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  1. #1

    Question Grey Market - Confused?

    OK.Here is my dilemma. In good ole Oz - especially regional/country Oz, Frags are available, but they seem REALLY cheap and all the frickin' same.
    Go to Priceline, Target and most chain Chemist/Pharmacies and they are selling some genuine frags - for really cheap prices.
    I mean 100ml Red Door for $30.00! That can't be right? And Britney Spears Curious 100ml for $50.00. Are these genuine frags? And if they are Grey Market frags - should I be avoiding them?
    I mean cheap perfumes are great, but I'd rather not get them if I am wasting my time - especially if you want to buy one as a gift.
    Your thoughts anyone - especially on Grey Market frags.
    Tnx

  2. #2
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    I've tried most of the frags at TJMax which is the discount store I frequent. The other would be Gordmans but I don't have much luck there. Red Door as are all the Arden frags I've tried are IMO are just not very good. Some of them are there for a reason, they're undesirable. However, if you know what you are looking for, you can pick up some bargains. Personally, I wouldn't be interested in many celebrity frags. I can't think of any besides Sarah J Parker that are bearable. (I've never tried J Lo's). The frags that are cheap & good are the unknowns. Those are the great jewels you can pick up. I found Rive Gauche, Halston is a deep spicey amber (love the cream & lotion), Jil Sander #4,Balmain Ivoire (I discovered on BN) etc. there are lots of gems. Test as many as you can at dept stores so you'll know what to avoid at least.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    All of the fragrances sold in department stores have an insane markup. Many online retailers sell the same exact fragrances for slightly more than the wholesale price they pay for it. You just have to make sure you find a reputable online dealer. Some stores like TJMaxx buy the overstock and resell at bargain prices (I'm not sure of the TJMaxx equivalent in Australia). As far as I know, Gray Market would refer to those perfume bottles with the ground off serial code or cut out upc's on the boxes. Hope this helps!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    I have a family friend who owns a pharmacy and he sells the fragrances you're talking about for the prices you're referring to. He buys them in bulk online from a dealer who was recommended to him. I had doubts but I've purchased quite a few from his pharmacy and they're fine. He uses the term "grey market" too - I think it means that the source has acquired the perfumes directly through the manufacturer, instead of the perfume going through the sales food chain, adding huge markups each time.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?


    I was told on good authority that a 3.4 oz/100ml bottle of Azzaro Pour Homme new in box costs Azzaro $3.00 to manufacturer. There is a lot of room for mark-up and mark down with fragrances and that includes niche.

    scentemental


  7. #7
    kumquat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    I know that a tube of lipstick that has about 50 cents worth of actual product in it and goes for between $15-25 is one of the biggest money makers there is. That goes for all cosmetics and face creams which are all very similar. That's why Every high end dept store has a barrage of counters at the doors as you first enter. That's how they get you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Fragrances sold in department stores generally have a mark-up of 40%. So a bottle that sells for $100 cost the retailer $60. I know that here in Canada many companies will sell to drug stores at a lower price in exchange for a "no return" policy meaning that the vendor won't buy back overstock and the drug stores are free to mark down slow moving stock (whereas with department stores a vendor may allow a return of slow moving stock in exchange for credit towards the purchase of new merchandise).

    "Grey Market" is generally authentic merchandise sold by vendors "out the back door," often older returned product and unsold gift sets returned from department stores.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    I was told on good authority that a 3.4 oz/100ml bottle of Azzaro Pour Homme new in box costs Azzaro $3.00 to manufacturer. There is a lot of room for mark-up and mark down with fragrances and that includes niche.

    scentemental

    I'm sure this is true for the actual cost of the physical product and I agree it leaves space for plenty of different price points. However, you have to be careful how you use this figure as it doesn't take into account many things including development costs, samples, covering fragrances which fail in the market, promotions, maintaining the brand, costs of running the company etc. To say that frags should be much cheaper (and I am not suggesting that scentemental is saying this) because the actual juice, bottle and box only cost a few dollars is like saying that a cd should only cost a few pennies or that books should cost little more than paper and ink.
    "Donít try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. Ē - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  10. #10

