This may be old news to some of you, but I am still seeing a growing trend with fake MAC cosmetics being sold on Ebay, Facebook, and other online markets. If you see a palette, a brush or pigments with too good to be true prices, there is a possibility that it’s fake. The only way to ensure you are getting 100% real MAC products is to buy directly from MAC. I did a little digging and found a few guides on how to spot fakes. Here are a few tidbits to help you if you do decide to purchase online from Ebay or from a seller on a forum, etc. Source:http://reviews.ebay.com/MAC-PIGMENTS-HOW-TO-SPOT-FAKES-by-EXPERIENCED-SELLER_W0QQugidZ10000000002016410
(I personally do not purchase MAC from Ebay, so these tips do not reflect my practices, but only posted here to help those that do)
1. Check for typos on the box. MAC would never have a typo on their boxes, or on the inside instructional pamphlet. I’ve noticed several knock-off items, such as D & G sunglasses, have typos in the owner’s manual. (some limited edition pigments do not have the instructional paper)
2. Fake boxes, when scratched with fingernail, leave marks. Almost like the black of the paper is painted on. Pigment lids are a matte black, just like other MAC product packaging, there is usually a sparkly, recycled look to the plastic, but it’s normally not shiny, unless there is a special, limited edition product with special packaging.
3. Full size, fake pigments are being sold in Hong Kong and other countries. Some of these fake auctions show a lot of pigments colors at very low prices and allow you to choose what colors you want. When you apply the fake pigments to the skin, they will fall right off and are low quality. Some of the fake pigments are getting a little better in quality and texture, and it may be hard to spot the difference. Sometimes the MAC pro stores will sample out pigment colors in full-size jars, but they will not give you an entirely full sample. Some fake sellers will say that their pigment is a store sample, even though it’s full to the top. The MAC sample jars will most likely say “sample” somewhere on it and have the color written on it.
4. MAC is now printing the name of the color and UPC code on the box itself. You may find that some genuine MAC pigments still do have the color name sticker on the right edge at the back of the box (on the very top of the box). Always check the bottom of the pigment jar, the color name silver or clear sticker of a genuine MAC product will always be at the bottom!
5. The fake seller’s have a similar scheme. The seller could buy and sell genuine pigments and generate enough positive feedback to give them a “good” standing with ebay. Once they have 20 or 30 good feedback ratings, the sellers will sometimes then start selling fake products. A lot of these sellers will claim to have a lot of “rare” pigment colors.
6. Use PayPal when purchasing cosmetics on Ebay. PayPal protects your purchases if you have proof. If you find out you bought a fake product, you may file a complaint and receive your money back if the product is verified as fake by MAC. Also, be sure to report the fake products to Ebay so that they can review the account and possibly suspend the account. If you take the product into a MAC store, do not say that you purchased it on Ebay, or they will most likely tell you it’s fake no matter what. Just tell them that you got it as a gift.
7. Some real pigments are not full to the top! I noticed that a lot of my MAC store purchased pigments are not full all the way to the top. This is normal. I actually have seen a MAC employee sample a pigment right out of a jar that was for sale, and put it back into the drawer.. naughty naughty! Again, if you have questions about the amount of pigment you received in a jar you purchased on Ebay, be sure to NOT mention that it was from Ebay!
Here is also a video of examples of fake MAC pigments:
There are several videos and websites/blogs that talk about fake MAC products, and the fakes are changing all the time, so, again, if you want MAC.. then buy FROM MAC.
I have also seen people selling Coastal Scents eyeshadow palettes and selling them as MAC palettes. Here are some photos of those Coastal Scents palettes: http://www.coastalscents.com/cfwebstore/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=122
Happy shopping, everyone! Don’t buy fakes!
Update: I just found another fake MAC website. This store sells all entirely fake MAC products. http://www.brush111.com/index.html Again, these products look exactly like Coastal Scents palettes set into another palette.