Monday, June 13, 2016

Has Packaging Ever Changed Your Mind about a Product?

It may have been the silliest purchase I've made in years. The Pat McGrath Skin Fetish sets ($72)showed what appeared to be pretty products on Sephora, but they also showed a bag full of sparkling paillettes. I wasn't thinking clearly about how I would remove the products from the bag without leaving a trail of paillettes. Now that I have both sets - sold out on Sephora - I'm faced with a dilemma. Do I keep them and dig the products out of the bag over the trash bin outside, or do I return them? Do I sell them on eBay?

Over the weekend, I seriously considered returning them. I am not in favor of returns unless a product was  misrepresented or causes an allergic reaction. Sephora online is not there for us to try and return. I should be the kind of customer Sephora loves, and I would hate to ruin that reputation. Every time I looked at those bags, though, I shuddered.

I wonder...if I were to return them, would Sephora be happy to have unopened products they would resell? Or do they junk returns? I wish I knew.

This morning, I decided. I will keep them and open them carefully over the trash bin. I will swatch them for you as soon as I regain my interest in taking photos. If you have ever been depressed, you'll understand why things that gave me pleasure don't at the moment. I could have opened them over the weekend, but we had sustained winds of 20 mph, and I envisioned paillettes blowing all over my driveway or lawn - to be tracked into my house after I feed the birds, squirrels, and the cutest baby fox I've ever seen. Or worse, to be dumped by the large machine that dumps the trash bins into the big waste disposal truck, despite my best efforts.

I'll let you know. Was anyone reading brave enough to tackle the packaging?

PPhotos courtesy of Sephora


Liz said...

I have the pink one. I am no fuss kind of gal so dumping the contents out was unthinkable for me. I opened the bag and without difficulty, I fished out the products without spilling the paillettes. I sealed up the bag and threw it in the trash so the paillettes won't be spilled all over my trashbin.

bisbee said...
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Eileen said...

Take your time, Charlestongirl, and nurture those things that give you a sense of peace. Your mom was an integral part of your life for over six decades; the bonds were tightly woven, and letting her go from this physical realm while holding her in your heart is a tough thing to do. Although everyone's grief is unique, there are many of us who have also taken that journey and we wish we could wrap you in our arms, hold you tight, and help you heal. Settling a loved one's affairs is a long and painful process and I imagine the responsibility has fallen on your strong and capable shoulders. So, take your time and nurture you.

Returns! Like you, I'm old school and remember when you couldn't return cosmetics in the U.S. for any reason. Consequently, I will only consider returning something if I have an allergic reaction to it or if it is damaged in some way. I know, though, that I'm a vanishing breed. I imagine that generous return policies coupled with the swing towards online shopping has had something to do with the uptick in returns. People make loads of blind purchases; keep what works and then return the rest. Returning a lipstick; however, is not the same as returning a purse. Cosmetics are so easily contaminated. Would you want to buy a product that has become the breeding ground for someone else's cooties? Not me! And, evidently I'm not alone in that sentiment because, by law, cosmetics cannot be resold or used as samples and testers. I'm sure some get resold on the "black market", but no reputable dealer in the U.S. will do that because used/spoiled products pose a very real health risk. Imagine a lawsuit should someone suffer injury or illness due to using a resold product. Imagine a seven figure judgement against the retailer who knowingly resold the product. This is no joke. This has already happened.

Returned cosmetics are written off and discarded and a certain amount of returned product (loss) is factored in to the cost of doing business. That certainly isn't license; however, to be returning things willy-nilly as some women do--especially, those crazies who buy huge amounts of cosmetics during the sales with no intention of keeping all the stuff. Remember the feeding frenzy when Sephora first launched it's F&F sales? Sephora took a beating because of people who were buying hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars worth of products and then returning almost all of it. I have a friend who manages a Sephora and I've heard her tales of people coming in weeks later with bags of products to return. Such a waste! She's also told me some stories about customers who think of the store as a place to borrow cosmetics like the one who had her makeup done and bought several products so she could replicate the look for her friend's wedding. The following week, she returned all the products (used) and actually had the audacity to tell the SA that they we're beautiful, but because she doesn't go out much, she doesn't need them anymore. Say what?!? But, Sephora graciously accepted the return and sent the customer happily on her way--only to have her return a few weeks later for another makeup session. LOL. Sephora as lending library!

