Perfumes - Open Bottles, Testers and Fakes - Be aware !

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Ebay can be one of the best places to get perfume gifts but consider the following:

Open Bottles

Why would somebody sell an open bottle of perfume ?  Maybe its genuine but if the bottle is open and therefore not sealed how do you know what is actually in it ?    Some examples of what fraudulent items have been sold on ebay as an "opened bottle" include:

* Watered down product - someone has either decided to sell a half bottle of perfume and has added water to make it an "almost full" bottle of perfume or has purchased a number of full bottles,  taken out some of the contents and replaced with water.

* Fake product - very common is to take an empty branded bottle and fill it with a cheap copy.  A well documented case involves the perfume "Poison" and a cheap clone perfume that was available for just a few pounds in discount stores called "Potion".  The cheap clone is legal and the manufacturers do try and get it to smell like the real thing but obviously for copyright reasons it doesn't claim to be the real thing when purchased from a shop. A rogue buyer however could easily pour the contents of this cheap perfume into a genuine branded bottle and it is likely to go undetected.

* Other contaminates - although I would hope this rarely happens it has been suggested that a very small number of individuals will add other contaminates to a perfume for some sort of satisfaction, or just for the same reasons as adding water but more appropriately coloured.  I leave this to yourselves to consider what sort of things could be added but think... if you went to a shop you trusted and the seal was broken on an item you wish to purchase then you would probably still ask for a properly sealed one..... so why trust a complete stranger ?


Perfume testers are provided to retailers for customers to try.  They are the same as the branded items but are not for resale and usually come in plain packaging - often unsealed.  While it is not illegal to sell testers and genuine testers are the same thing as the full retail product, the fact that it is unsealed and in plain packaging makes it significantly easier to fake or modify the contents as above.


The most difficult one to spot however is fakes.  Here are some safety tips to help you avoid fakes:

1. Consider where the perfume is coming from

If it is from overseas consider how copyright laws are not strongly enforced in certain countries and therefore it would be much easier to manufacture and sell a fake product.  Major perfume manufacturers are based in Europe or the USA and rarely in other contries so why would someone in asia for example be able to sell perfume much cheaper ?

2. Is the package sealed when it arrives and does the seal look genuine ? 

If not ... why not ?

3. Does the printing on the package look genuine ? 

Perfume manufacturers use quality packaging to reflect the look and feel of their designer product so it can be easy to spot badly printed or constructed packaging.

4. Has the seller had any bad feedback about the product ? 

If the fake is a good fake then its possible they will recieve a lot of good feedback from unsuspecting buyers but there are many wise buyers out there who will spot a fake so if the seller has any related negative feedback then consider it. 

Another giveaway is negative feedback relating to delivery times for a seller supposedly based in the UK.  If its taking a long time to be delivered where exactly is it being sent from ?

Also if the feedback is private then steer well clear of the seller - what are they hiding ? 

5. How many is the seller listing and how long have they been selling on ebay ? 

If the selller seems relatively new to ebay, they have a lot of the same product repeated and the price seems exceptionally cheap then don't be fooled by statements such as bankrupt stock, warehouse clearance etc. 

It is quite feasible for a fraudulent trader to set up an ebay account, sell a load of perfume all ending at the same time, cash in and close down when the sales are complete - therefore effectively doing a runner.  This is more common towards the end of the year when people will be buying items and giving them as presents - very few people will detect the fake until Christmas day therefore buying the seller a little time to cash in and flee !!  Its been known for fakes to simply contain coloured water rather than even an attempt at a fake fragrance !!!

6. Price ?

Its quite feasible for someone selling an unwanted gift to start at a silly low price to get bids but if the seller is listing several of the same item then consider that "you get what you pay for".  Finding something a bit cheaper on ebay is likely as a genuine ebay trader will not have the overheads of a physical shop but if the price is much cheaper then how can the seller afford this... unless the product is not 100% genuine !

7. Stock Pictures ?

If the seller has listed a picture of the perfume straight from the manufacturers homepage or another online store then why have they not used a genuine picture of the product you are purchasing.  This isn't nessecarily a problem as its common to use stock pictures but why not query this with the seller.... if they don't respond then maybe its for a reason and you should avoid them.


So why avoid fakes - are they just a cheap alternative.....   well firstly its illegal .... but in terms of the product itself, branded perfumes contain fragrances and alcohol in quantites to ensure the fragrance lasts .. usually all day.  A fake or clone product may smell nice and even like the real thing when first applied but after a very short period the fragrance will have faded possibly altogether.

Finally the majority of ebay sellers are genuine and its a shame that a small number can ruin the trading experience but with the new Paypal guaranteed protection you can shop, assured that you have some come back if the product turns out to be fake or significantly not as expected - just make sure you check the product fully when it arrives and use the tips above.

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