You know the skin care industry is just like many others out there, they have scammers that will try and take advantage of you and your credit card. While there are plenty of reputable and safe companies to buy from, I want to be aware that some of them just aren’t.
Having spent a decade working in the online dating industry, I came across more dating scams than one would ever imagine. Some may be discouraged by this, but not me. In fact, it helped me build safer dating products that were legit and effective. It also allowed me to provide better insight to family, friends, and overall consumers in general. My objective here is to do the same within the skin care industry. I don’t want you wasting your money on certain skin products or services that might not be good for your skin or your wallet.
How To Better Detect Skin Care Scams and Individual Scammers In The Industry
One thing you need to realize is that deviant companies, as well as individuals, trying to take advantage of consumers, are all getting smarter. Some of the scamming practices that I see taking place within the industry are progressing so fast that it’s tough to know whether or not a company, brand, or product is truly legit. The good news is that here at Skincare.net, we’ve done our best to review some of the top brands within the industry so you don’t have to.
However, it’s always good to be on the lookout for certain things and to know what you need to be searching for in terms of shady or unethical practices. I suggest that you bookmark this page and use it as a reference when shopping for skin products both offline and online. I’ll do my best to cover everything but you must understand that these tactics evolve quickly. I’m going to be updating this page as I discover new tactics that people are using to scam.
Let’s dive right into things here and waste no further time. Be aware of certain things listed below and on the lookout for various online scamming practices that some unethical skin care companies get far too involved in just to make a buck. You should also understand that some of the scams that I’m about to uncover aren’t directly related to a particular company but perhaps an individual that is presenting themselves as the company.
Let’s start with the basics for now. The first thing you want to do when trying to identify a skin care scam is to be proactive. By that, I mean you must put forth the effort to determine whether or not the company has a contact page, contact email, and a working phone number.
You’ll want to go as far as making sure these forms and numbers actually work. Are they dead numbers? Are the forms broken? Does the email bounce? If any of that type of stuff happens, then you should be worried. Good skin care companies understand the importance of customer service. If you’re in the pre-purchasing stage and you’re not able to connect with the company then what makes you think you’ll be able to do so once you buy it? This is a screenshot from Skinprov.com and all they have is an email address on the site. I mean, how can you be a real company selling tangible goods and not have a phone number on the website?
No SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
This is getting a bit technical, but you’re going to want to make sure whatever site you’re buying from has a safe and secure checkout page. What you need to be looking for is https:// in the URL bar of your browser. It doesn’t have to be on every single page, just the checkout page where you input personal information such as your credit card.
If a site does not have a secure checkout page then I would advise against purchasing anything on the site. Most sites that are serious about their company and customers do. For example, you will notice that the checkout page of EliteSerumRX.com has the https on it. There’s also a green lock on the page which shows that the page is 100% safe and secure. You don’t have to worry about your information being mishandled or stolen on a page like this.
Bad BBB Ratings
The next thing you’re going to want to take a look at is the BBB rating of the company. The Better Business Bureau prides itself on listing the most current business information and reports that have been placed with the Bureau. It doesn’t take long to check on a company online here. All you have to do is simply visit BBB.org and type in the company name and the city, state, or postal code. The results will populate for you. I’ve taken the liberty to search one company for you. I did a search on a company called DermaLuxe, and this is what I say in terms of the BBB rating. Suffice to say that an ‘F’ rating is not great! If you want to see for yourself, check out this link or look at the screenshot below.
No Reviews or Social Presence Online
Even worse is when there aren’t any reviews at all online! I know it doesn’t sound like it makes sense but it’s true. If you find a product that no one knows about and no one on the Internet is writing about it, then you should be worried. Amazon.com built their skin care section and became a great resource for purchasing skin products all due to the huge number of customer reviews that people were writing. In the event that you do not see any reviews online for a product then you should run.
If you don’t see a single mention in any social media app or site, even worse. Definitely, do not give them your information! Skin care scams are often associated with unknown products because they try to fly under the radar. It’s easier for them to get away with things taking this approach. Don’t be afraid to check out Instagram and the latest social media platforms for proof. Feel free to check sites like ScamAdviser.com, RipoffReport.com and others that write reviews on companies. Of course, you can always take a look at some of the reviews that we’ve written as well.
Shady Terms And Conditions
Some of these skin care scams are only considered to be scams due to the fact that their terms of service are ridiculous. The product might actually work, but getting out of a billing cycle or even getting a refund can be next to impossible. It’s likely a result of good legal jargon that they’ve jammed in their extra long terms page. Not to mention, you didn’t even bother reading this page or taking even a minute to find out what you were agreeing upon.
Do not fret, most consumers completely bypass this part of the purchasing process. It’s unfortunate but some try to scam you by placing shady terms on the site. How’s this for shady terms. This was pulled from the terms and conditions page of DermaLuxe. Basically, what they are saying is that by agreeing to purchase their product you will not more forward with any lawsuit against them. You’re agreeing to arbitration in the event that you do not enjoy your experience with the product. In addition to that, you are also agreeing to not sue them as part of a class action or on behalf of a class action lawsuit.
This is a big one that many people get suckered into for some reason. Skin care scams happen every second of the day and most of them are directly related to free trials and recurring charges. I can’t tell you how many readers contact me about this issue every single day. They ask me to look at a product and let them know whether or not I think it’s a great deal. I’m only going to say this once, if someone wants your credit card information and they are giving you a product at $0.00 today, then you’re in trouble.
Too often, you will see an advertisement for a “free trial” of the most innovative anti wrinkle cream on this planet. The company is graciously willing to give you the product free of charge. They just kindly request that you present your credit card number for personal verification purposes. Let me tell you something when you see something like this, whether it be diet pills or skin care products, you best run like the wind!
