Are you a lover of online shopping? I know I am. I really dislike going into stores where crowds of people gather for the latest fashion trends and cosmetics. I would much rather browse one of the many online sites and find what I am looking for.
This brings me to why I am writing this post today. For one, I used to love bidding sites (especially one specific global site that we all know very well, but I am not mentioning names). This site and other retail sites where you can shop thousands of brands and products are great, aren’t they? You are sure to find what you are looking for, right? Wrong.
Let me explain. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a business colleague of mine. She told me that she used to get very upset in the past because of her friends not trusting her professional opinion. She would spend time through her expertise and skills in the beauty industry to give advice to her friends and family. When it came to recommending products she knew very well, having used it on herself and her clients, her friends would instead say that they will go and look it up on the internet to see if they can get it for cheaper. What they didn’t appreciate is that she is an authorised independent distributor for the products she recommends. Of course her friends will be able to find it on these retail sites and chances are good that it will be cheaper. But knowing that she as an independent distributor isn’t allowed to retail this particular brand on online sites, (otherwise thousands of other independent distributors will do just that and overflow the online market), she knew that the products online could possibly be fake.Thankfully this has only happened to me a few times, but I have to agree with her – there is nothing more frustrating and worrying knowing that you have the authentic product at hand and people may risk crossing paths with a fake product that can do them more harm than good.
This leads me to these questions to you as a consumer:
- How do you know that the private online retailer through these global sites have permission to sell those products?
- Why do you think they are sometimes selling the products for 40% less than the usual price? Ever wondered how they can afford it if retail companies will usually have a 40-48% mark up profit from wholesale value? How do they even make it feesable to not make a profit?
- How do you know that the item or product you buy from an online retailer is not a fake? Or if it just happens to be the real thing, that it hasn’t expired a year ago?
IT DOESN’T MEAN WHEN YOU GET IT FOR CHEAPER ON THESE SITES THAT IT IS THE REAL THING
There are no guarantees that it is authentic. The trouble is that you won’t be able to spot a fake product unless you know the product well. Don’t get me wrong, there are very honest online retailers and I myself have bought from them, but the dishonest one’s make it difficult for consumers to trust just anyone.
A few months ago I watched an episode of Fake Britian. This particular episode was about cosmetics from high street brands such as Chanel and Dior. Customs at Heathrow Airport opened boxes and boxes of lipsticks, foundation and mascara’s that had been shipped from China. Customs had their suspicions about these shipments and decided to test the ingredients of one of the lipsticks. The shock horror when the results came back! The amount of chemicals and other toxic ingredients, not safe for use on human skin, were used to make these products! Not only can they be harmful to the skin, but it can also cause permanent damage and even skin cancer! They have just about added anything into the product to get the pigment and consistency right without caring about what harm it can do to to the consumer. It was so cleverly done with packaging and putting the brand name on the products – how would anyone know the difference?
Still convinced that what you buy on these online sites for super cheap is the real thing?
There are ways to know that what you buy will not be fake. Every skincare company has their own official website. They usually have a Facebook page and are on other social media sites, but beware that there are lots of normal users pretending that they are the official company. The real company will have had their page validated as the official site and on Facebook especially you will see a little blue tick to verify this. Official companies carry their Trademark logo on their sites and should have the company registration number and VAT number listed. If it is a brand that enables individuals to be independent distributors, the company can be contacted to get verification that the distributor is registered and authorised to sell the products. Sometimes all you need to do is a little homework.
Overall it is much safer to trust the person you know. It is understandable that we all want to get a bargain, but those bargains can equally be a danger to your health and safety. Think twice before taking the word of someone you don’t know, your wellbeing and health is not worth the risk just to save some money.
~ Elize ~