Following the earlier post regarding Fake Nars and Benefit make up on eBay, I’ve decide to do a short shopping guide for you ladies.
I love shopping! I love online shopping!
Using eBay is second nature to me, I forget that a lot of people are still nervous about using it.
Generally speaking I LOVE eBay. There’s no better place for a bargain – it is primarily a buyers market, not a sellers.
I’ve been there on both sides of the coin and there are awful sellers and there are awful buyers. I have to say, there’s probably more nutty buyers than there are sellers.
I’ve had some trouble with a few unreliable sellers lately but nothing I can’t handle. The key is knowing your rights – eBay has changed a lot from what it used to be – a site where we could buy old pants and trinkets to what is pretty much just a large online superstore.
Therefore, eBay has to protect its shoppers in the same way that we would expect to be protected if we shopped on any other shopping site.
Here are a few quick tips for you if you want to buy discounted make up on there.
1. Check Feedback
Look at a sellers feedback to see if they are reliable or not. If a seller has over a thousand feedback, its better than someone who just has a few 100.
I am cautious of buying expensive things from people with 100 or less feedback (yes really) and its been proved to me in the past that a lot of newbies just don’t understand the eBay system (if things go wrong for example).
Here is an example of feedback (I blocked the sellers name out):
100% positive feedback is ideal BUT any seller with over 1000 feedback is going to experience some negativity. Buyers can be just as unreasonable as sellers! So 99.4% is not bad. Anything under 93% positive feedback would make me a little cautious.
This seller is also a POWER SELLER which means they sell quite a lot of goods a month (back when I was a seller it was when you sold over 100 items or make £1,000 a month – very likely this has changed now). This is a good sign!
Someone with say 20 feedback and 80% positive feedback is not a good sign – someone with so few transactions should really have 100% or 95% positive feedback.
2. Check the listing date
A lot of fakes are sold quickly in one day listings so that eBay doesn’t have enough time to spot and remove it. If someone spots the item, buys it and pays for it immediately, eBay can try to intercept but most of the time it will just go under their nose.
Here is that lovely Nars Palette I pulled up yesterday.
Notice on the listing there’s a little sun symbol – this means that its a NEW and recently listed item.
Look at the listing time – even though this is a NEW listing, there’s only 20 hours left, which means this was placed on a ONE day listing.
Now, why does someone with a high value item like a Nars Palette have to rush the sale through in one day? Why not leave it on for a week or ten days to get maximum exposure and price? Because its a fake! They want you to buy and push through the sale asap before eBay even notice.
Some sellers MAY want to get rid of a product quickly but look out for things like, poor feedback or ridiculously low prices.
3. Check the sellers other sales/listings
Its worth seeing what other things the seller is, well, selling.
A normal person getting rid of some goods, for example, is likely to just have one of the item they are selling, and perhaps some other ordinary things like bags or books on sale.
Someone has say, 30 brand new Nars palettes, is unlikely to be a personal seller. They will either be a registered business seller with high feedback to match, or it could be something dodgy. In the case of the fake Nars Palette, the same one was listed about 10 times how does a ‘normal’ seller acquire so many?
To look at the sellers other items, click on their Shop Logo if they have one or on ‘sellers other items’.
4. Check the image
Does the seller use their own image or a stock image, or no image at all? Beware of someone who only uses stock images if they aren’t a big business seller (like say, Littlewoods) – they may not be showing the actual item you are getting.
5. Check the price
Is the price the seller is asking realistic?
On an Auction is possible to pick up a REAL bargain.
On Buy It Now people usually want a fair amount for a product they have paid for. If someone has a brand new and boxed item, for 50% or less than 50% of the retail cost, why are they able to do this?
For example I don’t sell on eBay anymore because the fees are too high. When I do a blog sale I don’t have these costs so I can sell cheaper. An eBay seller needs to factor in these fees (and boy do they add up) so how can they afford to sell something that costs £20 in the shops for £6? And why would they lose out on the extra profit?
There are some big eBay sellers (once again look at feedback and the amount of items they have listed in their shop) do offer amazing 50% bargains and they will normally say in their listing that their products are 100% genuine and they will fully refund your money if you aren’t happy.
Also ask yourself – if the seller is selling lots of things, why don’t they have a shop?
Fraudsters have their accounts closed frequently so would never invest in an eBay shop where as people who sell of genuine stock (end of line stuff for example) will use a shop as it saves them fees and is easier for the customer to navigate.
6. Email the Seller
I am not afraid to email a seller if I am in doubt. I just say – Sorry, I have been stung before. Is your item 100% genuine?
Good sellers reply and say yes, they are or your money back.
Dodgy sellers don’t tend to reply. Some will of course lie, but I keep a copy of all my emails and it can help with a claim in the future if you save it as evidence.
Use the My Messages System on eBay NOT personal emails:
This saves a copy automatically.
You can also tick this box, when you reply to get a copy sent to your inbox:
Don’t worry about insulting anyones integrity – at the end of the day, eBay is not as tightly regulated as an online store so you have every right to check.
(Obviously, fakes aren’t supposed to be sold on eBay AT ALL. But you will be surprised by how many people will say, ‘This is actually a replica’)
7. Pay by Paypal
Don’t send cash, don’t wire money, don’t send cheques, don’t meet in person.
You can’t claim back in case of an accident. Always use Paypal because it can be traced back and you can be protected up to £500 in purchases.
I can’t comment on other peoples experiences with the complaints system – my major bugbear is that your right to claim expires after a little while, so if someone is messing you about, out your claim in before the expiry date (I think its 45 days from payment). If things are resolved you can always close the claim later.
Also don’t make off eBay transactions – did it once, and got a faulty item – thus no claims possible. DO NOT DO IT!
7. Take it to a store
Never be afraid to take a cosmetic item to the counter. I bought a Creme De La Mer Cleanser once and took it in store to be verified (Unrelated funny story – I knew a guy who bought a Louis Vuitton bag for very very cheap about £30 and took it into the store to verify thinking it will 100% be fake but it was actually real. The LV guy says to him, “It must be stolen stock.” My friend, “Well you ain’t having it back.”)
You don’t have to ask a snotty sales girl if you don’t want to – you can just take your product in and compare it yourself. Say your friend bought it for you or you got it as a gift if you are embarrassed, and you want to be sure its the real thing.
The other way is to contact the brands HQ. Obviously, high end brands are more likely to help you out and most can do a serial number check to see if your product is real and also to see if its ‘fresh’ or old stock.
As always use caution – its not the end of the world if you get a fake, if you have followed the steps above you can get your money back. If in doubt, save up a little and buy it from an official retailer – better than getting some weird make up concoction you don’t know the origins of.
Hope that has helped you out. Fancy any other shopping guides? Got some questions? Let me know!