You may have noticed that there is a lot of talk about online shopping versus bricks and mortar shopping. Personally I love both, there is something exciting about receiving your parcel after ordering on-line, it like a little gift! Then there is the using your senses purchasing where you can touch, feel and learn which is kind of fun. Luckily it’s all shopping and fulfils my need to buy and reward myself.
My industry is flooded with online options and it concerns
me that some clients are not purchasing with all the information. Obviously the fact that I retail skincare products I have a vested interested and this is not a push to buy from bricks and mortar only. (Although, I would be lying if I did not wish it). My greater concern is about some of the options out there and the lack of understanding what is available.
Why can cosmetics be so much cheaper on some online shops?
It can be because the items have been purchased through the grey market. Firstly, what is the “grey market”; this term is to describe when goods are on sold to another seller and are not supplied directly by the company themselves. Therefore you cannot be sure on how old or how these items are or have been stored. The issue with cosmetics is as a consumer you no longer know how those products have been treated or for how long they have been stored. This is what concerns me that people are applying products that are being absorbed into the skin, your body, without knowing the stability of that formulation any more. We don’t eat food that is
out of date or has been stored badly! It is virtually impossible for someone to tell if the product is safe just by smell, look or feel. For example SPF’s are no longer active after 12months and yet if you experience that product after 12months you have no way of telling. There are many wonderful technologies and ingredients out there now in the industry that can be the same.
Cosmetic companies are desperately trying to control grey
marketing to protect their customers and of course their brand. Not all online sites are selling grey market obtained goods. I recommend looking for sites that have authorisation to sell their products online. If you know the brand well check on the site,
are they selling lots of discontinued items, this can be a dead giveaway that it is not an authorised site.
If you did not know where it came from how it was treated
you would not eat it, so why would you put it in your skin?