So if you follow me on social media, you’ll know I recently placed (and received) an order from the Sephora online store. And I recall many of you wanting to know what I bought and how I did it.
Sephora is like a magical wonderland for us beauty lovers. A place we can’t quite get to, but can spend hours online browsing through. Everything you could want beauty-wise is there and it’s just so BEAUTIFUL!
But it is virtually impossible for us South Africans to get our hands on goodies from Sephora. We don’t have Sephora stores her, and they don’t ship to South Africa. I also believe they don’t ship to forwarding addresses, and that you need to be the first person to use that address in order for you to be able to use it when it comes to Sephora. Prettiful Blog managed to find a way around it using Aramex Global Shopper, in that she used her PayPal account. But I tried this and used my SA card through my PayPal and it also rejected. They obviously also don’t seem to accept foreign cards.
I was contacted by another global shipping service called Postbox Courier, that ultimately offer a similar service to Aramex. You can also send out separate alerts so that if you’re ordering more than one package in one country, you can consolidate them into one shipment at the forwarding address, and pay a once off fee. This makes the shipping cheaper, as rather than paying the minimum weight fee several times, you pay once. I also recall that I payed a rather substantial sign-up fee to Aramex when I signed up. There is no sign up fee with Postbox Courier!
My experience using Postbox Courier was easy as pie, and I’ll talk you through it, together with my Sephora order. Then perhaps you can give them a go and see if you can get your hands on that Fenty Beauty highlighter you’ve been longing for. Or perhaps some Kat Von D liquid lippies. Or even that Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum cream, in order to get your tushy tight in time for summer 😉
Simply click the link to sign up on the Postbox Courier website HERE. It’s in the top right hand corner. Fill our your name, surname, email address and a password, tick the terms and conditions and click ‘Sign Up Now’. It’s that simple!
You’ll then be sent an email to verify your account. Just follow the instructions and once you’ve logged in, you can fill in all your other details like phone number and addresses. You can then do a number of things from getting a quote for shipping, to filling in a parcel pre-alert. But first.. let’s go shopping!
ONLINE ORDER AT SEPHORA
I signed up to be an Insider – here you’re creating an account on the Sephora site, and you earn points for your purchases. Also, on your birthday you’ll get a free gift – score!
I then spent
a bit of time many hours browsing to see what I really wanted to buy. I set myself a budget for this purchase – I wanted to spend over $50 so I’d qualify for free shipping within the USA but I didn’t want to spend more than $60. Remember – they only work out your tax on check out, so I tried to spend just over $50.
I eventually selected two products I’d been longing for for absolute ages – the Too Faced Born This Way foundation in the shade Ivory, and the Too Faced HangoverX primer. I chose the travel size primer, as I’m a bit fussy with my primers, and wanted to make sure I liked it before I committed to the full size. That meant it also cost me $15 and not $32 for the primer. In total, my cart came to $54 before tax.
Before you check out, go and see what free samples are on offer – you get 3 free samples when you place an order on the site. Take a peek at the samples HERE. When I placed my order, I chose the Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating treatment, the Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Face and Neck Cream and a sample of the Pillowtalk Poet fragrance. That way I got to try out some other brands that we don’t get here in South Africa.
Sephora also sent me an assortment of perfume samples as well, that I didn’t know they’d include. It was a nice surprise!
And now for the even better extra! If you spend over a certain amount, you can also insert a voucher code from the Beauty Offers, and get another free item! You can browse the Beauty Offers HERE. On the day I ordered, I had many choices but opted for a deluxe sample of the Kat Von D Lock It setting powder. Sadly, it was no longer in stock by the time they started packing my order. They did not give me another option and just cancelled it. When I complained, they apologised profusely and added another 100 insider points to my account, which was a huge bonus. Right now, there are some amazing extras you can get! If you spend over $25 you can get a mini Sephora lip stain, mini facial oil, mini MILK multi-purpose tint, 7 day sampler of Kate Somerville products, mascaras, hair products and the list goes on.
Once you’ve placed an overseas order, you then fill in a parcel pre-alert. This can either be for imports into SA or exports out of SA. Now, obviously I’ll only be using this service to bring in wonderful goodies for myself, I click Import.
Here you fill in all the details for the package – where it’s coming from (the store), monetary value and weight. You only fill in this pre-alert once you’ve placed your order as you need to provide the tracking number for the delivery from store to Postbox Courier warehouse.
The exciting part is where you have several packages coming in to the same warehouse, and where they can then hold a package for you until the others have arrived. They’re all then consolidated into one package, the weights combined and one shipping charge given. If you consider how many minimum weight charges you’ve paid in the past, this is awesome!
Once all the packages (or just one package) have arrived, you get an email informing you. You can then pay via PayPal for your shipping. Sadly, this shipping cost does not include your customs fee (boo), but once the package has arrived in South Africa you’ll be emailed if any customs fees are being charged. You can then pay the fee to Postbox Courier, and they will clear the package through customs for you.
Your package will then be delivered to your door once it has cleared customs. And trust me when I say that it’s super fast after that – only a day or maybe two! I was super impressed with how quickly it all went, even though my package arrived just before a weekend, and I made customs payment on the Friday afternoon. Monday morning my Sephora box arrived and I got to squeal with excitement and try and refrain myself from ripping it open with my beautifully manicured nails.
Very impressive. You’re kept in the loop as to what is happening with your parcel, and if you have any concerns you can contact the live support on the Postbox Courier website. They reply super fast and either help you themselves or send your information on to the relevant department.
The payment options were all very safe and simple to use as well, and while I did get whacked with customs, this was due to the cost of my order and nothing else.
Overall I’m very impressed with Postbox Courier and will definitely be using them again!
**I was gifted a shipping voucher to the value of R1000 from Postbox Courier in order for me to try out their service, but I paid for my own customs and my own Sephora order. My shipping did not come to even half of the voucher, and all of my opinions are entirely my own and completely honest!