September 11, 2018

Klarna: Buy Now, Pay Later Beauty – But Is It As Good As It Seems?

Klarna Buy Now, Pay Later Beauty - But Is It As Good As It Seems

Never heard of Klarna? I hadn’t either until my mum had some dealings with them. She runs a handmade business selling products she mostly makes and paints herself. It’s a labor of love and she cherishes the customer base she’s worked hard to create. My mum isn’t not-savvy but she’s not the most ‘on it’ with online things, so when Klarna called her last year to get her to use their payment system, she thought it sounded like a good idea and implemented the system on her website. Only later to find she’d been tricked into signing up with them with no break down of the not-so-good side of things. And it was when a good friend purchased from her website and nearly received a CCJ thanks to Klarna, and no fault of her own, that mum physically removed their system from her site – which took a lot of time and effort for her. The whole experience was a waste of her small business budget and really left a sour taste in the mouth for how unhelpful, and pushy, their customer service was.

Then earlier this year I saw them listed as a payment method on Asos and more recently Beauty Bay announced that they were introducing Klarna as a payment method too. So I started to look into them a bit more myself…

So who are Klarna?

Well basically, they’re like any other payment method you’d see on a website. Like PayPal, but different. Basically they take online payments for orders you place at select retailers. In Stockholm where they’re founded, they’re classed as a bank because they deal with so many payment solutions in 14 different countries worldwide.

Klarna Beauty Bay Review

What makes them different?

The biggest and most obvious difference with using Klarna to pay for online orders is that you have 30 days to pay for your goods. Buy now and pay later kinda thing. In some cases you can also pay in installments too. All without a credit check, no fees and no interest. Which I think you’ll agree is huge for any payment vendor. It almost sounds too good to be true doesn’t it…

So what’s the catch?

Well there isn’t one…or is there? In order to test it out, I placed an order with Beauty Bay to see. It took me no longer than any other payment system to complete the transaction and I got an email from Klarna at the same time as Beauty Bay to confirm the order. It stated I had 30 days to make payment and said it would remind me as that date approached. (It didn’t.)

I got my order the next day and had treated myself to everything on my beauty wish-list. I wouldn’t have purchased all the items at the same time had I not been researching the whole Klarna system, so this post gave me a good incentive to do so. And I snapped up things like the Norvina ABH palette and the new Jouer Lip Cremes, along with a host of Wet’n’Wild products which had just launched in the UK finally. I spent £142 in total.

Norvina Eyeshadow Palette

Come on, what’s the tea?

£142 is a lot of money to spend on a make up order. A LOT. But hey, I didn’t need to pay for it, right? Well not there and then anyway. And that’s the real problem with Klarna for me. Because there is no catch – the system works well enough in doing what it says. You’re emailed to set a reminder in your mind (or on your phone/diary if you’re forgetful like me) of when your payment is due and then apparently you’re reminded closer to the due date to actually make the payment. I can’t vouch for this because I was 8 days off my payment due date and getting really nervous because I hate knowing I have payments outstanding, so I just logged on and paid. But I would have felt a lot better had they been sending weekly reminder emails – if anything just to show they’re on it, and making sure customers are too. In the 3 weeks between my order and when I paid, I received no correspondence from Klarna at all. Nada.

But that’s the thing with Klarna – it offers a service that a lot of people will want to take up – no strings payments. Because in this day and age, who doesn’t want buy-now-pay-later on goods? But that’s the problem, they make out like they’re expecting the majority of users to be financially stable. In which case, surely you wouldn’t need 30 days to pay for your make up order because you wouldn’t buy something like make up if you couldn’t afford it outright, and thus not being financially stable, right? So that to me implies that underneath the nicey website and the implied level of customer financial responsibility, is actually a whole lot of BS. Because in a country with over £1.578 trillion of individual debt, the notion of no credit checks and no interest rates from Klarna is either incredibly irresponsible or they’re taking advantage of those who need credit purchases – often the ones with the most debt anyway.

Dose of Colours Eyeshadow Palette

In an ideal world, Klarna payments do offer a service and yes I do think there’s a place for their system in retail. And that place is for those who are financially stable. But with no vetting and no credit checks, it will attract the people who lack in financial sense – and I’m not knocking them, I got myself into a shed load of debt in my early 20’s because I just didn’t know how to manage money. But Klarna attracts not just the financially weak, but also those already in debt, as well as those who see an opportunity to abuse the system. Not only does it attract them, but it encourages the mentality that causes so many of our societies problems with money – the notion that we spend over and above our means. And Klarna enables and encourages that, which is a really scary thing.

If you’re good with money, pay your bills on time and not currently in large amounts of debt then Klarna can offer a useful tool if you want it to. But for me, since my debt-days I just don’t buy on credit. I don’t have credit cards or store cards and it became an imposed result of my debt to not be allowed them, that has actually become just standard good practice for me in the years since. I just don’t buy what I can’t afford. And knowing from my mum’s friend the treatment she received for not making her payment on time (that she wasn’t emailed and reminded of, like I wasn’t) Klarna became in my eyes like everyone else who ‘loans’ to those who would actively seek out buy-now-pay-later vendors: societies financially weaker members. They draw you in with the promise of shiny new toys on the made-up fairy tale that your payment date is so far away you don’t even need to worry about it. In fact, it’s practically free stuff, right, because who cares about the payment – it’s so far away. And then when the payment date passes, suddenly they turn nasty, demanding and treat you like an awful person. Much like the payday lenders who prey on the vulnerable. And while I’m not saying Klarna are preying on the vulnerable, I’m saying that the notion of pay-later-beauty is great for that percentage of people who can manage their money but just another enabling outlet for those who can’t.

