The Problem with Sephora (As told by a Canadian Beauty Addict)

Shopping online can be a difficult, and often frustrating thing if you don’t live in the United States. Thankfully, it’s not too terrible here in Canada (I mean that in the sense of most places at least ship to us, not in the sense of the exchange rate and duty fees) BUT some places who have a major market here are still dropping the ball and I, much like many others, are extremely confused as to why.

It’s not like international shopping hasn’t been around for years. I mean, online shopping has been around since the 90’s, so what’s the deal?

I could talk about a lot of stores and companies in regards to this subject (cough cough Disney store) but for this post, we’re focusing on Sephora’s online word here in Canada… which, to put it frankly, sucks. 

I have a lot of issues with Sephora in general, not even just online. To highlight a few; their service in stores sucks (let’s not forget the time they cut all the wands off their liquid lipsticks for sanitary purposes but then didn’t offer disposable ones so people couldn’t test out a color) and their rewards program is an absolute  J O K E  if I ever did see one.

I mean the big reward for spending your money there is being able to redeem your points for bitty sample sizes barely bigger than the ones you can ask for in store that are FREE. Sounds like bullshit, to be entirely honest. I have like 8000 points accumulated over years upon years of shopping simply because a) 100 dollars = 100 points and 100 points get’s you a tiny little sample and b) there is rarely ever any good samples anyway.

The sales twice a year are nice, don’t get me wrong any amount of money off is great, but there’s barely even an incentive to spend the money to be in the top tier rewards membership at this point. This year’s spring sale (currently going on now) goes to prove that. When VIB Rouge ($1000+) and VIB ($350+) get the same percentage off but Beauty Insider (free) get’s 10% and the big perk to being Rouge is getting to shop the sale ONE SINGLE DAY early… that’s a sure fire way to really piss your customers off Sephora.

I am positive that if Ulta decided to open up in Canada, or even offer online shopping to us Canadians Sephora would definitely feel the blow. Unfortunately for a lot of Canadians Sephora is really the only place to get a lot of the brands they love. Shoppers does carry some, same with The Bay but the bulk of all the brands that people love are in Sephora.

All of this aside, this isn’t even the big thing for me with Sephora.

The biggest issue I have with Sephora online here in Canada is the releases of new products. Somehow, almost every single time, Canada get’s completely shafted when it comes to new releases. We have to wait days, sometimes weeks, for those releases to actually be available to us.

A brand will have a release date for a product, you’ll anxiously await said date, and then when that date rolls around you’ll see everyone online talking about getting theirs and oh, right, it’s not available to Canadian customers yet and Sephora has no answer for why. They simply give you their company line of ‘we don’t have an exact date’

I’m sorry… but what? How do you not have a date for when your customers can expect to be able to purchase a product who’s release date was several days ago? Especially when that product was released on time for one country but not for others. And I know this is even worse in other countries, so what gives?

Simply put; this is a huge company that has the chance to really kill the game with their international customers and yet again, ball = dropped.




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