An upsetting truth bomb about third party sellers! This is kind of long (sorry) but it’s IMPORTANT and it affects us all!!!!
Terrible things have happened to some of my clients, and I can’t bite my tongue on this issue any longer since recently, it hit home!
First things first, I know beauty and skincare is an investment. If you’re a woman, you know this. Some of us spend a small fortune to maintain our health & beauty! The reason we invest so much in particular products is because we TRUST in the product. I know it can be a stretch to the budget at times, but it’s worth it, and the testimony is looking right back at you in the mirror.
The PROBLEM comes in when clients want to try to “save a little,” and instead of buying their product from me or their Esthetician, an official authorized retailer, clients are getting product from third-party retailers who sell on Amazon, eBay & other online stores. Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon, but it’s NOT where you want to be purchasing your professional skincare products.
This isn’t just an issue in the professional skincare industry, it’s a problem across the board, and even my hairstylist sister can attest to the same problem with hair product. There’s a name for this retail issue: Product Diversion. And it’s becoming increasingly problematic for both retailers and clients alike.
What IS product diversion? It is a term used to refer to products that are being sold outside the intended distribution channel or simply put, in “unauthorized places”. Diversion typically occurs when an authorized retailer is unable to sell off their entire inventory. As a result the retailer may sell excess inventory to a third-party who then turns around and sells the product to consumers looking for a slight discount.
So why does it matter to you? Diverted products can be counterfeit, diluted and/or altered formulas, damaged by exposure to extreme temperatures, a bad batch that was recalled, old & no longer effective, or expired products that may not be safe to use. There could even be a completely different product inside the bottle than what is listed on the label. I’ve personally experienced this! And in fact diverted product can even be dangerous. Using a diverted product could result in irritation, infection or worse.
If you’re lucky enough to get a genuine product via third-party retailers, you may not feel the direct negative impact, but someone still has to pay the piper, that that someone ends up being independent businesses (your dedicated esthetician, spa/salon owner, and many other small businesses in your community) the professional manufacturer, and ultimately you, the consumer, who trusts a professional brand to deliver the highest quality ingredients and results.
It’s economics. The black market demand ends up forcing our prices up to “compete” with these fraudulent retailers! By purchasing diverted product you are contributing to a major problem that affects both consumers and the entire skincare industry.
But if that doesn’t convince you, before you decide to save a few bucks by buying product from an unauthorized seller, please first consider your health and safety. You wouldn’t purchase “discounted” medication online just to save $5, would you? Don’t endanger the health of your skin with diverted product. It’s just not worth the risk.
I do my best to educate my clients so we collectively can avoid this issue, and most of the people I speak to are receptive to this.
However, recently, I had a client who wanted to use up some Amazon gift cards from the holidays and grabbed one of her skincare products from the online retailer. When she received it, she said it had a strange color stamp on the bottom and no expiration date, which had been likely scratched off. The product did not seem right when she used it. It was a huge ordeal to finally return the product, which she immediately replaced with one from my inventory. Since I am an authorized retailer, my products are always fresh, safe, and come directly from the manufacturer.
If a retailer isn’t authorized, it makes you wonder WHERE they are getting these products. It could be products that had been returned by customers and then re-sold to a third party, or products from a salon going out of business and selling off old and expired inventory. I have even heard of products being tampered with and watered down… it’s very scary!
I know product can be expensive. But it’s an investment. You’d never buy a cut-rate car, or a home that didn’t pass inspection. You’re always going to look for the milk jug that has the farthest expiration date. Don’t shortchange your skin. The effects could be disastrous.