Makeup lovers seem to have a love/hate relationship with Sephora and the Sephora return policy. At certain times, it seems generous; at others, it can seem unforgiving.
From what you can’t return to whether or not you’ll be reimbursed for shipping fees, here is what you need to know about the Sephora return policy.
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1. You can get a full refund on new and lightly used products at Sephora stores.
The Sephora return policy allows customers to return an in-store purchase to a Sephora within 60 days with a receipt for a full refund.
If you’re like me and hate hanging onto paper receipts, keep in mind that your orders can also be found under your Sephora Beauty Insider account. Beauty Insider is Sephora’s loyalty program, and has three tiers: Beauty Insider (baseline), VIB (spend $350/year), and Rouge (spend $1,000 a year).
PRO TIP: Returned items will still count toward your Beauty Insider status!
2. But the return of used products is up to employee discretion.
The Sephora return policy states that “products must be returned in new or gently used condition.” Kinda subjective if you ask me.
I’ve been able to return half-used products before, while others have been denied.
3. If you don’t have a receipt or your BI account linked, you need your original form of payment to get any store credit at all.
Another good reason to sign up for the free Beauty Insider program. Just do it!
4. Online orders must be returned within 30 days for a full refund.
If it’s between 31 and 60 days, you’ll get store credit that can be used on Sephora.com but not a Sephora store.
5. Yes, Sephora does keep track of how many returns you make.
If you make a sketchy amount of returns, you may start to get some side-eye looks — or have your returns denied completely. Yikes — that is not a list I want to be on!
6. All Sephora.com returns are free.
It’s easy enough if you have access to a printer and tape — you just need your order number and zip code to get a prepaid shipping label.
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7. But your original shipping fees won’t be reimbursed.
If you’re returning an online order for which you paid $5.95 for shipping, say bye-bye to that money. You’ll be reimbursed for the product cost, but not the one-way shipping.
PRO TIP: Sephora.com has a $50 minimum spend for free shipping. BUT hacking online shipping fees is easy. Sephora often has free shipping promo codes, like FREESHIP, or you could simply buy $50 worth of merchandise and return what you don’t want to avoid any extra fees.
8. If you want your item or your refund right away, go into a Sephora store.
Online delivery and returns are taking longer than usual. My last Sephora.com order took 20 days to arrive…and I would’ve had to wait at least another week to see my refund after dropping my return at a USPS, so I decided to go to a Sephora store instead.
9. You can return any Sephora order to a JCPenney Sephora.
Whether you bought it online or at a stand-alone Sephora, you can make a return to a JCPenney Sephora. But you’ll only get a JCPenney store card in exchange, not a refund to your original payment.
A small perk is that the store credit can be used anywhere in the department store or in the interior Sephora.
10. But if you bought it from a JCPenney Sephora, you gotta return it to a JCPenney Sephora.
This is true for both online and in-store Sephora orders and returns. If you made a Sephora purchase through a JCPenney store or JcPenney.com, you need to return it that way as well.
11. Online orders can’t be exchanged by mail.
Let’s say you got the wrong color foundation or a serum that you don’t love, and you want to exchange it for something else. If you bought it online, this’ll mean an extra errand: Sephora.com doesn’t do exchanges via mail. Womp.
12. You can return something you bought online to a store, but not vice versa.
This is true for many retail stores, including Sephora.
13. If you return something with a gift receipt, you’ll only get store credit.
That’s just the way it is. But hey, this way you can pick out something you actually want.