Counterfeit products

Buyer Beware: What’s the Deal With Counterfeit Products

Counterfeit products have been a large issue within the beauty industry. Each year thousands of counterfeit items make their way from the grey market, to your favorite retailers, and into your hands. While this information may be disturbing, a larger issue is that a lot of these counterfeit or diverted items may pose a significant health risk to you. Check out the facts below if you want to know how to safeguard yourself against the dangers of counterfeit products and why quality maters.

Is this the real thing?

In order to protect yourself against counterfeit and diverted products, we first have to know exactly what they are and why they pose a potential risk. Diverted products, while not inherently dangerous, are typically products that aren’t exclusively sold by approved vendors. These items can end up in local retail stores or on Amazon, could be sold beyond their expiration dates, and can often be used to make counterfeit products as well.

Counterfeit products, as the definition suggest, are imitation products that are designed to make you think they are the real thing. Counterfeit products could include any item that has the following characteristics:

  • The original contents have been diluted
  • The original contents are expired and sold as new
  • The original contents are mislabeled/misbranded
  • The original contents have been damaged or removed from their original container
  • The original contents have been mixed with/contain harmful bacteria or chemicals
Buyer Beware

While we typically think counterfeit and diverted products are only available on shady street corners and other odd places, big box retailers, such as Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, and Amazon have been known to fall victim counterfeit or diverted items as well. Among the items being targeted, salon quality products as well as your favorite popular natural brands have fallen victim to the counterfeiters’ deceptions. Essentially, if it’s popular, someone already has or will try to counterfeit it.

Before you make a purchase

The next time you’re planning to make a purchase, consider the following things, especially when purchasing online, from discount retail stores, or when salon quality brands show up in your favorite retailer.

  • Tamper resistance – Does your product come with tamper proof seals? Have they been removed or are that still intact?
  • Color – what color is your product supposed to be? Is the product discolored or a completely different color?
  • Smell/odor –How is your product supposed to smell? Does it have a foul smell or odor?
  • Viscosity/thickness – Does your product appear to be watered down or a different consistency than normal?
  • Check labels and expiration date – Is the labeling incorrect, severely damaged, or completely different than normal? Is the product still in date? Is the barcode or UPC code visible or still intact?

If, you can detect any significant deviations from the verified version of the product you’re looking to purchase, then its safe to say you are dealing with a counterfeit or potentially hazardous substance and should look for and approved vendor to purchase from.

Ways to protect yourself

Other things to consider and ways to protect yourself form counterfeiters include:

  • Being aware of unrealistic deals or pricing – If it seems too good to be true then you might want to consider the risks and do a little research first.
  • Inspect the packaging – Old, worn, or faded labeling may be an indication that the product is expired or mislabel. You should also check for expiration dates or any abnormalities in the labeling that might indicate you have received as counterfeit product.
  • Knowing who is selling the product – especially for online purchases. Fulfilled by and sold by are not the same. Research the seller to see if they are an approved vendor or have gone through an approved vendor to secure the product.
  • Verify the retailer is an approved vendor – most brands are more than happy share the names of retail locations where their products are sold. A simple search on their site or an email via the contact page will get you the information you’re looking for.
The more you know

Now that you know what to look for, you can rest easy knowing that you have the tools necessary to spot the fakes and make the wise decisions concerning the products you purchase and who you purchase them from. Bold Kulture Beauty is proud to be an approved vendor for all the brands we carry. We work hard to ensure that we bring you the highest quality products available while equipping you with the knowledge you need to be successful on your natural hair journey. To shop quality products from an approved vendor, click here.