Based on my experience, the Ulta Return Policy can be a generous one if your store associate is accommodating. Overall, I’ve had so-so experiences with returning and exchanging everything from makeup to face washes and haircare throughout my years as a ULTA shopper.
From the best way to return an online purchase to how to get your full refund, here’s what I learned along my recent Ulta returns journey.
1. You have 60 days to return anything to Ulta.
Ulta extended their Return Policy in 2020, during the pandemic, from 60 to 180 days to ease the return process. As of November 2020, we are back to their pre-Covid 19 return policy. All items purchased after Nov. 16, 2020 are under the previous within-60-days rule.
After the 60 days, you’ll receive “merchandise credit” — which you can only use in the store. But, depending on how lucky you are that day, you may get a little wiggle room with this rule at your local store.
2. You don’t need an “official” receipt for store returns to get a full refund.
For in-store returns, you can show the Ulta associate at the store one of these four “receipt” options:
- Your confirmation email on your phone
- Your Ultamate Rewards Member number, ID, or phone number
- Your Ulta.com account email or phone number
- Your online order packing slip
If you don’t have access to any of these, you’ll still get a refund via store credit. But, as I said before, that’s completely up to the ULTA employee helping you, so keep your fingers crossed.
PRO TIP: If you overuse Ulta’s flexible “No Receipt” return policy, they have been known to limit future returns. My advice is to sign up for their free Ultamate Rewards program so you never have to worry about losing your receipt again.
3. You can return online items at the store, but not vice versa.
For Ulta.com orders, you have to bring the original email order confirmation, the packing slip (mine was in my box), and all the original packaging materials within 60 days to get a full refund.
I purchased my bottle of The Ordinary online as a guest, so I had to bring my photo I.D. and show the associate my confirmation email on my phone when I went into Ulta.
4. It’s up to the store if they’ll accept returns without original packaging or tags.
I’ve done this before.
If you don’t have tags or the packaging your product came in, it’s up to the Ulta associate if they will accept your return and how they will refund you.
If you wanted to return something you prematurely tossed the box or cut the tags off of, try to do it sooner rather than later — because if the item went on sale since you bought it, you’d only get the current sale price as credit.
5. Ulta includes a return packing slip for all of its online orders.
If you buy something from Ulta.com, they’ll include a return shipping slip with Ulta’s Returns Center address in your box.
This should make the Ulta return process by mail easy right? Yes and no. It’s semi-easy, but it’ll cost you. If you don’t return your order in store, you’ll have to pay $7.65 – $18.30 or more for return shipping.
PRO TIP: If your online order doesn’t come with a packing slip for some reason, find your “Order Number” in your confirmation email, and then call Ulta’s Customer Service (866) 983-8582. They will send you a replacement packing slip within 48 hours.
6. Ulta’s return policy requires you to pay for your own return shipping.
If you choose to mail anything back to Ulta’s Return Center, you’ll have to pay for the shipping label out-of-pocket and follow more than a few steps — unlike most of their competitors.
I didn’t have time to go in store, so I shipped back my bottle of The Ordinary by mail. These are the steps I followed:
- Fill out the back of your packing slip (mine came in my box)
- Bring your box and return slip to your local UPS or USPS location
- Provide the carrier employee with the return slip to print out your return label
- Pay for your return shipping
After all that work, I got to Step 4 and realized it’d cost me $7.65 to ship my small box back to Ulta’s Returns Center. So, I took my $5.90 bottle of The Ordinary to the store instead.
7. If you don’t want to pay for return shipping, do returns in store only.
Since Ulta doesn’t pay for return shipping and it takes up to 30 days for refunds to apply to your account, I learned my lesson on that one.
Since I paid with a gift card, they refunded me on a new e-gift card one day after sending my return notification email.
PRO TIP: If you can’t find your email order confirmation, you can also print it yourself. Just sign in to your Ulta.com account, select “Order Status,” and enter the order number (I found mine at the bottom of my packing slip).