How you can avoid buying fake Korean beauty products

Are the fakes easy to spot? A spokesman for popular K-beauty brand Tonymoly says, “There are a lot of fakes that cannot be distinguished unless we take a close look at them. There were many cases in which Chinese consumers complained against us after using such low-quality counterfeit products.” That sounds like most of us likely won’t be able to tell the difference between a copycat and the real deal. With Business Insider reporting that the internet’s biggest retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have sold fake products in the past, it may be helpful to remember a few important things before we even start shopping online.

One tip involves limiting your purchases to reputable online retailers or authorized sellers. On Amazon, this means staying away from shops you’ve never heard of before. Look for clues like “ships from… and sold by…” or “sold by… and fulfilled by Amazon” — and treat those as red flags.

Look at where a product comes from or is shipping from. “I don’t want to pick on China, but that’s where most of the counterfeits are coming from,” James Thomson, a former Amazon executive tells MarketWatch. And postage rates aren’t a giveaway either, because Thompson says sending a package to New York from Southern China can be cheaper than sending something within the continental United States.

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