Why are certain brands suddenly unavailable in Canada?
I was on the Sephora site and noticed a lot of items seemed to be out-of-stock, and not just newly released hot items that you might expect to quickly sell out. Then, a glance at my list of “loves” made me practically have a panic attack. Brands and items that I’ve ordered numerous times suddenly “cannot be shipped to Canada” including Sephora’s own name brand. What’s going on? Could this be some weird website glitch?
I immediately took to facebook, twitter and the interwebs to see if anyone else knew what was up and found some info on Canadian Daily Deals and Smart Canucks blog. Disturbing info.
Apparently Sephora is opening a Canadian warehouse. The “good news” is orders can be shipped without any duty or Borderfree costs and shipping should be faster. The bad news? Sephora can’t stock items that do not comply with Canadian packaging laws or containing certain ingredients. Smart Canuck’s post included a list of brands released by Sephora that will no longer be available including Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Michael Kors, Clarasonic and plenty more. Other items showing out-of-stock *should* be available again as they arrive in the Canadian warehouse.
I was unable to find ANY info about this on the Sephora site. I searched my inbox and although I have tons of promotional emails from them, there are no emails whatsoever about what I think is a fairly serious customer service issue.
I have so many questions! Like:
- How long will it take items to get stocked in the new Canadian warehouse? (A LOT of things are out-of-stock)
- Are brands temporarily no longer available until things get sorted out or permanently disappearing?
- How will in-store stock be affected? (if you’re lucky enough to have a store near you. I don’t)
I’m also confused about claims of cheaper shipping costs because orders can be shipped without duty or Borderfree costs. First of all, I get free shipping as a VIB Rouge, and even if you’re not Rouge, there’s free shipping on orders over $75 CAD. Have you ever tried to place a Sephora order and spent less than $75? I know I haven’t. So shipping isn’t a big concern of mine. Second of all, no duty or Borderfree charges appear on my orders; just 13% HST. Plus, I didn’t find shipping took particularly long.
Not sure how a Canadian warehouse is a good thing if its resulting in fewer brands being available. Its already difficult enough to order beauty products online to ship to Canada. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I’m going to try emailing Sephora customer service. I am pretty darn unhappy with Sephora right now 😦
UPDATE: Sephora Customer Service responded to my email with the following:
“We are excited to announce we have recently started shipping to Canadian addresses from our new warehouse in Canada! By being able to ship directly within Canada, our clients will receive many new benefits, including faster processing and delivery times, elimination of duty charges and the addition of new brands and items to our Canadian product assortment.
If there are certain favourites that appear to be out of stock, try searching for the product by name again; in some cases we have updated the product item number. For other products that no longer appear on the site, we apologize that this is due to stricter language packaging restrictions that we are required to adhere to by law in order to ship within Canada.
We understand that this may be frustrating and invite you to continue to check back as these products may become available again in the future.”
When I searched for some of the items showing as out-of-stock on my favourites list by item name like they suggested, most were in stock (like the Urban Decay Setting Spray) but some were still showing as out-of-stock (like the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder). Any brands showing “item cannot be shipped to Canada” are really gone with little reassurance that they will be returning anytime soon.
If you’re looking for alternative sites to order from in the meantime, check out my Makeup Shopping Guide for Canadians.
Thanks for reading!
Nerdy Librarian Girl ❤