NEWS: Fake Cosmetics Purchased by 25% of Online Consumers


A new report indicates that at least 25% of consumers surveyed have unknowingly bought fake cosmetics and personal care products. The MarkMonitor data suggests that ecommerce may be helping facilitate the sale of counterfeit beauty items.

This is a truly global problem. Survey answers came from consumers in the USA, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and China for the company’s Global Online Shopping Survey 2017.

“The threat of counterfeiters is ever-present, affecting both brands and consumers,” Anil Gupta, chief marketing officer at MarkMonitor. “For brands it’s all about the loss of revenue, reputation and customer trust. However, when it comes to non-genuine consumer goods such as cosmetics, skincare, sun care and medicines, the consequences for shoppers are far greater, affecting their health and wellbeing.”

The majority of shoppers have no intention of buying counterfeit consumer goods. Eighty three percent stated they would not buy non-genuine consumer products, such as make-up, skincare and medicines. Interestingly 40% of the consumers surveyed who discovered that they had bought counterfeit items “complained directly to the brand” not the retailer.

Consumers not only hold brands accountable, they also expect brands to safeguard their supply chain and retail channels. “Thirty four percent of respondents...believed it was a brand’s responsibility to protect them from counterfeiters,” reports MarkMonitor.   

The survey, which the market research firm Vitreous World conducted this May, found that 27% of respondents had bought fake CPGs. All of the purchases in question were made online with consumers finding products via search engines, apps, social ads and in online marketplaces, according to MarkMonitor.

Still, consumer trust of ecommerce proved to be high: Brand websites were most trusted (89%), followed by online marketplaces (74%), online pharmacies (67%) and mobile apps (67%).