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  1. #1

    Default Reliable Online Discounters?

    I recently purchased a fragrance from www.1stperfume.com, and instead received a bottle of something that absolutely stinks. I don't know if it's a terrible knock-off or a spoiled batch of the real stuff, but it's unwearable and certainly not what I was led to believe I was buying.

    I'm only out $21, but I'd rather keep my money than get burned again. Could you guys recommend some reliable discount sites for purchasing full bottles of fragrance? In particular, does anyone have any experience with www.theperfumespot.com or www.fragranex.com, or www.strawberry.net?

    Thank you all very much in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    I use fragrancenet.com and haven't had any real problem with them. They are fast on the delivery. The only thing about ordering from discount perfume retailers is you are taking a chance each time. Alot of these retailers buy the stuff that couldn't or didn't sell in the stores. Alot of it is back stock and old stock from other discount retailers. So, there is a good chance you will get an old bottle that may have turned bad. You never know the conditions under which the frag has been stored as well. By the time it gets to the discount perfumer, there's no telling what it's been through. The only bad bottle I got from them was a bottle of Ciara, but I bought it more for sentimental reasons. So, it wasn't that big of a deal. My other bottles have been fine. I also ordered from another place. I can't remember if it was Perfumemart.com or Perfume.com. They were OK too, but a little pricey. They were the only one that had my beloved perfume though. So, I had no choice but to buy from there.
    Diva is fartin in your perfume mist before you walk through it!! Walk slow and let it marinate......

    Divatologist....Breaking perfume rules since 1969
    I smells goooooooooooood! Don't believe me? Come smell me!!

    "The Divatologist Perfume Application Method" is now available!!! Learn It, Live It, Love It Click Here! Many Compliments Await You!

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    I've had only A+ experiences with Imagination Perfume. Their prices are always amazing, too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    I've had only A+ experiences with Imagination Perfume. Their prices are always amazing, too.
    Me too. The name Ruggles meant to say was, Imagination Perfumery (www.imaginationperfumery.com)
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 20th March 2008 at 02:19 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    I've purchased from Fragrancenet, BeautyHabit, Strawberrynet, LuckyScent, ThePerfumedCourt, and Sephora, all with no complaints. I had issues with FragranceX that never got resolved.

    dpak recently put together a nice round up of different online retailers and the types of comments that have been made about each one:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?p=1175911
    Last edited by tang; 11th March 2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: added 2

  6. #6

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Welcome Metraria

    Ahh another satisfied customer of 1stPerfume.com.

    This is a very common topic so your best bet is to plug-in any retailer you're considering into the BN search function. The City Shopping Guides (scroll to the bottom of the forum once inside) is the forum that contains most comments about retailers.

    Here's a couple threads to get you going:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ght=1stperfume

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207117

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=177409

    By-the-way, all sites you mentioned (other than 1stPerfume.com) are reputable according to posts here on BN.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divatologist View Post
    The only thing about ordering from discount perfume retailers is you are taking a chance each time. Alot of these retailers buy the stuff that couldn't or didn't sell in the stores. Alot of it is back stock and old stock from other discount retailers. So, there is a good chance you will get an old bottle that may have turned bad.
    This is a generalization that I completely disagree with. I have spoken to many online retailers by phone and by email about how fresh their stock is. Some are completely up front and even state the quality and freshness of their stock right on their website. Others have been happy to answer all my questions in what seemed to be a very sincere and honest manner. For instance, BigDiscount.com responded to me very enthusiastically that NONE of their stock is older than a year. In fact, the tone and wording of the response, although not specific, sounded as if their stock turnover was much less than a year. Some, of course, don't respond at all or have given me vague or evasive answers - those companies I don't do business with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divatologist View Post
    You never know the conditions under which the frag has been stored as well. By the time it gets to the discount perfumer, there's no telling what it's been through.
    Unfortunately, this is true. But how is this any different for "legitimate" retailers like department stores?
    Last edited by MadScientist; 11th March 2008 at 04:53 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    I bought a .25 oz of Bal a Versailles parfum extrait from Amazon for $49. It came in it's hokey little satin box and all, but something seemed off about it.
    On closer inspection, the back label had been worn off in places, which made me think it was either a tester or a very old bottle. I sent it back and they gladly refunded me. Now, I'm wondering if I had my hands on a vintage bottle!
    Also, many perfume discounters buy directly from the official distributors. The clothing business runs this way, too.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 11th March 2008 at 05:25 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Welcome Metraria

    Ahh another satisfied customer of 1stPerfume.com.

    This is a very common topic so your best bet is to plug-in any retailer you're considering into the BN search function. The City Shopping Guides (scroll to the bottom of the forum once inside) is the forum that contains most comments about retailers.

    Here's a couple threads to get you going:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showt...ght=1stperfume

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207117

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=177409

    By-the-way, all sites you mentioned (other than 1stPerfume.com) are reputable according to posts here on BN.

