90 responses

  1. Lily
    December 4, 2012

    I’ve never been tempted to buy anything from these group deals for the reason that they spam my inbox like crazy. I was so put off (I didn’t even subscribe) that I marked all of them spam. I have seen some crazy deals that made me go “Whoa” but after a few seconds when my skepticism kicked in, I just hit delete.
    There’s no free lunch in this world. That I believe :-)
    Lily recently blogged…Get Defined With Chanel NotoriousMy Profile

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Oh yeah, I unsubscribe every time but for some reason after a few weeks, they start spamming again. Its only one site that does it now. Groupon is a little more credible in that once I unsubscribe it stays unsubscribed. The food deals for reputable restaurants aren’t bad I found, but never for goods.

  2. Traclyn
    December 4, 2012

    The fine print is where people missed out most of the time. People are most likely to be attracted to the brand and deal. This has been a hot topic lately and I have also made a comparison of both authentic and replica UD Naked 2, http://lavoguefemme.com/2012/11/authentic-vs-replica-urban-decay-naked-2-spot-the-differences/. The quality of the replica is very evident to the extend that the swatches almost looked the same.
    Traclyn recently blogged…Weekend Project: Organizing Single Eye Shadows!My Profile

    • Ting
      December 4, 2012

      Thanks for the detail comparisons, Traclyn. It’s really an eye-opener. Feel bad for those who unfortunately bought the replica products. ;(

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I agree. People need to learn to read the fine print more. Still, the whole OEM thing only came about recently after people complained, I believe. There are still some deal sites that do not state it is OEM so even reading the fine print won’t help anyone there :( Thanks for the detailed comparison of the Naked2 palettes. Its horrible that the deal sites allow this fakery to persist and even seem to encourage it by promoting them!

  3. eniz
    December 4, 2012

    yes i agree with u.sometimes we have to think wisely before every purchase made (online). i always google to find reviews and asking people around. and one more thing, i always do check the comments on their web/fb (yes they remove/delete it, but some are overlook).for me, i feel grateful, i never been con online.hehe.
    about the deal, i also bought it couple of times, mostly were foods.i have a friend who bought a deal on vacation from travel agency but end up nothing after payment made.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      You are so right Eniz. Its our hard earned money and we shouldn’t allow it to flow out so easily :) Good on you for checking for feedback before buying. I’d read a lot about how these sites delete comments and that really bugs me because those comments might be warnings! How unscrupulous. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s experience. Its a horrible thing to be anticipating a holiday to find that its been cancelled! I hope they refunded her money at least.

  4. Amy
    December 4, 2012

    Hi ladies! I sometimes buy products from this site http://my.bestbuy-world.com/ after reading your post here Paris, just wanna check with everyone whether you’ve bought from this website before n is it authentic as it says? Pretty good deals and they sell sample sizes at a fraction of the retail price

    • eniz
      December 4, 2012

      Hi Amy.I also bought my perfume here.from the review and fb comments, plus the one that i was buying, i can say it authentic.

    • Rahainah
      December 4, 2012

      Hey Amy, I used to be their loyal customers and I can say they’re selling authentic items. I usually buy makeups and fragrance minis from the website. Then I thought, why not buying skincare samples, right? Wrong!! The samples are yes, authentic but I think are overdue/almost past their time products. Bought myself some clinique stuffs (I’ve had big bottles but wanted small sizes for easy traveling) and skII (just to try the “miracle water”). And no, just no. waste of money. *sign*

      • Amy
        December 4, 2012

        Hi Eniz, thanks for the info!

        Rahainah, thank you also for the insight. so u mean that the stuff are ori but expiring so it’s not worth it? sad lah. Come to think of it, I bought Clinique 7 Day Scrub from the site n when I got it, it smells kinda funky… I felt a little weird about it so used it as a foot scrub instead. But this is just an isolated i cide t though, other stuff that I’ve bought seems ok. Good tip. I’ll try to finish up stuff I just bought quickly n get out n buy the ori ones instead!

        Thanks ladies!!

