Scandalous whorehoppers on eBay, greed, avarice and how to not to get ripped off
by, 22nd August 2012 at 01:11 AM (9145 Views)
I'm relatively new to this perfume obsession, or at least I feel it because I simply haven't had the economic means to pursue my interest as much as I would like. But I try, which means regular trawling of eBay. And I have a beef.
Item: Diptyque 12ml travel sprays being flogged on UK eBay for £18.99 a piece plus £2.35 postage.
This is disgusting. Diptyque are one of a number of niche fragrance houses who are decent enough to offer many of their perfumes in a variety of affordable, accessible formats. Their 12ml travel sprays are available directly from their website at a cost of £30 for 3 plus £5 postage, and if you don't want to pay postage there are 3 Diptyque London shops and other Diptyque stockists in the UK (John Lewis, Liberty). People are being duped into paying an extortionate 200% more for 1x12ml when an extra £13.65 would buy them 3x12ml directly from the manufacturer and not from some rip off merchant. I am sure that anyone willing to spend over 20 quid on one travel spray would much rather spend an extra £13.65 and get three, if they only they knew they could. They also offer fragrances in solid compact and roll-on formats, all also being sold on eBay at ridiculous mark ups.
Item: 1ml Histoires de Parfums samples being flogged on eBay for £5.25 plus £1.25 postage.
This is disgusting. Histoires de Parfums brilliantly make sampling any of their fragrances totally affordable and accessible by offering a set of 6x 2ml samples of any of their fragrances at a cost of 10 euro, with free postage to the UK. When I used this service the exchange rate meant I paid £8 for 6x 2ml samples. Just £1.50 more than this person is charging for a 1x1ml decant. When I'd tried a little of my samples and found none were to my taste I did sell them on (in one lot) at a deliberately reasonable cost just to recoup a portion of what I'd spent (£7 total), money that I have no doubt will eventually wing it's way back to Histoires de Parfums so that I can sample others from their line, perhaps fall in love and one day purchase a full bottle of something.
Item: god knows how many people flogging god knows how many 1ml niche samples on eBay at £6 a piece plus a couple of quid for postage
Ok, so you really want to try that special perfume, but for crying out loud don't just line the pocket of some unethical git whose both encouraging and making a profit out of your perception that something is too exclusive and mythical to be testable except at an extortionate cost. Instead of spending close to a tenner or more on 1ml of something, visit the lucky scent website and pick out four or five 0.7 ml samples, which including postage to the UK won't cost you that much more. Or visit the Les Senteurs website and get a handful of 1.5ml samples for £5 a piece including postage. Doing this rather than funding some greedy ebayer will allow you to try more for your money, the more you try the more chance you have of finding out what you like, what you love and what's really worth handing over your hard earned cash for.
Other niche perfume houses selling relatively affordable 'discovery' sample sets directly from their websites are Tauer Perfumes, Parfums d'Empire, L'Artisan Parfumeur and I'm sure many others.
I do myself buy and sell on eBay, but it's mostly to sell on samples or blind buys that I have paid for and didn't like...and always at a reasonable cost that just aims to recoup something of what I have spent, not make a profit. There are some brilliant ebayers out there offering great deals and opportunities to sample and own things that would otherwise be either hard to obtain or out of economic reach, but these are not the people selling row upon row of 1ml samples at 6 quid + a pop. I personally feel that these people are undermining the whole enterprise....perfume houses should be encouraged make things more accessible, but they are less likely to offer sample sets and affordable sized items if they know they'll just be split up and sold off individually at a big profit. What's more, the people doing this are setting an artificially inflated idea of what's seen as standard prices, become accepted as the norm, are duplicated by other sellers, warping the buyers perception of value and encouraging further blind faith in exclusivity and the mystification of branding.
I'm sure almost everyone on Basenotes knows all this already, but I feel better for getting it off my chest and just maybe they'll be someone who reads this before they click 'bid now' on some insanely priced microdot of scent.
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