As the biggest online retailer globally and a place where you can buy just about anything you need and even have it at your doorstep in hours, Amazon is a rather trustworthy brand.
In addition to having fast shipping services and multiple warehouses that ensure housing of millions, if not thousands of products, Amazon thrives on its operational structure that allows sellers from all over and with all kinds of products to have a virtual store from which they can sell their products to the masses. For the most part, these online brands that sell on Amazon are reliable, and you can almost always get exactly what you offered.
However, just like any other online brand, Amazon is not con or scam proof, which means that you may not always get what you ordered, especially if you place an order from a little-known seller or one that is not reputable. Even so, Amazon puts in place measures and educational resources to ensure that all their customers purchase from reputable sellers while also making sure that the products are genuine and safe.
Does Amazon sell fake beauty products?
Despite their best efforts, one of the industries that are rather difficult to regulate is the beauty products industry. The beauty industry is the most lucrative industry, which is why there are many entrepreneurs in this industry and an even bigger number of stores that sell beauty products. And to make theirs the most profitable stores, some of the sellers will sell cheap and fake beauty products.
So, if you’re wondering if Amazon sells fake beauty products, the answer is Yes, they do ‘sell’ some fake products.
It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to dupes and scammers, not even the largest online store is spared. But the reason why this happens has to do with Amazon’s business model.
Essentially, third-party retailers will have amazon ship and sell their products. But in other cases, the beauty products would be sold by third-party retailers and the product orders fulfilled by Amazon. And in the last setup, goods are shipped by and then sold by Amazon.
When it comes to the fake beauty products sold by Amazon, the problem often comes about when the beauty products are shipped from and sold by Amazon. Now, most of the products sold by Amazon and purchased by the biggest Amazon customers are from this category, and this is often the preferred option because it gives the sellers the peace of mind to not have to deal with the shipping of the products. Although Amazon will vet all the products they handle to make sure they meet or even surpass the set quality standards, even Amazon isn’t immune to counterfeit beauty products.
How to Spot fake beauty products
Knowing that counterfeits could be sold on Amazon too, and with a deep understanding of the big risks that come with putting on fake beauty products on your skin, you’d want to be a little more careful when selecting the vendors to buy the beauty products from.
In most cases, the problem with the beauty products vendors that sell fake pieces often lack authorized sellers, even on Amazon, and with the products sold through third-party sellers, the products are not always safe or reliable. And with an increase in the sales of such products, despite the changes in the vendors, there is such a high risk of counterfeiting.
The other issue is that the counterfeiting luxury products market is the most lucrative and profitable business venture on the market today, as reported by the Department of Homeland Security. At the same time, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that the cosmetic industry loses a significant chunk of money to counterfeit products. These losses amount to $5.4billion.
With this in mind, Amazon notes that it strictly prohibits vendors from selling counterfeit products, investing heavily instead on the company’s energy and funds for policy enforcement. Unfortunately, these measures are not that helpful, with Amazon and Walmart still recording a large number of fakes from third parties. The company is, however, focused on enforcing stricter measures to ensure that the beauty products sold are safe to consumers and also their wallets.
To spot fake beauty products, here are some of the things you can look out for or do.
- Compare the product prices.
If the price/ deal is too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you come across a beauty product that is heavily discounted on Amazon, you should go to the brand’s official site to confirm that the vendor is also offering the same discounted rates on their websites. So, if you come across a beauty product that is heavily discounted on Amazon, but the price cut doesn’t cut across other websites or third-party vendors, then something could be off. This is especially true for the highly sought-after items.
Generally, products that are in high demand will have many of the legitimate sellers wishing to make as much profit margins as they can. So, only check the prices for the fully-priced items on the legit and trustworthy sites to make sure that the beauty products are legit and safe.
- Seek tech support
In some cases, the products with raving reviews still end up being low quality or mediocre pierces. This would mean that most of the five stars are phony, and you shouldn’t trust them. To determine the authenticity of the items and the reviews, help from a tech would help sniff out the fake reviews, including the 3rd party sellers – these can be sniffed out by technical assessment of the browser extensions and apps. You could do this by yourself, too – just get an app such as Fakespot that allows you to scan the different ecommerce websites, all in real-time, helping you determine the legitimacy of the products.
- Take to customer services/ support
Since you cannot always tell the difference between the fake and genuine beauty products sold on Amazon just by looking at them, you can take your research a step further if you suspect that they are fakes by looking at the products’ packaging and comparing this with the product details on the vendor’s official website. The ingredients, color, designs, and fonts should match, as should the scent and texture.
In case of differences in these features, reach out to the company’s customer service team for confirmation of the details of the products and if they are genuine. The official brand’s customer support will confirm or refute the authenticity of the vendors you bought from and even tell you if the items are knock-offs or genuine. They would also run an investigation into the vendors in question, and you may get a refund in the event of counterfeits.
How to buy authentic beauty products on Amazon
- Pay attention to the shipping times and costs
The top reason for the success of Amazon is their customer-centric business approach which is built on a benchmark based on fast and low-cost shipping, as well as free shipping and free returns for their Prime customers. The brand is also quite responsive to all its customers. So, if the product vendor you work with fails to meet the high standards set by Amazon, then you have a reason not to trust the brand.
- Research the vendors and the brand
You have to take your time to research the vendors, even if you are familiar with the brand or the vendor. In other words, before you hit the checkout button, go to the company’s website or their official store out of Amazon, and make sure that you can match the information that is provided on their official website from that on Amazon. To make sure that you have the right information and that you are comparing apples with apples rather than apples with oranges, you should compare the product descriptions with the names, as well as the product pricing and the images. Reliable and trustworthy vendors will maintain consistent prices across the board, even when they have their products on third-party sites. In some cases, however, there will be some slight price differences or decreases, which shouldn’t really raise red flags or eyebrows.
- Go through the reviews
When it comes to finding the best products on Amazon, it is common knowledge that the more the product reviews, the higher the chances of the product being popular and authentic. This is also the case if the vendor is very responsive, and you also need to look at the verified purchases and the verified reviews just to make sure that you can trust the brand and their products. If the products have few or no reviews, you’d have to rethink everything. Also, product reviews are very pitchy such that it sounds like the reviewers are trying to sell the products rather than share their real reviews, then you should be extra careful.
The other thing you could do is to read the product descriptions, making sure that the details are concise and with great grammar/ spelling. The descriptions should be exhaustive.
There is a slim chance that the beauty products sold on Amazon are fake, but you don’t have to lose sleep over it. Just follow the precautionary measures above to make sure that you are not buying counterfeit products.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.