    This is a generalization that I completely disagree with. I have spoken to many online retailers by phone and by email about how fresh their stock is. Some are completely up front and even state the quality and freshness of their stock right on their website. Others have been happy to answer all my questions in what seemed to be a very sincere and honest manner. For instance, BigDiscount.com responded to me very enthusiastically that NONE of their stock is older than a year. In fact, the tone and wording of the response, although not specific, sounded as if their stock turnover was much less than a year. Some, of course, don't respond at all or have given me vague or evasive answers - those companies I don't do business with.

    Unfortunately, this is true. But how is this any different for "legitimate" retailers like department stores?


    Yes I'm "SURE" they were being very truthful with you. Like I said. You take a risk ordering from a discounter. There is a good reason why you're getting it so cheap.
    Diva is fartin in your perfume mist before you walk through it!! Walk slow and let it marinate......

    Divatologist....Breaking perfume rules since 1969
    I smells goooooooooooood! Don't believe me? Come smell me!!

    "The Divatologist Perfume Application Method" is now available!!! Learn It, Live It, Love It Click Here! Many Compliments Await You!

    www.twitter.com/Divatologist www.divatologist.tumblr.com

  9. #9

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Wow, I can see now that I should have checked here before ordering from 1stperfume! That's the kind of thing I was hoping to learn about in this thread. I'm just glad my order was so small! Oh, and I'm sorry for making a duplicate thread.

    I realize that I'm taking a risk when I buy from an online discounter instead of an established store, but, well, it's a risk I'm willing to take. I'd just like to get some hints to help me minimize that risk. If you guys have any more advice, I'm all ears!

    Also, I've had a good experience with www.fragrancenet.com. Price was low, product was fresh and genuine (or an excellent knock-off, who knows?), delivery was timely.
    Last edited by Metraria; 11th March 2008 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Divatologist View Post
    Yes I'm "SURE" they were being very truthful with you. Like I said. You take a risk ordering from a discounter. There is a good reason why you're getting it so cheap.
    So the fact that department stores have huge overhead and can only buy in small quantities has nothing to do with their high prices as compared to discounters who have little overhead, few employees, and the storage space to buy in bulk? You take "a risk" in buying anything from anybody. It's a matter of degree. I see no difference in the risk I take between buying perfume from Scentmonkey.com and buying from Macy's. I do however, see a considerable risk when buying from 1stPerfume.com. But the difference between Scentmonkey.com and 1stPerfume.com is obvious if you do your research.

    I'm one of the most skeptical people you will ever meet. That's why even though a company's website may proclaim they sell only "authentic" and "fresh" perfume, I still check out their customer service availability, whether or not they publish their phone number & address, their privacy policy, return policy, etc. and even still sometimes contact them by email to ask specific questions about their business practices. And even if I get back all the answers I want to hear, I'm still aware that a business will say what it thinks the customer wants to hear in order to promote themselves.

    My point was that you appeared to be making a generalization. I however, do my research and actually talk to these people about their business practices. Furthermore, if a company makes certain claims on their website or in writing, they had better be telling the truth, or they can be sued (if challenged and their claims discovered to be false) for misrepresenting their products. And if selling/shipping products through the USPS, they can be charged with mail fraud, which is quite a big deal.

    Another good indication of a business with integrity is when they consistantly go above and beyond what might be expected. BeautyHabit.com for instance, actually had UPS send me an email notification that my package had been DELIVERED. Most will only send you a notice that your package has been shipped, if that. LuckyScent.com includes a quality control packing slip. MakesGoodScents.com (which i had a problem with an order once and the owner handled the exchange herself) shows high resolution pictures of their facilities on their website. Scentiments.com says right on their site that they do not sell "old" products - "At Scentiments.com we buy and sell discount perfume and cologne in volume so that we can negotiate the lowest price possible from the manufacturer, allowing us to pass those savings along to you, our loyal customer" (emphesis mine).
    Last edited by MadScientist; 12th March 2008 at 04:05 AM. Reason: Basenotes failed to correct my spelling so I had to do it

  11. #11
    dpak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Two comments.

    First, to the original questions, I've assembled a list of online stores based on comments by members. It can be found here: http://community.basenotes.net/showt...11#post1175911
    In general, most people have had positive experiences ordering from most of them.

    Second, I'll stick up for Divatologist - at least partially. When shopping at Saks and showing some reticence at a scent, the salesperson explained that I could return the scent for any reason, even if I had opened it and used it a few times. Doing research for the list I found that many/most online stores won't let you return something just because you didn't like it - or anything that has been opened - or if they do, will charge a restocking fee. Of course, that service - eliminating the risk, so to speak - will come with a premium. If I had the money, I would gladly pay for the personal service and the return policy. That said, there are some very good online stores to order from.
    Last edited by dpak; 11th March 2008 at 07:00 PM. Reason: misplaced comma

  12. #12

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpak View Post
    My impression is that most online stores won't let you return something just because you didn't like it - or anything that has been opened.
    My impression is that most online stores will let you return an item, even ones that have been opened, although they may deduct a restocking fee from your refund.

