Spike in Counterfeit Beauty Products before Mother’s Day


8th May 2019 – Counterfeiters ramp up efforts to promote fake cosmetics and gifts in the lead up to the holiday

Red Points, a global leader in online IP infringement detection and removal, today released a report detailing trends around counterfeit Mother’s Day gifts as well as beauty and cosmetic purchases in the U.S. The report, which was conducted via third-party surveys and internal customer data, reveals new findings on consumer sentiment and behavior around counterfeit gifts for Mother’s Day, and a spike in sales of beauty and cosmetics goods during the holiday.

Mother’s Day is a substantial commercial event in the U.S., with Americans spending an average of $180 each, totaling a $23.1 billion spend on the holiday. With this in mind, Red Points surveyed 1,500 Americans planning to purchase a Mother’s Day gift online, to gauge how significant of an issue counterfeiting is around the holiday. Key findings include:

  • 16.7% of respondents had bought a Mother’s Day gift that turned out to be a counterfeit
  • 84% of people who had bought a fake gift by mistake would be hesitant about buying from the authentic brand again

“For a holiday where mothers are supposed to be showered with nothing but the best, it is shocking to find that so many counterfeits are still being given as gifts, intentionally or accidentally,” said Laura Urquizu, CEO and Partner of Red Points. “For brands, the damage goes beyond an upset mother. Our data shows that bad experience caused by fake product can turn a customer off a brand forever. Consumers should be conscious of the rampant issue and brands should work to eliminate it. Additionally, with social media sites ramping up their e-commerce efforts and going beyond the traditional social media model, as Instagram has recently done in facilitating online sales directly on its app, these platforms will need to tread even more cautiously in the future.”

With particular interest paid to beauty and cosmetics around Mother’s Day, Red Points also notes that its analysts regularly see a spike in counterfeit beauty products in the lead up to the holiday, especially on social media. According to internal data pulled from over 40 beauty brands, Red Points saw a 40% increase in detections of fake beauty items on Instagram in the weeks leading to Mother’s Day in 2018, and that 30% of all intellectual property infringements for beauty brands were found on Facebook or Instagram.

“Beauty brands will undoubtedly rely heavily on social media in their Mother’s Day marketing activities, as this has become an incredibly significant channel for the industry in recent years,” said Urquizu. “With this in mind, we hope that our report helps to shed light on the massive problem of counterfeit beauty products online, and how beauty brands need to place a significant effort on combating fakes on social media in order to retain brand value around this important holiday for the industry.”

Additional findings from a survey of 534 Americans who purchase beauty and cosmetics online revealed that counterfeits are in fact a major issue, concluding:

  • 33.7% of all respondents state they have bought a fake beauty item online
  • 48.6% of all fake beauty purchases were made on either Facebook or Instagram
  • 73% of all respondents claim to have seen a post on Facebook or Instagram advertising what appeared to be a counterfeit beauty product
  • 37.9% of respondents are less likely to interact with posts or adverts from genuine brands because of ads or posts selling fakes

For more information and to download the full ebook, please visit here.