Would You Buy Cosmetics From eBay?

Would You Buy Cosmetics From eBay?

I love eBay. I love it so much that I have a tab on eBay permanently opened in my browser on the computer and the iPad. I discovered eBay when I was in uni and became a member in 2001. The idea that I could finally find and purchase books to complete my existing collections was absolutely astounding. I brought kilos of books back to Malaysia because of eBay!

Since then, I’ve purchased many more items. I’ve bought mobile phones, earphones, computer-related things, new gadgets, mobile device covers and heaps more. I’ve even sold a few items of my own. Needless to say, I’m really thankful for eBay because it means that I can buy certain things very cheaply, even via Australian stores.

This got me thinking though, with so much stuff going on on eBay that you could have access to, would you buy cosmetics from eBay?

I’ve only bought cosmetics from eBay once many years ago. I purchased a travel pack of Lancรดme skincare from this supposedly 100% positively-rated seller. I never received the item. I emailed her numerous times but she never replied. Silly me forgot that I could have opened a PayPal dispute to demand a refund. Unfortunately, by the time I did and wanted to leave negative feedback for that seller, too much time had passed. I wasn’t able to get a refund nor leave her a negative rating. Thankfully, it wasn’t a lot of money wasted but that experience taught me a lesson and I never bought cosmetics from eBay again.

Then there’s that issue about authenticity. As eBay sellers are not beauty online retailers and official distributors like Beautylish, Cult Beauty, Adore Beauty, etc, you have to rely on their word that the item they’re selling you is genuine. You’d be amazed at how much fake cosmetics there are on eBay. Counterfeit MAC, NARS, Urban Decay, Too Faced, etc are aplenty on that popular auction website. A lot of unscrupulous sellers use stock images by these beauty brands to sell their counterfeit items. heck, they even tell you it’s 100% genuine. When you see the actual thing, they look so similar to the original item that it’s hard to tell the item is fake. I’ve seen plenty of these counterfeit makeup in Thailand. They only look dodgy when you swatch the powders and creams. On the outside, they really look like the real thing.

This is not to say there all cosmetics sellers on eBay are unscrupulous. There are good and honest ones out there with great ratings that you can go for. But for me, like they said, once burned, twice shy. I’m happier to stay away from buying cosmetics on eBay. I’m not here to discourage you from buying cosmetics on eBay; it’s just that if you do, there are a few things you have to look out for before hitting that Buy Now button.

1. Check the ratings and feedback

This is the cornerstone of each eBay seller and how good/bad their business can be. I wouldn’t bother with sellers that only has a handful of ratings, albeit 5 stars. If the seller has at least 99% ratings with thousands of sales, then you’re bound to hit a good one here. I never buy from a seller with less than 99% ratings. Also, always check the feedback from customers.

2. Buy locally whenever possible

This doesn’t only support your local economy, your item also arrives quicker. There’s also less chances of dodginess. I’m not saying that there aren’t any dodgy Aussie sellers but I’d like to think that there are less. eBay stores located in China will sell products at ridiculously low prices. When it comes to cosmetics, when it’s too good to be true, it most probably is. 99 cents for a NARS lipstick? Really?

3. Remember this: 180 days for PayPal disputes, 60 days for eBay feedback

Keep in mind that you only have a maximum of 180 days should you need to raise a dispute with eBay and PayPal if anything negative is to happen between you and the seller. It may seem like a long time but sometimes we may forget to follow up with the seller. There are bad sellers who would drag out negative issues past the dispute date, which means that you won’t be able to get a refund nor leave negative feedback on that seller. With eBay, you only have up to 60 days to leave feedback. If the item doesn’t arrive on the estimated delivery date, immediately raise the issue with the seller. If the seller gets nasty with you on minor issues, don’t bother continuing the conversation with him/her and quickly open a PayPal dispute to get a refund. It’s less stressful that way.

If you know of any good eBay cosmetics sellers, please share them with us. The good ones should be shared and the bad ones shamed because the latter give good sellers a very bad name. There are so many people selling on eBay; you can always get the same item from another seller. They’re not indispensable.

Does it mean we should stay away from eBay? Of course not. There are plenty of things you can get for much lower prices on eBay. All it takes is research. Don’t buy off the first seller you see in the search results. Check and check again. This will help to minimise any problems later on. As for buying cosmetics on eBay, all I can say is, caveat emptor.

What about you? Do you buy cosmetics from eBay? Have you purchased any with good/bad results? I’d love to know!

