One of the biggest problems I have with buying toiletries, cosmetics, and other beauty products is that I often don't like what I purchased because it doesn't work or the color is hideous. Since I hate wasting things, though, I'll often make myself use a whole bottle of shampoo even though I don't like it.
There are better solutions than wasting money or using a product that you don't like. Here are a few:
1. Save all of your receipts for these purchases. Surprisingly, I've learned that most places will accept returns of these items, even if they've been used. I've returned lipstick, shampoo, and even used medicine that didn't work. If a product doesn't meet your expectations, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to return it. While most stores will accept returns like this, Rite Aid is one of the only places that makes their return-friendly policy widely known. I don't go to the stores where I buy beauty products and toiletries very often though, so sometimes returning an item is more trouble than it's worth to get the money back.
Your friendly demeanor and the way you explain your return can have a big impact on whether you get your money back on a used product. My policy is to always be nice and don't offer any explanation unless asked. If I am asked, I keep it simple: "It didn't work." People who work in retail are often underappreciated by snarky customers and low pay (I speak from experience), so a little kindness can go a long way towards making them more interested in helping you out than in staunchly protecting their store's bottom line.
2. Read reviews of products before you buy them. Like I've said before, Paula Begoun is my hero. Not only did her book teach me how to clear up my skin, but her book Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me has also prevented me from wasting money on tons of beauty products that are either bad for you or just plain don't work. You'd be surprised at how many beauty products are detrimental to your skin.
3. Try before you buy. Open things at the store and smell them, make good use of testers, and use friends' products before you open your wallet to a product you've never used.
Tags: Money Beauty Frugal Paula Begoun
Save Money by Exfoliating with Baking Soda
Saving Money on Toothpaste and Lotion
When Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?
Saving Money on Hand Soap