The following article, Online 'Dupe' Scams Plague Young Consumers As Social Media Purchases Turn Out To Be Poor Quality, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Young consumers are widely falling victim to online “dupe” scams – where items purchased on social media turn out to be of poor quality.
A poll, of 1,000 Gen Z and millennial social media users, found 47% have bought dupes – short for “duplicates,” and referring to recreations resembling high-end products like cologne and perfume.
Legal and openly marketed as alternative options to the original goods, they’re often available at low prices.
However, 30% have been left disappointed by what they ordered – with 29% claiming they were taken in by influencers promoting the product.
Key reasons for being dissatisfied include the item not being as described (28%) or pictured (24%), arriving damaged (19%), or being dangerous or unsafe (10%).
The research was commissioned by Trustpilot, which has also produced a blog on dupes, revealing if they’re worth the hype.
Worryingly, the study found as many as 58% bought their underwhelming dupe from a well-known retailer or brand.
As a result, 25% have lost trust in smaller brands after receiving below par purchases, while 17% said the same of bigger brands.
And 31% of those let down admitted they’re now less confident buying goods through social media.
Carolyn Jameson, spokeswoman for Trustpilot, which commissioned the research, said: “Owning something which is as good as a high-end product, but comes at a low price, is an understandably appealing prospect for consumers, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis.
“But it’s worth remembering that currently there’s little regulation around dupes, so more potential risk with every transaction – which means it can be hard to know which brands or products will genuinely deliver on their promises.
“That’s why, before handing over hard-earned money, it’s really important for shoppers to do their research.”
The study also found 56% of those polled use social media to shop more now than ‘ever before’.
When doing so, 74% make a point of researching retailers by checking reviews before buying dupes online.
The most popular social media platforms for shopping for these goods are TikTok (25%), Instagram (25%), and Facebook (16%).
But, while some consumers have been left disappointed, a not insignificant proportion of those polled (44%) said they trust products which trend on social media, such as dupes.
And perhaps with good reason – of those who’ve purchased such products, 60% believe they’ve saved nearly £100 on average over the last 12 months.
Carried out through One Poll, the study found the most trusted retail categories for dupes are fashion (35%), beauty (27%), and household items (23%).
Carolyn Jameson added: “Checking reviews on an independent platform like Trustpilot is one way you can verify a brand’s trustworthiness, by seeing the real experiences of other customers.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker