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  1. #1
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Hi gentlemen. Am considering returning the john varvatos I bought at Ulta Beauty last week. Obviously, I thought I liked it, and my wife (who is not much of a fragrance fan)
    says she likes it. However, after several wearings, it seems a little sweet for me--perhaps the dates note. Also, with summer around the corner, thinking a better choice could have been made for a hot weather scent.

    How do you feel about returning a frag? Is it common? What does a retailer do with returned frags? I feel like it may have been a $74 mistake, but at the same time feel a little bad about returning it. Thank you.
    Last edited by pippin06; 30th March 2017 at 01:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    I wouldn't. Personally, I don't think retailers should allow returns unless there was a defective product.

    Its a purchase, not a rental. One should decide if it's something they like before buying it, taking it home, using it, etc...


    That's just how I feel about it.
    Current Winter Favorites:

    1. House of Matriarch - Blackbird
    2. Brückner - Aoud 1
    3. Creed - Royal Oud
    4. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Generation Man
    5. Armani Privé - Oud Royal
    6. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    7. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Mortal Skin
    8. Creed - Royal English Leather
    9. Creed - Bois du Portugal
    10. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions

  3. #3

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Returned fragrances are pretty common, especially after the holidays. You would be surprised at how many people blind-buy fragrance as a gift that the recipient then hates. (That's why you give gift cards, folks - choose your own scent.)

    Policies usually vary by retailer. Some return it to the vendor, some throw it in the dumpster, some resell opened bottles that haven't been sprayed much. However, Chanel requires that all fragrances returned to their retail partners then be returned to Chanel so it can be destroyed (Chanel has long been opposed to the grey market).
    It's really quite pleasant, except for the smell (...)
    -"Mama", My Chemical Romance

  4. #4
    Dependent Mythrol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    If the retailer allows it, do whatever you feel you should / need to.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Always sample first

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin06 View Post
    How do you feel about returning a frag?
    Speaking only for myself, I would never do it.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Thank you guys. I will keep it.

  8. #8
    Dependent ladida's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    I accept any used fragrances

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    You paid full retail so take advantage of some of the benefits that entails. Ulta's own return policy specifically says you can return it for ANY reason if you're not happy with it. Most retailers allow it and don't give you any problems if it's within reason. I don't get why people act like it's stealing when both the vendors and retailers account for returns, including open items.


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  10. #10
    Dependent NickZee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Once the cellophane is opened, most retailers will, and are legally entitled to require evidence of a defect before issuing a refund. If you've simply changed your mind or bought blindly, then in Australia at least, they dont have to accept the return.

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    That's why you give gift cards, folks - choose your own scent.)
    Have to be careful with gift cards, if the retailer goes bust or changes hands, the gift cards become worthless plastic. And you won't know when the liquidaters have been called until its in the papers.
    Currently wearing: Aventus Cologne by Creed

  11. #11

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Even if it's allowed, something about doing that just doesn't feel quite right to me.

    And, I'm not presenting an argument, because I'm not sure I can explain or support my position. The better argument, it would seem, is that returns are allowed according to store policy: so, no conflict should exist.

    Yet, I don't know...

    Added: I need to think about this situation more.

    There's something a little puzzling in here. The next thought for me would be something like this: just because something is permitted by policy/legal doesn't necessarily mean it is therefore decent behavior.

    I'll have to think about this one more...
    Last edited by Alex Krycek; 30th March 2017 at 03:18 AM. Reason: added

  12. #12

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by MFfan310 View Post
    However, Chanel requires that all fragrances returned to their retail partners then be returned to Chanel so it can be destroyed (Chanel has long been opposed to the grey market).
    The lady at The Bon Ton (after offering cold hard cash for 3 brand spankin new testers of the older style tall bottle of Platinum Egoiste) said that they box them up and the security guards dispose of them in the dumpsters.
    Facebook group: The Raffle Lounge --> https://www.facebook.com/groups/274183356447838/

  13. #13
    Dependent Beck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    I wouldn't. Personally, I don't think retailers should allow returns unless there was a defective product.

    Its a purchase, not a rental. One should decide if it's something they like before buying it, taking it home, using it, etc...


    That's just how I feel about it.
    My thoughts either. Just sealed new perfumes. Imagine if we could return underwear!

  14. #14
    Super Member lunchbox148's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    I usually sell my unwanted fragrances on the basenotes marketplace, or on eBay. Usualy get only 75% of what it's worth but I prefer to do that than have it sit around.
    Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    it depends, if I blind buy and end up not liking it most of the time I would sell it or give it to someone else, because that's on me, I should've been the one testing it, before purchase

    Also it depends where I purchased it from, if it's a small business or a person I would never return it, if I don't like the scent and if I have purchased it from a big business that makes billions I don't care I will return half empty bottle if they allow it and be fine with that.

  16. #16
    Basenotes Junkie Nouveau Nez's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Serial returners of anything are a huge pet-peeve of mine. The fact that you are even asking the question tells me that you definitely don't fall into this category. So, I would gladly give you a pass to return it if it's really not to your liking.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Thank you guys. I really appreciate it--as always. Great community here, and I'm very happy to be a member here.

