Beauty products

On resale apps, expensive beauty products sell for low prices. Is it safe to buy them?

Since the start of the pandemic, dedicated peer-to-peer reselling apps have become popular destinations for buying and selling just about anything. While some apps focus primarily on luxury brands, others run the gamut and have expanded to include categories like pets, home, electronics, and, of course, beauty. Poshmark Claims 80 million users across the United Statesin Canada and Australia, with a sale in progress each second in the United States only. Gen Z favorite Depop acquired by Etsy for $1.6 billion in 2021, claims 30 million registered userswith about 90% of users are under 26.

With tens of millions of users flocking to these apps to buy, sell and even trade, one has to wonder: what about beauty and resale?

Who buys the resale of beauty products?

Kate Minina, a 29-year-old software engineer based in Maryland, turned to retail apps when she started buying more luxury makeup products. “I realized that buying a $90 quadruple eyeshadow was ridiculous,” she says Seduce. “After some reviews, I decided to check out these resale apps, and they were half the price. I got super into the Tom Ford brand and bought several quads on resale apps. For a quad of $88, $90, I’d charge $35-$50, so a really good deal.”

Behnaz B., a 35-year-old woman who asked that her last name not be used, recently purchased travel-size, unopened Olaplex shampoo and conditioner on Poshmark to prepare for a trip to Madrid. “If someone is trying to get rid of something, and I need that something, why not? ” she asks. “As a consumer, I try to be greener. It seems like a better, more ethical decision.” But she still has limits: “I probably wouldn’t buy in a million years, like, deodorant, or something that’s been used on [someone else’s] body.”

The “used on body” factor is a line that many shoppers seem to think about, sometimes trying to figure out their own dislike or comfort with specific items in the beauty category.

For Melissa Lim, a 32-year-old product manager in London, it’s important she buys unused products from resale apps, “because it’s such a personal item”. And then there are the beauty-fashion hybrid items that make more sense to buy, like hair accessories. “Simone Roche, one of my favorite designers, collaborated with H&M…she had these beautiful flower hair clips. I couldn’t get my hands on them when the sale started so I ended up finding them on Depop and I bought some there for my friend too,” adds Lim.