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).
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.