Firstly, please excuse the play in words in the title of this article. However there is a serious side to the purchasing of perfumes and fragrances both on and off-line. Occasionally it can be quite literally a painful experience. Whilst canny shoppers can often find great bargains, sometimes when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
When it comes to designer fragrances, perfumes and aftershaves there are plenty of highly organised unscrupulous people who will create fakes with no other intention than parting you from your hard earned money to line their own pocket. A quick Google search for the term ‘fake perfume’ will produce over 3,000,000 pages! Earlier this year (2009) Birmingham Trading Standards seized 40,000 bottles of fake designer perfume, worth £750,000, in a raid in Handsworth. The seizure included top brand names. A spokesman for Trading Standards said at the time “It is always a case of buyer beware. If something appears too good to be true, it usually is. The price is usually a good indicator, particularly when buying something over the internet. Shoppers can protect themselves by buying from reputable outlets. Sometimes if they want a bargain they will compromise on other things such as getting receipts. When something goes wrong they have no proof of purchase. “
A lot of this fake perfume gets sold on the black market and some of it ends up on-line. The outlet for much of this on-line used to be eBay, however after numerous court cases by top fashion houses the situation is improving.
When these black marketeers set about faking designer products they produce products that to the average observer appear to be the genuine article. From the packaging at least. The contents however can be and usually is a completely different story. Genuine perfumes have to undergo rigorous testing before they are allowed to be sold to the public. Fake products however have no such testing and, as many people have found out, the untested, cheap ingredients whose purpose normally serves no other purpose that giving the same colour as the copied product, can cause a variety of dermatological problems, such as allergic reactions or rashes.
Buying anything on-line is getting easier and easier and perfume or aftershave is no different. There are also some great bargains to be had as there are no expensive high street store costs to be covered in the price of the product. So the important factor to consider is the reputation of the company that you are buying from. Things to keep at the forefront of your mind when purchasing perfume therefore are:
- How long have they been trading? (The longer the better).
- Does the store provide a guarantee that the perfumes and aftershaves on sale are genuine?
- Can you return purchases for a full refund if required and does that include postage costs?
- Are there clear contact details including registered company name and physical address? (Which incidentally is required by law in the UK)
If any of the above are not clear then you are risking your money by purchasing from that store. The fact is that sometimes it’s worth paying that little bit extra for piece of mind. Happy perfume shopping.