With some recent tips I’ve gotten about a certain online fragrance discounter, I decided to strip all mention of them from my blog. Just in interest of anyone reading my blog, FragranceNet at one point was a trusted perfume discounter. I used to be a customer, but have since noted their decline in quality and can no longer recommend them as a fragrance discounter to others.
Thus begins this post, how do you navigate your way through the hundreds of online fragrance discounters out there. Who’s trustworthy and who isn’t? In the case of FragranceNet, a lot of fragrance fans thought and rated them highly a few years ago. There has since been some decline in quality control and hopefully they can pull out of it as I thought their selection was excellent.
This post is more of a general tips sort of deal for buying anything online. The one tip you should always keep in mind and adhere to is to read reviews and research before you do any sort of business. Remember, these people can’t see you, sometimes they’re impossible to track down, and getting a refund isn’t as easy as walking into a store and saying you want your money back. So always, always, always:
- Check to make sure the online retailer has been reviewed at a credible reviewing site. I use ResellerRatings, RedFlagDeals (Canadian), and BizRate. Please keep in mind that some people may have mistakenly submitted their review before they realized their product wasn’t of acceptable quality and forgot about their review or simply cannot edit it. That is why it is important you read a healthy mix of negative and positive reviews. If I see a lot of negative reviews telling me the product they got was a fake, I get very suspicious of the vendor.
- Ask someone. Get yourself onto a fragrance forum like BaseNotes and ask someone to describe their experiences with the retailer. Also get their opinion of the retailer’s more recent service. A company can start off excellent and decline to unacceptable so it is important to get recent experiences.
- Remember that you may be more knowledgeable than some reviewers. I think a great deal of fragrance consumers cannot tell between a fake perfume and a real one. And I also think it is easier for people to accept that they were sold an old bottle than it is for them to accept that they were sold a counterfeit. So it is entirely up to you to educate yourself on what your perfume is supposed to smell like and who you want to buy it from. Perfume isn’t cheap with most fragrances running from $50-$300. I would hate for someone to spend that much money to find out they were scammed, so the best advice is and has always been to educate yourself.
- Always protect yourself by ensuring that you can get your money back somehow. Whether the retailer offers refunds (read these terms very carefully as they are sometimes tricky), or if you have some other way to get your money back if you receive something counterfeit. Like I said, perfume is expensive so you will want your money back in case the deal goes sour, whether that’s through the retailer’s refund policy, filing a dispute with Paypal, or getting your credit card company to help you.
- If you’re a hobbyist, collector or plan on doing this perfume thing for a while then keep up to date on the goings on. Fragrance forums and blogs are invaluable sources of information and news. I never would have known about what was going on with various retailers and discounters if I hadn’t been keeping up to date.
I’m sure most of you already know how to navigate the world of perfume resellers and discounters, but hopefully these tips refresh the memory or they help someone else out. Or at the very least, all the individuals who end up on this blog while searching for “is [X Company] selling fake perfume?” get an idea of where to start their investigation.