      • eniz
        December 4, 2012

        Rahainah.same goes with me.apart from perfume, i also bought SKii but its dried out my skin.i guessed becos it did not suit my skin or else like u said, overdue product? i stop to use it.what a waste.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Hi Amy, I think some of the ladies here have helped you out with your query :) I personally have never bought anything from them, but I personally am a little wary because its hard to tell from a sample product if a product is expired. Often, the sample does not state the manufacturing or expiry date. So my personal advise is to try to get the samples from the counters where you know its fresh and authentic :)

  5. Cas
    December 4, 2012

    As far as group deal goes, only stick to their food deal, you can never go wrong with that. I stay away from products and even makeup coz I know they are fake. The minute I saw the Urban Decay palette deal going around on almost on the sites, I knew it was fake coz the price is way too cheap. If I’m not mistaken, there are a few benefit deals going around as well and I hope more ladies will be aware of it and not jump into just because the deal seems to good to be true. If online stores in the US aren’t selling it for this cheap, no way we can get it cheaper here in KL.
    Cas recently blogged…Toddler To An Event – Yay or Nay?My Profile

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I had a poor experience with food too so I just skip all these deal things haha! Part of the reason is because their redemption period is sometimes so far ahead that I may forget. However, I do take note of the restaurants too and only go for the more credible restaurants. It actually makes me sad that so many people were essentially “conned” by the UD deal. I think in some of the earlier deals, hundreds of people bought it. I wonder how many of them have since worked out its not authentic :(

  6. violet
    December 4, 2012

    The first time I saw this deal, I admit that I almost thought of buying it as they are selling it less than RM90 and there is no mentioning that it is an OEM product whatsoever. Luckily I did my homework and google of this item and found out that there is another group deal having the same promo and a forum discussing about this item.

    By the way, previously when I read your blog post about Konjac sponge, I was tempted to try it and bought them last week from a group deal. They are selling it cheap, 2 for RM25 or 3 for RM35 compared to Watson selling at RM30 per piece. Not sure if it is a lower quality from original Konjac but since it is cheap, I think there is no harm to try it and hope it would be okay.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Oh Violet, I’m glad you didn’t succumb! I agree, the first few deals had no mention of it as an OEM product, and I did wonder then too if it was the real deal. I figured it couldn’t be primarily due to the seller that was some random gmail address with no website. Its so dodgy! I hope the konjac sponge works for you. Some readers have reported that in Sasa, the sponges are going for under RM10 – about RM8.90 I believe. So you can look there too next time :) How have you found the sponges?

  7. Victoria
    December 4, 2012

    Thanks for highlighting these online group deals in your post Paris. I nearly bought the Urban Decay palette because it looked so tempting. I have actually bought quite a bit of products on Groupon but it has been mostly food, spa, hair and manicure. So far, I have been lucky as I have neither felt short-changed or cheated by this deals. I have recently purchase a 10-piece Bobbi Brown make-up brushes for RM109 when the actual retail price is RM600 from Dealsmates. I just hope they are not fake as it was my first time purchasing anything on this website. I have always been curious whether the Longchamp and Coach bags that are sold on Dealsmates genuine as the discount offered are pretty good. Could anyone share their experience whether they have encountered fake products of this nature?

    • melian22
      December 4, 2012

      Hey Victoria, I saw the deal that you purchased from Dealmates and I’m sorry to say that the brush set is very likely fake. :( I even emailed Bobbi Brown Malaysia for confirmation. You might want to seek a refund from the company and complain as well.

      • Victoria
        December 5, 2012

        Oh, no! I just hope I can get my money back. I cannot believe that this group sites can continue to advertise so brazenly this way :-( There must be a way to report them for selling fakes.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Hi Victoria, I think I may have seen the deal you mentioned for the BB brushes and whilst I hope its authentic, my suspicion is that it isn’t. There are many fake brushes for most of the big brands out there (used to be ebay but now everywhere it would seem) so I am usually very wary when it comes to makeup brushes, prefering to buy from the store/counter than online. I suggest that when you receive it, try to have it compared to some authentic Bobbi Brown brushes and then decide if you got the real deal. As for branded bags, I’d stay far far away unless the deal is run by the actual brand. Let’s just say that you might as well be buying from Petaling St. for the guarantee of authenticity you’d get from anyone else ;)

      • Victoria
        December 5, 2012

        Thanks for the reply Paris. I already wrote to Dealsmate for a refund and I have to wait for their reply. I have also purchased and received a 10-piece make-up brush set by Cerro Queen from Groupon as a gift for someone. The brushes are cheaper (RM69) as they are made in China but looked alright. I learned from some forums that the factory that makes these brushes also makes them from MAC. So I guess they seem alright for the price paid.

