influences the choice of retailer. I favor retailers that have free shipping or a low minimum purchase for free shipping. I also look at Ebates before ordering to see if the cash back will offset any shipping charge that I might have to pay.

Rachel Avatar

Absolutely! I wish Ulta would implement a similar program to Sephora’s FLASH shipping subscription. $10 for a year of free shipping is great!

GK Avatar

I agree Rachel! It would be nice if their coupons applied to all brands. And, if they lowered their required limit for platinum-used to be $400, now $450. I enjoy @ulta but their terms are not that great a deal. VIB is only $350 & their coupons apply to everything.

Stephanie Avatar

Living an hour away from the nearest department store makeup counter means that shipping fees often colour my decisions. I will order from the company that will offer free shipping on my purchase. Because most purchases are not things I really need, just things I want, I can wait for free shipping, or choose not to purchase. It’s just one of my idiosyncrasies. . Often the urge to have a new items wears off in time while I wait for the sale or shipping deal so this does keep my expenditures to a reasonable amount.

Alice Avatar

Yeah. Like $5 is fine, but I’m not going to pay $8 shipping on a $20 order/for one product, and it stinks when you have to spend $75+ to get free shipping. This doesn’t just apply to makeup either, I hate ordering from clothing sites that charge a ton for shipping.

I will sign up for loyalty programs (like the new UD one) or pay a flat fee (like Sephora Flash) if it will get me free shipping on smaller orders.

Nicole Avatar

Yes, absolutely. I feel like there are enough companies that offer free shipping that to pay for shipping is almost like throwing my money away. Most items that I want aren’t so unique that they’re only carried by one store. I also get really sick of minimum purchase for free shipping. Sometimes you just want one item, you know? Belk is pretty good for having no minimum. The only time I’ll pay for shipping is if the order is from an indie brand.

Tanis Avatar

Yes most definitely as sometimes the price to ship cost more then the item. Canadians are getting hit on our dollar, shipping and duties. The other day I went to place an order with Too Faced online and the added fees totalled well over $40.00 USD, that’s extortion if you ask me. Obviously I talked myself out of the items and did not place the order.

GK Avatar

Yes it does. I will usually pass if I have to pay for shipping. I will buy something extra to reach the minimum for free shipping, unless it’s over $75-I think that’s too high. I also don’t want to pay to return something. There are a lot of companies that give free shipping & returns. That’s where I shop the most.

Carolannf Avatar

Absolutely it does! I generally won’t buy from a site that charges shipping. I live in Australia and sometimes the fees they want to charge are ridiculous – far more costly than items purchased. However, I don’t mind paying a small set fee for something I want that I can’t purchase anywhere else.

Cherri M Avatar

Shipping very much plays into whether or not I purchase from a retailer. Not so.much which product though. I may not purchase something from hautelook if I am only purchasing one product and the added shipping negates the discount on the product.

Brandi Avatar

I think living here in America has spoiled me because shipping costs matter a lot to me. I’ve seen some of the prices people pay from other countries and I shudder. If I had to pay some of those prices I’d never wear makeup!! Could be why I haven’t ordered from Femme Fatale, I just cant stomach paying half of what my cart was just in shipping! But, on the U.S. side I generally have a high enough total I don’t pay for shipping. =D

Ellen Avatar

Absolutely. I’m in Australia, so when I do an order for US makeup, I tend to buy a number of things from different stores and get them sent to the one address. I love that I can buy a single lip pencil or lipstick for Nordstrom and not pay shipping. My sister-in-law is a VIB rouge and gets free shipping so I tend to order at the same time as her πŸ˜‰
As illogical and petty as it is, many times I’ve gone to order something from a site, seen that I will pay $5 for shipping, so I’ve cancelled the order. It just peeves me.
I’ll search for a store that will ship for free. Every time.

Glenda Avatar

Absolutely! I’m not a person who has to have a product first, not even remotely. So yeah, free shipping matters a great deal to me but with a slight caveat. I won’t spend $5.95 shipping for a lip pencil that costs $18.00; to me, that just doesn’t make financial sense. However, if free shipping starts at $25, $35, etc. I’ll consider spending more to get the free shipping.
I seldom need additional product, but I can always use the extra purchases for birthday, Christmas and just because gifts that I enjoy sharing.

Dawn Avatar

Shipping fees absolutely influence my makeup purchase. If it’s not free, I contemplate on buying anything from that particular website, and shop around to find a website that is free.

Genevieve Avatar

Yes they certainly do! Most of my eye shadow palette purchases are made through beauty retailers and ebay and the shipping costs can be very steep to Australia. Apart from converting our dollar (which is low at the moment in comparison to the US dollar), the shipping costs can be prohibitive.

