Friday, November 24, 2006

Membership Has Its Privileges

If, like me, you’re an avid beauty product buyer, you really should take a few moments and sign up with the various membership programs out there. Sure, some ultra-militant consumer privacy advocates would warn you about sharing information with large companies, but let’s get real…nothing is private anymore. That said, here are a few programs to check out:

Sephora:Beauty Insider Cub. Membership is free. All you need to do is go to a Sephora store and fill out some basic information. You’ll get a nifty membership card, and as an “In” girl, you’ll be able to purchase special members-only products (usually at a very good price) and your purchases will be tracked. When you hit the $100 mark, you’re entitled to a free sample of some fabulous high-end product you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself.

Ulta: The Club at Ulta.Like Sephora, membership is free. In exchange for your basic info, you’ll earn points each quarter, based on how much you spend. Then you’ll get a coupon in the mail that shows your reward level. You take the coupon in and get your free goods. Rewards range from a free bottle of nail polish to a free haircut in the Ulta salon. I’m getting a free hairdryer next time I go to Ulta. Not bad!

Department Store Brands: Lancome, Clinique, MAC and others all seem to offer membership programs. Once you’ve signed up, you’re entitled to things like free shipping on certain products, exclusive shopping offers, and free samples with online orders. If you buy a lot of products from the department store dealers, it’s worth checking to see if they have a frequent buyer program. You may score some great deals.

The Body Shop: Love Your Body Club. Though you have to pay an annual fee of $10 to join, once a member you will be entitled to 10% off your purchases, a free gift during your birthday month, and special deals, like Customer Appreciation events. You’ll also have your purchases tracked, and once you hit enough points, you earn free goods. Membership virtually pays for itself, so its worth laying down the cash.

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