Do your clients take your product suggestions and then turn around and buy their products on Amazon or discount retail stores instead of you? If so, you are not alone. The convenience of those options is undoubtedly there and sometimes as beauty professionals we cannot compete with these prices.
Today we are going to talk about what is actually happening in these markets. Many of you may know this, but many people don’t realize the dangers involved with buying these items at these places.
Maybe your clients, friends, family members or even you have bought cosmetics at one of these discount retail options or even in a flea market or street vendor. For anyone that has ordered in this manner they may have noticed the consistency, color, odor, packaging, quality, or more is off with the product. Some people may have reactions from these products they wouldn’t normally have as well.
The ugly truth of the situation is that there is a massive problem with counterfeit cosmetics. These products can be expired, tampered with, or completely fake. When some of these products have been confiscated and tested, they test positive for all kinds of carcinogens, chemicals and even animal urine and feces. If you don’t know much about this realm, here is a resource of a documentary called Broken on Netflix. This episode is only about one hour and is quite informative about the problem at hand.
So, what can we do about it?
Well, first we need to remember not to purchase and support these sources either. We are professionals and should only be buying from professional sources. Our clients trust we are doing so, and the liability is not worth saving a few dollars. Recently in the social media forums, I saw a person who ordered microdermabrasion machine on Amazon. Unfortunately, it caused tremendous bruising on her client.
Next, we can educate ourselves and educate our clients. You can refer them to the documentary along with other sources. Explain to your clients the risks involved and how you not only purchase from reliable sources but that those companies you purchase from back their products.
You may be asking why you see many professional lines on Amazon. Many companies have had to become a retailer on Amazon to defend themselves against counterfeit knock off products. So, for example if you own a company and sell ABC hair product. And you find out your product is one Amazon but that is not list through your company Amazon will not accept a report of fraud or similar without you being on their platform. You must prove who you are first. This has really pushed more companies to go on to Amazon and similar platforms, that did not want to be on there, just to save their company’s reputation.
In cases where you are clear that the original company or manufacturer is the one that is offering the product then this should be a safe resource to purchase from.
One last final note about this topic is that I encourage you to spread this information and also consider what other product counterfeit possibilities may be. Think of what you may purchase on Amazon or similar – are those supplements real? Food items? While I don’t have facts on other items it has certainly made me question what else is being affected by this counterfeit problem.