For quite some time now, my regular eyeliner – which I’ve been using and repurchasing for a couple of years, have been flaking out on me. Literally. So in my bid to find a new HG replacement, I just had to order from Sephora US. Never mind that there are 11 Sephora stores in Singapore, because the line that I’m looking for is not stocked here (other than gift sets during festive seasons).
After doing some research, I simply had to try out the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and the only place I could get them online other than Sephora US was eBay. So even though Sephora didn’t ship internationally, I was determined to try.
This is a rage-filled piece on the adventures of buying from Sephora US if you’re in Singapore or any other country not on its list. Americans, you have no idea how lucky you are.
And this is how I ended up forking out SGD80 to ship this to me.
Am I a sucker for punishment? A contrary idiot? Why do I insist on shopping at a site that doesn’t even ship to where I am?
Two reasons: 1) The prices at Sephora US aren’t as highly marked up as they are elsewhere (plus why would you buy from eBay when you have an established retailer available) and 2) buying singular things leave a distaste in my mouth. For the same reason people buy groceries in bulk, I like to get a bunch of things all from the same site. I had a bunch of things I wanted to try and only at Sephora can I get them all together.
So on 19 June, I placed an order with Sephora.com and received an confirmation email. This was done using a local Mastercard – obviously, I was just trying my luck and shipping this to a forwarding company, eShipper courier services. There were 8 items in my order, no duplicates.
Nearly 12 hours later, I received an email telling me that my order has been cancelled as they were unable to confirm my payment details. Fine, totally understandable.
I then remembered I had a virtual credit card account with Entropay that I use to pay for stubborn US retailers. I transferred sufficient funds for my Sephora purchase and placed the same order – getting promoted to VIB at the same time. Bear in mind that this was close to USD300 deposited in Entropay, ready for collection.
Less than 15 minutes later, my order was cancelled AGAIN. At this point I was ready to set someone on fire.
But I still really wanted my stuff, so I pressed on. Maybe they didn’t accept virtual credit cards, totally fine.
As a last resort, I hunted for a local shopping concierge service who would be able to place the order on my behalf. Lots of stupid form-filling later, I had placed an order with HopShopGo, which is also under comGateway. I chose them because other providers only allowed a maximum of 8 products, and I was already so frustrated that I wanted to buy more – to make up for this whole debacle. Twisted logic, I know.
Then HopShopGo emailed saying they were unable to place my order.
The reason? Sephora doesn’t accept orders with more than 8 items, to prevent resellers. Even if you’re buying EIGHT DIFFERENT ITEMS.
This reasoning is so warped I can’t even… Fine. I cut down my order to 8, and proceeded with the first payment with my credit card.
21 June: Order placed.
25 June: Sephora has shipped out package. (THREE working days?!)
30 June: Package arrived at HopShopGo’s address.
And this was my charge in USD:
SGD80 for shipping. And also obviously I was a moron for hitting the tax limit, because I overlooked the fact that shipment costs will be factored in with the package value. Since shipping + insurance cost 34 USD, that was an additional $46 which made my package taxable. Another 23 USD.
I don’t even think the savings are worth it anymore 🙁
I shall stop whining. Here’s the haul, which cost me SGD460 in the end, total.
Everything was just thrown in roughly with little foam peanuts. HopShopGo, thanks for your ‘repacking’ that costs $10 ah.
My little haul that I fought tooth and nail to get. At least the eyeliner was so, so, worth it.
As a final, bitter, passing note, Sephora held both the first charge to my Mastercard and and later charge of Entropay funds for weeks, even though they refused to let me make my orders. Yechhhh.