The French beauty retailer Sephora is one of the world’s most popular and successful cosmetic and beauty product retailers, turning over a massive $10b a year.
They stock a vast range of beauty products from many of the world’s leading designers including an excellent variety of Cologne and perfumes from brands such as:
- Tom Ford
- Valentino and
If you’ve purchased a fragrance from them or had one gifted to you but need to make a return then you’ll need to get up to speed with Sephora’s returns policy. Many stores allow only a limited window to make a return so it’s important to know when that might expire for you.
To help you there, we’ve had a look at Sephora’s returns window, how to make a return, when to expect a refund and we’ve also had a look at the competition to see how their policies compare.
Let’s dive in…
What is Sephora’s Fragrance Return Policy? The Short Answer
Sephora allows you to return new or “gently used” perfumes or Cologne to them within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. If you’re 31-60 days after purchase then Sephora will offer an exchange or credit to use in-store or online (depending on whether you purchased online or in-store) rather than a refund.
However, Sephora is unable to offer an exchange by mail for fragrances purchased on its website or via third-party retailers. If you would like to exchange then you will need to attend one of Sephora’s brick-and-mortar stores within 60 days of purchase.
Can I Return Used and Open Fragrances to Sephora?
Yes, Sephora is happy to accept returns in line with their policy for fragrances that have been gently used or are unopened.
So provided you’ve not used a good proportion of the bottle, you should have no issue securing a refund or exchange (subject to the above and providing proof of purchase – see below).
We wouldn’t advise using any more than 10% of the bottle, otherwise, it may look like you are abusing the policy and Sephora makes it quite clear that they may refuse your return if there are any signs of this.
You can return a fragrance to Sephora for any number of reasons such as:
- If it’s an unwanted gift
- If you’re not happy with the smell or it’s gone bad
- If you’ve changed your mind
- If it’s a duplicate order
- If the order was by mistake
Do I Need a Receipt or Proof of Purchase to Return a Perfume to Sephora?
On the strict wording of Sephora’s return policy, they have the right to refuse a refund, exchange, or payment of store credit if you’re unable to provide proof of purchase.
However, they will do a check of their system before making a decision on this and therefore it’s advisable that you take along the card you paid on so they can run it t through their systems. If you’re unable to do that, then we’d suggest taking along a bank or credit card statement showing the transaction.
If you’re returning the perfume in-store but you purchased it online, then you shouldn’t have any issue providing proof of purchase as you will have been emailed a copy of your invoice at the time of sale.
Be sure to have a good look through your emails if you’re looking to return the item in-store.
You should note that if you’re returning your fragrance with a gift receipt then you’ll only be eligible for in-store credit.
How to Return Fragrances to Sephora?
You can initiate a return by simply taking your perfume or Cologne back to any of Sephora’s stores or you can follow the online returns process:
- Head along to the returns page
- Enter your order number and zip code
- Complete the steps
- Print off the returns label
- Include the label with your fragrance and all packaging/accessories
- Drop your fragrance at any of FedEx’s drop-off locations
- You can then track your return using the link above (follow steps 1 and 2)
You should note that you cannot return fragrances purchased in-store using the online returns process. These must be returned in-store.
Does it Cost to Return Things to Sephora?
No, Sephora provides a pre-paid returns label with FedEx or USPS when you initiate the returns process (as above) and there is also no restocking fee to worry about.
However, Sephora will not usually return your original shipping fees unless they shipped the wrong product to you in the first place.
How Long Will it Take to Get a Refund?
If you return your fragrance using the returns mail process, Sephora says to allow up to 30 days for the return to be processed.
This is to allow them time to receive your return, check it and then issue your refund.
They say to make allowance for the fact that your card provider or bank may also take some time to process your refund.
Therefore, the quickest way to receive a refund is to return your fragrance to a brick-and-mortar store, rather than using the online process. Your refund will then be processed there and then.
If you purchased the fragrance using your credit/debit card, that same card will be refunded whether you return it in-store or using the online returns process.
You should note that if you return a fragrance in-store that you purchased online using PayPal, you will only be eligible for an in-store credit to use in-store (not online). If you return the fragrance using the online process, you will receive a refund to your PayPal account.
If you purchased using a Sephora gift card, you will be refunded with Sephora credit to use in-store (if you return in-store) or online (if you return using the online returns process).
As above, if you return your fragrance between 31-60 days after purchase, you will only be eligible for an in-store credit and not a refund.
How Does Sephora’s Returns Policy Compare?
If you’ve not yet purchased a fragrance from Sephora or you’re returning one and are thinking of shopping elsewhere, then it’s worth covering how Sephora’s competitors’ policies compare.
We’ve taken a look:
|Nordstrom||100% satisfaction guarantee (return any time)|
|Costco||100% satisfaction guarantee (return any time)|
Sephora offers a return policy of up to 60 days on fragrances, albeit you will only be eligible for an in-store credit or exchange beyond 30 days.
It’s not the best fragrance returns policy we’ve seen but it’s not the worst either.
It’s very difficult to beat Costco and Nordstrom when it comes to returns policies as they both allow you to return perfume or Cologne at any time.
However, Sephora does boast an excellent range of fragrances which is much better than Costco and slightly better than Nordstrom, making it an ideal place to source your next fragrance.