As for Pat McGrath's kits, I already voiced my opinion about the actual products in the Friday Forum so I won't repeat myself here. I would like to make a comment, though, about that packaging. It was a cute idea, but poorly executed. The sequins could have been easily contained between the outer package and an inner liner so that they would look fun without being a mess.

Sandra said...

I echo Eileen's eloquent and loving words to you, Charlestongirl. Those of us who have been down that road do feel your pain, and we all have to heal on our own time.

I am also from the generation where returns for cosmetics and many other items as well, were unthinkable. Also, for the reasons Eileen mentioned In her informative post, I will only return something if I have an allergic reaction to it, or if it is totally not what they said it was. I do not have any stores here where I can see the high-end cosmetics in person, so prior to buying a cosmetic on line, I chat with a consultant to glean as much info as I can about the product. This has actually worked out very well for me. My Chanel makeup consultant is especially wonderful, and I ask for her whenever I am ordering from Chanel. I have stated before, and will say again, how helpful your blog, and your bloggers' posts have been to me in helping me decide whether or not make a purchase on line. The retailers should all be thrilled as well, since your blog not only is good for their business, but lessens the chance that there will be a return! A win-win situation, indeed, Charlestongirl!

Vanessa said...

Charelstong Girl,
You have been in my prayers and I do hope you are finding peace in your sorrow.

I will return a purchase unopened. This happens once in a blue moon and I return the item within days. A mature staff knows their good customers are not trying to cheat them. After all, a lot of cosmetics are impulse buys and people forget they may already have a certain color. Secondly, a smart sales girl realizes customers are loyal to a store. If they respect a purchase was a honest mistake, the customer will come back.

If a product is packaged as annoyingly as this one is, the company should respect that. You simply didn't realize the glittery pieces were not packaged separately. Frankly, this sounds gimmicky and like a child's birthday party favor. What were they thinking? The company should have sold the set without the gimmick.

hytrud said...

I guess we're all from the 'old' school, we only return when necessary for allergic reactions or does not perform as sold. I rely heavily upon your blog when purchasing products now. Going forward I will do the same with a few other blogs since I don't live any where near a store of high end cosmetics. Not Chanel Guerlain, or La Mer,etc. I only order online and/or try to find make up experts/artists like Andy at Neiman Marcus to call & even place an order. I want them to get credit and more importantly, get paid commission every time. Otherwise it's a hit or miss when ordering online. I did have a recent return for the Guerlain 'Météorites' Pearls special edition. It was opened and used, so it went back immediately. I did not replace it after looking closely at it either. Packaging means little to me, I look at the product and what it can do for my looks and how it holds up in the long run. I'm a basic simple person who loves high end everything...even designer clothes that I no longer fit inside. But, that's OK. My memories sustain me nowadays. I'm happy with aging and even going with natural grey's a fun process enjoying life in the last quarter of life.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. We're always our mama's babies, even after we've grown-up and roles have changed. You have my deepest sympathy.

Unknown said...

I considered getting one but I couldn't muster up the energy. I've haven't seen any reviews so yours would be welcome. You should return them without feeling guilty. Circumstances change. If you won't wear it, return it. Sending you good thoughts while you try to piece your life back together.

Anonymous said...

Eileen's message about loss is so true. I use this meditation, healing after loss book everyday. I feel the book talks to me. Eileen description of a mother-daughter bond describes it best. I miss my mother everyday. Those who tell me how I should be and how I should feel are not trying to be insensitive, but are ignorant and truly have not gone through the loss. They don't understand a loss is a loss no matter what age she departed. You are a strong to muster the courage and post. Take the time you need. I am. Thank you for sharing, so I don't feel so alone.

Diana said...

I bought the pink one. I didn't have much of an issue opening it over the garbage can and fishing the products out. I then poured all the sequins into a ziplock and gave them to a crafty coworker. Don't let it discourage you, as I'm really enjoying this was my first introduction to highlighters.

Evelyn said...

I will second Eileen's eloquent words, please take care of yourself as you move through this loss. You can only take things a day at a time as they come.

Returning things - I don't usually do that unless there is a serious reason to do so. I don't buy things to try then return - old school. :) Recently though, I purchased a liquid lipstick at Sephora, brought it home and pulled it out to try. Thankfully I looked at the tube before opening it and saw a tester sticker on it! Talk about disgusting. Took that back to Sephora right away. It makes you want to open things up before buying to check.

The highlighter...I wasn't all that excited about it, I'm happy with the ones I have and that set is too much work for me. Knowing me, I'd explode the sequins all over the place. lol