Cosmetic companies rely on new customers and to retain loyalty. Many stores and brands will have loyalty clubs to retain customers, with offers of discounts or samples and they are a good way to save money. Sephora has a good scheme and many department stores offer seasonal events where goody bags and special offers are available. Department stores will also offer discounts during store card holder events and also Black Friday or Cyber Monday, so check online and sign up for any alerts.
These days, the GWP (gift with purchase is expected) and most houses will do two a year—a major national one, and a smaller regional one. Most require a purchase of a certain amount, or two purchases, one to be skincare depending on the house. These are the best times to buy, even though they are designed to attract new customers with special trial sizes, they also help retain customer loyalty. Some consultants will tell you when the promotions will be, and others may keep it quiet. The best way is to be on the mailing list or to befriend a consultant.
Throughout the year, most counters will have special purchases or promotions during quiet periods. Skincare houses are keen to encourage customers to buy more than the basics and will offer special sizes of masks, or body products. Often they will be given with a facial promotion, so even though they are not as big as the GWP, they can be a good incentive to replenish items.
The Christmas coffrets and gifts sets are excellent value; a full size item is paired with special sizes for a few dollars more, and often with a pouch. These go on sale after Christmas as the counter needs to reduce the stock holding, and these (if any are left) are the best buys you can get. Most counters do sell out, but some will have leftover sets and will sell quickly when they are reduced. Fragrance sets are the best value (often with a free shower gel or body lotion), but there are also many skincare starter kits that go on sale to attract new customers. Don’t be put off by the smaller size, as they are much better value than the full size, (on sale) and are good for traveling and are usually refillable.
To boost after Christmas sales, some companies produce special purchases (often cleansing duos), and they are good value and limited in quantities. This is to help regular customers from straying, and also to entice new customers at an affordable price.
Another time is when a company changes the packaging or rebrands an item; they sell off the old stock, to make way for the new image. There is nothing wrong with the items, but companies may change the font or colors on a package, and it’s cheaper to sell off old stock at a discount. This will usually happen with a new launch, just before a new season of colors or products. Some counters also sell discontinued colors and stock off at reduced prices, just before a new launch.
There are always duty free shops to buy discounted cosmetics too, but do your homework before you go and decide what you want to buy, as time will be limited. Airlines with their own retail shop do offer discounts, but mainly on fragrance and you can also get air miles with these purchases. I tend to buy my Chanel nail polishes at the duty free, as it’s the cheapest place to get them, and I stock up on some value coffrets and limited editions. It’s possible with some planning to get premium products at discounted prices, just by knowing when to buy.
Beauty Super Spy Tips
- Join the free loyalty schemes. You often don’t need to buy to join them and can do it online.
- Sign up for newsletters, as most companies will announce samples, special editions, and new launches, as well as discounts.
- If you have a favorite counter, make sure you are on the mailing list for promotions.
- After Christmas, check the normal shelves for discounted gift sets as some may have been purchased specially, and may not be displayed on the counters.
- Check department store websites, as they will carry some discounted gift sets and special purchases.
©2015. Beauty Super Spy.