Tuesday, August 19, 2008

They win a lawsuit, we win free makeup!

Being married to a future litigator (okay, technically he's still a law student), I catch wind of many happenings in the legal sphere. Much of it is fascinating, a teensy bit of it is dull, and once in a while there will be the truly fabulous gems that stand out! And so, chickadees, I thought it be only apropos that I share some great news! Don't worry, I'm not about to lose you in a legal diatribe, but how does free makeup at Nordstroms, Macy's or Lord & Taylor sound?

As you all know, those big-name deparment stores and more (including Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, et. al.) always charge the same price for every kind of cosmetic, right? Clinique and M.A.C. products, for example, never go on sale, and usually in-store coupons never comply with the cosmetic counter. Well apparently that's called price fixing and apparently it's highly illegal! How so? The suit alleges that shoppers (meaning moi, and all of you) were cheated by the big, bad retailers (along with specific makeup brands, such as Chanel, Prescriptives, Clinique, etc.) who all made a pact (i.e. price fixed) that the stores would only sell makeup at the retail price suggested by the brands. That's why, as I mentioned a second ago, no coupons or discounts ever applied to the long-coveted YSL lip gloss you had your eye on at Nordstroms or to the Dior makeup you wanted at Macy's. Well as it so happens, price fixing is a volation of anti-trust laws! You learn something new everyday, no?

The suit started back in 2004, so it's all old news, but a verdict finally came to fruition recently: Beginning in 2009, the retailers and brands involved in the whole debacle will have to give away $175 million worth of makeup to consumers who were taken advantage of (along with paying $24 million in attorney fees).

The metaphorical gauntlet has finally been thrown down and (obviously) no more price fixing will happen at these stores or with these brands.

I know what you're all thinking: Point me to the free makeup! One caveat is that each consumer only gets $25 back in cosmetics, but that's $25 in powdered bronzer that I'm fully entitled to! Although it's not 2009 yet, start bandaging those vulnerable "I-paid-way-too-much-for-Chanel-lipstick" scars by taking proactive steps to earn back what's rightfully yours.

To be eligible for the money, you must "currently be a resident of the United States who purchased department store cosmetics in the United States between May 29, 1994 through July 16, 2003."

For a list of which stores are involved in the suit, and how you can redeem your $25, visit the official lawsuit website at http://www.cosmeticssettlement.com/ .

Guess it really does pay to be in the know, huh?


Anonymous said...

Well I knew about monopolies and price fixing but I never even thought about the fact that the stuff never goes on sale.

I'm psyched to hear about this. Thanks so much for the info! Guess it pays to know someone in the loop, eh?

Unknown said...

ohhhh thanks for this info. too bad i didn't get into make up until recently. do you think they'll be asking for receipts? probably so.

is this why MAC suddenly had 15% F&F discount that happened recently?

Crystal said...

I don't think they'll be asking for receipts since the window of time the claims fall in is such a large span. From what I gather you'll just have to sign a legal statement swearing you bought the makeup within the specified time frame. I have a feeling that's probably why M.A.C. had that sale recently!

Unknown said...

hi, i linked you by the way on my recent post.

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

Wow - that's interesting! Thanks for the info!

I really like your blog...I'm going to follow you...yours is a great blog full of good info!


Anonymous said...

What do you think about how some car seats, for example Britax, never go on sale and are the same exact price everywhere (and are super-expensive)? Could there be a lawsuit over price fixing for them in the future?

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