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Hello! I have noticed that there is a massive amount of fake/counterfeit Benefit items on eBay and have written this guide to help stop you from getting ripped off.
There are all sorts of brands that get faked on here, most likely high-end labels such as M.A.C, Bobbi Brown, Nars and designer label make up. I haven't got so much knowledge in those others so you'd have to do your research, but I have experienced Benefit fakes!
If you buy Benefit from eBay, and you have never bought from the brand before, you probably wouldn't know the difference. If I were you, I'd take your item to your nearest Benefit counter and check it out right away. When next to a genuine item, the differences become obvious! But here are some little things you should check out immediately when you first receive your product.

1. Item Codes
Benefit items always come with a code on the box which matches the code on the product(s) inside. A lot of fakes don't have any code at all, so you know it's not genuine. If your item does have a code on the box, check it matches up with the code on the products. If the products do not have a code, or their codes don't match the box, it's fake.

2. Boxes
Have a close look at the box. Genuine items are always neat and well made. Fakes often come in shoddy, poorly made boxes. Look for exposed cardboard, gaps, poorly glued edges and mirrors that don't quite fit.

3. Leaflets
If your item comes with a leaflet, read it thoroughly. A lot of fakes come with poorly printed, misspelt leaflets. Fake Realness sets often come with a leaflet saying "RealMess of Concealness". Also, a lot of the time, what is written doesn't even make sense, because of poor translation! The fakes are usually made in China. If the product has a spelling error anywhere on it, leaflet OR box, it's not to be trusted.

4. Labels
Genuine items sometimes come with one of those labels that you can peel to reveal information underneath. If your product is supposed to have one of those, try peeling it. If it just peels right off, it is definitely fake. But be warned - some of the "better" fakes do replicate the peely labels!

5. Ribbons.
If you buy a boxed set such as Realness of Concealness, take a look at the ribbon. It should always be cut at an angle.. if it's cut straight, that should set off alarm bells. If it is any other colour than what it should be (i.e Realness has a white ribbon, the Justine Case has a red ribbon), that is also a big giveaway. Look at some genuine items in the store or on the Benefit website if you're unsure what colour ribbon your set should have.

6. Products
Compare the products to ones at a Benefit counter. If your cosmetics are a different colour, consistency or smell then it is most likely fake. A lot of Benefit products have a distinct scent, like Georgia blush has a peachy scent and Benetint has a rose scent. If yours has no scent to it, or a chemically smell, it's not real and I wouldn't use it. I've heard of items like Bad Gal mascara having a strong petrol-like smell, this is NOT normal and it sounds like it could be harmful!

7. Little Differences
There can be loads of these, just have a good look! Compare your item to the real thing and note little differences in pattern, colour, letters, print, texture etc. Many are hardly noticeable but very apparent when you have real and fake side by side.

Counterfeit Dealers - The Likely Culprits

Take a look at the seller.

- Do they have tons of Benefit products for sale cheaply? If so, ask yourself where they might have got their stock from, because Benefit Cosmetics do NOT wholesale to the public. The likely answer is that they have bought stock from those chinese wholesale websites, who deal nothing but cheap counterfeits.

- Take a long look through their feedback. Most people will have left positive feedback, because very few are aware that there is such a thing as counterfeit Benefit or they have been fooled by a convincing fake. But it only takes two or three negative feedback from people who have figured it out to tell you the seller is not to be trusted.

- Are they using a picture straight from the Benefit website? Be wary of photos that are obviously not the sellers own. The most likely reason for this is so people can't recognize a fake before they buy it.

- They may claim that the products have 'faults' like what I have told you above, such as no product code, spelling errors and poorly made packaging. They might say they are "Factory Seconds". There isn't such a thing, do not believe it!

Those are just things to look out for if you definitely want to avoid fakes. Some sellers like the above may deal genuine items, you can never tell until you have the product in your hands. If I were looking for Benefit on eBay, I would look for a seller that doesn't usually deal in Benefit cosmetics, has a clear photo of the product and 100% positive feedback. Study the photo and put a bid in if you are happy with the look of it. Remember this doesn't guarantee it is genuine, but it is way more likely to be real than buying from a dodgy looking seller! When you receive your item, carry out the checks to make sure, or take it to a Benefit counter.

What To Do If Your Item Is Counterfeit

Contact the seller immediately and demand a refund, because they have ripped you off! A lot of the time they know fully well that they are in the wrong and will give you an instant refund. If they are stubborn and insist it is real, stand your ground. If it has to go further into a PayPal dispute, do it.

Why Not To Use Fakes

Some people don't care if their item is fake and just use it anyway. Why? The ingredients used in the fake make up are cheap, possibly untested or may contain things that are not even suitable to put on skin. It won't do what the real product does anyway! If you are against animal cruelty and favour Benefit for their alternative testing methods, you could be unknowingly using fully animal tested products. Also, I find that part of the reason I love Benefit is for the feel of wearing something gorgeously luxury and expensive.. you just won't get that feeling from a cheap fake. Make up isn't something you just show off for the brand, it's to make you look and feel gorgeous!

I hope this guide has helped, shop happily and safely!

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