Why I Don't Buy ELF Online

 I don't buy ELF products... online that is, It all began with the black friday sale of 2015(yes, the wounds are fresh), when an eager makeup enthusiast had saved a cart of a few products she had been dying to try. Of course when Black Friday finally made it's grand arrival, the makeup lover hit purchase on the cart she made the day beforehand. The page on her laptop flashed before her eyes like magic and a page confirming her treasures would arrive graced the screen.

Time goes by and the confirmation email with that beloved tracking number never seems to arrive. 
After much patience the young makeup lover had to take action. She sent numerous emails of concern about her precious bounty, had there been a problem? Were all of her products she'd been fawning over been lost in transition? No. In fact all of her money was refunded without her knowing and none of the things she wanted were going to arrive. The makeup enthusiast was heart broken and felt betrayed. How could this cosmetic brand not only send back her money, but not leave an email in response, no reason behind it, no excuse, no notification, nothing. She vowed never to spend her money there again, at least online. She unfollowed all of their social media accounts, unsubscribed from their newsletter and deleted her account. Torn between facing that her beloved brand had poor online practices but quality makeup, she decided to love this brand differently, loving the makeup at her local store versus the online store.

You see, when facing these kinds of situations you have to look at it rationally. ELF makes great products for a great price, the issue is their online practices proved to be unreliable last year( I don't know if they're making changes this year or not). Many patrons faced the same experience I did last year, some people received broken products, some didn't receive their orders at all.During the holiday season when their prices drop to unimaginable prices of  $1.50 to a $1.75 , shopping online at ELF would seem like a worthy gamble, but I'm not a fan of hearbreak so I decided to move around the mountain and handle the mole hill that is facing an actual store.
It's funny last year was the year that I used ELF cosmetics in a blog post as an example of branding practices you can use in building your's blog's online presence. So I guess now would be a good time to explain what could be learned from this recent experience with online makeup shopping.

  1. Don't promote it if you can't back up what you're offering. ELF is really good at promoting their products on social media especially during their busiest time, the winter holiday season. The thing is, in the midst of ELF's promotion, it's as if they didn't take in account how much product they'll be shelling out and how much customer service they will be needing in anticipating. The same goes for blogs, ff you're going to promote this blog post on your page, then make sure what you promote is exactly what's served. In other words, deliver your promise and be real with your readers. Don't exclaim you have the world's greatest ankle boots but your review on the ankle boots is less than favorable. There'a differenc between promoting legitimate content and click baiting.
  2.   If you can't deliver your content one way, then simply find another. ELF cosmetics serves their customers online, in stores and has its own store. If ELF can't deliver through its website, then it knows their customers can find the products in a retail store or its own store. The bottom line is that when you know what you're serving is good quality, you don't give up on it because your channel of delivery isn't the best.Simply put where there's a will, there's a way.
  3. Know when to be aplogetic. No one's perfect, we all make mistakes. Imperfection is as natural as breathing air, but know when to apoligize for your mistakes. ELF cosmetics served a lot of sorrys and discounts last year when they started working on their online customer service again. If you're discussing something on your blog and it turns out some of the information is wrong and you inadvertently offended someone, apoligize, acknowledge you were wrong to your readers and move forward.Never turn a blind eye to your mistakes, because your readers sure won't.
  4. You can't control what people say about your blog but you're the captain of your content, ultimately that's all that matters. After the black friday situation last year, I remember seeing a lot of criticism on ALL of ELF's social media channels, but ELF is still standing and delivering nonetheless. Make sure that when certain things happen like a blogging debacle that doesn't mean you crumble. You have to believe in your brand, learn from your mistakes and keep going.
These are the top 3 things I learned from my experience with ELF last year. I still love ELF cosmetics, the eye smudge pots featured in this post have been some of my makeup go tos ever since I bought them! I'm just more comfortable spending at my local store, but I will never deny the quality of this brand.