Warning to online shoppers over 'dupe' scams as hundreds admit they're disappointed over orders | The Sun

YOUNG consumers are widely falling victim to online 'dupe' scams – where items purchased on social media turn out to be poor quality.

A poll of 1,000 Gen Z and millennial social media users found 47 per cent have bought dupes – short for ‘duplicates’ and referring to recreations resembling high-end products like cologne and perfume.

Legal and openly marketed as alternative options to the original goods, they’re often available at low prices.

However, 30 per cent say they have been left disappointed by what they ordered – with 29 per cent claiming they were taken in by influencers promoting the product.

Key reasons for being dissatisfied include the item not being as described (28 per cent) or pictured (24 per cent), arriving damaged (19 per cent) or being dangerous or unsafe (10 per cent).

The research was commissioned by Trustpilot, which has also produced a blog on dupes revealing if they're worth the hype.

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Worryingly, the study found as many as 58 per cent bought their underwhelming dupe from a well-known retailer or brand.

As a result, 25 per cent have lost trust in smaller brands after receiving below-par purchases, while 17 per cent said the same of bigger brands.

As a result, 31 per cent of those let down admitted they’re now less confident buying goods through social media.

Carolyn Jameson, spokesperson for Trustpilot, which commissioned the research, said: "Owning something which is as good as a high-end product but comes at a low price is an understandably appealing prospect for consumers, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis.

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“But it’s worth remembering that currently there’s little regulation around dupes so more potential risk with every transaction – which means it can be hard to know which brands or products will genuinely deliver on their promises.

"That’s why, before handing over hard-earned money, it’s really important for shoppers to do their research."

The study also found 56 per cent of those polled use social media to shop more now than ‘ever before.’

When doing so, 74 per cent make a point of researching retailers by checking reviews before buying dupes online.

The most popular social media platforms for shopping for these goods are TikTok (25 per cent), Instagram (25 per cent), and Facebook (16 per cent).

But, while some consumers have been left disappointed, a not insignificant proportion of those polled (44 per cent) said they trust products which trend on social media – such as dupes.

And perhaps with good reason – of those who’ve purchased such products, 60 per cent believe they’ve saved nearly £100 on average during the past 12 months.

Carried out through One Poll, the study found the most trusted retail categories for dupes are fashion (35 per cent), beauty (27 per cent), and household items (23 per cent).

Carolyn Jameson added: "Checking reviews on an independent platform like Trustpilot is one way you can verify a brand’s trustworthiness, by seeing the real experiences of other customers.”

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