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20% off or more is compelling — 10-15% is a lot less compelling. I feel like that appeals only if I was on the fence or about to purchase something from the brand already. 20% off starts to inspire me to look at products and see what I want to buy. Oh, and free shipping should always be part of the deal (or else there should be a fairly low threshold to get to free shipping). Free shipping isn’t a deal!

— Christine

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I don’t even consider it a deal unless it’s at least 15% off – here in California tax is almost 9% so 10% barely even covers tax and therefore doesn’t feel like much of a deal at all. 20% piques my interest more but you’ll really grab my attention in the 25%-30% range, especially for in-store sales.

Free shipping is always an added bonus, but it needs be available at no more than say $30. I’m loathe to spend $50 on make-up at a time so if it takes that much to get free shipping it doesn’t feel like a deal and I’ll try and pick up the items in store if I can instead.

I completely agree Christine!

It takes me at least 20% off to get excited. Similarly, 10-15% doesn’t really rock my boat. Ironically (and I know this in the back of my mind), the actual dollar value is small between the two deals. Yet, in my mind the 20% deal just makes me all jumpy and happy; it’s a huge distortion of perception. Lol!

I’m pretty sure this notion was primed because of Sephora’s annual F&F sale, which was such a hyped event and that cosmetics hardly ever have across the board sales. In addition, my first serious foray into cosmetics was around that time, which just magnifies this distorted perception.

What about you guys?

Oh, and free shipping is definitely not a deal; more of like a requirement. 🙂

For DS products, I look for BOGOs, except for at Walgreen’s, as most of their products are ridiculously hired price, and I only buy products I can’t find anywhere else. For HE products, I like a good GWP, or even some PWPs are a good deal, especially if there is no minimum price for the base purchase and/or I planned to buy something, anyway. I rarely shop online, so I don’t often come across sales; when I do, I usually go big, so free shipping is always a given. Of course, those Holiday sets are often amazing values!

What gets me excited is seeing a brand that doesn’t usually do sales, go on sale. Or a brand that I really like. If it’s a brand that doesn’t carry products I’m too interested in I may be persuaded to try some if they’re 50%+ off, but deals less than that don’t really excite me. If it’s a brand I know I love and I know I’ll use lots I’ll be happy to see *any* deal

Eh, I do like my 20% off coupons/sales. What can throw me over the deep end is clearance sales (a lot of color cosmetics are things I’d NEVER use up), or nice sales/clearances when I’ve got some earned credit to burn. Used my Ulta points on an order for $10 UDPP in Greed, got two tubes, spend $5 more for free shipping…my total was actually less than $20 when all was said and done.

My last Cherry Culture order was fun, too. They have a kind of high minimum points balance before you can redeem, but I was able to do that when they had a sale.

Now, my favorite soap/bodyscrub company (Villainess), you can redeem your points all the time, you just have to redeem them in amounts that would take even dollars off your total. I keep telling myself to hoard them to have a free order sometime, but I usually get like $4 off every order…it evens out, and almost pays for shipping. 😀

For me free shipping is a big deal. I live in Hawaii and often times free shipping isn’t offered, and many times its so high I won’t buy at all. People act like Hawaii is a different planet. 🙁

As far a percentage off goes I’m happy with anything (it’s better than nothing). But I prefer at least 20%, I feel like any less isn’t really a sale. I’m also a fan of the gift with purchase. Living we I do (very small rural island) if I want something Costco or Walmart doesn’t carry I’m forced to buy online. And if I need it I buy it, sale or no sale. So I’m swayed by anything that might sweeten the deal.

At least 20% off and free shipping–but I look for free shipping on everything I buy, especially since I have Amazon Prime and I buy from Nordstrom’s. For drugstore products I like the BOGO offers, although the BOGO 1/2 off isn’t as appealing as BOGO free obviously. I like gifts with purchase if there isn’t a huge purchase amount required–I’ve seen ones at Nordstrom’s that require like $300 purchase, which…no.

I’m only getting interested when it’s 30% off or more… My favorite sale is the yearly “40% off all lip products” sale from a store that sells Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder etc… Oh and Free Shipping is a must for all web shops!