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    the fragrances kumquat mentioned i havent seen much of at all in australia... might have seen rive gauche at david jones or myer or something but none of the others

    im pretty sure priceline sells legit frags... they sell imitations too but they arent really that great. yeah i find the elizabeth arden perfumes dont tend to do that well over here... got my 100ml bottle of true love for only 20 bucks

  11. #11

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumoosh View Post
    OK.Here is my dilemma. In good ole Oz - especially regional/country Oz, Frags are available, but they seem REALLY cheap and all the frickin' same.
    Go to Priceline, Target and most chain Chemist/Pharmacies and they are selling some genuine frags - for really cheap prices.
    I mean 100ml Red Door for $30.00! That can't be right? And Britney Spears Curious 100ml for $50.00. Are these genuine frags? And if they are Grey Market frags - should I be avoiding them?
    I mean cheap perfumes are great, but I'd rather not get them if I am wasting my time - especially if you want to buy one as a gift.
    Your thoughts anyone - especially on Grey Market frags.
    Tnx
    I thought Grey Market referred more to testers than to legitimate scents in boxes. The scents you describe are good, genuine and usually on their way out - as evidenced by the fact that they often show up at Myers and David Jones sales, before they show up even cheaper at these other stores.

    It's always worth giving Priceline a quick scan. Usually there's nothing much there. But one day there was Halston Z-14 which I hadn't seen anywhere else till then. Another day I picked up a really cheap bottle of Scannon's Ghost for Men - a scent I've never seen before or since in Australia, but which I last saw in Harrod's in London.
    Renato

  12. #12

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Here in the USA, the boundaries between "traditional" stores like Macy's and Sephora and "mass retailers" like Wal-Mart, CVS, and Sears are blurring.

    First off, many fragrance companies now sell their products to mass retailers. Elizabeth Arden has a huge mass retailer business in fragrances, ranging from their namesake brand to celebuscents like Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears. So does Estee Lauder... although they typically do not sell their namesake brand to mass retailers, their Aramis/Designer Fragrances division sells Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, and (most recently) Sean John fragrances to them. Clarins Fragrance Group is slowly building a mass retailer business for fragrances with Azzaro Chrome and Everlast Original 1910, and even offers one size of Thierry Mugler's Angel (but no other Mugler products) to them. L'Oreal also has a small mass retailer fragrance business... they've had the drugstore cheapie Chaps for quite some time, and offer a few other products like some of the Polo scents. Still, some don't wont to join the trend: Shiseido's Beaute Prestige International and Zirh divisions don't sell directly to mass retailers. However, their products are obtainable on the grey market, which is why you see Le Male at Sam's Club and L'Eau d'Issey at CVS/pharmacy. Chanel also does not sell to mass retail, but unlike BPI, Chanel will go out of their way to control distribution and minimize grey market supply.

    The lines between mass retailer and authorized retailer are rapidly blurring, though: First off, Ulta, a rapidly growing chain of stores/salons based in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, combines cheapie stuff like Dove and Neutrogena with more prestigious brands like bareMinerals makeup and Issey Miyake fragrances. Yes, you read that right: Beaute Prestige International let a semi-mass retailer sell their smellies. (It should be noted that Ulta sells all of its fragrances at MSRP and does not discount; however, Ulta does offer a rewards program for customers.) Secondly, Kohl's and Estee Lauder developed several cosmetics and fragrance brands exclusively for the rapidly-growing retailer and created a new division (BeautyBank) to handle them. And finally, JCPenney is placing Sephora store-within-a-stores inside all new JCPenney stores (and is renovating older stores to accomodate them, too), which will carry most brands found inside Sephora stores.

    Hope this helps!
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Last week at the USPTO office they held a community day event and one of the booths was dedicated to counterfeit products, including fragrances. The guy showed us bottles of the same cologne and asked us to determine the fake. Low and behold, the bottles labeled as being bought from CVS and Target were fake! Buyer beware when dealing with stores dealing in the "grey market."

  14. #14

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by hypoh View Post
    Last week at the USPTO office they held a community day event and one of the booths was dedicated to counterfeit products, including fragrances. The guy showed us bottles of the same cologne and asked us to determine the fake. Low and behold, the bottles labeled as being bought from CVS and Target were fake! Buyer beware when dealing with stores dealing in the "grey market."
    They didn't say CVS and Target items were fake - they said counterfeit.

