We Untangle the Ulta Return Policy and Answer ALL Your Questions

June 24, 2020 by Kyle
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The return policy at Ulta Beauty appears pretty darn lenient on paper, but when I started digging a little bit deeper I discovered that it’s not as lenient as it may appear. Specifically, your mileage may vary (depending on the store) when it comes to returns beyond the return window and how they are handled. Hopefully this article will answer all of your questions and make your next Ulta return a breeze.

Time to Untangle the Ulta Return Policy and Answer ALL Your Questions

How Long Does Ulta Give Me to Return Stuff?

180 days.

This use to be 60 days but they extended it to 180 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will keep this article updated if they revert back to a 60-day return window at some point.

See Also: 12 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Save Money at Ulta Beauty

Can I Return Makeup That I Opened and Tried?

Ulta chat session on returns

Their website made no mention of returning used items so I hit up their live chat and asked (see above screenshot).

I asked if I could return makeup that I used for a couple weeks but decided I didn’t like.

Surprisingly, the answer is YES.

I even asked if they monitored such returns and could deny my return if I returned too many “half used” beauty items and was told there was NO limit.

But buyer beware, if you do this all the time they’ll probably flag your name and information.

Can I Return Something After 180 Days?

According to this Reddit thread you CAN return something (for store credit) after the return window has expired but your mileage may vary by store.

Manager’s seem to have the final say and it’s save to assume they are more likely to deny you if you make frequent returns, used significant amount of the product, or you’re flat-out rude.

Also, it’s worth noting that you must have your receipt or proof of purchase for these types of returns.

Is My Receipt Necessary for a Return?

If you’re within the return window, NO, you don’t necessarily need your receipt.

If you are an Ultamate Rewards member or have an Ulta.com account they can look up your purchase that way.

If they can’t locate your purchase in their system, they’ll give you the lowest selling price of the item in the past 90 days in the form of store-credit.

Also, they’ll ask for a valid photo ID if they CAN’T find any record of your purchase.

They’ll use your information to track your return history and can deny future returns if they feel you’re abusing their return policy.

Are Any Items Non-Returnable?

According to the Ulta rep that I spoke with, the only items that CAN’T be returned are broken products.

Meaning items that you took home and broke and was NOT the fault of Ulta.

Everything else you can return.

Can I Return Online Purchases In-Store?

Yes, absolutely.

Just bring in your packing slip or original email confirmation as your proof of purchase.

The same return window applies to online purchases.

What About Returning In-Store Purchases via the Mail?

This might be an option for you, especially during COVID-19 as many shoppers want to stay out of stores.

To make it happen, you’ll need to call Ulta at 1 (866) 983-8582 and they’ll email you a return mailing label and further instructions.

What Happens to My Ultamate Reward Points When I Make a Return?

You’ll get them all back immediately after you complete your return.

Keep in mind that if you used your points, and bought several items, you’ll only get back a proportionate amount of points.

What If I Used a Coupon on My Purchase?

If you return an item bought with a coupon you’ll ONLY get back the amount of money you paid out-of-pocket.

Also, you will not get back the actual coupon or one of equal value.

Can I Get Cashback with a Gift Receipt Return?

No, Ulta will NOT give you cashback if you request it.

But they’ll be more than happy to do an even exchange or give you store credit for a future purchase.

What About Returning Items from Ulta Resellers or Dealers? 

Only items bought from an actual Ulta location, or from their website, can be returned.

For all other sales of Ulta products you’ll have deal with the 3rd party seller directly.

Can Someone Else Make the Return for Me?

If the person has your receipt or Ultamate Rewards card there shouldn’t be any problems.

But…I’ve read online of some folks being told the original purchaser must make the return so it seems your mileage may vary from store-to-store which is disappointing.

3 Ulta Beauty Policy Hacks That’ll Make You Feel Like a Genius…

1 – You GOTTA sign-up for their Rewards program – The simple fact that they track your purchases so you’ll never need to keep your receipt makes it worth it.

Then throw in the fact that you can build up reward points that’ll score you free stuff makes it a total no-brainer.

2 – Avoid Return Shipping Costs – There is ONLY one way to do this and that is to bring your online purchase to an Ulta Beauty store to process your return.

3 – Always Try to Return Items (Even if past the return window) – Their policy is pretty lenient and most locations let you return stuff for store credit well beyond their stated number of return days.

So take advantage of this and always try and return items rather than throwing them away.

The biggest problem with Ulta is that the policy tends to change depending on the store or employee you’re dealing with, so your mileage may vary when making a return of a product you’ve had a long time.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience returning stuff to Ulta Beauty? Let me know in the comments.


By Kyle James

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