Let me give a stark warning to those eBayers who bother to read this Guide.
I have been a victim many times over in the past. I used to be so trusting but not now. I have, without exception, ALWAYS e-mailed sellers of perfume and other fragrances that I'm keen to bid on, requesting their re-assurance that their products are 100% authentic. You would never believe the kind of responses I've received: some sellers are so clever with their wording and others are just plain dishonest, or "economical with the truth". I've just opened a jar of what I understood to be jo malone moisturiser and the smell of it is absolutely putrid; nothing like the beautiful orange blossom body creme it should have been. I paid dearly for this product; the seller is a powerseller with reasonably good feedback so I had confidence in her item.
I've also won agent provocateur and aqua di parma products, as well as jo malone candles that have all proved to be fakes. The list is endless.
I have today (28/01/08) discovered another powerseller listing FAKE jo malone candles, which were in square jars and having a tuberose fragrance. PLEASE NOTE: Jo Malone DOES NOT produce candles in square jars, neither does it sell tuberose fragranced candles. I contacted Customer Services at Jo Malone Headquarters and received an immediate response to the effect that the candles in question were, indeed, FAKE and should NOT be lit. This seller sold many of these square candles during the christmas period at a cost of £24.50 each and would have continued to sell them had I not taken steps to get them removed from his/her current listings. I informed seller of these observations and, hopefully, there will be one less seller of fake jo malone candles on eBay. But, what about those poor, naive buyers who have already paid £24.50 each for a FAKE candle that is of inferior quality and dangerous, too?
This Guide is solely to remind those of you who are looking for cosmetics, perfume and candles to apply the utmost CAUTION: study the seller's feedback and ALWAYS e-mail seller asking for his/her assurance that the product is 100% AUTHENTIC. And, most importantly, if you must buy fragrances on eBay, only pay for the item via PayPal and look out for the Returns Policy AND the prices paid for previous items, i.e. were they all very low-priced products, because this is just one of the tactics used by sellers of fake fragrances, cosmetics and candles in order to build up their feedback score.
I was heading towards another 'sting' in November when I was hoping to buy a jo malone gift set - the seller had listed 2 different jo malone fragrances, unboxed - but I persevered with my e-mail questions and finally the items disappeared from the seller's auctions. He knew I'd sussed him out and was going to pass on his listings to eBay.
These dishonest sellers hide behind a cloak of impressive listing descriptions and so-called good feedback so it is up to each individual eBayer to be extremely careful before placing that all-important bid. Buying these products on eBay is a very risky business; I know first-hand and, fortunately, have learned my lesson the hard way and at great expense.
I must add here that I've also won some genuine bargains, so buying on eBay isn't all doom and gloom.
Please take heed of my comments and your eBay experience will, hopefully, be a successful one with smiles all round!!