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?