It’s pretty easy to buy salon products that look like the real deal. However, if they seem simply too good to be true in terms of price, they don’t look or smell like the usual formulations, or you’re not sure of the authenticity of the seller – they’re likely to be black market products. 

Whilst saving money is very important when running a business, salon products are not the area by which to do so. At the end of the day, your professional reputation relies upon offering a consistently good service to your clients – the last thing you want is to put your business in jeopardy if a client has a bad reaction, or the products underperform.

So, what exactly are black market products?

Most brands stocked in salons are sold through professional distributors chosen by the brand themselves. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as a number of backdoor deals can cause products to be thrust into the wrong hands.

These products are not traceable and could be out of date, damaged or tampered with. This is called ‘diversion’, whereby products are sold in unauthorised places. In essence, diversified products are counterfeit or illegally distributed products that have not been manufactured and/or distributed by a reputable source.

Excuse the pun but it isn’t always that cut and dry…

In some cases, black market underlords will buy legitimate products before storing them in a warehouse for months and sometimes years so that that barcode expires and they cannot be tracked.

During this time, it is likely that the product itself will spoil and work ineffectively. The longer products sit, the more toxic they can become as they don’t contain the harsh preservatives found in cheaper products. This can be seriously harmful to you and your clients as dangerously, diversified products can also be diluted, blended with alcohol or any other unknown even unregulated substances. You do not want to run the risk of injuries or reactions all to save a few pounds!

How do I spot a black market product?

Always check the online retailer you are buying from is reputable. Ask yourself:

  • Do they have a number of positive customer feedback reviews?
  • Do they have an active social media account?
  • What does the general feel of their website suggest to you?

Your natural instinct will be able to give you some indication of whether or not the seller is legitimate.

If you’re in a physical store and you are unsure, have a look at the bottle, it’s likely that a new barcode sticker will be stuck over the top of the original label. It is worth nothing, if you’re in a supermarket or discounted store and you see salon products being sold this is also likely to be a case of product diversification.

Clients may need education also…

It may be that you are up-selling a range of hair products to your client, who have seen they can buy ‘x product’ cheaper from a discount store, or a large online retailer. It is important that you are able to educate your clients as to why buying products directly from your salon is the best way of ensuring they buy a quality product.

Whilst you can’t control what your client does as soon as they walk out of the salon, you can educate them and in within the customer service industry, knowledge is power.

Related: How Your Staff Can Help Boost Retail Sales

We understand that mistakes and judgement oversights can happen, and with counterfeit hair care and beauty care so readily accessible, it can be confusing to know what is legitimate and what is not.  By purchasing black market products you are often unwillingly buying into a corrupt underworld and you don’t want to be involved in that!

By shopping with Salons Direct you can guarantee 100% legitimate stock of your favourite brands. It’s time to take control of salon diversion!

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