    After reading your thoughtful posts and more reflection, I have decided to follow my gut and keep it. In addition to being a good learning experience for a fragrance newbie, I may end up loving this juice. At the least, I will feel at peace with my decision.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythrol View Post
    If the retailer allows it, do whatever you feel you should / need to.
    THIS ^^^

    I always ask the retailer what their policy is before I purchase from them. That way, I know and am not surprised if they don't honor a refund/exchange....and I also know what their expectations for me are, as the paying customer.

    In the case of Ulta, they do allow it, because they have allowed me to return/exchange one. Retailers usually charge premium prices/MSRP for what online retailers charge at a fraction of the cost. And one of the "perks" and benefits of buying at a brick and mortar retailer IS THIS EXACT REASON! Because they will allow for returns, where as most (nearly all....maybe all) online retailers DO NOT!

    Besides, the store will sell it at a discount, sell it to a discounter, or receive credit through their vendor/supplier...so it's not like the store is going to be out of money for it.

    Honestly...if you're an honest person...you bought it, was disappointed or changed your mind about it but kept your receipt, only used a small amount, and returned it with the box and receipt in a short amount of time, and the store allows for it...I don't see any problem with it what so ever.

    Oh, and for the record...John Varvatos is a great scent! You'll probably be happy with keeping it.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Unless there is bottle defect, I think you would have a job exchanging or getting anything back from the stores in London if the cellophane has gone.

    I don't know Ulta, but their returns policy seems a bit extreme -- you could purchase half a dozen bottles, take them back after trying, and exchange for another six --- see if you like them better?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    If you don't like it don't buy it. Very simple.
    MY STEALTHY FREEDOM.

  21. #21
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    It would never even occur to me to return something just because I'd changed my mind about it.

    I understand that there are some generous return policies in place in the US, but ultimately who pays for them? And what about the huge amounts of waste caused by the trashing of perfectly good merchandise?

  22. #22
    Basenotes Institution dougczar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by SportsFan View Post
    Oh, and for the record...John Varvatos is a great scent! You'll probably be happy with keeping it.
    I agree!
    Current Winter Favorites:

    1. House of Matriarch - Blackbird
    2. Brückner - Aoud 1
    3. Creed - Royal Oud
    4. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Generation Man
    5. Armani Privé - Oud Royal
    6. by Kilian - Straight to Heaven
    7. Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 - Mortal Skin
    8. Creed - Royal English Leather
    9. Creed - Bois du Portugal
    10. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions

  23. #23

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    I guess these laws vary on a national basis. Here in Italy you can return something only in sealed & bnib conditions, and only if it has some defects. Some bigger shops allow to return stuff if you don't like it, but still it must be sealed and new. Or if the size is wrong, provided all tags and packaging materials are in place correctly. Some places like Ikea allow you to return furniture even if you assembled it and decided it doesn't fit or you don't like it, and that's quite an exception here - but still' it's useable material (they can probably use it for photoshoots or whatever, and in that case anyway you are dealing directly with the manufacturer). On the contrary a partially used bottle is completely useless to a retailer.
    However even if it was allowed it's something I would never do personally - it sounds very irresponsible and ethically lazy to me.
    Last edited by Colin Maillard; 30th March 2017 at 02:27 PM.
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  24. #24
    Dependent Mythrol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin06 View Post
    I have decided to follow my gut and keep it. At the least, I will feel at peace with my decision.
    This is the most important thing.

  25. #25
    Basenotes Junkie Still-Life With Red Rob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Of the Varvatos scents I've tried, the eponymously-named one is the one I prefer. It has a classic masculine scent to it, placing it in the Pour Monsieur category (though not anywhere near the quality), if I remember.

    One of the first full bottles I bought prior to joining Basenotes, but still many years ago, was Artisan by JV. At first I loved it a lot. In fact, trying to figure out what I liked about it, and didn't like about it, led me to Basenotes. That frag, which I quickly came to NOT like all that much, started my education on a range of topics: longevity, anosmia, life-span of citruses, musks, etc. That bit of education goes on and is as much a part of my hobby as is the smell of any given fragrance. As for Artisan, I love the presentation in the Chianti wicker, really like the almost rotty, dank tangerine smell, dislike the dry-down, and rarely reach for what was, ultimately, a blind buy, and a disappointing use of $75 (or whatever it was at Nordstrom 8(?) years ago).

