PSA on Ebay Vintage perfume seller

This is an Ebay Public Service Announcement. (image courtesy of Fragrant Funster)

 

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Example 1

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This bottle was bought empty on eBay on 4/7/07. 

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This bottle is being sold full currently on eBay.  Very rare bottle, very hard to come by, very tough to find full of parfum, almost topped off, and, surprisingly, unsealed.

Example 2!

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Let’s take another look at an empty bottle bought by the same person that bought the Le De empty bottle.  It’s a Rival Poivre with the box.  Very beautiful… very empty.  Bought on 3/30/07.

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Here’s a Rival Poivre bottle, being currently sold on eBay — very beautiful, very full, by the same seller as the full Le De parfum.

Example 3

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Let’s see what else we have here… This Coty Complice bottle was bought by the same person who bought the empty bottles in example 1 and 2 on 4/17.  Very rare, very beautiful bottle, and…. completely, utterly empty.

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The same seller of the FULL bottles in example 1 and 2 currently has this lovely Coty Complice up for auction — of course, it is full — to the brim!  Not even a little evaporation. Miraculous, no?

What is very, very sad is there is another ID  two other IDs that also buy empty bottles, and full bottles of the same perfume show up in listings of the same full bottle seller. I could fill up pages with these examples.   Anything that seems to be too good to be true probably is. I did buy from this seller twice.  One was a small 1/4 oz vintage Cuir de Russie for my own personal use. The other was a large Vol de Nuit parfum.  I did check against my square Guerlain factory sealed bottle, and it smelled the same, and I believe it was authentic, but out of an abundance of caution, I have pulled that bottle from my inventory and will not sell from it because with the sort of things from above, I just don’t want to use anything that came from a tainted source, no matter how firmly I believe it to be the real thing.

You can do your own research too. Any time there is a full bottle of something up, just do a search in completed listings for that name, and if you find a person that bought an empty bottle of the same thing and seems to buy lots of empties that another person has as fulls later…. well, duh.

This has been a Public Service Announcement with special thanks to the sleuths at MUA who did the research.

25 Comments

  1. I was lurking on MUA, watching as the results of the sleuthing unfolded. It was an amazing job of detection and my hat is off to all the gals who figured out this guy’s m.o.

    I think we need to get The Posse out after this guy. I don’t know that I can publically say what I think should be done to someone who adulterates or passes fake perfume. Let’s just say that I think he should be strung up by a certain part of his anatomy. Oh wait…they’re probably too small.

    • Hey, I’m not alleging anything at all, just posting pictures and links. People can decide what they want or do their own investigation. 🙂

  2. I left quite a lot of comments about this on POL. This seller has been going under a number of identities for the past couple of years and I was ripped off under one of those previous IDs: the full bottle of Diorama never made it to France. The seller had warned that it might take three weeks to arrive and by the time I lost patience and tried to contact him, POOF! seller no longer on eBay.
    The worst thing is, I did cotton on to the present ID a while ago, enough to contact him about the Diorama (it was the same time merchandise, same type photographs, etc). Denial, of course. So I investigated… He was then buying empty bottles under the same ID, which I thought was mighty suspicious. I let go. I shouldn’t have. What riles me up is eBay going after the decanters and not reacting to this. Surely someone has alerted them by now?

    • I believe there is a person on MUA that has made contact with eBay.

      Weird that all three IDs have private feedback, so the only way you can find out what they bid on is to search for bids, which is public information, not private.

      • Plus, if he’s up to his old tricks (and I’m sure he is) he is using “buyer” aliases to jack up the price of his auctions. Since the bidders’ identities are private (to protect them, of course), you can’t know who are they are at all unless they win. (The fact that he shilled was VERY obvious with some past aliases, when one could see all the bids).

        • From now on, I don’t buy from anyone with private bidding on vintage parfum. I totally get why someone would do that for high-end items where there are others out there that would do the second chance scam for the other bidders, but now once you get over $200 in bids, everything goes to just bidder 1, 2, etc. Well, you already know that.

          Doing this private feedback thing is a way to hide a LOT of sins.

  3. Great post, Patty! Another reason for me to avoid eBay – I clearly don’t know enough about how it works to feel comfortable purchasing anything vintage on there.

    • And that’s a shame. All the same, it’s probably good for people to be leary and just ask around about a seller or bottle before you buy. Most of the stuff is legit.

  4. I have never used Ebay in my life, but I feel for those peeople who do use it.
    The thing that maddened me is that the person suspected of this scam probably picked that alias as an insinuation that it was you so that people would be more easily fooled or confused.
    Think about it: Patty names both, same number of syllables, three words comprising both of them. Postively wicked!! I am glad it has been reaveled crystal clear it is someone unrelated to you.

    BTW, the whole axis of the scam relies on not being able to check the exact smell of something vintage for lack of a comparable source of the same time frame and storage conditions, which is of course a brilliantly diabolical concept.

    Glad it has been exposed!:o

    • You know, my husband said that exact same thing as soon as I started telling him the tale. And I think that’s why I got irritated enough to post this.

      I suspect weaker concentrations as well in the whole thing. Hard to find Le De parfum, but you can find Le De edt around easy enough, and vintage is tough to tell whether it it is just a little weak because of age or whatever.

