Customer tests theory that discount stores like TJ Maxx resell used beauty products

@real.natalia/TikTok dennizn/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘My jaw is on the floor’: Customer tests theory that discount stores like TJ Maxx resell used beauty products (updated)

‘My bf bought a razor from Marshalls and it literally had hair all over it.’


Charlotte Colombo


Bargain stores are known for selling name-brand beauty products for a fraction of the original price. But what if our pursuit of a bargain comes at a much higher cost than we thought? TikToker Natalia (@real.natalia) felt compelled to investigate this after hearing that some discount stores were putting used makeup products back on shelves.

“Allegedly, it’s believed that these stores don’t trash out these used items,” she told viewers. “But instead, they just put it back on the shelf for the next customer to purchase.”

“So, I’m going to walk into the store, I’m going to try to grab a nice untouched … eye shadow palette, take it home with me … and start messing with it,” she explained. “And then after that, I’m going to leave, like, a marking on the box, just so like when I come back, and if I see this item back in there, we’ll see if that same mark that I had left on the box is still there. That’s how I’ll know that it was never trashed, and it was just put back on the shelf.”

Natalia then took 1.1 million TikTok viewers with her into an unnamed discount store and did just that. In the video, she bought three “untouched” beauty products—two Sephora eye shadow palettes and Truly Beauty’s Moon Jelly face mask—tampered with them at home, then attempted to return the items to see if the store would resell them.

“So when I walked up there, and I told them that I wanted to buy these items, I asked the [store assistant] if it was OK to return these items,” Natalia said. “And she said that I can return these items as long as they’re untouched, that I can open them, look at them, but I can’t touch them. And I have 30 days to return them.”

When it came to returning the tampered products, Natalia claimed that while the shop assistant “went to look at the items,” they “[gave] up halfway and [didn’t] even bother looking at the items.”

@real.natalia @shanedawson this was crazy… #discountstore #conspiracytiktok #conspiracy ♬ original sound – Natalia

“She [didn’t] even open them,” Natalia added. “Just put them to the side and [gave] me my money.”

The next day, Natalia filmed herself returning to the store and found all three items back on the shelf. Upon inspection, she confirmed to viewers that the items on the shelves were the exact same ones she returned.

“People put that on their face,” she added. “Like, I don’t even know how to feel right now.”

Though Natalia didn’t specify which discount store she visited in her video, many viewers in the comments section speculated that it was TJ Maxx. Some commenters even claimed to work for TJ Maxx and admitted to restocking used items.

“Tj max is just asking for a lawsuit,” one commenter wrote.

“There was a fb post about a mom looking for her sons dirty security blanket and found it for sale in tj maxx where her son lost it lol,” a second said.

One viewer who said they used to work for the company shared, “I used to work at tjmaxx, my manager once approved a return for skid mark period stained underwear. I SWEAR.”

“I worked at tjmaxx and they would literally put anything back on the shelf used or not!” another added.

One commenter even suggested that the problem goes beyond discount stores.

“I turned my manager at Ulta in to corporate for putting used stuff back on the shelves,” they wrote. “It’s not just discount stores.”

Update 1:30pm CT, Oct. 31: Another TikToker shared that she developed an eye infection after buying and using a $9.99 Too Faced mascara that she found at “one of the discount stores.” This led her to suspect the mascara was used. “It was packaged like it was brand new,” @abbiemariee says in her video, which was viewed over 16,000 times. “They sold me used mascara ’cause why else would I get an eye infection?”

These TikToks, however, haven’t stopped some from flocking to stores like TJ Maxx in hopes of finding high-end beauty products at a discounted price.

Natalia and TJ Maxx didn’t immediately respond to Daily Dot’s request for comment via email.

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