6 Tips On How To Buy Makeup From Blog Sales

by Gio

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When a beauty blogger has been blogging for some time, chances are she has accumulated more products that she’ll ever be able to use in a lifetime. Keeping them in a drawer gathering dust would be a waste, so she decides to hold a blog sale. That way, she gets rids of something that she doesn’t use, and someone else will be able to snap up a product they’ve been lusting after for some time.

Blog sales are a great way to get your hands on LE products you might have missed or on items that aren’t available in your country, and at an affordable price too! It’s a win-win situation. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful. There is always the chance, albeit small, that something could go wrong. Here are a few tips on how to avoid any problems and make sure you’re getting a good deal:

1. Find a blog sale

If you follow lots of blogs, you’ll surely come across a few sales every now and then. But there are a couple of ways of finding blogs sales held by bloggers you don’t know yet. You can subscribe to MUA Blog Sales, a blog that lists blog sales held my Make Up Alley members. This is a great option for those who feel uneasy about purchasing products from a stranger as you can check out the seller’s feedback on MUA and find out how reliable and trustworthy they are (or aren’t). Another useful tool to find blog sales is Twitter. Simply check out the #blogsale hashtag for a list of bloggers who are holding one. You can’t check out feedback this way, but if the seller has an established blog, chances are she won’t do anything to ruin her reputation.

2. Read the terms and conditions carefully

Blog sales work on a first come first served basis, so it may be tempting to order the items you’re interested in straight away for fear someone else may snap them up if you’re not quick enough. But before contacting the seller, you should always read the terms and conditions carefully. Will the seller hold an item for you if you can’t pay straight away? Do they offer refunds if you should be unhappy with your purchase? How will they ship your order and how do they want to be paid? And if you have any questions the blogger hasn’t answered in the post, email them and ask them. Knowing the terms and conditions in advance will guarantee a smooth transaction and avoid problems in the future.

3. Double check the prices

When the prices are low, it’s easy to get carried away and order quite a lot of stuff. But just because something is cheap, it doesn’t mean that it is a good deal. Remember that you’ll also have to pay for shipping costs so you need to factor them in when you intend to make a purchase or you may end up paying a lot more than you initially thought. Also, be aware of the prices of LE edition products. When these become rare, the blogger may be tempted to charge outrageously high prices for it, and it’s just not worth it. You should never pay more than a product costs, especially if it has been used, or even just swatched.

4. Don’t buy unsanitized products

A lot of people prefer not to buy used makeup because they are afraid of getting an infection. But that happens only when a product hasn’t been properly sanitized. How else could makeup artists safely use the same product on hundreds of people? So, if you’re planning to buy an used item, make sure the seller knows how to sanitize it and, once you receive it, give it another cleaning yourself. I do this whenever I purchase something from a blog sales and have never experienced any problems. However, not everything can be sanitized. I’m talking about mascaras, liquid eyeliners and lipglosses. Unless you know the blogger has always used a disposable wand and never double dipped, it’s wise to stay away from these products. I admit that I have bought a couple of used lipglosses in the past because I really loved the shades (and thank goodness nothing bad happened), but I’d never consider using an used mascara or eyeliner. It’s just not worth the risk.

5. Always used registered post

Registered post may be more expensive, but it will also give you peace of mind. You’ll be able to track your parcel online, so you’ll always know where it is and when to expect it. Also, if you’re not at home often, you may want to have the package delivered at your work address. That way, your it won’t be left lying in front of your doorstep for hours, during which time it could be damaged or stolen.

6. Pay with Paypal (but no “gift” payment)

I always pay with paypal whenever I buy something online. Not only it is quick and convenient, but you can also get a refund if something goes wrong. Unless you send the money as a gift, that is. Some sellers will ask you to do that to avoid paying fees, and while this may seem a harmless request, you should comply with it only if you know the blogger well and trust her. Although most bloggers are trustworthy, you may want to make sure you can get a refund, just in case. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Do you like blog sales? Have you ever purchased anything from them?

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Monica P June 14, 2013 - 3:34 pm

Good tips! I’ve never purchased anything from a blog sale, not sure if I would .. but your tips are helpful.


beautifulwithbrains June 14, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Monica, I think blog sales are a great way to try high-end stuff at a fraction of the price or get your hands on LE items you might have missed. And it’s safer than ebay as bloggers do care about their reputations and wouldn’t do anything to ruin them. Still, it’s always wise to be careful. 😉

A. July 7, 2013 - 8:00 pm

Can I ask how you feel about bloggers selling things like lipsticks/lipglosses/etc. that have “only been swatched” (on the hand I suppose)? I’ve seen at least a dozen blog sales like that and it’s still always made me a little…iffy.

beautifulwithbrains July 7, 2013 - 9:55 pm

A, I don’t have a problem with lipsticks as they can be easily sanitized. As for lipglosses, I did buy a couple years ago when I didn’t know the risks and thank goodness nothing bad happened. Today I don’t think I’d do it, although it would depend a lot on how much I trust the blogger.

Just because a gloss has been swatched, it doesn’t mean that nasty bacteria and viruses have found their way inside it. If the blogger swatches it on a just-washed hand, then it’s unlikely that the gloss will get contaminated. Also, it depends on whether the blogger has used it while she had a cold, or any other disease or has, for one reason or another, some germs on her lips/hands, which is not always easy to determine. If she’s perfectly healthy and clean, using the gloss is probably (but not surely) safe. But as a buyer, you have no way of knowing these things. If the blogger is selling something she swatched months ago, even she may not remember whether she was ill or something that day. In other words, an used gloss won’t necessarily give you an infection, but nonetheless it’s advisable to stay away from them.

Instead, using used mascaras or eyeliners that can’t be sanitized is much more dangerous. Infections spread this way are quite common so selling and buying these are a huge no-no.

Janessa July 21, 2013 - 8:33 pm

I don’t bother with blog sales. I’ve tried looking at them but I don’t know whether the user is hygienic or not, whether the color suits me, and simply waiting for a reply from the seller if I have questions. I’d much rather pay full price from a retail store and just look for some sweet deals through value sets and sales. Plus I live in the States so there’s good return policies. I’m not a sale girl when it comes to makeup. I’ll splurge for a product I know I’ll get a lot of use out of. Must I also mention I love touching up a lipstick when it is cased in luxurious packaging. 🙂

beautifulwithbrains July 21, 2013 - 9:36 pm

Janessa, I buy from blog sales sometimes, but these days I tend to stick to bloggers I follow whom I know know how to sanitize products. You’re so lucky to live in the US. If I lived there, I may not be so tempted by blog sales either. Here, sales are rare, value sets are pricey and you can’t return anything that’s been opened (and sometimes not even unused and unopened stuff). 🙁

Janessa July 21, 2013 - 8:34 pm

If I run out of a favorite product, there’s bound to be a dupe or at least another amazing product I haven’t tried yet so I don’t panic and head to blog sales for discontinued items.

Great tips though 🙂

beautifulwithbrains July 21, 2013 - 9:38 pm

Janessa, thanks, and that’s a great way of thinking. If you find a good deal on a discontinued item you love, it may be worth trying, but I wouldn’t hunt down LE items or pay huge prices for them either. There are so many great products coming out every day anyway!


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