Money-back guarantee?

Friday, 7 September 2012

Money-back guarantee?I love buying beauty products, even though I receive quite a few of them gratis to test. So I know what it feels like to fork out R400 on a foundation or R200 on a cleanser only to discover that it gives me a rash, or break-outs, or I just absolutely can’t stand the smell.

When it comes to buying a product you aren’t entirely satisfied with, there’s the reprieve of a return policy. And these days, you can return almost anything, except undies (eeww!). But what about beauty products?

Yes, yes, I should’ve used the tester the saleswoman was trying to push into my hand, but I’ll admit, I’ve been blinded by pretty packaging on occasion. It’s usually those rash purchases that hurt the most. And what if it was a gift from a friend? Surely you should be able to bring back a bronzer, eye shadow or moisturiser you weren’t completely happy with. What about something trickier in the hygiene stakes like mascara? A pencil eyeliner? Lipstick?

When I spoke to a few of the big beauty brands on their return policies, they all had the same basic response: it’s up to the retailers. Brands like Elizabeth Arden, Revlon and many others, who don’t have their own stand-alone stores, need to adhere to the returns policy of the individual retailers. That said, each brand does have its own Quality Assurance or Customer Liaison office through which you can place your complaint.

In terms of the retailers, Edgars has a firm stand on cosmetics – absolutely no returns or refunds. Clicks too will not accept a returned product unless there’s a defect with it. But what constitutes a ‘defect’ will be determined according to the product and the situation.

Truworths are a little more lenient, where if the product is in its original packaging, hasn’t been opened or used, then it can be exchanged. But if it’s not and you’ve used it, then no exchange. Stuttafords toes much of the same line – the product must still be in its original packaging, and of course you need your till slip too.

So, next time you’re thinking of buying a beauty product, make absolutely certain it’s what you want and will suit your complexion, skin type and personality. Use the testers and samples and listen to the saleswomen at the beauty counter, they’re there to make sure you are and stay 100% happy with your beauty purchase.

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.

Megan on Google+

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  1. AndreaM

    Very informative article, thank you.

    4 years ago •

  1. me

    Agree wholeheartedly with Carlene. Rather pay than using the public product, eew, it’s like undies.

    5 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Perfectly understandable that a retailer will not accept return of a product that has been opened and used, but it would be wonderful if more of them would stock individual testers of especially treatment products (even if they have to charge a small fee for it). I am not willing to try product from a general tester container due to hygiene concerns, but will gladly pay a reasonable fee for an individual tester to try at my leisure.

    5 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    some products you cant just try once though you need to test them for a few days before the skin reacts and sales assistants always dont give samples because they keep them for themselves so it is a huge problem

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    I didn’t think that retailers would offer a money back guarantee on any facial products or make up but the in depth overview and info stipulated in the article is truly usefull.

    5 years ago •

  1. Charne

    Thank goodness for testers. But I noticed some cospetic stores do not have testers available, because some women don’t believe in making use of them at all because of germs and so on.

    5 years ago •

  1. Vadapalli

    Good to know about the return policy. Great article!!!!

    5 years ago •

  1. BeautyBloggess

    This is why I love the beauty boxes. Try BEFORE you buy.

    5 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Informative, the only problem is however that lodging your complaint with the actual manufacturer takes eons before it is actually resolved!

    5 years ago •

  1. Chicara

    I have definitely on occasion wanted to return an awful product that just didn’t work.

    5 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Thankyou for the info. I had no idea!

    5 years ago •

  1. Anita

    Thanks for the article. I also insist on samples

    5 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    Good to know these things!

    5 years ago •

  1. Gee Whiskers

    I didn’t know about this so I found this article incredibly informative!

    5 years ago •

  1. Thobza

    I don’t like buying beauty products from supermarket, I prefer pharmacy

    5 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    Scary! I am very careful with my purchases… And many brands don’t give testers. I hate using the ones in shop – they are like bacterial bombs – all the people that touched them and stuck their fingers inside them – freaks me out.

    5 years ago •

  1. APB

    I’m not surprised, the service in certain department stores is becoming so shocking and samples are few and far between, so one would think they would up the standards there to prevent customers leaving with a potentially unwanted product.

    5 years ago •

  1. Charles

    That’s why I insist on samples, even when the saleswomen are not very keen. It doesn’t help if they apply foundation to my face in the store either – those lights are not very friendly and I need to know what it’s going to look like after a day’s wear. If they don’t want to give me a sample, I just try another store.

    5 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    Great advice although, we’re not winning.

    5 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    great article, i learned about returns and exchanges the hard way when bought a mousse only to find shade looked good in store but outside too dark for me and it can’t be exchanged.

    5 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    Thanks for the article but their return policy is not fair on us consumers.

    5 years ago •

  1. Lorraine

    This happened to me. I bought a foundation from a well know brand at Edgars store. Expensive i must say. The first time i have treated myself to buying this expensive foundation. When i started using it the next day my eyes were swollen. If i wear it today then tomorrow my eyes are swollen again .Had to go see a doctor it got so bad.Went back to Edgars the lady said she can not think it is the foundation that is doing it.After returning a few times back to Edgars and showing them how my face looked they refunded me.

    5 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Good to know about return policy, honestly I didn’t know, or was I that ignorant? Great article thank you

    5 years ago •

  1. Des

    Thanks for the advice. Now we know to only buy if 100% confident which is tricky.

    5 years ago •

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