Sephora, The Beauty Authority which is sort of a unicorn to us in South Africa is now within reach!
Yes, you heard me right! You can now order from Sephora Online. Yay!
I have been lucky enough to travel overseas a couple of times and found myself standing in that black and white money gulper surrounded by all things beauty. But, that is at most once a year, and that is obviously not enough to get my beauty fix. Yes, I am a beauty addict, and no I do not have a problem.
Let me give you the breakdown of what I ordered from Sephora, and how you can do the same:
I bought the Becca Opal Glow on the Go set, which contains the Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal in both pressed and poured. A Tarte Cheek Set, Makeup Forever Eyeliner Duo and Urban Decay Eyeliner Pencil Travel Set.
I also got a couple of samples, which is what Sephora is known for!
Now, let me break down the process for you:
1) Register for Aramex Global Shopper (AGS) here. (You will get 14 addresses in different countries from New York to Hong Kong). There is a once-off lifetime membership fee, which I think is about $45. If you are not happy with the service you can cancel for a full refund within 12 months, which is pretty awesome.
2) Sign up on Sephora.com
3) Add your US New York Aramex Global address as your default billing and shipping address
4) Use the telephone number provided by AGS as your telephone number on sephora.com
5) Put your AGS account number in one of the address lines on sephora.com, this is so AGS can identify your parcel when it arrives at the hub.
6) And Shop! Add everything you want to your basket, choose your samples, and go all the way to checkout at the end, because taxes will only be added at the end. I ordered enough to qualify for free shipping, which always helps. But if your order is under $50 you will be charged shipping. Try and buy enough to qualify for free shipping, since you still have AGS shipping to pay for.
7) Now you need to buy a Sephora Gift Card, which you can do here. The gift card buying service is operated by another site which accepts Paypal. Because Sephora does not accept International Credit Cards or Paypal directly, using a Gift Card is the only way to make payment.
8) Choose the value of the gift card based on the value of your cart. Remember to go all the way to the checkout page to include taxes! I bought a gift card, and then I had to buy another one, because I didn’t have enough for taxes. Luckily you can use more than one gift card per order.
9) Enter your email address, and soon you will have your gift card.
10) Then go back to the Sephora Checkout Page. On the right of the payment box, there is a section for Promo Codes and Gift Cards. Click on Use a gift card, enter your card number and pin from your Gift Card email.
11) You can also find Promo Codes here to get some extra goodies! You just enter the Promo Code above the Gift Card Number.
12) And that is all! It is a bit of a mission, but it is so worth it!
13) You will get an email from Sephora once your order has been shipped
14) You will get an email from AGS once your order has arrived at the US hub
15) You will get another email from AGS once your package is on its way to South Africa. You can now make payment. All shipping and custom charges (if any) can be paid at once. I luckily didn’t have to pay any customs charges. The shipping cost for the first 1/2 kg is R175 and every additional 1/2 kg is R99. It isn’t the cheapest, but considering you get your order in less than a week, from stores that don’t ship to SA, I think it is worth it! Just bear in mind the shipping cost when you are adding heavy items to your cart. My order weighed more than 1/2 kg, so I had to pay R274 shipping costs and I got my order in less than a week, with updates along the way.
Happy Shopping Ladies!
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P.S. Please bear in mind that this was my first and only time so far using Aramex Global. I do intend placing another order from Sephora Online soon, and I am hoping it works as smoothly again. I can’t say for sure that Sephora will accept your order, or that you won’t get charged customs, but it worked for me.
I have since ordered again from Sephora using Aramex Global, and this time it wasn’t as smooth, it was stopped by customs and needed a commercial invoice. And I had to pay 50% of my order value in customs and vat charges. But, I received my package, you can check it out in my March Haul.
UPDATE: I have ordered more than 5 times from Sephora using Aramex Global, and I have had to pay customs every single time. My one package ended up in India so I only received it 2 weeks later. Delayed delivery and bad customer service seems like the norm these days. If you haven’t already signed up with Aramex, I would recommend trying out Post Box Courier, it is more expensive, but the service is way better, and you can combine orders into one shipment.