Zee Avatar

Yes! As a UK buyer I was just looking at some US exclusive too faced stuff but the fees are just too painful πŸ™
As for buying stuff in the UK I don’t tend to think too much about buying stuff with free postage but when they charge I often end up talking myself out of the purches or looking else where.

Jen Avatar

Sometimes. This week I was contemplating between making an order with either MAC or MUG. I chose MAC because they had free overnight shipping.

A lot of times when I’m ordering online I want my stuff as soon as humanly possible, so I’ll willingly pay up to $15 extra for overnight or two day shipping. Some sites don’t offer overnight or it’s $30+, so I’ll go with the retailer that has more affordable overnight rates. Overnight is only like $14 from Ulta, so I order from them a lot.

Rita Avatar

Absolutely! What makes me mad is when the S&H fees are already high, then they make it even higher. Like on Poshmark! You can buy something for really cheap then add S&H, and you may as well go to a store and pay just as much. A lot of the time the product has been used! So you pay full store price for something that has been used. Go figure…

Kylie5 Avatar

Because I live in germany shipping and custom fees are a big problem. I would pay for the shipping but I have to pay an extra cost of 19 % custum fees if the order comes over about 30 Dollars (including the shipping costs !!!!! which I do not understand)
In other words it is impossible to avoid custum fees.
So I really have to calculate and think about it thoroughly.
But I do order regularly because I love so many beauty products from the USA. Also it may be normal for you but you get so many presents. We in germany can only dream of this.
So in the end I have to pay more but I get presents, points which I can change in presents and I get really good products.

Cami Avatar

Omg YES. It affects everything. This is why I haven’t purchased many Morphe products.. their shipping is SO expensive. And it’s not like the brushes I’m purchasing are heavy or anything. Especially because I live in Hawaii and everything is already expensive to ship here.. and you are always not included in the free shipping over so many dollars, it’s a headache!

Charley JB Avatar

I agree.
Living in Australia, a lot of high end stuff, you need to get shipped in from either the US or the UK and a site with flat out Free International Shipping with no minimum order is about as rare as Duck’s Teeth.
I’m all too familiar with exorbitant Shipping Fees…. I paid $87USD for 2 palettes & 2 foundations from Nordstroms over Christmas… That was JUST the Shipping Cost!!! (and had to wait close to 4 weeks for their “express” post!)
So, I tend to look for sites that offer Flat Rate Shipping or at least those that offer, say, an Express Upgrade Option for purchases over a certain amount. (Like, spend over $80 & you’ll pay for Standard Shipping but get Express shipping instead)
I really like in the UK, they offer Free Shipping for orders over $29AUD (super easy to hit that particular target!) offer Flat Rate Shipping and deserve a notable mention, they offer Next Day Delivery for only $10.76USD
But there are a lot of companies that won’t ship to Australia at all.
Ulta won’t ship here, nor will Sephora… And with Sephora, you must make your purchases using a card from a US Bank, so you can’t even use one of those third party shipping companies…. Oh, the struggle is VERY real Down Under!

Susan Parker Avatar

Yes! I live in Canada and free shipping is seldom offered within the country. If it is offered, you usually need to buy quite a bit of stuff to be eligible. As for buying from the USA… The shipping price nowadays is relatively high but it’s the currency exchange rate that makes it prohibitive. ?

BonnieJ Avatar

Shipping fees are a definite no-no with me. I don’t mind low minimums like Sephora’s $25 purchase requirement for it, however. I look for no shipping fees always, and GWPs/PWPs to compare retailers whenever I buy more expensive beauty items and/or cosmetic/fragrance gifts for others. I often stock up during Sephora’s F&F sales, buy online and take advantage of special offers and Ebates. I like to think that small economies like this are part of the reason we own several pieces of real estate. It all adds up over the long term.

mellowedbeauty Avatar

Free shipping is much more attractive to me as I am buying from Australia where cosmetics are so much more expensive and limited!

Judy H. Avatar

Christina, your reply is very confusing, I’m not quite certain what you mean.

shipping fees most DEFINITELY have an impact on what I purchase! I don’t care how badly I want something, if the shipping fee ends up being half the cost of the product…forget it!

generally, I balk at shipping fees over $5-$6. It’s absolutelly insane what some of these companies ask for shipping and handling!

Christine Avatar

I will pay whatever the shipping fees are if it means I can get the product earlier. Since I only care about reviewing products and thereby if I don’t get the review to readers as soon as I can, I am failing at my job, so I very often pay for 2-day or overnight shipping.

