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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Customers should respect cosmetic samples

Daniela Barajas
Beauty products are broken and scattered against a light blue background. Customers need to respect free samples laid on display for their advantage at stores. (Daniela Barajas | Northern Star)

Lately, there have been instances in beauty stores where customers are disrespectful toward sample products and employees. Consumers need to respect cosmetic samples and refrain from destroying or mishandling them.

In beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta, cosmetic samples are available to the public. Cosmetic samples are important because they let consumers try a product before purchasing and allow people to see if a product is the best match for them.

Having the opportunity to try a product helps potential buyers determine if the product is worth purchasing. Testing samples could lead to higher customer satisfaction and make the customer feel like they’ve made the right purchase, with 63% of people purchasing a sample product after testing it, according to a 2021 Bazaarvoice survey.

Unfortunately, not everyone respects beauty store samples.

Mahesh Subramony, a professor of management at NIU, said employees at beauty stores expect respect from the customers.

“They’re earning money by working the stores and they expect some level of civility, and I think what’s happening here is that they are not seeing that level of civility from the kids,” Subramony said. “It doesn’t really matter whether these are kids or adults, but the key here is that mistreatment of samples or employees is just the wrong thing.”

One TikTok showed young children destroying products and opening packages at Sephora.

People need to be respectful with beauty products and samples. It’s asinine that some customers don’t behave respectfully in beauty stores.

Claire Hamaker, a sophomore elementary education major who occasionally shops at Ulta and Sephora, said cosmetic samples are a privilege that should be treated with respect.

“I mean, in my opinion these samples are a privilege that these stores have for use. They open the products for us to try on and use before buying them, because to be honest, not every shade looks like what’s on the box,” Hamaker said. “Not every shade looks great on every skin tone, so honestly it really is something that the stores and brands are doing for the customers that they really don’t have to provide for us.”

Individuals should appreciate and value the effort and resources it takes to produce samples. Since samples are a privilege, customers should not be careless or take them for granted. 

By mistreating both employees and sample products, businesses such as Sephora or Ulta could also potentially lose business or get bad reviews. 

Subramony said the shopping experience could wind up being bad due to the behavior in the stores.

“Of course, the shopping experience is going to be pretty bad for other customers. They are also likely to feel threatened,” Subramony said. “They are likely to feel less interested in purchasing, or they might leave the store.”

If people can’t respect cosmetic samples, then they don’t deserve to have sample products.

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