Author Topic: Asking for samples without a purchase  (Read 3059 times)

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kitchcat

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Asking for samples without a purchase
« on: August 16, 2013, 08:08:15 AM »
I have hyper-sensitive skin. As in, my skin will flush BRIGHT red just from touching it gently. Finding cosmetic products that don't make my skin very angry is a constant challenge. I didn't start wearing makeup on a regular basis until about 6 months ago, so I'm still finding what works best for me.

Several weeks ago I went to a cosmetic store that's really popular here in the US...I'll call it Euphoria ;). My mother had suggested I go there because a sales girl had told her they can make any product into a sample by dispensing a small amount into a tiny plastic container (No more than a teaspoon sized amount). My mother shops there regularly and when she goes in to make a purchase, she sometimes gets a small sample of something new to try out. I was really happy to hear this as I had just purchased two separate $35+ foundations that I had allergic reactions to and could not use. The store (not Euphoria) would not let me return an opened package so that was like $70 down the drain. :(

I went to Euphoria, explained the situation to a sales woman, and she showed me a couple products. I asked for samples and she gave me one of each. She asked if I needed help with any purchases, I said, "No thank you. Not today at least. I'll have to come back after I've had a little time to see how these works out. I'll ask for you when I come back to make a purchase if they work." She seemed okay with that answer, or at least indifferent.

Good thing I got samples, because my skin HATED both products. I mentioned this to a friend who was surprised I asked for samples without buying anything. She pointed out that on Euphoria's online store, they offer a small number of free samples with a purchase and that I was wrong to request them without first purchasing a product. She said that Euphoria will accept returns on used products if you don't like them, so I should purchase the items I wish to sample and return the ones that don't work. This doesn't really appeal to me because it requires I spend a ton upfront and then deal with the hassle of returning the products, which will obviously just be thrown away.

Is it wrong for me to request samples without buying anything first? Or am I expected to buy the products and return the ones that don't work for me?
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Sharnita

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 08:13:24 AM »
I think they were free to say "no" if they wanted.

m2kbug

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 08:29:45 AM »
The purpose of samples is to try before you buy.  You are not wrong. 

Let's go into the company.  They are offering the samples.  They want to offer the customer service.  They want to service their customers and keep them coming back for more.  It doesn't always work out that people can use their product, and this is an acceptable loss for them that they factor into their budget.  The benefits outweigh the losses in customer service and repeated customers and purchases.

It sounds like you're feeling "moochy."  You're not a mooch.  You are not rude.  You are taking advantage of an offered service, and you are not taking more than what's reasonable as you maneuver through the new makeup.  It is not necessary to make a purchase first.  You use the sample first.  That's its job.

*inviteseller

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 08:32:21 AM »
You explained your situation to the sales clerk, explained why you needed samples and she did what any smart saleswoman should do...she listened and provided you with small samples to try.  I also have very sensitive skin to the point I don't wear make up anymore so I understand.  The only thing I think you might do is, next time you are by that store, stop in and thank the sales lady again but explain that it gave you a reaction.  She may know something that will work.  That chain was wonderful for my ex boss who also has skin sensitivity issues and they were able to find some stuff she could use.

Knitterly

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 08:35:17 AM »
You explained to the sales rep why you needed the samples.  She was happy to oblige you.  She could have turned you away.  She could have told you no, we only give samples with purchases.  She did not.  She deemed your request to be absolutely reasonable and obliged you.

Your friend was wrong to make you feel badly for making use of a service provided by a store. 

You were fine.  You could even, if you wanted to, go back and explain the kind of reaction you had to the sales rep and ask her if there is another product she might be able to recommend.

In the long run, doing it your way saves the company quite a bit of money.  If you buy a $70 product and have to return it, the company is out $70 as they cannot even use that product to make samples for other customers (it's been "tampered with").  But if they open one $70 bottle and keep it in the store, it can then be used to make samples for many customers, generating more business.


Cherry91

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 08:36:52 AM »
My cousin has very sensitive skin - which often makes things difficult for her as her joke heavily involves makeup and cosmetics. She can't use or work with anything that isn't hypo-allergenic as a result, and would never buy something before finding out if it would cause a reaction or not.

You explained your situation to the salewoman and she provided you with samples. Salespeople are often quite good at identifying moochers, if she was happy to help you then you were fine. :)

DaDancingPsych

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 08:39:24 AM »
You explained your situation and the clerk was able to give you samples with out purchase. If their policy was that you must purchase something to get the samples, than the clerk should have explained that to you. She did not say that, so I would go with you were fine. If the company would prefer that you purchase and return, than the clerk should have given you that option. She did not do that, so again, I think you were fine.

The clerk asked about assisting you with purchases, because that's her job. Imagine if you did want to purchase something and she simply gave you the samples and ran. You would be less likely to make the purchase and the store would have missed a sale.

