I recently received a product that had no information on the box or the unit nor a company that created it. It wasn’t the permanent wave machine above of course. That was beauty tech in the 1930s. With anything new, there are risks. There was a single postcard-sized instruction sheet which didn’t tell you very much. It was a beauty tech tool. The only place I saw a similar unit was on eBay (no information there either). So why am I even writing about this? Consumer tech in the beauty space is expanding rapidly. It’s pricey, too. Can you believe everything you’re told? How can you be a smarter consumer?
Is It Incredible Tech or Something Else?
I’m a consumer too. Do I want to buy a product that is so new or unique that it doesn’t have much information about it? What if it doesn’t have a website, contact information, or even reviews? Will it work? Might it even be harmful?
The claim made about the product I received was pretty incredible. As a reviewer, I know from experience that results could not be achieved quickly if at all. But I love devices that let us do at home what used to be only possible in a pricey salon. With this particular product, there was only a foldout paper user manual with no information about how the technology worked. It also didn’t have contact information or even a phone number or email should someone have questions. I like to think I’m a smarter consumer, so declined to use it or review it. But what about you? Have you discovered a device that might just solve a beauty issue you’re having but you aren’t sure if it is good or not?
Too Many Glowing Reviews?
When something sounds too good to be true, it often is. I am also wary when I see a product that has over 5,000 5-star ratings but no others. That tells me the site allows paid posters. If you see this, be a smarter consumer. You can and should be wary. On the other hand, if lots of reviewers mention something specific such as a bad smell, or broken product, that’s something to consider before you buy.
Maybe it is a worthy purchase, but I’d also do my homework and check other sites before jumping in to buy it.
Here are some tips on how to be a smarter consumer:
Check for Product Identification:
- Look for any product identification details such as a model number, serial number, or any other unique identifiers.
- Search for these identifiers online to see if any information comes up about the device.
- Conduct a thorough online search using the device’s description, model number, and other relevant information.
- Try different search engines and include different keywords to broaden your search.
- read reviews (if there are any) but don’t believe everything you read, especially if there are only 5-star reviews or mainly reviews in foreign languages.
Visit Retailers or Manufacturer Websites:
Check the websites of major retailers or manufacturers to see if they carry or have information about the device. If there isn’t much or any, it’s a huge red flag.
- Is there a return policy if you’re not satisfied?
Visit Community Forums:
- Look for community forums or online groups related to the type of device you have. Members may have shared information or experiences that could be helpful (if they are experts).
- Post inquiries in relevant forums to seek advice from experienced users.
Contact Customer Support of Major Retailers:
- If you bought the device from a retailer, contact their customer support and provide them with as much information as possible about the product.
- If there is no way to contact the retailer or company, smarter consumer alert! This is a purchase risk.
Check Regulatory Labels:
- Examine the device for regulatory labels or certifications. These may provide clues about the manufacturer or distributor.
- Search for regulatory databases or websites that list certified products.
Local Consumer Protection Agencies:
- Contact local consumer protection agencies for guidance on how to proceed. They may have resources to help you identify the product or take appropriate action.
Social Media Inquiries:
- Post inquiries on social media platforms, and tagging relevant industry experts or companies might be able to assist. Just be mindful of what you post on public forums. A smarter consumer knows that not everything is what is appears to be on social media.
- Record all the information you find and your attempts to identify the device.
- Take pictures of the device, any labels, or markings that may be useful for identification. * I use Google LENS for identifying similar products and there are other apps to