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Clever Ways to Shop at Sephora and Save Money

By Katya Bychkova

May 20, 2022

Shopping at Sephora could be addictive. You just stepped into the store, and the next thing you know, your shopping cart is full of beauty goodies you didn’t even know that you needed. Don’t worry, there is a budget-friendly way to shop at Sephora. Of course, that’s if you know all the tips and tricks on shopping the smart way.

Fetch can help you save money when shopping at Sephora. Check out our tips and tricks for one of America’s favorite beauty brands, while snapping those receipts and earning more free gift cards.

Watch Katya’s Video to See For Yourself and Then Read How


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Ask for Samples Before You Buy

Did you know that you can ask for a sample of any beauty product available at Sephora? Yes, even the most expensive skincare on your wishlist! We are talking about mini jars or products that could last a week. To get your hands on the deluxe samples, ask a sales associate for help — it’s that easy. The rep will set you up with a product in a clear container with a label, so you know what you are testing. Also, don’t forget to stock up on free samples at checkout. These are great for discovering new products and packing for traveling. Using samples before buying full-size will ensure you only spend money on products that work. It also saves you money as you essentially use free products.

Use Points to Get Free Products or Insider Cash

Graphic of Sephora's rewards Bazaar

Sephora is most known for its Rewards Bazaar: a reward system that allows you to get free products when a certain point threshold is reached. To qualify, you need to be a Beauty Insider member (it’s free to join). With each purchase made at Sephora, you accumulate points for deluxe samples of best-selling products. For example, with 100 points, you could get a Dior mascara or a Kate Sommerville cleanser sample. A recent addition to the Rewards Bazaar program is the Beauty Insider Cash option: you can redeem 500 points for a $10 off your purchase (limited to one discount per transaction on purchases of $10 or greater).

Get Free Shipping with Sephora for a Year

Sephora flash shipping graphic

Did you know that Sephora offers free 1-2 days shipping on every order for the entire year for a flat fee of $15? The service is called Sephora Flash and is only available online via this page. This offer is a great deal if you shop a lot at Sephora online. The yearly Flash subscription also offers a flat rate for express shipping: a $5.95 flat fee for a one-business-day delivery. Not ready to join the shipping subscription? Use the evergreen code FREESHIP to get a free standard 1-3 business day shipping on all orders within the U.S.

Grab Your Birthday Gift

Tatcha Birthday Gift Set from Sephora

Did you know that you could get a skincare or makeup kit during your Birthday month? You don’t need to use points or buy anything to claim it. As soon as you join the Beauty Insider program, you can stop by any Sephora in your area and ask for your complimentary Birthday gift. My Sephora Birthday gift this year was a deluxe samples kit from Tatcha. You can also find Laura Mercier setting powder and eye pencil sets in some locations. Or a mascara and lip balm duo from ILIA Beauty. To find out which Birthday gift option is available at your Sephora, check out this page. You can also add your Birthday gift to the online checkout cart.

Find Dupes of Expensive Products

Gallery of Sephora products

While it’s not advertised this way, for the most part, Sephora Collection products are analogs to more expensive brand options. Despite drastically lower price points, dozens of “dupes” achieved cult-favorite status. For instance, Sephora Collection Waterproof Makeup Remover ($11) is a dupe for Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover ($32), and Sephora Collection Colorful Wink-It Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner ($14) is a dupe for KVD Beauty Tattoo Liner Vegan Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($23). Generally speaking, Sephora Collection products are half the price of more expensive alternatives, which is a big save, considering that the quality is comparable.

Utilize Sephora’s Beauty Offers

Bookmark this page and never checkout from Sephora online without adding a few promo codes to your cart. On the Sephora Beauty Offers page, you can find all the promotions and gifts with purchase in one place. Typically, there is a one promo code per purchase limit, and two samples per order. If your order is above $50, you don’t need to use a promo code to qualify for free shipping (even though the system will allow you to add a free shipping code). In that situation, it’s wiser to add another promotion to the cart instead of receiving extra samples with your order.

Opt-In for a Mini When Necessary

Sephora Mini Mascara Lashlash to Go Set

Generally speaking, getting a travel version of a beauty product is not a good investment. You end up paying more per ounce of a product than buying a regular size. But when it comes to deluxe sample sets, it makes sense to invest in some of them. Especially those sets that feature products with a short expiration date. One of the best kits from the Sephora Favorites collection is the Mini Mascara Lashlash to Go Set, which features five mini versions of best-selling mascaras. Since you are supposed to change your mascara tube every month due to the accumulation of bacteria in the product, it’s a perfect size to finish in that timeframe.

Be Strategic About Seasonal Sales

Twice a year, Sephora features big sales for their Beauty Insider members; offering up to 20% off the entire purchase. The Spring Savings Event is held in April, and the Holiday Savings Event is in November. These sales are an excellent opportunity to stock up on the items you regularly use: shampoo, moisturizer, foundation, hand lotion, and mascara. Since up to 20% is a noticeable discount on higher-priced items, beauty lovers typically invest in their go-to skincare products during the sale events. When it comes to the Sephora sales, thinking ahead of what you might run out within the next few months is a great way to save money, as you’ll be making these beauty purchases when they are on sale.

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Shop Smarter at Sephora with Fetch

No matter which Sephora shopping strategy you use, don’t forget to scan your receipts with the Fetch App to receive points. Turn your points into free gift cards from Sephora and more, to get even more beauty products! Click the app store buttons below, or scan the QR code to download the Fetch app and get started!

Get even more points by referring friends or using a referral code to sign up!

Topics: Save money, Sephora, Shopping Hacks


Katya Bychkova

Katya Bychkova is a beauty and style expert based in NYC. Face mask enthusiast and frequent traveler, Katya is a contributor to top lifestyle publications. She's also the founder and editor of the Style Sprinter blog — a luxury guide to skincare and makeup — since 2014.

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