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.