      • Paris B
        December 7, 2012

        I’ve heard about the “factory that makes XX product for YY brand” too and to an extent, it could well be true so if its their own brand, then its probably alright, if the quality isn’t too bad. But if they slap on a popular brand name and pass it off as the original brand then that would be something to avoid. I hope you get a refund.

      • zana
        January 4, 2013

        Hi Victoria…
        I also bought the Bobbi Brown brush set and it is definately fake. Have dealmates reply your email. Hope we can get refund…

      • Victoria
        January 4, 2013

        Hi Zana,

        You know it is fake because there is no serial number on the brushes right? Do you know if there is any side-effects to using fake brushes?

        They were suppose to give me a refund last month but apparently there was a miscommunication between the customer service and logistics departments and the brush set was delivered to my house yesterday. I called them this morning and they apologised for the mistake and asked me to return the set to them by courier and they will include the courier charges in the purchase price and refund me in 14 days.

  8. lemon
    December 4, 2012

    Thanks for this post, yeah, this is very misleading. HAve to read the “super” fine prints. Now I wonder if those luxury bags that they are offer are real or fake ???

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I’m just glad to get people thinking, Lemon. The word has to go out that people are being duped online, right in the open! And as for luxury bags, as I informed Victoria in the comment above, unless the deal is from the official brand/distributor, its probably as good as buying from Petaling St :P

  9. melian22
    December 4, 2012

    I am so glad you wrote about this, Paris B! Unfortunately, I was one of the “suckers” who purchased the deal but immediately regretted it soon after. I tried to cancel my order and get a refund from the company but they were very insistent that the item was real (there was no fine print saying the product was OEM) and that they would give me a refund if I thought it was fake. I didn’t budge and in the end, I only received store credit. After reading some other complaints by people, and your article, I have since asked the company for a full refund.

    What I am also unhappy about was that Sephora Malaysia, which is the sole distributor of Urban Decay, did not even warn their customers about such deals. I even wrote to them to complain but they did not even respond to the email. =.=”

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Thank you Melian. I wasn’t sure if I should initially, but its really bugged me seeing people falling for the fake makeup and fake goods, right in the open! I’m glad you are getting a refund and you’re not a sucker, you just had to learn it the hard way :) As for Sephora, it would have been good for them to issue a statement to the effect that they do not distribute UD anywhere else which might help, instead of staying quiet. Then again, they aren’t the brand owner so maybe they can’t be bothered that way :(

  10. Millie
    December 4, 2012

    Paris, I’m glad you did this post coz I’m really put off by all this group deals companies for being irresponsible and misleading the buyers. Think those who get conned should lodge a complaint to the Consumer Tribunal or something.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Oh yes, Millie, I am too! I’m glad you thought this post was a good idea because I’d sat on it for a while :) From what I hear, most people who do complain do end up getting a refund. But these deal sites should have some action taken against them for misleading the public!

  11. Honey
    December 4, 2012

    Initially it was exciting to get deals for services, but it got tiring after a while, mainly because you can never get the appointments at the time you want. So I’ve had to stress myself out having to utilise the vouchers within the stipulated period. I’ve also bought a couple of items and realised that they were not quite what you anticipated them to be. So, now I’m with Lily, unsubscribed and delete whenever those emails come in. But thank god I did not see the UD Naked2, else I could have been tempted!

    Living sosial’s office is above mine, so I see them getting stuff delivered all the time. Most of those items (I think the electrical ones) look quite genuine, but you never know, I guess.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      You’re absolutely right Honey! So many of these spas and nail salons are overbooked and take in far more deals than they can manage. The services are, I found, also sub par. I now rather just pay and go for a treat as and when I want, instead of having to raise my blood pressure haggling over an appointment slot. I don’t know about all these goods anymore. I hear some toys aren’t the real deal either, but I’m waiting to see what happens before I comment ;)

  12. Nikki
    December 4, 2012

    Ah OEM! The magic word! Perfect for them to use the term OEM when not everyone would understand the said term!

