I can waste hours of my life (& heaps of £££!) on eBay but I've heard a few horror stories & seen some nasty fakes when it comes to beauty bargains. I've always been pretty lucky so I thought I'd share my top tips for receiving happy parcels.
1. READ feedback. Don't just look at the percentage as some people leave comments that are not as promising as the positive sign may suggest. Equally I've seen very good comments posted under negative feedback so its worth double checking.
2. If it looks too good to be true, it will be. You're never going to get a full set of MAC brushes for £5, pre owned or not. Check out the RRP before you search eBay so you're aware of the value of what you're bidding on and be realistic. This works both ways as I've seen products listed for much more than their market value. Ok if its a sold out limited edition but not if its a Sleek palette you can pick up for less than £10 in Superdrug and its listed at £14.99. Be aware of the brands the Fakers love, MAC in particular seems to get hit more than most.
3. Do some market research. I go into department stores to test, swatch and generally suss out products before I go bargain hunting. I like to know what the packing looks and feels like, the consistency and smell of the product and how much product I should expect for my money. Some fakes are really good. I remember a Benefit Bad Gal mascara which, to the untrained eye, was absolutely fine (packing and brush identical) but I use this all the time I knew the formula was wrong. One message mentioning my suspicions and I received a full refund!
4. Quality not quantity. Although there are hundreds of reputable eBay shops (& I frequent a lot of them) I'm always weary of very cheap products being sold in vast quantities especially if its hard to find or limited edition. This always makes me suspicious. Ensure there's picture of the exact shade you're buying, if not ask the seller to send you some, look for products that come boxed if you're buying a new product &if you've any doubts do a quick google to check there's not a mass of blogs/forums and the like discussing imitations.
5. Its ok to buy used. In my experience the best bargains come from people like you and I, selling off unwanted gifts, unused impulse buys or making room in their collections. Now I'd never buy a used mascara or anything creamy that people may have had their grubby paws in (!!) but powder products, eye shadows and the like are easily sanitised and it is here you can not only be more sure you're getting the real deal but also make the best savings. I've won MAC shadows for 99p and a Dior Blusher for £5! Discontinued products are also great value, just don't find your Holy Grail foundation or you'll be disappointed when you come to rebuy!
These five rules have (all bar one mascara!) seen me right on eBay and although I'm cautious and frustrated by the immense amount of fakery out there, I have SO much love for eBay and the wonderful people who offer us great bargains every day.