Social Media Contributes to 50% of Counterfeit Cosmetic Sales

Counterfeit cosmetics is a multi million pound industry and the last decade has seen knock-offs become increasingly sophisticated and at times hard to distinguish from the real thing for many consumers.

New research by international  copyright protection company, Red Points, revealed that social media now contributes to more than 50% of counterfeit cosmetic sales. The US firm states that Facebook could be traced to 41.4% of copyright infringement cases and Instagram to 9%.

Beauty Industry News


Red Points CEO, Laura Urquizu, said: “Counterfeiting is a challenge that has always  plagued the cosmetics industry but it has been amplified in recent years with the advent

of social media, despite online platforms’ work such as Amazon, eBay and Facebook”




Red Points identified that out of the 50,000 suspected product infringements it discovered for its cosmetic clients in 2017, eBay contributed to 30.4% of fraudulent sales.

  • Facebook: 42.1%
  • eBay: 30.4%
  • Instagram: 9.2%
  • AliExpress: 7%
  • Amazon: 5.7%
  • Alibaba: 3.3%

The firm also surveyed 200 women aged between 18-30 and found that:

  • Amazon is the most popular site used to search for cosmetic products online, followed by Google
  • Make-Up and Skincare are the two most popular product cosmetic categories to buy online
  • Over 45% have bought cosmetics via a social media post
  • 57% would buy cosmetics from a third party seller if a discount was offered
  • 69% were concerned about the counterfeit cosmetic industry
  • 19.5% said they had bought a fake cosmetics item online by mistake




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