When online shopping, everyone is looking for the best deal on their favorite items.
One Amazon shopper says some listings for skin care, body wash, and sunscreen products purchased from the site might not always end up being the most authentic.
In a video that has drawn over 1.2 million views, content creator Yhasmina Tiphaine Ferrara (@yhasminatiphaine) says she was told by a friend who works for Amazon that finding authentic beauty products from the online retailer is more difficult than the average shopper might think.
“A lot of the storefronts on Amazon are fake,” Ferrara says in the video. “I think a lot of people know this, but let’s say you got your face wash from Clinique. Every three months, you reorder from Amazon, and you think you’re buying it from the Clinique storefront on Amazon. Unless you go to Clinique.com, and it says that they have an Amazon storefront—which they don’t, by the way—it’s fake.”
Ferrara, who has 10,000 followers, says that even if a storefront is legitimate, fulfillment policies may mean that a product comes from a totally unrelated distribution center, and the product could be old or inauthentic.
“Even if you’re buying it from the real storefront—that storefront isn’t necessarily the one who’s actually shipping you the product,” she says. “Amazon has deadlines for shipping, like Prime. They have to fulfill their orders within a certain amount of time. If the company’s distribution center is in a state really far from you—let’s say that their distribution center’s in California, and you live in New York—they’re not going to be able to fulfill that order in the 24-hour Prime guarantee. They will have a distribution center within your state fulfill that order, even if they’re not associated with that distribution center.”
She clarifies that she is a die-hard Amazon fan and continues to be a customer but that she will not shop for beauty products through the retailer.
“I love Amazon just as much as anybody else, but I do not buy any beauty products from Amazon, ever,” she says. “Anything that’s going to go on my skin, I don’t do it.”
@yhasminatiphaine Do NOT buy beauty products on Amazon! #amazon #amazonfail #amazonbeauty #amazonproblems #amazonfakes ♬ original sound – Yhasmina Tiphaine Ferrara
The Daily Dot reached out to Ferrara via Instagram direct message as well as to Amazon via email.
Some viewers echoed her stance, pointing out that this is often why some products are more expensive to purchase directly from beauty brands’ websites, or in stores like Sephora.
“As a Sephora employee, thank you for posting this!” @jennifer.crystal_ said. “There is a reason why sometimes they are cheaper than in the store!!”
“I figured,” @obiageri.ananaba wrote. “Never made sense for how the Cosrx snail mucin is $18 on Amazon but $26 at Ulta.”
“That’s why I never buy products on Amazon!!” another wrote. “I go straight to the site.”
Others shared they ordered beauty products from Amazon and had very different experiences with those products than when they purchase them in stores.
“I ordered Marvis toothpaste from the Marvis storefront and the tube came without a security seal and the font was stamped wrong,” one commenter wrote.
“I got olaplex products from Amazon and I lost my hair…like it broke in half like a bad bleach job,” @tatianabritner shared.
“This is so true. I bought the CeraVe retinol from ulta and was always fine with it,” @demiandherdogs wrote. “When I ordered it from Amazon it burned my skin for weeks!!”
The New York Times’ Wirecutter reported on “the era of fake products” back in 2020. “Most people don’t realize this, but the majority of listings on Amazon aren’t actually for items sold by Amazon—they’re run by third-party sellers. And even though many, many third-party sellers are upstanding merchants, an awful lot of them are peddling fakes,” Ganda Suthivarakom penned at the time. Suthivarakom also pointed to a Wall Street Journal investigation that found that “thousands of banned, unsafe, or mislabeled products” were listed on Amazon.
Amazon reportedly responded to its counterfeit issue by devoting “$400 million in personnel and tools built on machine learning and data science to protect our customers from fraud and abuse in our stores,” Wirecutter reported at the time. The company also reportedly took legal action against counterfeiters and shared information with law enforcement.