Who’s selling this crap?

This page is where we call out the bad guys. Have you come across a website selling fake-up? If so, please send it to me. Unfortunately, people are getting really good at creating websites that look like the real thing (link to sample). Sometimes, you might even think you are on the official site for your favorite brand, only to find out you’ve been duped. And beyond getting fake-up, some of these sites will also steal your credit card number and cause you financial harm as well.

Below you will find links to a lot of sites that are selling counterfeits (send me any others you know about). I’ve included the actual links so that you can not only see how good some of them are (we all could use a bit more cynicism at times), but to help educate you on the things to look for when you have found a new site and aren’t sure. (link)

Finaly, have you purchased an item on Amazon, Mercari, Poshmark, eBay, Walmart, or another website and later discovered that item was counterfeit? Please forward that info and together we can create a list of sellers to avoid. I’ll name names until someone tells me I can’t. I’m tired of these people continuing to sell their fake crap with no consequences. And I’ve noticed that sites like Mercari do little to stop it. They could — and I have many ideas that could help them — but for now they are happy to just collect their commission. After complaining about people selling fakes, they told me that they rely on their community to report these people … so I say we do it.

Bad sites

These are sites that are trying to look like authorized sellers, but aren’t. I’m only listing them and not including links because I don’t want them to get any hits. If you are ever in doubt, go to the website for the brand and they will often have a list of authorized resellers. And anyone saying that they are selling factory seconds is lying. No reputable cosmetic brand would put inferior products out in the market.

DH Gate and Aliexpress

Let’s just be blunt about this one. Every name-brand beauty product— and I mean every one— that you find on these websites is counterfeit. I There are absolutely NO sellers who have connections to get “factory seconds” from Urban Decay, or are able to purchase products at a lower wholesale cost than other retailers. If someone is selling a $29 Kylie lip kit for $3, it’s fake. It is absolutely, 100%, Fakey McFakeFace fake.

Cosmetic companies are very picky about who can sell their stuff and they are also strict on their pricing because that is one way they maintain the integrity of their brand. This is one of the reasons you see department stores offering free gifts with purchase — they can’t discount the price of something like a Lancôme mascara, but they can offer incentives to buy it from them instead of the other stores in the mall. Some stores like Ulta do have authorization to discount products (a good reason to buy from them), but that is all done with approval from the brand. And a brand’s wholesale pricing is going to be pretty much the same whether they are selling to Ulta or Nordstroms. Think about it— would Sephora continue to buy products directly from Urban Decay if they found out some retailer in China was able to buy them at a fraction of the price they were paying? The prices on sites like DH Gate are so far below wholesale that if they were actually selling the real thing, I’m thinking that Sephora and Ulta would just start purchasing from them.

Please understand that I’m not saying DH Gate and Aliexpress are all bad, because there are many honest sellers on there where you can get great deals on a lot of things. I actually purchase a lot of my basic jewelry making supplies on Aliexpress and I’ve had great luck with many sellers on there. Since most of the stuff we buy in the U.S. is made in China anyway, it’s a great way to bypass the middle man and get things cheaper. But when it comes to name brand items, including handbags and clothing and beauty products, you need to be aware that anything you buy will absolutely be fake. I get that there are a ton of sellers on those sites and it’s hard to police, but it’s clear the companies really don’t care that some of their vendors are selling counterfeit goods.

Can Your Online Retailer Be Trusted to Send Brand-Name Products?