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4.15.2010

Purchasing Beauty Products Online [Craigslist, eBay, iOffer]

4.15.2010
Have you gone makeup shopping only to find out the item(s) that you had your heart set out to buy is sold out, discontinued or no longer available?  I'm all too familiar with this.  Last week, I took a trip to the local MAC counter and a very pretty lavendar, pink lipstick caught my eye...I just knew I was about to buy it until I was informed that they were SOLD OUT!  It's Bubble Gum (Glaze) from the Spring Forecast collection.  After that my hunt for the lipstick began but that's a separate blog post.  I don't think there's anything wrong with shopping online as long as you know what to look for including the red flags.  There are alot of scammers out there selling fake makeup products (i.e., MAC, NARS, Bobbi Brown) and being shipped from China.  Some of it will even say "Made In China" on the packaging. I'd never had any really serious issues with buying makeup on eBay because I always ask questions and I bought from the same sellers.  I always looked for the products were "NEW IN BOX" or "NIB". If the product was listed as new without the box or packaging that's when I'd begin to ask questions or simply pass on bidding. I would not recommend buying any products that have been used, even if it's indicated that they've been used once or it was swiped with a q-tip.  I'm just really skeptical about things like that *shrug*.  Last year while browsing online I came across a site called iOffer.com.  I saw what I believed to be a 12 cream eyeshadow palette that had been discontinued by MAC.  Little did I know, I had been duped!  Nowadays it seems like the countries overseas (China) can create a replica of just about any and everything.from high end makeup to designer handbags.

Here's what the FAKE MAC eyeshadow palette looks like:



Here's the REAL MAC eyeshadow palette:





Comparison:



Everything on the front of the palette with the exception of the font at the bottom looks exactly the same as the real MAC eyeshadow palette.  This one is just smaller. There were a total of five (5) palettes with different colors and two (2) of them were frosty and metallic like.  Instead of the seller listing the colors, the palettes were identified by numbers ranging from 001-005.  The seller was open to negotiating and dropped the price from $19.99 to $10.00 each so I bought all 5.  I figured it was a good deal.  When I received the palettes, I was a little concerned at the consistency of the shadows.  The colors were pretty however they weren't creamy, they were more like a cheap, flaky mess, nothing like MAC's eyeshadows at all. Each palette contained a plain black  spongetip applicator.  Now we know whenever MAC sells palettes it's equipped with a smaller brush similar to the normal sized brushes and it has the number of the brush imprinted on it followed by ES and never have I seen MAC put a sponge applicator inside of ANY palette.  Anyway, I initially bought them to try and bought a few more to sell.  People loved them and it was only after I had gone to a MAC counter to visit a friend and show her the palette that I'd found out that they were in fact fake!  So after that I didn't make anymore purchases on the iOffer.com website. I also saw fake Bobbi Brown, NARS, Chanel, Dior and the list goes on.  Some of these sellers also sell items on eBay.  If you go onto eBay and see an auction like this "LOT 30 MAC PIGMENTS ALL COLORS FREE SHIPPING" and the colors of the pigments are not identified or listed, more than likely it's because they're fake.  MAC's products are identified by color, texture and numbers, not 001, 002, 003 etc.
Don't get me wrong not all sellers on iOffer.com sell fake products but you should ask questions prior to bidding or buying if you have any concerns.

Examples of FAKE products sold on iOffer.com / eBay:

This was listed as a MAC palette


Listed as MAC lip gloss in various colors (actual colors weren't listed).
See the ID numbers on the tops?


NARS...really?


I've never seen this type of MAC liquid eyeliner have you?

Listed as MAC eyeshadow palettes...look familiar?

Here is a direct link to a page with various images of what appears to be mostly counterfeit makeup products: Fake, Fake, Fake!  You be the judge.
I have sold a few items on Craigslist (phones, household, makeup case).  Everytime I post something for sale on the site it almost never fails, I always get an e-mail from someone who says they are overseas or who claims to want to purchase my item and send it to someone overseas and Paypal is always their choice in handling the transaction.  These are scammers, beware.  Some of them will even offer to throw in an extra $50-$100 for shipping overseas and they ask for your Paypal account information or an e-mail address where they can submit payment.  If you have any doubts simply tell them the item has been sold and keep it moving.  Usually, when they contact you their English in an e-mail will appear broken and you may not be able to understand exactly what they're talking about.  You may receive the initially e-mail inquiry from a G-mail account but when you respond and get another response from them it's coming from a Yahoo account under a different name.  Who has time for that?  Just beware and by all means be careful.

There are both pros and cons to shopping online for anything.  Recognize the signs and proceed with caution. 


Peace, Love & Lipgloss :-)

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