I realized BeautyBay underwent change of ownership and updated its website.
Things get much better and I placed another order from the sale. Overall, I was satisfied.
1. CS is much more helpful.
As I needed amendment of shipment detail, I emailed the CS and I got replied the next day. It is an improvement considered last time they did not respond at all. Shipping took about one month and it is a bit long for low season (compared to Christmas etc.) but acceptable.
2. More rare brands
Although it does not carry as many mainstream brands as Lookfantastic or other bigger retailers, it resumes to carry some interesting brands hard to look for elsewhere. For instance, they cut off Art Deco once and it is back. Sara Happ, Ellis Faas, Face Atelier, Mario Badescu, Anne Semonin and other smaller brands are also added to BeautyBay.
3. Sale section is back.
There was time they cancelled the sale section which is a fail move! I am happy it is back again :D
4. Nail polishes can be shipped international again!
I still remember how excited I was when I first discovered BeautyBay in 2012. BeautyBay is an online retailer based in the UK and offers international shipping inclusive the selling price. I was absolutely satisfied with my first order and it was once my favourite online store. However, things have changed and I definitely prefer Lookfantastic, Echemist.co.uk, Lifeandlooks and other online retailers over BeautyBay nowadays.
1. Delivery Time
In the past two years I have placed 6 orders in total. My first order took about 12 days and it was reasonably quick considered the parcel was shipped from the UK to Australia. However, the delivery time ended up taking longer and longer in each order. The last order I placed in mid-November 2013 arrived two and a half months later and I only received my parcel in February 2014. My order was worth over 90 pounds and I got anxious if it went missing or misdelivered. I wrote to CS in January 2014. Yet, I never heard anything from them in that one month time (between jan-feb 2014), not even a reply of whether they had received/ accepted/ declined my request. Really lucky I did receive it at the end. If it had never arrived, I would have been utterly upset by how unresponsive the CS is.
2. Shipping Restrictions and Less Brands!
BeautyBay used to carry Murad, KÉRASTASE and do amazing gift with purchases. They also used to ship nail polishes internationally. Once I made a purchase of some OPI nail polishes but they emailed me and told me they had cancelled my order and they discontinued shipping nail polishes internationally :(
I understand it might due to delivery restrictions, yet having perfumes and nail polishes shipped internationally was a massive attraction and I did enjoy their services.
[[ I secretly wish they would consider it again.]]
3. Free Shipping to Australia/ HK/ the UK ??
Technically, online retailers from the UK don't need to collect VAT from their international customers if the orders are shipped overseas, so a few online stores actually offer international customers VAT-free or attractive discount in return. It is nothing wrong if retailers keep the same price and contribute the difference into their margin, but it would be nice if they reduced the price accordingly.
The thing I am not very happy about BeautyBay is what they call "FREE SHIPPING". Unlike Lookfantastic, Echemist.co.uk, ASOS and other online retailers which offer the same price for customers from anywhere, BeautyBay's system adjusts the price based on the delivery destination. Yes, it is still FREE shipping but the price has been adjusted. Again, it is nothing wrong for businesses to try to absorb the costs but I do feel it acts a bit sneaky (HK and Australia are both in zone 2 so shipping should cost the same )
Let's use Urban Decay Naked Palette as an example
To the UK (including VAT), 37 pounds.
To Hong Kong, 36.52 pounds.
To Australia, 44.1 pounds.
Another example - Anastasia Beverly Hills
It is very unlikely I will purchase anything from them anymore. However, I agree that they have a good selection of brands which some are really cool and might be hard to find elsewhere. For examples: ArtDeco, Le Metier De Beaute, Louise Young, Ellis Faas. It is still a online store you can consider if you have products you cant find elsewhere and you understand there is a risk the delivery might take long where refund/exchange might not be given.
(Sidetrack:::: Feelunique has the most restrictions and lots of brands cannot be shipped internationally, including Bareminerals, stila and other brands most stores offer :S SakFifthAvenue and Nordstrom dont ship 90% of beauty products overseas. Sad!! Sephora just started shipping beauty products to Japan, South Korea and the UK, hopefully one day they will ship to Australia! )