    Pharmaceutical companies call Canadian drugs "counterfeit" if they are in the US, even though those same companies made the drugs. The drugs were intended for the Canadian market though, where drugs are priced significantly cheaper (one drug I have been prescribed costs about $1.50 CDN per day in Canada, the exact same drug is about $10 USD in the states for the same amount in the same packaging).

    With the prescription drug example, even if a US citizen drives to Canada and purchases the drug from a legitimate and respected pharmacy here, then drives home, some US bodies will call the drugs counterfeit.

    Basically the term counterfeit is being used in place of 'grey market', because people assume that counterfeit means fake or inferior in some manner, and the big pharmacy co's are trading on fears of cheaper, oh I mean counterfeit, drugs being risky in order to garner higher profits in the above example.

    I guess to conclude I would say don't forget to consider who is doing the telling, and *exactly* what s/he is saying in light of his or her interest in the matter, before trusting too blindly what you hear.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by kasae View Post
    They didn't say CVS and Target items were fake - they said counterfeit.

    Pharmaceutical companies call Canadian drugs "counterfeit" if they are in the US, even though those same companies made the drugs. The drugs were intended for the Canadian market though, where drugs are priced significantly cheaper (one drug I have been prescribed costs about $1.50 CDN per day in Canada, the exact same drug is about $10 USD in the states for the same amount in the same packaging).

    With the prescription drug example, even if a US citizen drives to Canada and purchases the drug from a legitimate and respected pharmacy here, then drives home, some US bodies will call the drugs counterfeit.

    Basically the term counterfeit is being used in place of 'grey market', because people assume that counterfeit means fake or inferior in some manner, and the big pharmacy co's are trading on fears of cheaper, oh I mean counterfeit, drugs being risky in order to garner higher profits in the above example.

    I guess to conclude I would say don't forget to consider who is doing the telling, and *exactly* what s/he is saying in light of his or her interest in the matter, before trusting too blindly what you hear.
    Now that is a most interesting example of the abuse of the term "counterfeit". Oddly enough at another site I visit, a few months ago the guy who runs the site was between jobs and his young son developed an ear-ache. As he did not have health insurance, the cost of the bottle of ear drops which he had to pay for was US$120. The US members of the site said that it was unfortunate, but I was speechless - if simple antibiotic or antifungal drops were to cost anywhere near that much in Australia, governments would topple very quickly - and we don't get counterfeit drugs, we get the choice of either the real thing or the approved slightly cheaper generic drug, all from legitimate manufacturers.

    Getting back to the Target and Kmart scents. I've never smelled anything fake about them, and while I may not be good at distinguishing individual notes, I'm pretty good at comparing scents. Perhaps officials in your country will wind up eventually using a new term - "genuine counterfeits" so as not to deliberately mislead the public.
    Renato

  16. #16

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    Getting back to the Target and Kmart scents. I've never smelled anything fake about them, and while I may not be good at distinguishing individual notes, I'm pretty good at comparing scents. Perhaps officials in your country will wind up eventually using a new term - "genuine counterfeits" so as not to deliberately mislead the public.
    Big companies, big money, big government lobbying... I'll try to stay on topic, but a brief diversion: if you want a scare, you can look into the US system where your medical insurance company can dictate what doctors you are allowed to use vs. not, among other things. To those of us from countries with excellent healthcare, it is hard to comprehend. Back on topic now....

    Besides, is "genuine counterfeit" in any way un-misleading? Does that mean it is actually counterfeit (ie a fake), or does it mean it is the real deal but nevertheless counterfeit due to packaging?

    While I suppose it is possible that somewhere like Target ended up with knockoffs in one instance or other, I'm pretty sure they are generally just buying outside the normal supply chain. Especially with a multinational company, why wouldn't they buy bulk where it is cheaper, or under an alternate licensing agreement?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Grey Market - Confused?

    Quote Originally Posted by kasae View Post

    Besides, is "genuine counterfeit" in any way un-misleading? Does that mean it is actually counterfeit (ie a fake), or does it mean it is the real deal but nevertheless counterfeit due to packaging?
    You raise a very good point.

    But I'm stumped as to how to refer to it,
    "Non-Genuine Counterfeit" doesn't sound right either,
    nor does "Non-Genuine Non-Counterfeit".
    Renato

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