Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ShopSmart: Best Beauty Deals Online

You’re willing to scrimp on some things to save money, but not your skincare or makeup. So how can you save without giving up your favorite brands? Shop online. Yes, yes, I know, we've been doing that for eons now because if we're savvy enough to be checking out beauty blogs for info, trends, new product launches and collections, we're savvy enough to know the benefits of doing our beauty shopping online. Well, there's more you'll want to know.

ShopSmart, from the publisher of Consumer Reports, checked out more than two dozen beauty sites to find the best ones, screening out sites with bad Better Business Bureau records, no contact information, poor return policies, or high shipping fees and ones where items were bundled (Amazon’s best cosmetic deals were in multipacks). You'll find their picks and more information in ShopSmart's November 2008 issue. Here are the results:

Best Overall Selection: Beauty.com
Shipping Free if you spend $49 or more.
Return policy 30 days on unopened products or, for certain items, if you don’t like the color. Returns cost $4.99 unless a product is damaged or incorrect or the color is wrong.
(Roxy says - by the way, Beauty.com has become fab in the area of freebies with orders just like Sephora - in case you didn't know - xo)

Great for Hard-to-Find Products: Beautyhabit.com
Shipping Free on orders of $100 or more; otherwise $5.95.
Return policy 14 days on most items. No returns on opened or used products.
(Roxy says - I love this store!)

Great for Trendy Brands: Beautyofasite.com
Shipping Free on orders over $75; otherwise $5.95 to $8.95.
Return policy 30 days. You pay for return shipping unless the product was damaged. All returns are for exchange or store credit only. There are no refunds or returns on color cosmetics.

Best Prices: Buymebeauty.com
Shipping Free on orders of $35 or more; $4.95 on orders of less than $35.
Return policy 30 days. Products must be unused and unopened, unless they are defective. You have to call or e-mail before returning products; you will also have to pay the costs of return shipping.

Great Return Policy: Cosmeticmall.com
Shipping $5.95 plus 93 cents per pound.
Return policy 30 days. You can return most products for any reason, even after they’re opened.

Great Drugstore Makeup Section: Drugstore.com
Shipping Free on your first nonprescription order of $25 or more; free on orders of $49 or more after that.
Return policy 30 days. Returns are free if a product is damaged, defective, or incorrect. Returns are free on certain products if you don’t like the color. Otherwise, products must be unopened and unused.

Great for Freebies: Sephora.com
Shipping Free on orders over $50; otherwise $5.95.
Return policy 60 days. Free return shipping. Store credit after 60 days.

Great for Organic Products: Skinbotanica.com
Shipping Free on orders over $49; otherwise $5.95.
Return policy 60 days.
(Roxy says - Yep, another favorite; fabulous store, fabulous products!)

Best Shipping Deal: Skin-One.com
Shipping Free.
Return policy 30 days. Product must be at least 75 percent full. You have to pay return shipping fees, and no returns are allowed of an opened product if you received a sample of it with your order.
(Roxy says - p.s. they also have great GWP's almost all the time, travel sets as freebies, etc)

Best Online Version of a Walk-In Store: Walgreens.com
Shipping Many items qualify for free shipping of purchases of $50 or more; otherwise $5.49 for 10 pounds or less.
Return policy 30 days.

Sad Site: BeautyDepot.com
This site didn’t have a wide selection of products. You have to buy $99 worth of stuff to get free shipping; otherwise you could end up paying $7.95 or more for UPS ground. Cosmetics (and many other products) were not returnable, and there’s no toll-free customer-service number.

source: ShopSmart, Nov 2008 issue

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