If I was in your situation, I would not feel guilty about trying the samples, but when appropriate, I would certainly make a purchase from them when I could. If lip stick doesn't need pre-testing and you happen to be out, I would probably buy from them rather than a drug store. At least until I had figured out the right foundation and could make that purchase instead.

Sophia

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 09:33:13 AM »
I think you were fine.  And honestly, you saved the company money and bother.  If it had worked, you would have made a beeline back to that store and bought what you had a sample of.  That is what makes it OK. 

Have you tried some of the powder foundations?  I use Youngblood and I haven't had a problem, although I did have a problem with one of the major brands.  I, too, have reactions to almost everything.  Samples are common with the powder foundations because they know people will need to try on the foundation to get the right color. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 09:40:22 AM »
I think intent makes a difference here.  You were asking for samples with an eye to purchasing something if the product was suitable.

You aren't going around collecting free samples from everywhere so you don't have to buy anything.

Also, you don't have to hide the name of the store; you can use the actual name.
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CluelessBride

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 09:53:11 AM »
I think intent makes a difference here.  You were asking for samples with an eye to purchasing something if the product was suitable.

You aren't going around collecting free samples from everywhere so you don't have to buy anything.


This. If you were going from store to store asking for samples of the same makeup to avoid ever buying it, then that is stealing (ethically speaking). What you are doing is using the samples as they are intended.  That said, many cosmetics salespeople work on commission. So if there is something in the store that you do use (maybe a moisturizer or cleanser or makeup mirror) it might be nice to buy it from her as a "thank you". Especially if you intend to keep trying products.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 10:09:17 AM »
Also, the website might require a purchase in order to receive a sample because they have learned that over the anonymity of the internet, some people will bleed them dry.  In a store, face to face with an employee, giving a reasonable explanation, the mooching is greatly reduced, although I imagine if you asked for a sample of 25 different products, the answer might have been no.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 10:11:44 AM »
You explained your situation to the sales clerk, explained why you needed samples and she did what any smart saleswoman should do...she listened and provided you with small samples to try.  I also have very sensitive skin to the point I don't wear make up anymore so I understand.  The only thing I think you might do is, next time you are by that store, stop in and thank the sales lady again but explain that it gave you a reaction.  She may know something that will work.  That chain was wonderful for my ex boss who also has skin sensitivity issues and they were able to find some stuff she could use.

This. I know exactly which store you're talking about, and yes, they DO offer free samples with purchases, but it's a set group, not a sample of anything you want. Many times, and I order from them quite a bit, I don't choose all three, as there isn't anything that suits my needs at that very time.

I like the idea of going back, asking for the same associate, and seeing if SHE has any suggestions on what might work for you.  If she does, and it does, and you can establish a relationship with her, any time you need anything, she'll be more than happy to assist you. I know diddly about makeup and cosmetics, but have always gotten great service in that store.

Even if they aren't on commisison, they most likely DO have sales goals and targets, and speaking as someone who works in retail, and has goals, we like repeat customers, and they like that we know what works for them.

Zizi-K

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 10:18:16 AM »
I'm not sure if this is so much an etiquette question as one of ethics. You asked for samples politely, the saleswoman gave them, asked if you needed help, and that was it. I think your friend was challenging the ethics of the situation - of taking something with 'compensating' the company back for it. What I think your friend fails to understand is that the company wouldn't give samples unless it was in their benefit. You got to try some items, they didn't work out, but now you probably feel some amount of loyalty and will probably go back there and may eventually buy something. This is the gamble that the companies take. I'm sure they have the policy you mentioned in place just to give them an out when it is clear someone IS abusing the system - which you were clearly not. There are lots of places that WILL allow you to return makeup that you simply don't like (for whatever reason) - and that too is a policy in the best interest of the company. They wouldn't do it otherwise. Also - let's not confuse retail price with the actual cost of something to the company, which is much much less. If the first place had allowed you to return the $70 worth of merchandise, their loss may have been $10 or something (or less), but they would have invested in your brand loyalty. So they actually missed out.

z_squared82

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 10:19:55 AM »
 You were not in the wrong. But to make you feel better, here’s the thing.

I used to work at a fragrance counter, so part of the cosmetic department. Cosmetic counters are given small plastic tubes to makes their own samples. And then there are also pre-packaged samples sent by corporate. And then there are deluxe samples that generally require purchase.

If she made a sample specifically for you, never think of this again. Taking a small amount from their tester is cheaper than damaging out the product when you return it. That's why they make samples. Yes “Euphoria” does a lot of free samples with online purchases. I’ve gotten those samples. They are deluxe samples. She would not have given you those.

Winterlight

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Re: Asking for samples without a purchase
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 10:47:28 AM »
You asked and the sales clerk agreed. You didn't yell, stomp or pull a Kindly Brontosaurus.

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