  5. I am so frustrated to see this kind of fraud, and yet have the right to buy and sell legitimate decants rescinded. By the way, I was doing a search on M Jacobs Orangle Splash on ebay and decants are still for sale. so what is happening? Also–any knowledge of faux bottles of Diorissimo being sold? And as a final note, there is a popithy litle article in the new Oprah by Chandler Burr on new spring scents.

    • I know. Crazy world, huh? They claim they are ending decants, and I know they have suspended a few sellers, though others may be shutting down voluntarily or selling off their bottles

      No idea on faux diorissimo. I think it was that I just got a bottle of through scentiments maybe?

    • I just got taken on Ebay for a fake bottle of Diorissimo. It was too good to be true! A “vintage” bottle of 1 oz Diorissimo PERFUME (not parfum), factory sealed. I did not know that Diorissimo parfum even came in 1 oz (which I have found that it does). And, the concentration said PERFUME instead of PARFUM like I am used to. I asked Patty about this and she said it might still be legit. However, the seller had taken pictures of the box for me, including this sticker that was on the backof the box. I fowarded these pictures to Dior’s Customer Relations Director, Veronica Post. She checked with the Marketing Department and they concluded that, based on this sticker, which was NOT Dior issued (but, made to look like it was), that this product was a fake. I had already czught the seller in a partial untruth anyway about another “sealed” product that she listed that she unwrapped, and, lo and behold, it had evaporated down to 1/4 of the bottle. My question to her about that one was, “If it is not your practice to open sealed perfumes (she did not open the Diorissimo), then HOW did you instinctively “know” to open the bottle that had “evaporated”.

      When I questioned the seller about the second fragrance, she became defensive. She told me that the second fragrance was an Extrait and they evaporated faster than PARFUMS. I told her that I know for a fact that Diorissimo also calls its parfums extraits. She then told me that it sounded like I was “looking for a way out” of purchasing the Diorissimo from her (I had just won it the day before on auction and had already paid her!!). She said if that was the case, I could cancel my transaction and she would not send the product. I told her that, if the product was what she said it was, I would still like to have it. She delayed in shipping it, which proved great for me because that allowed time for me to hear from Dior and find out it is a faux.

      Within hours of my filing a dispute with PayPal (I also went ahead and escalated it to a claIim the same day [yesterday]; I pasted in the email from Dior, with Veronica Post’s contact information and told about the incident regarding the second bottle), the seller refunded my money!

      No more Ebay fragrance purcheses for me!

  6. Oops–PITHY little article, although “popithy” might have some use in certain contexts.

  7. Your husband is wise.;)

    It goes without saying that weaker juice is of course the easiest alternative for the scammer to ante up the price of the sale!
    Completely unethical, but like you say quite difficult to pinpoint and prove conclusively talking about rare and vintage frags.

    Be well and don’t worry, people are not totally obtuse! They know.

  8. Strange that two of those bottles have been withdrawn… Some people are bidding on Le De though. *shakes head*[-x

    • Yeah, I think the price was too high, he just couldn’t stop that one or couldn’t end all the bids… or greed. But I’m sure it is full of Le De EDT, and he can claim, Hey, vintage, what are you gonna do?

  9. :o:o
    I was wondering where I can buy empty perfume bottles that were unique and pretty for my own blends. I am not surprised if people do fill and resell the bottles though, quite underhanded though.

    • Hey, Maryam. I know there are some sellers of pretty bottles. Bestbottles has some nice ones at somewhat reasonable prices.

  10. You mean there are fraudulent sellers on eBay that eBay is doing nothing about?

    The hell you say!?!

    I thought it was those bad, evil decanters that we needed nannying over! :d

    • Why, yes!

      They won’t have us decanters to kick around anymore, taking up all their time and fretting, so now they can get to those lesser infracting eBay sellers. 🙂

  11. WTF??? I just got three notices in the mail that I was “no longer obligated to buy” three items that were pulled from the Bay. Well, you dumb f(#(%, I already have them and gave good feedback on them. I believe two of the items were from Dragonfly, who they are listing as “no longer registered”, (wow — 4495 listed sales with 100 percent positive feedback!) and one from Bois Bois(2270 with essentially 100 percent pos). The companies in question — I can only assume these companies complained, so they are now on my personal “heck with you” list: I Profumi di Firenze, Montale, and (sorry folks, I know this hurts some of you) Tom Ford. Eh, none of these were my all-time favorites. Now, if L’Artisan or Guerlain or Miller et Bertaux pulls this, I am going to be beyond consolation… –Ellen

    • Yeah. I just put up a post on what happened. We expected it for a while, but they started ending auctions and suspending people, and we all just closed our store.

      It’s not the companies now — eBay is doing this, punish them! 🙂

  12. 😮 I’m STILL seeing several sellers for decants on Ebay.

    Meanwhile, I had just been ripped off from a seller. I bought a nearly new bottle of a niche fragrance, sent the money order with a delivery confirmation, and the seller changed her email in the meantime. I opened a dispute and she replied with yet another email. I have sent her multiple emails and have called her on the phone but she hasn’t replied. It has been a month. I left negative feedback, yet Ebay has not pulled or dinged HER account despite the deceptive practices! I have forwarded all the info to Ebay, but apparently Ebay does not care about that. Perhaps if I was some big-shot lawyer from a fragrance company I might get someone to listen to me. :-l Meanwhile, she has not posted any other items to sell. If I ever see her, she’ll get a bottle of Blue Sugar stuffed up her wazoo. b-)

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