I’m not really someone who clips coupons or goes through complicated schemes to save a few dollars. In general, I try to set up my finances so that I’m comfortable with the amount I’m allocating towards different spending categories, and then I embrace the results. I came across a savings idea online, though, that I recently put to the test as part of my yearly budget for makeup–using giftcards from Raise to save money at Sephora. The process was so simple that I had to share it with you all.

What is Raise?

Raise is an online giftcard marketplace that pairs sellers who have unused giftcards with buyers looking for discounts at those stores.  Raise takes a cut of the giftcard price, so my experience as a seller was that it would be vastly more beneficial to sell any unused cards to my own network, but as a buyer, you’re able to quickly and easily buy giftcards at a discount.

My Raise and Sephora Process

I knew I was in the market for primer, foundation, and make up brushes.  I happened to have a connection to a generous soul who works at Sephora, and she shared her 20% friends and family coupon with me for Sephora’s annual event.  With one discount already in hand, it was a perfect time to try out Raise and pack even more purchasing power into my transaction. I can’t stress enough how easy this process was.

  •  Log into Raise.  If you don’t yet have a Raise account, consider using my link to get started: http://geta.raise.com/mparrish.  When you sign up with this link, you’ll add a $5 savings to your first giftcard purchase.  I signed up with a friend’s link and was able to bump another $5 off my final Sephora tally.
  • Search the marketplace for EITHER Sephora or JC Penny giftcards (Sephoras inside JC Penny accept Pennys giftcards, which are often more heavily discounted.)  I personally wanted to shop online, which you can only do with a Sephora giftcard, and the discount difference between the two options was only 5% on the day I bought. Your own threshold for inconvenience and the price differences when you’re in the market might lead you to a different decision than mine did.
    Sephora Options on Raise as of 11/1/2015 at 11:30 AM
    Sephora Options on Raise as of 11/1/2015 at 11:30 AM

    JC Penny options on Raise as of 11/1/2015 at 11:30 AM
    JC Penny options on Raise as of 11/1/2015 at 11:30 AM
  • Choose your denomination based on the amount you plan to spend and the discount offered.  I wasSephora able to purchase $150 worth of giftcards for roughly $135, already saving me $15 before I was even on the Sephora site.  Here’s where the ease of purchase comes into play.  I opted for “egift” giftcards, so once I paid for my two purchases, I received the cards instantly in my email.  It takes less than 5 minutes to complete a Raise transaction, start to finish, which I would certainly say was worth the $15 I saved.
  • I headed on over to Sephora with my vouchers in hand and used my 20% off coupon to boost my savings even more.  I filled my cart with the products I’d planned and then easily entered the codes from my emails into the giftcard checkout box. You can see the final result of my work below!

Screenshot 2015-11-01 11.40.32

In the end, I had budgeted $200 for make up and I would have paid roughly $195 after tax without my discount and Raise giftcards. By investing the small amount of time that I did to take advantage of my friend’s generous coupon offer and Raise, I spent about $142 for the exact same products.

Keep in mind that Raise doesn’t just work for Sephora–there’s a host of different giftcards on the marketplace, from restaurants to spa options.  The discounts vary, but I found the process to be so straight forward that I’m going to make it a habit to check Raise before any big purchases.  I’d recommend you do the same.

This post was sponsored by….absolutely no one.  If you’d like to sponsor me to continue creating tips and content, though, consider using my Raise link to sign up for your own account and netting us both $5 in the process. http://geta.raise.com/mparrish

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2 thoughts on “Using Raise to Save at Sephora

  1. I love Raise! I buy mostly Target, CVS, and iTunes giftcards there. Do you ever use Swagbucks or Ebates? If you use one of them while shopping at Raise you’ll earn a little more cash back! You can then shop Sephora through Swagbucks/Ebates you’ll get cash back there too!

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