A questionable delivery

Recently I ordered mascara from Amazon. I rarely wear make-up, but last time I put on mascara I noticed it was drying out and was clumpy. Yuck.

When the package of Clinique mascara arrived, something looked off to me.

Here’s the packaging:

The mascara didn’t come in a box like it does when I buy it directly from a store. Maybe I should have gone to buy it in person? But we’re at least a thirty-minute drive to a department or makeup store. So I relied on Amazon.

Why wouldn’t it come in a box, I wondered? Once I unwrapped the plastic packaging, I found a plain old tube.

It’s been several years since I bought mascara. Maybe they quit their previous packaging and this tube was the new norm. I went to Clinique’s website to see if they still used boxes. The website didn’t have photos except for tubes of mascara. I bit the bullet and ordered another mascara directly from the source. I figured I’d learn how it was legitimately packaged, before I used the first one.

This is what arrived:

The box I remembered when I last bought mascara at a store. Yes, this is how it’s supposed to look. The box was wrapped in Clinique tissue paper.

So what’s up with the weird packaging of my first tube of mascara from Amazon? I’ve read about people stealing from stores and selling products on Amazon. I wondered why if a third party seller was reselling new makeup — wouldn’t it have the proper packaging? Or did someone lift the tube off a display or sample in a store? Or has it been used?


Do you have any idea why the packaging wasn’t how Clinique officially does it?

Is this fairly common? Do you think it was stolen goods or counterfeit?

37 thoughts on “A questionable delivery

  1. I think this is common with Amazon and you have to be prepared for it. So many third-party sellers who get their “supply” from who knows where? Anything is questionable to me if it doesn’t come in packaging. Unless you specifically choose to buy something as used or even slightly damaged I would be very cautious. I’ve purchased a few makeup type items in the past and would be really worried if they didn’t come in sealed cardboard boxes or the original packaging . Send it back!

    • My son told me to never order cosmetics or hair and face products from Amazon. I learned my lesson. I only buy make-up every few (or five) years, so it won’t be an issue for awhile!

  2. Yuck. Yeah, I would return it. Mascara is best to buy fresh. Sometimes things come in funny sizes online but I have not had this problem with Amazon. I have learned that XL in danskin exercise pants is more like a size 10 than a 14.

    • I use Amazon a lot because we live out in the “sticks.” I haven’t had a problem before. I would think sizing would be off though. I totally can see that.

  3. Gosh…I agree with you…seems suspicious. I had one ‘fake’ item issue with Amazon a year or so ago. I was looking for a specific pair of Stuart Weitzman boots that were out of stock at my usual places…even Nordstrom which is a go-to because of size ranges, etc. and took a chance on the exact pair from Amazon. The pics were right, the reviews were good and because this was my second pair (replacing some that I’d worn out) I knew what I should be getting. What arrived? It was hilarious! A pair of vinyl-looking kid sized boots…but in the correct box, marked “Stuart Weitzman” identical to what I’ve received before. Big time bait and switch. I’d be careful, like you, with anything I’m putting on my face or in my body if it looks sketchy. 😎

    • That’s is so funny! I can’t believe the bait and switch on Stuart Weitzman boots! Who does things like this? Yes, I’ll return the mascara or throw it away.

      • Did you report it to Amazon? I wonder if there is recourse to hold third party sellers accountable so they don’t continue?

      • Yah…I did. I think the seller was banned…and I was pretty darn animated…shall we say…😉…because the boots were pricey…but what I received was like little kid rainboots, not my Weitman 50/50 boots. I worried that someone might accuse me of switching things out. Crazy!

      • Oh…LOL…you’re seeing behind the “Vicki curtain” right there, aren’t you? Thanks for the giggle! 🤣🤣🤣

  4. Ugh, so sorry you had this experience. I forget the exact statistic, but I remember reading that a significant amount of products sold through Amazon are fake (I want to say 80%?), so I no longer buy through Amazon, and instead go through the manufacturer. As others have suggested, I would send it back.

  5. Amazon is slipping all over the place!! I’ve had so many issues with them of late. I don’t want to use them but now they’ve put everyone out of business…so they’re often the only game

    • This is the first issue I’ve had with Amazon. I didn’t use them much before the pandemic, but now I use them all the time. Living 30 minutes from shopping makes me weigh the time and cost of gas factor.

      • I live close to tons of storesbut there are things I can no longer get …it’s sad and frustrating

      • Well, we have a massive shoplifting problem now. Some stores are just carrying less stuff. I had to order my John freida shampoo the other day

  6. I think you should tell Amazon that the packaging is damaged and they should take it back. It should arrive in original packaging.

  7. I am with the thought they stole it right off the display, or you got a knock off. Was it shipped by Amazon of UPS or USPS? If through the latter two, it is third party and all bets are off.

  8. I’ve always heard that Amazon is known for selling brandname cosmetics and skincare products that are knock-offs made in China [?]. I think your experience proves the truth of that rumor/fact. I only buy cosmetics and skincare products online from Dermstore or Sephora.

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