Spotting fake cosmetics online

I have a habit of shopping online for cosmetics products as most of the time, it’s cheaper to buy them online.
In Singapore, cosmetic products usually cost much more than in the States and we have a much smaller range, so it makes sense to shop online for cosmetics.

In the past year, I’ve seen many fake cosmetics being sold on Instagram and some mobile applications that allow you to resell preloved items.
I’ve bought fake cosmetics from a seller on Instagram before, because she appeared so confident of her products (Stupid, I know).
So here are some general things to look out for when buying cosmetics online!

1. Supplier

Before purchasing a cosmetic item online, be sure to ask the seller where she’s getting it from/ bought it from. Often, sellers who are selling fake cosmetics online will claim that they are getting products from a “supplier”. When asked about authenticity, they will usually claim that the products are authentic, guaranteed by the supplier. Often, they will also say that they are selling “factory rejects”, thus the low price. Therefore, these sellers are merely depending on the words of a supplier that they probably never met and are not even sure if the products are authentic!

2. Pre-order

A lot of sellers who are selling fake cosmetics will sell them on a pre-order basis. This means that they will only place the order for your product after receiving payment from you. Buying cosmetics on a pre-order basis is a huge warning sign in my opinion. The sellers usually do not have any real life pictures of the product and you can get scammed by them easily since there aren’t any product pictures available for you to check on the authenticity.

Note: Do note that pre-order is different from sprees. Sprees should be fine as orders are usually placed from a retail store and you’ll be buying it from an authentic retailer.

3. “Inspired”

Now, when a seller tells you that their product is :”Brand X inspired”, that is for sure a fake product. “Inspired” is just a nicer way of saying copied.

4. Grade A, AA, AAA

If you’re familiar with sellers who sell fake products, you will know that they like to use a grading system to describe to you the quality of their product, or how similar it is to the original product. So if a seller tells you that their product is grade AAA to an enquiry on quality, it’s likely that the product is fake.

I’ve noticed that there is an emergence in the sale of fake products online, especially urban decay, MAC, theBalm and Bobbi Brown. Just a tip when buying cosmetics online – be sure to ask for real life pictures. With real life pictures, you can easily check on the authenticity of the product, just google for posts on “Fake (brand and product you are interested in)” and usually you will be able to find some posts on it. If there are no such posts, just google for in-depth reviews on the real product and compare it with the real life photo the seller has shown you.

Ask for receipts if a seller claims she purchased the product from a store and ask if there’s money-back guarantee if you can prove that a product is fake after purchasing it.

Sometimes these sellers price their fake cosmetics at similar prices as real ones and for a couple of dollars, it’s definitely not worth the risk of ruining your skin! I hope this post helps and if you’ll like me to write a post on how to shop for cosmetics online, do let me know by leaving me a comment! 🙂


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