In the past, many were skeptical about the safety and legitimacy of online shopping. Well, those days are long gone. In 2019, online U.S. retail sales were higher than general merchandise sales, according to the Commerce Department. From avoiding long lines to exclusive online only deals, buying products online is easier than ever. But what happens when your online shopping experience turns out to be too good to be true? Here’s how to avoid buying counterfeit products that could potentially harm you by following these important tips below. 

Know who you’re purchasing from

On sites like and, anyone can be a seller. It’s important to take time to double check who is the supplier behind your purchase. Look at the seller’s name, rating, and shipping details before purchasing to ensure you’re getting a legitimate product. Sellers with unfavorable reviews or limited listings could be a big red-flag. 

Read the reviews

Reading the reviews of other customers could give you major insight as to how their purchasing journey went. Was there problems with shipping or did they receive a faulty product? In most cases, reviews can give you more than what the item description offers. But be aware of fake reviews or fake user accounts. Sometimes sellers will try to manipulate a rating or bump bad reviews down with the intention of duping more customers. According to the team of Santa Ana personal injury attorneys from Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, “Knowingly putting an untested or defective product on the market” can be cause for filing a product liability claim.

Compare the ingredients

When buying beauty or skin products, it’s extremely important to know what you’ll be putting on your body. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and what’s applied to the surface can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Compare the ingredients listed on the description or box to what is on the brand’s website. If even one or two ingredients are different, toss the product or try to get your money back. Even a small change could affect the chemical composition of the product and result in some nasty reactions. For example, a beauty blogger ended up with an eye infection after unknowingly buying a counterfeit eyeshadow palette.

Be cautious of major discounts

Prestige cosmetics and skincare cost more than drugstore brands for a reason. The quality of ingredients and cost to manufacture play a big part in the pricing of a product. When a $50 facial serum is being sold for $10, do your research before hitting that “Buy Now” button. Harmful ingredients or cheap, faulty containers can be the reason behind that big price difference.

Shopping online makes the lives of many people a lot easier. From shopping in your pajamas to getting online only exclusives, it’s no wonder as to why people prefer this way of purchasing goods. But with all things, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself. Use these tips during your next shopping trip to avoid buying counterfeit products that could potentially harm you.