For me, my reaction varies depending on whether the brand is drugstore or high end. For example, 15% off a DS product wouldn’t really pique my interest, because DS brands release coupons and have sales more frequently. Also, drugstore product prices vary depending on the store, in my area Walgreen’s is always 2 or 3 dollars cheaper than Rite Aid, so I’d just go to the cheaper store.

But when a store like Sephora has 15% off anything, I have a much stronger reaction, especially since the dollar amount of 15% is larger for more expensive items. I also think free shipping should be a given. I live out in the hinterlands, so no in store purchases for me. I don’t always want to make a huge purchase, because it’d be really lame to have to use the money I saved due to the sale on shipping.

I completely agree with all your points, Christine. I don’t know anyone who’d pay for shipping without dreading it a little. I especially dislike flat rate shipping. Although it’s a good thing if you buy a lot at once, I never want to pay $8 shipping for one small eyeshadow!

To top it off, I loathe the fact that American sales tax doesn’t show up until checkout. I get why it works that way (different states have different taxes, etc), but growing up in countries where taxes are generally calculated into the retail price, it always feels like a hidden fee to me. >:

I need 30% off to take an extra look at the products (read reviews, find swatches) if it’s a brand I’m curious about. 15% off and I’ll most likely buy the product if it’s something I’ve planned getting in the near future anyway. 50% or more off, and I’ll go completely crazy and buy all the stuff I want, lol. The original price also matters, I obviously get more exited about 30% off a $100 product than a $15 product. Free shipping or at least a very low shipping cost is a must. I hate when the shipping is higher than what I saved on the product, and it keeps me from placing an order.

I’m a total sucker for 20% off. Also “20 dollars off purchases over X dollars” will do it for me. I rarely order online but when I do, I wait for free shipping. I also like GWP offers – if those contain products I use, they can be a very good deal. In Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart has a loyalty points system that can really add up. Frequently they have “20 times the points” offers and I make a point of purchasing then. At other times (like this weekend), they have bonus points redemption offers (you get $100 worth of products by redeeming only $85 worth of points, etc.) and that is when I really indulge and buy things like Guerlain or add to my brush collection, etc.

I do look when Ulta sends out those 20% coupons. But free shipping is my biggest one. Someone I will put off buying someone online because the shipping price just isn’t worth it. I also like when places give a free gift with your purchase (assuming the gift is useful haha).

As a Canadian, I need a minimum 20% to feel compelled to purchase something. The markups here are so large that 10-15% isn’t even enough to bring the Canadian price of a product down to the American price.

You hit the nail on the head Christine!
Anything less than 20% I probably won’t think twice…. And yes free shipping is NOT a deal…LOL!
I love Nordies & drugstore/beauty.com!

I love once a year massive sales vs more frequent and smaller discounts. Nothing gets me make excited than tons and tons of products all 50% off.

Christine … I agree with you on this D: apart from discount free shipping is musttttt
you know i want that Tarina Tarantino liner in spark of envy but $ 6 for shippingggg is too much for anybody 🙁
i want that so badly …and i beggggggg you now
if in future you create any makeup product i want that signed by you 😀 in anyyyyy case 😀

What peaks my interest is 20% or more and I agree with you that Free Shipping is a must!

With the internet becoming the place so many people shop, I think some of the big box stores can afford discounts and free shipping!

I used to shop online at a retailer (won’t mention but starts as JC) but don’t like to shop there because they “stopped” all the sales and advertise that they have the best prices now!

I am much more likely to purchase when there is a real “sale”!

I’ve never shopped online so I can’t say anything regarding free shipping. However, if it’s a brand I really love and patronize, I’d be happy with any deal.

Guerlain counters (in my country) offers 20-30% discount on all products every time a new collection’s out, I’m pretty much contented with that. 😀

As I’m in Holland atm, I can almost never hope for free shipping since everywhere I want to order from is in a different country. 🙁

For me, 20% off sales are interesting, but 25% or more is what really piques my interest. I don’t know why that extra 5% makes such a mental difference, but it does! A WHOLE QUARTER OF THE PRICE OFF! my mind goes, where A WHOLE FIFTH OFF isn’t as interesting.

That exact question has been on my mind! I’m REALLY lemming Tarte’s blush “Awakening,” but it goes against my blood to spend $30, especially since I know they reduced the quantity and are selling it for the same price as the others.