All they are trying to do is enroll you into an auto billing membership that will be a pain to cancel. There’s a reason they are willing to give you the free product to try when they collect your credit card information. Here’s an example below. While they don’t state specifically that it’s 100% free, they do say it’s a trial offer. This is a screenshot of RVTL skin care. They offer a free trial period when you fill out this form. Unfortunately, most people filling the form out haven’t got a clue what they are getting into. On the next page is where they ask for your payment information.
Wait a second, but I thought it was completely free to try? Well, not exactly, you only have a small window period where you can “try the product” free of charge, then your credit card is going to take a beating until you decide to cancel.
Some companies feel as though they need to piggyback off of celebrities in order to make any headway with sales. A good skin care product and a reputable brand will sell itself. Endorsements are not the lifeblood of skin care, results are what matter most. Too often, people don’t even realize that celebs get paid to say they use products.
The majority of the time they don’t even use the products nor do they actually pay for them. It’s a branding tactic and advertising strategy at best. Do yourself a favor and steer clear from any products that are endorsed by tons of celebrities. Chances are they just have deep pockets and can afford to pay for that endorsement. It doesn’t mean the product actually works. For example, stars like Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and John Mayer may post something online about products that they use or recommend. What you must understand is that many of the stars get these products for free and they have royalties tied to the sales of the products. Don’t you think they have enough money where if they wanted to start their own brand they would? I’ll let you think about that for a minute…
Moving right along to the infamous eBay site. There are tons of people that have made millions by selling things on eBay. I’m here to tell you that majority of the products in this industry being sold on eBay are skin care scams. Sure, there are some that you can certainly feel comfortable with buying but for the most part, they are scams.
How do I know? Well, I actually don’t know. But what I do know is that purchasing a product from an unauthorized retailer is a terrible mistake. Reason being, manufacturers warranties typically don’t apply to these types of purchases. That’s just scratching the surface though in terms of issues here.
My main concern is that you’re buying a product from someone that might be selling something entirely different or fake for that matter! I hate to sound like a jerk, but don’t be a sheep! There are plenty of individuals out there that attempt to package a fake product up, throw some crappy cream or serum in a jar, slap a fake label on and drain your bank account. As a result, you’re left with a skin care product that’s nothing but fillers and a face full of nasty pimples.
My suggestion would be to not buy any product from someone unless they are an authorized dealer on eBay. If by chance, the company has an eBay account, then I would strongly suggest that you buy from them. Also, don’t forget to check the feedback and reviews from previous purchases that consumers have made. In the event that someone has a lot of bad feedback, then you just bypass that buying idea completely. It’s not rocket science, but it makes a difference so do your homework. I’ll give you a few more things to keep in mind when shopping on eBay. Here are two sample listings that I’ve got shared with you. I’ve omitted the products so I don’t get called out by the companies.
The first listing you’ll notice in the first listing is that they offer a buy it now option. You will also notice that the product is a “Top Rated Plus” product. Sounds awesome huh? Well before you going making a decision take a look at listing number two.
If you look closely at listing number two, you will notice that this eBay skin care listing is quite different. The product listing shows the number that the listing company/individual has sold. They also offer “Fast ‘N Free” shipping. In addition to that, they have a mention of DR OZ on the listing.
Which of these is the better option? I don’t know, to be honest. It’s actually too tough to tell based on the information that I’ve presented. We’d need to look deeper into the reviews and eBay accounts to determine more. My point is simple, buying skin care products on eBay is tricky and you need to make sure you know what you’re doing. Attempting to do it any other way is wrong. When it doubt, you can reference our site or simply ask us what we think of the product. Simple as that really!
This is where things get a bit tricky. What you need to remember about Etsy is that many people selling skin care and beauty products are creating them in environments that might not be suitable for manufacturing. What do I mean by that? Well, some people are simply mixing product in their house, slapping a label on it and calling it a day. That doesn’t sound like a very sanitary way to operate a skin care company. There are things that you need to be on the lookout for when purchasing products on Etsy. Reason being, people scam consumers on this platform just like any other platform. Here are some of the things that you need to look for. Check each product listing and see if they have feedback or have been favorited by individuals. In the event that they haven’t then you may want to stay away from that product.
Another thing that I would be on the lookout for is whether or not the Etsy listing has an actual website link. Anyone can upload a product onto Etsy, but serious brands have their own website links listed on the shop page. If you don’t see any social media accounts, company website links or even anything listed about the company or seller then I would shy away from buying.
Craigslist / Backpage
I’ve saved the best for last! The scams of all scams are here. When it comes to personal skin care, you want to stay far away from anyone selling products on Craigslist or Backpage. Most of the time, these products are literally not worth the bottles they’ve been packaged in. What I mean by that is people will sell fake products or super discounted products in bundles just to move them.
Most of the individuals buy similar packaging to the actual products. They then slap a nice label that is somewhat similar and they’re off to the races with selling crap in a jar that won’t do anything for you. When you see someone selling on Craigslist or Backpage and they say they are licensed authorized retailers, you need to contact the company that produces the product immediately and ask if the individual in the classified listing is in fact, legit. Chances are the company will either say no, offer you product for reporting them so they can take action, or they will say yes and verify it, in which case you can probably get it cheaper through the company via negotiating. My suggestion would be to stay as far away from these two websites as you can!
Well, I’ll be updating this page rather frequently given the number of ways that skin care scams can occur. It’s forever changing and I like to stay ahead of the game. Not to mention, I’m most concerned about our readers and making sure that each and every one has a positive shopping experience. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!