Doing This Can Get You Banned From Making Returns at Sephora

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Bad news for those who love and adore Sephora’s return policy: It's officially possible to get banned from making returns in-store. While Sephora is notorious for its lenient return policy, plenty of people have taken advantage of its generous rules, which is why you might start to hit some roadblocks next time you try to complete a return.

According to The Wall Street Journal, retailers are now using a service called The Retail Equation (TRE), which tracks customer returns and allows stores to ban shoppers from returning future products if their return patterns are considered to be more than the average. With more than 34,000 retailers using the service—from department stores to jewelry brands—all of us are bound to be tracked through TRE at one point or another, making returns everywhere a bit more problematic (if you frequently take advantage).

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Although TRE’s website doesn’t give a full list of the stores it works with, The Wall Street Journal confirms that Victoria’s Secret, J.C. Penny and Sephora are just a few of the retailers that use it. And while Sephora’s return policy still allows for both opened and unopened returns or exchanges—with or without a receipt—within 60 days of purchase, it also makes sure to note on its website that it “monitors return activity for abuse and reserves the right to limit returns or exchanges at Sephora.”

Ultimately, this shouldn’t deter anyone from making a legitimate return for a product they don’t like or want, however, it is a reason to be wary of doing this with every purchase. Thankfully, TRE won’t share shopping history across brands, so if you do end up getting banned from making returns at one of its retailers, it won’t affect your treatment at other stores.

  • fawnie
    Posted on

    I have never had a problem returning items at any Sephora store, until this week. The cashier said she could only issue a Store Credit (instead of crediting the CC I used). Store Credit is only valid to be used in store, not online, so this is a change. :(

  • Confused Sephora lover
    Posted on

    Have any other Sephora lovers been notified of a return policy change BY Sephora? As a long-time lover of Sephora I remember the days when you hardly needed a receipt to return things, let alone worry about a "return window"... and I am hardpressed to remember a time when Sephora themselves obviously let us know of the policy change. Almost a year after sending multiple products ordered online back using their free return shipping service (in Canada) I discovered that I was never reimbursed, given credit, or informed that they even received my returned products. They allow you to print free shipping labels for purchases made even years ago (here: ), however, their software does not inform you that you are outside of their "return policy window". Not to mention the 30 day policy is not even clearly stated on this page without clicking through to different places on their website. After calling customer service multiple times they "cannot guarantee that products returned outside of the 30 day window will be returned to you". Alright Sephora, so why do you allow us to print a free shipping label for these order numbers in the first place? Anyone else been sending back online purchases (unaware of the 30-day window) and not receiving any sort of reimbursement or follow up? I cant be the only one. And, what do they do with all of this returned product that they receive and don't follow up on? Sephooooraaaaaaaa, I've loved you for a long time, but... this is sketchy!

  • Kim
    Posted on

    Sephora’s return policy Is a scam. I tried to return a few items without a receipt because it was a gift and the gift giver forgot to ask for a gift receipt and Sephora denied the return. They said to check with TRE and when I did there was nothing on my TRE report. I have never abused any return policy anywhere. Very disappointed in Sephora. Will never shop there again.

  • Helene
    Posted on

    I just won’t shop at your store again!

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