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Sephora Rewards Bazaar Review


UPDATE 8/30/17: I still have 1,500 points left now in the Beauty Bank and no idea what to spend them on! I unsubscribed from the BeautyTalk thread after a massive glitch pre-update causing about 3950345 notification e-mails per minute.

Yet another frenzied session of the hunger games-esque Rewards Bazaar challenge passed on Tuesday with more salty casualties. Over the course of a few years, I’ve amassed an embarrassingly high number of Beauty Insider (BI) rewards points at Sephora. At my highest, I was almost at 4,000 points. I somehow talked myself into another year of VIB Rouge. I only spent at most 500 points per year, hoarding indefinitely since the deluxe sample prizes only ranged from 100 to 500. Why would I spend my points when I could use a code to get a deluxe sample kit, or better yet get these generous Gift with Purchases at Ulta?!

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Now what is this bizarre program anyway and why aren’t many people talking about it? Maybe only the truly beauty obsessed torture themselves every week hoping for something good. There’s a very active BeautyTalk (Sephora Forum) thread (Inactive) that I subscribed to, where many helpful BIs share their experiences and post links to rewards as soon as they become active. This review will be broken down into 4 parts (Overview, Good, Bad and Ugly).

GENERAL OVERVIEW
  • New point perks are released on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 am and 5pm PST.
    • Usually they drop close to 9 PST / 12pm EST (lucky for me it’s during lunch, since I’m chained to my desk most days).
  • There seem to be only a few (1-3) perks added at a time (each day for US/Canada)
    • Beginning of the month they restock the 100-500 point perks
  • The newly added perks range from 100 points to 50,000 points
    • 750+ points perks are only available online, but you get free shipping without having to purchase another item!
    • The smaller 100-500 point perks are available in store, while supplies last
  • There are limited quantities of the perks available and sometimes they show the quantity for US & Canada in the “coming soon” e-mail newsletter
  • Each month they feature a Brand where they will have a series of rewards ranging from products to once in a life time type experiences
    • Kat Von D, Sephora, Marc Jacobs, Fresh, Too Faced, etc…
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Already own this palette, but I still hit refresh in multiple browsers every Tuesday/Thursday.

THE GOOD
  • The Rewards Bazaar unlike its predecessor “Epic Rewards” is here to stay for every Tuesday/Thursday!
    • Maybe some people will eventually exhaust all their points and there will be less competition? I should know better to underestimate a beauty addict though.
  • The monthly featured brands give BIs a chance to follow their favorites or wait out until something better comes along.
  • Responsive customer service/mods about defective products or ones that were not what was promised.
    • Several BIs mentioned contacting rouge line or mods and getting all their points or some other kind of consolation for their troubles. It all depends who you speak to though. (Don’t get me started on their regular customer service line.)
  • I’ve FINALLY cashed in a good chunk of my points! Fortunately my reward redemption process went smoothly and I like the products! I’m actually quite proud that I’m down to only 1,157 points currently and redeemed for 3 different rewards.
    • 750 – Burberry London with Love Illuminating Bronzer 0.8g
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    • 750 – The Best of Fresh (5 of their best products full and deluxe size)
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    • 1,500 – Aerin Honeysuckle Eu De Parfum Spray 50 ML (Limited Edition hand painted design & Autographed box)
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THE BAD
  • Theres limited quantities of each perk, especially with the high value rewards.
    • Once you reach 2,000+ several times there’s only a handful that everyone and their cousin is fighting over.
    • Good luck to anybody who is trying to redeem one of those 20,000+ point experiences where they fly you out and cover the hotel for a once in a life time event such as meeting a designer, founder, world-famous MUA.
    • I can still remember it vividly the one that got away the 2,000 point Kat Von D framed customized face chart with 3 full size products… Some lucky winners even received the amazing Metal/Matte eyeshadow palette!
  • The awkward time at 12 PM EST / 9AM PST, several people unfortunately can’t participate since it’s during regular work hours.
    • You also have to commit some time to stalking the page until the reward drops.
  • There’s technically no refunds of the points if there’s no defects in your reward, since they are limited so you better hope you like it!
  • Strange rewards – Custom makeovers for 500 points with Sephora Makeup Artist
    • These are FREE if you are VIB Rouge no minimum purchase
    • $50 in-store purchase (can be a gift card) for complimentary makeover
    • So spend $500 worth of points or $50 or get it FREE?
  • Prize descriptions and coming soon previews are deceptive…
    • If you’ve taken a peek at the BeautyTalk thread there’s several stories BIs have shared of expecting one thing from the description or preview and receiving something quite different. Could be size of the item, quality, experience etc…
    • Tell me these 2 images below are not misleading for the same reward! One of them shows FULL SIZE products and the other clearly shows deluxe sizes but with [overpriced] Quay sunglasses.
THE UGLY
  • In combination with the limited quantities, Sephora added an additional ring of fire by hindering several users from actually SEEING and REDEEMING the product at the same time.
    • Yep you heard that right depending on your browser, device (computer, mobile, app) you could be seeing the new rewards with a major lag.
    • Now some of this could be explained with browsers caching old data. I’ve tried using incognito in Chrome with limited success. I was able to see one reward, but even when BIs graciously share links to the items it still says the dreaded “PRODUCT NOT CARRIED”.
    • As a result the reward could drop at 12:01PM, whilst me and the helpless thousands of other BIs are refreshing like crazy we still can’t see the product until the site decides we can. We wait and wait until 12:25PM when it’s available and the product is OUT OF STOCK.
      • Anger bubbles over and sets back several of the positives. This is without a doubt one of the biggest issues with this rewards bazaar program. Some have suggested a lottery system for the more popular rewards.
      • I’ve noticed several of the same people are able to snag multiple popular rewards because they have favorable browsers or have a system that works they’re not sharing.

I’m extremely grateful that I can stop hoarding all these points and redeem them for full size items. However, I honestly cannot wait until whittle these points down 157 or even 57 so I can stop these nauseating games of stalking the website and trying to beat the clock to snag the rewards pitted against all the other BIs. I went through all the rewards I redeemed rather quickly so let me know if you have interest in seeing a series for this of the products I’ve redeemed so far! Overall I’m quite satisfied with my redemptions and I’m on the tail end with potential one more 1,000 point perk to go.

Rating: 2.5 ★★1/2

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Categories: Beauty, Product, Review, SephoraTags: , , , , , , ,

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