When A Bargain is Not a Bargain (Spotting a Fake)

I love a great deal. eBay has great deals! I saved easily 50% off the price of Philosophy's When Hope is Not Enough purchasing it on eBay versus what I would have paid on Philosophy's website or major retailer.
Doesn't this look great?

I loved and used it on my face nightly for at weeks, sure I had beaten the system. What a bargain!

Then I ran out and realized I had no time to wait for shipping (attention to detail not my strong suit). I sucked it up and picked up a bottle at Ulta, a verified retailer of authentic Philosophy products. Sure it stung to pay full price but sometimes a (vain) girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. 

Once home, I placed the new (Ulta) bottle next to the old (eBay) bottle and got an eye opening surprise. 

Can you see the difference now?  

See how the Ulta-sourced bottle on the left has well placed font and design? 

In comparison, the eBay-sourced bottle on the right looks sloppy. The spacing in "May we grow beautiful as we grow wise" is so wrong as to be laughable. It's not properly justified. The spacing may have been created by random use of the "tab" key while drunk. How did I ever fall for this? What manufacturer with the attention to detail that Philosophy products enjoys would have let that fly. I felt so Incredibly Stupid realizing how easily I had been fooled by a great price and what seemed like the same product - but wasn't.

The rear of the bottles tell the final story. The product from eBay is clearly an aftermarket knock off bottle and label. Although I (fortunately) did not have an adverse reaction to the product it contained, I think it's safe to assume that no one goes to the trouble of creating counterfeit packaging in order to fill it with 100% guaranteed original product. 


How could I have been so blind? It's a wonder I'm NOT BLIND since I was putting goodness knows WHAT on my face for over a month, thinking I was using a tested and true product. I wasn't. 

To reiterate: eBay. Awesome for car parts, trading cards, and random concert tee shirts and collectible plates. NOT awesome for purchase of facial products and skin care. 

When purchasing a product priced "too good to be true" and a source that seems suspect at best (who ARE these people with truckloads of beauty products to be sold dirt cheap?) it pays to ask yourself what you would be willing to pay for a no name product of unknown origin. That's all you really "know" you are getting. 

When it comes to purchasing authentic product it pays to remember that Hope Is Not Enough - literally. 


Sandra said...

shocking and thanks for the info

AntiqueChase said...

I just figured that anything I buy from ebay may be fake and this just made me realize that even more. sorry this happened!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Doesn't that just frost you. I am always amazed at the lengths these people go to make a buck. Thank goodness your skin is alright. Good information and thank you for sharing it.