When I thought I could get it for 20% off at Ulta, I was ready to jump. But 15% off at Sephora feels kind of inadequate. I might still do it, but it’s not exciting anymore. I guess I have to decide about that today.

A sale needs to be at least 20% off in order to be exciting. What I really want to see is 40% off or more, but that’s pretty rare.

I get excited to see a brand mark products off 20% or more, especially if it’s a fave of mine and I want to stock up on back ups or something I’ve been wanting to try. I also tend to buy products that I have tried and love if they are on sale BOGO half off or free!

1) I buy a lot of holiday sales packages IF: best price, REALLY like 90% but will use all of the package. Otherwise, I pass.
2) I wait for 20% minimum UNLESS it is a large ticket item, then I buy at 15% if it is best price I’ve ever seen. I waited a couple of years for a Clarisonic, right after the Aria came out Sephora had it packaged with good Lancome extras during 20% VIB sale – I made the purchase on day 1 of the sale!
2) I “stack” sales. If buying at Sephora during a 4 day sale, I look for the day with 100 or 500 point perk items and samples I want to try. I avoid clearance temptation unless I use the item or have wanted to try it…then I try to stack clearance with another sale. It’s tricky, if you wait too long the item you wanted sells out. Kicked myself on those.
3) I really stock up on basics (cleansers, skin care, shampoo, etc.) when sales are best I’ve seen all year. Sale % depends on the brand & retailer…I watch their sale trends throughout the year so I know when to buy a little or a lot. I allow myself a low cost wish list & hopefully new product then too. If I have the money, I get to have more of those “extras”. If I can’t afford it – I don’t buy it.
3) I avoid new releases and limited editions unless I REALLY want the item and KNOW it will sell out permanently…that way I can wait for a good deal AND make sure it wasn’t an impulse buy. There are 2 shadows in UD Glinda that are haunting me but I don’t need them and don’t want the entire palette so I’m being good. I have been burned by several Ebay sellers or would buy there more…I wish I could find an honest reliable seller with lines I use! Anyone have long term trusted seller ideas?
4) Free shipping is a must. Having to spend $50 to get it is frustrating and may kill the deal if I don’t need for that much product. If you only have to spend $25 or $35…I’ll buy.
5) Full return policy is a must, regardless of sale, since I live in a rural mountain region and there is no place for me to see or allergy/function test new products before buying.
6) I don’t bother with drug store items very often because we are such a tiny town that we don’t even have a decent range of mascaras. When I lived in large cities BOGO or 50% off helped me look but not necessarily buy.
7) I try to check weekly sale posting here and I REALLY appreciate Christine doing that for us!!! I am grateful when readers add comments of sales they find too!

Just wanted to chime in that I also very much appreciate the postings of upcoming sales, Christine. Thank you 🙂

I’ll really only look at deals that are 25+ % off, although it varies depending on whether the items to which a promotion applies are on sale often. The Body Shop, for example, always has deals–NARS, not so much. I hate buying makeup for retail unless it’s in the drugstore price range or if it contributes to a point/reward system. I’ve had my eye on NARS Taj Mahal for years but I’m still waiting for some kind of promotion to come up! One of these days I’ll probably give in to a department store GWP but they usually apply to like ~$100+ purchases. I’ve got to find $70+ worth of products to be really interested in! Only then will I finally allow myself that tauntingly gorgeous, golden burnt orange blush. Le sigh.

I completely agree with you. If it’s under 15%(and 15% is pushing it) off I don’t really consider it much of a deal, and nowadays free shipping is not a deal, at all. Sigma does this as a black friday “deal” and I find that insulting as a customer, that shows me you don’t care about your customers and are only out to make a buck. Also, when a company that isn’t known for doing a sale does one that’s an instant draw to me.

Ulta 20& off. Hurry Ulta and open up that store in Alameda, CA!
Free gifts with purchase…or rather “free gift with purpose”.
The free bag that comes along with the gift beauty promotion at Neiman Marcus or Saks….but it really depends on the bag.
Those 15-20% off is really not cheaper…because you have to buy enough to get free shipping past $50.00…so essentially you are spending just as much….but maybe just getting another product.

My favorite sale/deal is 40% off or more. These bogo 50% offs are actually 25% off in disguise.
I also love GWPs.

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