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16 comments… add one
  1. Paris B

    Yes I have, many many years ago. It was mostly positive all around for me, but I was fastidious about checking feedback and would only buy from anyone with a 100% or up to 95% positive feedback. The other thing is that feedback isn’t all about the numbers. I usually check the comments as well to see what the negative feedback is about. Often, there are crazy buyers as there are useless sellers. I used to sell cosmetics on eBay as well, years ago. Never made my rich but it brought me a tidy sum selling limited edition MAC ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t buy or sell anymore and rarely use eBay anymore. That said, I’ve noticed that many online stores also have a store on eBay so depending on which, you might even be able to buy something cheaper than if it was sold on their regular store.
    Paris B recently posted..Sephora Malaysia is Online : Will you be shopping at the Sephora online store?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh yes, these days a lot of brick and mortar stores also have an eBay presence. For example, Target Australia has an eBay store and you can pretty much buy anything on the eBay store as you can from the actual stores.
      Ooh didn’t know you used to sell MAC cosmetics on eBay! But of course, supply and demand and all that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Katina

    Me personally, no way! I’m super worried about the quality of the cosmetics because of where they’re made and all the nasties! I have the belief that if it’s too cheap, it’s probably too good to be true! Even though PayPal can give you a refund etc, I feel like that would really stress me out and I just would like to avoid the whole problem all together haha! x
    Katina recently posted..The Amazing Rimmel The Only 1 Range SwatchedMy Profile

    1. Tine

      If it’s ridiculously cheap, then yes it’s almost always too good to be true. Then again, we do have those terrible sellers that sell fake cosmetics at really high prices. If it’s expensive, then it must be real, right? eBay’s such a huge minefield; gotta be careful where we tread!

  3. Asha

    Actually I have to admit I do, I stock up on my HG liner (the Cleo kill black, its the best!) and the Biore sunscreen.

    In general for Asian beauty products, at least, its cheaper to buy straight from the source than local stores that stock them, what with our taxes and all! Fortunately, I haven’t received a dud yet!

    1. Tine

      I wouldn’t touch brick and mortar Asian stores that sell Asian cosmetics in Australia with a ten foot pole. I detest how most of them don’t mark their products with prices. Never mind that they’re usually highly-inflated; when you ask the sales assistant how much something costs, they pull a figure out of nowhere. There are usually hundreds of products stocked. You’d have to have an eidetic memory to be able to remember the correct price for every single item. I’ve complained to the ACCC about this before but they said that it’s up to the store’s discretion on whether they display the prices or not. Sorry, I call bullshit on that one.

      1. Asha

        Holy cow, didn’t realize that till you just pointed it out! I tend to have a general idea of the price of the product before I walk into the Asian stores, that way if it’s priced below that, into the shopping basket it comes! If its priced above it, bye bye store!

  4. Kat Ness

    I have purchased cosmetics on ebay once before and it was fine. I think I bought the Liole bb cream and powder when it was all the hype from Frmheadtotoe. I hope it was real! haha. I use to be an avid ebay user back in the day when I didn’t buy from online stores and I would buy secondhand things. It was fun! I don’t use it much anymore though. I have lodged a dispute through paypal once as the seller never sent the item and never responded to emails so that’s a good thing paying with paypal.
    Kat Ness recently posted..Summer Empties 2016My Profile

    1. Tine

      Omg you just reminded me; I *think* my last eBay cosmetics purchase wasn’t the one where I got duped but the one where I bought a Lioele BB cream, ALSO RECOMMENDED BY FRMHEADTOTOE!! Hahahah! Gosh, that was such a long time ago, I completely forgot about it.

  5. Peggy

    I dont buy makeup or skincare from ebay due to many knock offs online now. I do buy stuff like makeup organizer, brushes etc that i know wont harm me if it is fake.

    1. Tine

      Ahh spot on Peggy. I wouldn’t mind those either. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. BebeTaian

    I would only buy low-end stuff from Ebay anyways, just to try on colours that I know I don’t normally use, or for non-makeup purposes. For example, I’ve found old eyeshadows make excellent art supplies, almost like a chalk or pastel effect on heavier-grade papers.

    But that isn’t to say I’m not tempted to buy higher-end stuff.

