Online Ordering // ULTA Made a Mistake!

I grew up in a home where we always had “enough.” My parents were together, and they both had good jobs. When we were little, they also had debt and were working on building up wealth, so my mom was very into “sales shopping.” This isn’t just buying items on sale- it was determining how often things would be on sale and stocking on on things when they were at a good price. Buy sale items in bulk; save in general. For example: canned tuna. If it was normally $1/can, but they went on sale once every 3 months for $0.25/can, and you go through 3 cans/week, buy 40 cans. Except, of course, my mom would get 80 cans just in case the next sale didn’t pan out.

This habit has run onto me.

Now, I’m trying to be good about my online orders. After purchasing the Urban Decay Vice4 palette (on sale from Sephora) and 24 different colorful shades to play with from Coastal Scents, I realized I needed to stick to a budget- or just, you know, plan out what is actually “worth it” and avoid the clever advertisements that get pushed to my inbox daily. After all, next month is my birthday month and I’ll probably be looking at birthday presents, extra samples, and bonus points. If something isn’t on a good deal now, it probably isn’t actually worth getting now.

I did try my best to plan out my purchases from Ulta during their “21 Days of Beauty.” But some of the items that didn’t make it to the list still interested me based on the sale of it all. Yesterday, I looked at the Tarteist Amazonian Clay Liner. $12! I wouldn’t feel bad about being a beginner/learning, and I could always get some $4 gel liner from a drugstore to practice. I really, really wanted that brush. I didn’t want to deal with the crowds in-store (plus, sale items tend to go within a couple hours at my Ulta), so I looked online, but then I realized: I didn’t want to pay for shipping. When they’re back in stock in April, I could pick it up for only $6 more and probably get bonus birthday points for it.

And so I tried to wait, but as I thought about it more and more, I realized I wanted those. I convinced myself I could get multiple of the liners. In a couple months, I could turn around and sell the extra tubes if I didn’t fall in love with them to recoup my “lost income.” And so I added them to my cart, went to check out, and they were… out of stock. 

Having had that experience, I checked my list again. These were items I really, really wanted, so I had to be sure I got them EARLY. Like, first in line at the store or ordering them at midnight online. I remembered I wanted those scrubs that were on sale for $5 (list price at $19.50)- they’d be on Beauty Steal every Saturday, but what if they sold out before the last Saturday (the day I was planning on getting them for double points).

So in the wee hours of the morning / late last night, I went online and saw that, for whatever reason, they were on sale for $5 and buy 2 get 2 free. ULTA, for good reason, excludes Beauty Steals from the buy 2 get 2 deals. I thought maybe they just hadn’t updated the text. So I added 4 different scrubs to my cart, and the total? $10. TEN DOLLARS. That’s $2.50 each, for items that were originally $19.50.

But remember how I hate paying for shipping? Oh, I went INSANE getting my total to above $50. I put 20 items- different scrubs, lotions, creams, and bath gels- in my cart, and then realized I had a $3.50 coupon (the $5 off $10 was for cosmetics and tools only, not skin care). The coupon brought my cart total below the free ship min, and that meant… I had to add 4 more items.

I had to adjust my order because they were already selling out, but in the end, I purchased 24 items for $56.50. I had hopes that they would come before Easter, but alas, it looks like they won’t. It also looks as if ULTA has “fixed” the issue of doubling sales. The remaining stock is still on sale for $5, but they’re now excluded from the b2g2.

Either way, I now have quite a bit of “gifty” items now and a slight bit of shame.

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