Jan Kelley Avatar

It depends. How badly do I want it. And, if I wait will it be available elsewhere. More and more stores are offering free shipping, even some in the UK.

Cory Avatar

OMG yes! I still haven’t ordered any Morphe brushes because of their $8 flat-rate shipping fee (going to imats tho, so I plan on trying them w/out their ludacris shipping!). I really appreciate sites like MAC, Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc., where shipping is just straight up free. You can buy anything & they ship it free.
Makeup Geek has a pretty sweet shipping system set up too. It goes by weight and location (which all shipping should), & if I’m just ordering shadows, it usually only costs me $2 in shipping.
Places like Beautylish & ABH are great too w/their low minimums for free shipping…
So yes! Shipping is almost (like 88%) everything for me when it comes to online purchasing πŸ™‚

Great question to whoever asked it!!!

A Avatar

Totally. If I’m buying mid or high end I expect free shipping. I usually won’t buy from a retailer that does not offer free shipping for high end cosmetics (unless the amount to get the free ship is $50 or less.) It doesn’t matter if it’s LE. It seems to me that companies usually save a lot of money selling online versus in store. I expect those savings to be passed on to me in some form or another.

WCV Avatar

Sometimes. If I can order from a store with shoprunner or Amazon Prime, and they have product first, that will impact my choice. I also look for no tax and ebates. I buy mostly high end cosmetics (and a lot of them) so those things can make a difference.

jaz Avatar

I try not to pay for shipping-I will if I have to. But yes, shipping does affect my purchases. That’s one of the main reasons that I haven’t bought my hair vitamins or zoeva( plus I just now got to a point where I can afford the things I want). I just think shipping in general costs way too much

Lorraine M Avatar

Of course! Living in Puerto Rico, I rarely qualify for free shipping. Some stores don’t even ship here. Sometimes I have to just go through the checkout to see actual shipping cost or to find out they don’t ship here (Why? When a store ships internationally and to the US but not here, it’s like we got lost between the state and countries list). I strongly prefer websites that use USPS, because it’s cheap to PR and fast. USPS considers us domestic. Fedex Smart Post is cheap but way to slow and UPS is too expensive. I like using promo codes and finding deals as much as I can so I am always mindful of how much shipping is. Some deals are just not worth it when the shipping is so much you end up paying more than full price.

Pash-in Avatar

Defiantly! I guess I’m cheap, but I hate paying for shipping, so I usually wait to buy everything I need at one time. So I dont over spend just to save a few dollars for shipping.

Cat Avatar

Shipping charges definitely influence my purchases. If they didn’t, I would order from places like Zoeva, Hello Waffle, and many other online shops I’ve encountered. And there’s no way I’m going to pay more for shipping than the price of the products themselves (one loose pigment for $5 or less, $5.98 for s/h).

If it’s a retailer that offers free shipping if you spend over a certain amount, I might consider it (ColourPop) but it depends on if I really want/need other items from that retailer and how much I’d need to spend. Offering free shipping after $50 or $75 isn’t worth it unless I was planning on stocking up on items anyway (like my biannual purchase of hair products from Ulta) or the item itself is close to that amount.

With so many retailers out there, I’m far more likely to buy from retailers who offer free shipping (Sephora, Nordstrom, MAC, Macy’s, etc) or very low-cost shipping (like Fyrinnae or Shiro).

Laura Avatar

It influences my decision slightly. If I can get something at a counter rather than pay shipping fees, I’ll do that instead. However, if it’s a US brand (I’m from the UK), and the shipping costs are exorbitant, it does affect my decision and can put me off purchasing, especially since there might be customs charges too.

Shay Avatar

It makes a difference when I really want a product that I must have but if I can get it free of charge or wait ’til it’s in store or have a dupe… I can pass on the shipping fee.

Chantal Avatar

Yes definitely. I live in Switzerland, so shipping from the US or even the EU is very expensive. Additionally there are sky-high tax fees. This is why I sadly have only ever made 3 makeup purchases online. As we do not get most US brands like Too Faced, Makeup Forever, Becca, Hourglass etc here in Switzerland, I usually check out a Sephora when I am abroad. Still there are a couple of products on my wish list that I am not ready to buy right now (e.g. a product for 50$ adds up to another 50$ for shipping and taxes).

Hayley Avatar

Definitely, I live in Australia, and sometimes just for a small eyeshadow, shipping will cost $20+ – espescially from the US. Sometimes one item will start shipping at $60 because they put tracking on it. Shipping is usually higher than the purchase itself. Generally not worth it.

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