Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Off-Topic Tuesday - Bargain Hunters Beware...


This week's Off Topic Tuesday comes with a word of warning. We all love a bargain, and I spotted a Facebook page a while ago offering just that - Social Discount Network, claiming to offer branded goods at cut prices. I liked the page but didn't buy anything for a while - things caught my eye (toys, aftershave, jewellery, both branded and non-branded) but nothing enough to indulge, and while the prices were good the postage often made me think I could probably get it cheaper elsewhere. Until one day I spotted some MAC lipsticks...

I've been lusting after a MAC lippie for the longest time, never feeling like I could justify £15 on one lipstick, especially if it then turned out I didn't like it. Social Discount Network said they were stock liquidation from a US department store closing down, and had around 8 shades with various finishes available. The more you bought, the cheaper they were and I ordered two for just under £15 delivered, never once considering they could be fake. I headed over to a beauty page I'm a member of on Facebook to tell the girls there about the bargain too, and while two others also purchased others were sceptical.

A huge debate ensued - would they be genuine? The main consensus was no, they wouldn't. MAC wouldn't allow it, they only sell through approved dealers. But, there was talk or stores going bust and having to sell their stock cheaply, and Social Discount Network themselves assured us (and still maintain) that they were genuine. However when they arrived it was clear they were anything but.

The main things which made me suspicious were:
  • The shades I bought (Lady Bug and Fusion Pink, both Satin formula) look considerably different to swatches I have seen online.
  • The sticker on the bottom of Lady Bug is incorrect and identifies it as CB 96 Frost, when the box says Lady Bug Satin.
  • The product itself is not centred in the tube, so that when you twist it up it scrapes against the sides.
  • The silver bit inside the Fusion Pink lipstick comes right out and does not feel like it is good quality.
  • They do not have have the usual vanilla scent that MAC lipsticks tend to have.
I contacted Paypal for a refund and was told not to return the products as they should not be in circulation, but in order to gain a refund I would have to prove that they were counterfeit. I emailed MAC with my suspicions and pictures, and they confirmed to me that they did not think the products could be genuine, and even if they were they had been tampered with, saying:

  • · Fusion Pink, a limited edition shade from Summer 2010, was an Amplified texture and not a satin.
  • · It’s also a deeper more coral pink than the picture.
  • · The boxes both read ‘Satin Lipstick’ when one is apparently a frost.
  • · The Batch numbers (The ‘A’ number beneath the lipstick name) do not match the boxes.

Thankfully, I was able to obtain a refund from Paypal and the lipsticks are where they belonged all along - the bin. The whole thing has left a rather bitter taste in my mouth and I wont be purchasing from Social Discount Network again, and if I want MAC, I'll go to MAC. 

So, if you're ever tempted by something that seems like a bargain do your research. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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  1. Great post - how frustrating for you! I've had the same problem with OPI - I've bought a fake Teenage Dream from somewhere in Singapore off eBay. It was too good to be true. It's undoubtedly very pretty and actually quite good quality, considering I paid £7 delivered I don't mind too much, but if I'd have paid RRP or worse HTF price, I'd be so so frustrated! xxx

  2. I bought some MAC lipsticks from here but used cards. I bought three and have never worn them and always been in doubt whether they were real or not. I'm actually annoyed now and fusion pink was one I got. I thought maybe I could smell vanilla but really I was just hoping they were real lol. Thank you for writing the post though x

  3. I'm kind of annoyed that i fell for the 'to good to be true deal' I've not worn them and always been in doubt whether real or fake spending many times looking for swatches and nothing ever coming up. Even downloading a barcode app and nothing ever showing up. I got fusion pink too. Argh well annoyed that I to payed with card!!! Thanks for the post, this was the proof I needed x


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