    Now I have a growing (idk: 8? 10?) selection of 5 and 10 ml decants gotten on ebay and here, from our resident splitters. For the money I spent on that Artisan, I could have bought 10 different decants (5ml for me seems to last a looonnnggg time. If it goes quick, guess what full bottle will be coming MY way, the money spent not being any sort of regret, as I had...as you are having...over the big purchase. I think impulsive, blind buys, though discouraged, are still definitely a fun part of this hobby. This site has opportunities to trade or sell unwanted, regretful purchases.
    BUT:
    Personally, I would never return a frag. If they have the policy to do so, then go ahead. I wouldn't however. I've bought bottles before that I know had been used, the straw charged, the fill line a little lower than the neck, and I know it's because a discounter or an ebayer had a damn-near-unused bottle they were trying to move. It's a disappointment (though slight, in all honesty) I don't want to pass on. But, additionally, I think a blind buy, or an impulse buy on a perishable item falls into the realm of caveat emptor. Unless there's a worm in your tomatos, you don't return new-bought produce because you decided later that you don't like romas, after all. $74 is not much to spend for an experience that might offer so many lessons. I wouldn't return it. I'd just shop a little smarter (absolutely zero offense intended by that!)
    PS: Just saw you decided to keep it. That's the way to go, I think. I hope it grows on you. It is nice, IMO.
    Last edited by Still-Life With Red Rob; 30th March 2017 at 02:41 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    I see a lot of varying opinions. Almost every retailer I've encountered lately...even high end ones...will say "try it out and if you don't like it, return it." I never used to hear this before but have heard it from Sephora, Nordstroms, etc.

    I don't know if they say it now because they have had many returns or that they use the used bottles for testers or whatever.

    I've always been on the fence. I usually sample first because I don't want to be in this position. So I agree just bringing it back on a whim wouldn't be great. But I have returned twice where it was a gift and I didn't have a chance to sample and it really wasn't a good scent after one try. There was no problem with it. Considering you said you've worn it multiple times, I wouldn't do it though.
    "Desperation is a stinky cologne."
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    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  27. #27

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin06 View Post
    Thank you guys. I really appreciate it--as always. Great community here, and I'm very happy to be a member here.

    After reading your thoughtful posts and more reflection, I have decided to follow my gut and keep it. In addition to being a good learning experience for a fragrance newbie, I may end up loving this juice. At the least, I will feel at peace with my decision.
    FWIW, the bottle that started this thread was one of my first purchases years ago, and I grew not to like it pretty quickly after purchasing it. It was too sweet for me too. I revisited the fragrance a year or so later, and I have grown to like it again. It is not a regular in my rotation, but I think it is quite pleasant now. Tastes change.

  28. #28
    Dependent Mythrol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    I see a lot of varying opinions. Almost every retailer I've encountered lately...even high end ones...will say "try it out and if you don't like it, return it." I never used to hear this before but have heard it from Sephora, Nordstroms, etc.

    I don't know if they say it now because they have had many returns or that they use the used bottles for testers or whatever.

    I've always been on the fence. I usually sample first because I don't want to be in this position. So I agree just bringing it back on a whim wouldn't be great. But I have returned twice where it was a gift and I didn't have a chance to sample and it really wasn't a good scent after one try. There was no problem with it. Considering you said you've worn it multiple times, I wouldn't do it though.
    That's a good point I didn't really think about. I go to Sephoria every Month or so when I happen to be in the mall because my wife likes to buy make-up from them. I've gotten on fairly friendly terms with a number of the workers and talk fragrances while my wife does her thing. I forgot that I've had them tell me that exact thing the last few times I was in there. Basically, "Buy it and try it out if you don't like it just bring it back."

    I think the reason is they know the battle is getting the person to buy it. They aren't dumb. They know you can buy it cheaper online. So if they can talk you into buying it for their marked up price they've already won. My guess is out of the large number of people that they tell "just buy and return if you don't like it" it's a rare occurrence for people to actually return a fragrance once purchased. Just look at OP. Businesses are banking on people being either too lazy, or forgetful, or their own internal honor system to keep from returning stuff. Then they profit.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post
    Even if it's allowed, something about doing that just doesn't feel quite right to me.

    And, I'm not presenting an argument, because I'm not sure I can explain or support my position. The better argument, it would seem, is that returns are allowed according to store policy: so, no conflict should exist.

    Yet, I don't know...

    Added: I need to think about this situation more.

    There's something a little puzzling in here. The next thought for me would be something like this: just because something is permitted by policy/legal doesn't necessarily mean it is therefore decent behavior.

    I'll have to think about this one more...
    I am very conflicted about this issue. When all parties know from the get-go what policies do and don't allow, I have a hard time feeling it's so bad. On the other hand, the "serial returner" that does this all the time and basically takes advantage of a generous policy is a tad icky...but, is it also a tad icky to charge a retail price that is sometimes double what the going eBay price is for an identical item? It is a bit sickening to watch a granny pay too much at Macy's for a grandson's gift when she could do much better on the net. I know, I know, it's on her...buyer beware...but, maybe...retailer beware?

    When it's all said and done, let your conscience be your guide.
    Currently wearing: Beau de Jour by Tom Ford

  30. #30

    Default Re: Returning fragrances to a retailor--thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1280adam View Post
    The lady at The Bon Ton (after offering cold hard cash for 3 brand spankin new testers of the older style tall bottle of Platinum Egoiste) said that they box them up and the security guards dispose of them in the dumpsters.


    BECCA_DUMPSTER_2.jpg

    Surprised they don't use them as testers.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."




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