    I can’t believe group buying sites there would sell fake makeups! I hope it won’t happen locally! I still purchase from deal sites but ONLY when it comes to food and so far *knocks on food* I don’t have any bad experience on them YET and I hope they won’t start giving me the negative vibe by selling these types of fake products! Thanks for the heads up PB

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I think its the deal sites being greedy and unscrupulous people trying to make a quick buck. Strike while the iron is hot and cash out before anyone notices that its fake. I would do food deals too, if I find any interesting ones, but never for goods or even services. Stay vigilant, Nikki! :D

  13. Nani
    December 4, 2012

    Thanks for the post, PB! I have always been very sceptical about the group deal website and because of that never tried to buy anything from them. Not to mention, the reviews about these kind of sites don’t help either. Your post reaffirms my scepticism and to just stay far far away. :P Maybe just to try their food deal as my sis-in-law always buy their vouchers for food and so far so good. :)

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      You are absolutely right to be sceptical, Nani :) I think a restaurant deal at an established restaurant is ok. I’ve had pretty decent experiences for those. But not for services or goods. Now that I know some items are fake, who knows what else is!

  14. Catherine
    December 4, 2012

    I had no idea what OEM means but I usually try not to get things online and search them in Paris which sometimes costs more but at least its safer. I also never was attracted to group deals of any kind…
    Hovewer some things are just not here like tonymoly, skin79 or even tangle teezer so I order from ebay only when a seller sold a lot of items and has 99-100% positive feedback. I never got scammed and fingers-crossed that it will never happen :D

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      That’s wise, Catherine! For certain things, I prefer to just pay more and get security and peace of mind, especially with luxury items. There are so many websites claiming to sell authentic items but barring a few very selected, reliable ones, I don’t shop online for those even if its cheaper. I hope you never get scammed!

  15. Tine
    December 4, 2012

    Yep, been there done that. Got burnt a couple of times from these deals and got so fed up dealing with the websites and the advertisers that I immediately unsubscribed from all of them.

    Example 1: Bought a couple of Thai massages. The salon and website did not bother telling anyone when the salon decided to pull out from the deal. This is after many people have purchased vouchers. After making a huge fuss, they decided to honour my vouchers but I had a very short window to use them (2 weeks). I brought Geek along for the massage and it was the dodgiest salon I’ve ever been to (the ones in Bangkok were better). I was so embarrassed dragging Geek along >.<

    Example 2: The group deals website oversold vouchers for a spa package, more than double the capacity that the salon could handle. When I called the salon to make an appointment, they asked me to email them instead (warning bells rang). When I emailed them, they told me they're in contact with their lawyers to sue to the group deals website and will not be honouring the voucher I purchased. No spa package for me and I had to deal with the stupid website to get my money back (it took a month for me to get my money back).

    No more group deals for me. Most if not all are just too good to be true.
    Tine recently blogged…Scrub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Scrubs In A Tub (Featuring Comvita, Cosmecology and Bioderma)My Profile

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Salons being overbooked is terrible! I attribute it to shoddy planning and greed on the part of the salon for offering the deal knowing they can’t fulfil it. Like you, I avoid all deals now. Few have ever lived up to expectations. The funny thing is, I get these deal companies asking me to promote their sites. Like what?! Help you scam more people?!

  16. Sze Ling
    December 4, 2012

    I’ve never been tempted into buying makeup/skincare from these group deals. Usually, the prices are just wayyyyy too good to be true. Not taking chances when it comes to my skin. These days, I no longer buy from group deal sites, as 8 out of 10 times the service/goods are below average standards.

    Shame on these group deal sites to allow such trickery on consumers. If it’s really “OEM”, then they shouldn’t even allow those photos of the authentic products. Tsk tsk tsk… I’m officially boycotting them.
    Sze Ling recently blogged…Honey Wheat Pound CakeMy Profile

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Very wise, Sze Ling! Whenever I see people buy fake skincare and makeup I want to scream at them :P I don’t know what these sites are doing, but really, I’m hoping someone takes them down. Hard.

  17. Rahainah
    December 4, 2012

    Thanks Paris for bringing this matter to light.
    I also came across this site offering UD Naked 2 palette at very low price and yeah, my “spidey-senses start tingling” like hell! And ape lagi, I start googling and came across blogs and Youtube vidoes about how to spot fake and authentic Naked 2 palette and yes, those offered palette is a fake. So I went to the site’s FB page telling other buyers that they are fake and giving my reasons and links that I found. And since then my post was deleted…so I feel very bad on others that has been duped!

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Glad this sat well with you Rahainah :) I’m really glad you didn’t decide to buy the deal because it was cheap. It really does upset me how so many people were initially conned into thinking its the real thing, and only realising when they received it that it wasn’t. Its not cheap either! Its also very sneaky of them to delete your comments! Seriously, some of these sites have no business ethics or integrity at all.