Klarna Buy Now, Pay Later Beauty - But Is It As Good As It Seems

28 comments so far.

28 responses to “Klarna: Buy Now, Pay Later Beauty – But Is It As Good As It Seems?”

  1. I do agree with what you said in your post, Klarna is a bit of a trap for those who don’t manage their money very well.
    But, in my eyes, it’s useful as well. I’ve used it a few times already when shopping at Asos and I like not having to pay for my whole order at once as most of the time I return some of the clothes, so I don’t have to wait for returned payments etc. and once Klarna is updated with my returns I pay the outstanding amount. x

    • ladywritesblog says:

      That’s deffo one of the benefits of having it – the not waiting on refunds. Totally see it’s value there. And I do think there’s a place for it but the lack of screening just worries me x

  2. ofbeautyand says:

    I’m not sure it would be something I’d personally use x

  3. katiemiddleton94 says:

    Whilst the initial idea of Klarna is good, like you said – there’s loads of ‘hidden’ stuff and I hate that they haven’t emailed closer to the time. That would have me on edge because I am sooo forgetful at the moment! Klarna actually approached my workplace earlier this year but I turned them away. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that some of our customers might be screwing themselves over in the long run!

    Katie x

  4. Sarah says:

    This was interesting, I would probably avoid it as I hate owing money on my credit card and things like that x

  5. shaunaclairegg says:

    Definitely not sure how I feel about this payment scheme. I’d never heard of it before now!

  6. Boxnip says:

    Using that system would make me so nervous because I have a head like a sieve these days and would probably forget to pay and if they don’t send reminders, then I’d be royally screwed! lol x

  7. I’ve personally used it before and agree with someone elses comment regarding the wait time for returns. At least with this there’s no waiting around for your money to be returned but I agree 100% with your post. There should be some sort of screening process regarding using Klarna as its an easy trap to get yourself into debt. I used it with ASOS and was emailed about 2 days before the payment was due as a little reminder.

    Heather | x Highland Beauty

  8. I have always been cautious of payment methods like this, mainly because if I can’t afford it, or something else comes first then I just don’t buy it. I think it would cause me more anxiety, especially if an email doesn’t come through and remind me!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  9. jodieloue says:

    I’ve seen this around on ASOS and beauty bay and I’m too scared to use it, just because it seems too easy. I hate having outstanding debt and I just know I’d be there wanting to pay it off instantly!

    Jodie //

  10. Cole says:

    I have to admit the only time that I use any kind of service like this is when I buy on beautylish as I only really order from them when a new Jeffree star collection comes out and I have to admit it is nice when you can spread the payments out over three months as it’s normally pretty expensive. I wouldn’t use this service though, I especially think its dangerous when you look online and can find so many videos and post about people being addicted to buying makeup! xx

  11. Agh that definitely wouldn’t be a system I’d use! Whenever I buy anything, I want my money gone there and then so I don’t have to worry about it xxx

  12. This sounds like it could be a dangerous game for some by increasing their debt!

  13. rhianwestbury says:

    I may be a little biased as I work at ASOS but I use it quite a lot and have always had great communication with them as I’ve always had emails straight away when items have been returned to update my statement and when it comes to a week before the payment due date. From an ASOS point of view it’s a good way of ordering quite a bit to try on when you know full well you’re going to return some of it x

  14. Emma Allen says:

    Love this post! I used Klarna when I wanted to buy new interview clothes on ASOS and invoices hadn’t been sorted, I found them great communication wise and received regular reminders that the due date was approaching, saying that I wouldn’t use it again as I’m like you, I don’t own any store cards or credit cards it was just a handy tool when I needed something important! X

  15. terriheckley says:

    I feel the exact same way! Getting into debt terrifies me and it just doesn’t seem worth the risk to me. If I can’t afford it there and then, then it’s not getting bought! x

  16. Alicia Rae says:

    I keep seeing this on ASOS but haven’t used it yet, I’m still on the fence about it I can definitely see the advantages but I am awful with money lol!
    Alicia Xo

  17. B says:

    I love how honest this post is. I’m exactly the same and don’t buy stuff I know I can’t afford but know loads of friends and family who would. Maybe it would be ok for the odd thing but when you’re a bit of a makeup addict like me, I’d rather just save up the actual money and pay it off straight away! x

  18. loverosiee1 says:

    i can totally see the benefit of it, but i dont like to owe any more on anything! i am not one to owe or buy something i can’t afford. and sadly these schemes can be awful for people who cant manage their money very well!

  19. i like to think im pretty good with my money, but i think i would be way too nervous to use this… i feel like a lot of people would use this to buy things before payday, with the payment going out after and i just have a rule to not spend money i dont have right then and there – i dont like owing myself money

  20. It’s not for me to be honest. I can see how it can appeal so some but I’d rather just order and get a refund – super clear with money that way. No blurred lines.

    Sincerely, Sarah xx

  21. Erin says:

    I suck with these kind of things so I always just buy when I have the money now. But I love that it is an option! So handy!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  22. Mel says:

    I’ve not used anything like this for a long time but I’m my experience they end up costing more overall and I avoid things like this like the plague.

  23. happywiseowl says:

    I agree – it sounds good initially but it’s so easy to get in debt these days and the spiral can easily get out of control. I’ve always been bought up that if you can’t afford it, you simply can’t have it until you’ve saved!
    Em x

  24. Jess want says:

    Omg this sounds good though I see where your coming from that it isn’t really for financially stable individuals. But when you want to grab something before payday it is a good idea x

  25. I’m not sure I could trust myself with something like this, I’d end up spending a fortune!

  26. this isnt something i would use, the idea of owing money worries me, my next account is bad enough!

  27. shelley says:

    I’ve used them before for toyshop I think! worked out well

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