    Lots of people in the States here buy up discontinued makeup at places like Wal-mart or Walgreens, or get the buy-one-get-one-free discounts and stack coupons on top of that, and resell stuff at full price for drugstore brands. There was a coveted Wet n Wild palette from some years back before red eyeshadows could be found anywhere but a few online indie stores that was a “must-have”. In stores, if you could get one, it was maybe* $6USD. Online, $20-30 because no one could find it! And it was limited edition, naturally! There was also a lipstick I wish I’d known was discontinued since it was very expensive. One tube of this Holy Grail deep red that turned neither orange, pink, nor brown on me was discontinued along with the entire Prescriptives brand it came from. But the lipstick was so high quality, I only needed a new one every few months… so by the time the brand was gone, I didn’t know it. x.x But it popped up online, a sample tube for $50. Aaagh! The full-size had only been $25! Needless to say, I’ve hoarded the last half of the tube since, forever wearing only a swatch to try and match the Future Holy Grail Red.
    BebeTaian recently posted..Vintage Sterling Silver Agate Pendant – Wicca Silver Agate Pendant – .925 Silver Carnelian Agate by BebeTaianMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Ooh speaking of eye shadows making excellent art supplies, a Chinese YouTuber I follow, BeautyQQ, she sometimes does art work with her expired mascara, eye liners, eyelashes, etc. And they look really good. Waste not, want not, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

      eBay is the best place to source for highly coveted cosmetics, especially the limited edition ones. Unfortunately, this also means incredibly jacked up prices. There was this Chanel nail polish, Jade it was I think, that was so highly coveted that one could only buy it on eBay. Those people on eBay took advantage of the situation and sold that nail polish for over $100. CRAZY!

  7. Passion

    There are a lot of things that can be purchased on eBay that are knockoffs of the original, sneakers, clothes, shoes, purses, perfume, electronics, etc. it’s not just makeup. All it takes is for someone to know how to make the label and put it on the item or know where to purchase the knockoffs at and resell them. The same way someone can list an item as new and once received it’s obviously not new, there are a lot of shady sellers on eBay, some of them even make up their own positive comments. I had purchased something based on the hundreds of “positive reviews” this seller had, after not receiving my purchase I go to contact seller and their whole store is gone, so now I’m waiting on PayPal to finish disputing this, I also had a friend that paid nearly $300 for a MCM bag but when she got it, it was a fake even though it claimed to be 100% authentic. My point is anything you buy online if it’s not directly from the company site or from stores that are known to sell this product then it’s taking a risk, especially when purchasing from sites like eBay, Amazon, Esty, etc
    I personally do not buy makeup on eBay, because I’d rather see, and test the makeup before purchasing it. But I am about to start selling makeup on eBay, and I know it’s risky because there are so many people advertising the knockoffs as the original. But there are things I’ve learned to lookout for, example the first dead giveaway is the pricing I’ve seen highend makeup sell for less around $10 or half of the original selling price, then people purchase them and comment that it’s a knockoff, well duh it’s way below the selling price so it’s stupid to think it’s the original. I mean if I pay $60 for a popular in demand highend foundation, I’m not gonna sell it for $50, $40, $30, or even $20 less because then I’ll make no profit. So the pricing is definitely something to consider, second is ask for proof of purchase, especially if it’s being sold more then the selling price I’ve seen people say they’ll send a copy of Proof of Purchase, which is something I plan to do, I’m confident that my makeup is original and won’t be returned since I purchase in demand, fast selling, limited edition or exclusive makeup from Sephora and that’s what I’ll be listing to sell. Another thing I’ve learned as a buyer is to not buy from sellers that don’t accept returns to me not accepting a return makes me think there’s something wrong with the product, grant it I understand the seller doesn’t wanna lose money by having an item returned but as a buyer I don’t wanna lose money by having to keep a product that wasn’t what it claimed to be, and I shouldn’t have to file claims and disputes to get my money back, fortunately I have never had to return any purchases I’ve made on eBay, the last thing I don’t do is make purchases that are in China or any part of it, or from sellers that do economy shipping, because a lot of the knockoffs come from China, or any part of it, now don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that there are sellers in the United States that sell knockoffs, but buying outside of the U.S or economy shipping is a lot more risky and takes way to long to get the purchase.
    That’s just my two cent.

  8. christina gan

    honestly i think its relatively naive to think, oh this one is not original because the brand label is not authentic. funny thing is, most of consumer products are made in china, yes even the original whatever. branding and labelling is such a joke. anyone can go and brand their own lipstick. its called marketing. if you still are a true believer in labels i would say, forget it. its all about the quality. why are somethings so cheap? bc its a knock off? no. true value of production is something western people are very unfamiliar with bc all production has migrated to asia and south america. true value of your high end expensive handbag is similar to the knock off. luxury brand do not lower their price bc its a lifestyle Brand. they monopolize their products to be only distributed at certain places and the off season products go straight to the landfill. how does that make sense?
    personally its pointless to care about brands as they are hokes story marketing tell consumers. plus, you know its wrong to create social class out of thin air.

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