It's very tempting to buy these products for such a discount, but it's really not worth it!
A quick search on eBay or Amazon will bring up thousands of products for hair and skin care, often at drastically reduced prices.
Many professional lines, such as MoroccanOil, Aveda, MAC, and Dermalogica, insist that their products are ONLY sold at professional salons, spas, or directly from the company. I've personally talked to reps of these companies, and on many of their websites they specifically say that any products not sold through authorized retailers are neither safe nor recommended. So where do these products come from?
It varies widely. Some of these products CAN be legitimate, but it's very unlikely. Some bottles are real products watered down, some bottles have completely different products in an expensive brand name bottle, some bottles are previously opened or expired, and some- seriously- come from dumpsters.
Yes, dumpsters. People dumpster diving at Sephora, Ulta, Sally Beauty, drugstores and beauty supply stores is extremely common. They find expensive products in the dumpster and resell them on eBay, Amazon, or directly to a consumer by posting videos of their product haul on YouTube and transferring money through PayPal.
Not only is this unethical, it's disgusting. There's a reason that those products ended up in the dumpster in the first place, whether they were expired, defective, damaged, or were returned products they could not legally resell. Not only were they not able to be sold before they went into the dumpster, but then they were sitting in a dumpster for an unknown length of time before someone dove in and found them.
Many beauty supply stores will deliberately damage their merchandise in order to prevent people from looting their garbage, but this doesn't stop a lot of people.
"Now what they did... this last time it had makeup all over it, makeup foundation is really hard to get off. This time they used hair removal, and I guess they thought because of the smell it would deter me, but actually it was a lot easier to get off!" - Tanya Ortiz
This has become a business venture for some people. This woman in particular seems to be incredibly proud of herself for dumpster diving at Ulta and selling these products through PayPal. "I just love doing what I do. Why? It's a great way to get free stuff. It's another way I can bless others... I'm going to give you the opportunity to get some stuff that's a little bit pricey, and you don't have to pay the pricey price for it." - Tanya Ortiz
It's not just beauty products- she shows bottles of expired food she's also selling. "Out of date never killed anyone."
At 10:23 she shows an Urban Decay Electric palette, with clear brush marks on it. This poses a serious risk of infection, especially with eye products. You don't know who used it before you, whether they had pinkeye or other extremely contagious diseases. It's just like using somebody else's dirty foundation sponge.
It's also a slap in the face to many beauty professionals. When a hairstylist or esthetician recommends a product, and the client decides to find the "same" product online, they are not paying the professional for his or her time and experience. A stylist or esthetician has gone to school for countless hours to get education, has spent time with this client figuring out which cleanser, toner, exfoliation, moisturizer and sunscreen will work best for their specific skin and hair needs. Instead of paying the professional who cares, buying from these people amounts to paying a criminal for their illegal activities. These people are not authorized to sell these professional products, have no education to determine which product is appropriate for which skin type, or known which people are contraindicated for these products either.
Is it worth it? No. It's disrespectful, it's illegal to sell products you are not authorized to sell, it's disgusting, and it's risky, all to save a few dollars.
Is every single product sold on eBay and Amazon infected with pinkeye? Of course not. But it's not knowing the difference that's dangerous.
Please respect the professionals in the beauty industry and buy direct.