  18. Jyoan
    December 4, 2012

    I applaud you for writing this!

    I am extremely skeptical of group deals and have never taken one. I only buy discounted items if they are from official websites, such as illamasqua.com. Other than that, I make sure to buy from eBay, where there is a second security gate called Paypal.com. For blogshops, I also only buy from Paypal-enabled ones. The occasional non-Paypal-enabled ones, I will make sure to look for reviews, or to at most buy one piece of clothing, maybe $15. That way, even if the blogshop really runs away, I don’t feel too pain.

    However, like you, I have slipped before. I once paid for an instagram camera advertised on Facebook, by bank transfer, and the seller ran off. I now understand why girls in Indonesia can get scammed into prostitution via Facebook.

    I really should have stuck to my principle of using only Paypal-enabled merchants.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      That’s what I do too! I buy sale items off the official sites but I do also shop at other online retailers that I have used and trust. Like you, I usually transact by Paypal too – more protection! Sorry to hear your item didn’t arrive :( I didn’t know about the girls in Indonesia who were conned into prostitution! Wow that’s serious!

  19. Phay
    December 4, 2012

    I personally send email to LivingSocial to question about the authentication of the product (Naked 2). To my BIG surprise, after a few emails, they still insisted that they have never cheated on their valued customer!

    Hope the group deal websites in Malaysia learnt a lesson from this UD incident for a good future. God bless.

    ~Phay

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Hi Phay, wow! I can’t believe they don’t think they have done anything wrong :( I actually hope someone exposes this in a bigger way than just through a beauty blog that not many people may know of ;)

  20. Joy Chong
    December 4, 2012

    Here is another one for Laneige which I believe is last year’s design http://www.livingsocial.com/malaysia/cities/1964-klang-valley-kuala-lumpur/deals/543990-instant-redemption-formulated-with-sleepscenttm

    Don’t be fooled ladies!

    • violet
      December 4, 2012

      Really??? But it mentioned the manufacturing year is 2012 and will expire in 2015.

      Anyway I already have a tub of this and not needing it at the moment.
      Thanks for the head’s up.

      • Joy Chong
        December 4, 2012

        Even more reason to know it’s not new because it was 2011 Christmas Limited Edition so it can’t be made in 2012.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Thanks for the heads up Joy!

  21. AnT
    December 4, 2012

    Nope. Never been duped because I am always skeptical when facing such deals ;)

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Good girl! ;)

  22. Shija
    December 4, 2012

    I ordered an OPI nail polish and out of 5 bottle, i think 1 of it looks like not ori. The way I know it is the nail polish brush. The weird thing is , it comes with the same seller. Since then i didnt order any OpI stuff again from the internet.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I came across a shop once in Chinatown, that had fake OPI and Benefit, Bobbi Brown etc. I was with a friend who knew her polishes so she immediately identified it as fake. It was quite surreal. I think its sneaky of the seller to mix in a fake bottle among the real ones, just to throw you off the scent. I think its too risky unless you buy from a proper retailer.

  23. Issa
    December 4, 2012

    Thanks for this reminder PB! Lucky me, these group buying sites never got my interest because I am scared of wasting my hard earned money, hihihi….

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      I’m glad you’re careful with your money Issa. Its not easy to come by!

  24. plue
    December 4, 2012

    not bothered with group deals. they are a sneaky lot me thinks!

    too many lousy experience which I have heard from friends and family and from you #evurl ladies makes me think twice about getting anything. i rather pay a bit more and buy from reputable sites than just dumping money into the seawater or getting something that’s not what it’s supposed to be.
    plue recently blogged…Proud Moment: Ugly Turn PrettyMy Profile

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      In terms of goods, I have to agree with you. However, I think some food deals are worth getting from a reputable restaurant. I’ve had quite fun experiences and tried new places to eat with a food deal :)

  25. synical
    December 4, 2012

    Figured it can’t be real, what more with the “OEM product” line.

    I just stick to other deals available.

    So far so good with Groupon personally, but I haven’t heard great things about Dealmates if you’ve paid money for an object instead of a voucher/service/etc.

    • Paris B
      December 5, 2012

      Yep! The OEM was so sneaky and some people may not understand what it is. I noticed it only came about recently, probably after so many people complained before this. I have been told that the most “reputable” is Groupon and the rest can be ignored. I went to see the Dealmates Facebook Page and oh my! The complaints are overwhelming! :O

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