    I've returned perfume once to Sephora (online store) and once to FragranceNet without any problem, and really, with no questions asked. They ask you to choose from a list of reasons for return, and I know I've seen some kind of option for "item not as expected." FragranceNet mentions a restocking fee for items that have been opened, but they refunded the full amount when I returned a fragrance gift that a family member didn't want.
    Last edited by tang; 11th March 2008 at 07:14 PM. Reason: clarification
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    scentiments is my favorite i've dealt with. perfection for the price.

    fragrancenet was also decent but had longer processing and i receieved tampered items that had lot numbers removed.

  14. #14
    dpak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by tang View Post
    FragranceNet mentions a restocking fee for items that have been opened, but they refunded the full amount when I returned a fragrance gift that a family member didn't want.
    Kudos to them!
    Most of the stores I looked into had either a restocking fee or said that returns were not allowed. Perhaps some of the better stores are flexible in this.

    It looks like it would be hard to go wrong with either FragranceNet or Scentiments.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Quote Originally Posted by sleekblackroadster View Post
    scentiments is my favorite i've dealt with. perfection for the price.

    fragrancenet was also decent but had longer processing and i receieved tampered items that had lot numbers removed.
    A good point for which to add the following thread to this discussion: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=207192

  16. #16

    Default Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    I'm gonna say this and them I'm through.

    First of all, I can make a generalization, a proclamation, a summation, and a Fabulization.

    Y'all like that one don't ya. Yes Honey. A Fabulization! That would be any given statement by The Divatologist herself.......*giggle*

    Now, where was I before someone wanted to take the time over analyze my Fabulizations. I love that word! I worked retail for 15 years. I worked in everything from upscale boutiques/department stores to the hair supply store in the strip mall. So, excuse me I don't need to do research. I don't need to call and ask no one any questions. I don't need to search the net for not one thang.

    If I'm a retailer, I'm not gonna tell you that I have bad products. I'm gonna say what needs to be said to get your business. How do you know that the stock they have is less than a year old? Did you check the expiration date on the perfume? Uh No! You gonna tell me that a frag that was discontinued over 5 years ago is not older than a year when you buy it from the discount perfume retailer today. Uh No!

    So, yes I know the in and outs of retail. I have boxed up the stuff that you look through at TJ Maxx. I know that discounters get their product directly from the manufacturer and they also get their products from other retailers. I also know that they sell products that they are not authorized to sell, as in they aren't an official supplier of that product. The reason why they are able to sell these items at a discount is because in most cases the manufacturer has items that don't meet the standards to be sent to the department store. So, they sell them to places like TJ Maxx and Fragrancenet.com because they are irregular in some way. It could be something as simple as the boxes were stamped incorrectly or packaged wrong. You sometimes get lucky because some of these products are in fact "Fresh" and current product. You could sometimes find a clothing item in the current season simply because they stitched it wrong in the factory. It can be hidden too and you get a good looking shirt that's in season for a fraction of the actual price. You get lucky because the manufacturer can't put it on the floor, but doesn't want to throw it out and take the loss. So, they sell it to TJ Maxx and Marshalls for cheap, therefore passing the savings on to you the consumer. However, when it comes from the retailer, it's been sitting on someone elses shelf for who knows how long. When the product doesn't sell in the discount store they are sent to other retailers that sell the same products for even cheaper prices. So, when I say you take your chances, you take your chances. You may get lucky. You may get something that's old.

    I'm sure Metraria wasn't looking for all that mess. Metraria just wanted our brief opinions and experiences with online retailers.


    So, if you'll excuse me I have to show some folks some beachfront property in Wyoming. If your interested I can be reached at.....

    www.asuckasborneveryminute.com or 1-800-CHILD-PLEASE

    This has been a Fabulization from the one and only "Divatologist"

    Metraria welcome to Basenotes and enjoy your stay. We love having fun here.
    Diva is fartin in your perfume mist before you walk through it!! Walk slow and let it marinate......

    Divatologist....Breaking perfume rules since 1969
    I smells goooooooooooood! Don't believe me? Come smell me!!

    "The Divatologist Perfume Application Method" is now available!!! Learn It, Live It, Love It Click Here! Many Compliments Await You!

    www.twitter.com/Divatologist www.divatologist.tumblr.com

  17. #17

    Red face Re: Reliable Online Discounters?

    Hi Ist Perfume is a nono, I have used Perfume Spot. My favorites and ones I have used a lot are Scentiments.com, PerfumeBay is now Beauty Enounter, the best, Imagination Perfumery great, Big Discount, Beauty.com,Beauty Cafe,99 Perfume, google the fragrance you want then check back if the site is ok. You can also check on MakeUp Alley, they will tell you what is ok and not. AVOID UNLIMITED PERFUMES AT ALL TIMES A TOTAL SCUMBAG, that is the worst there is, Got involved with the FBI, Attorney General all over a bottle of twenty dollars. Do check first, most are great. Best and good luck

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