IPL laser removal products on Instagram: They’re the same

On Instagram, I started to notice ads for at-home hair laser removal products. I thought I was seeing double! I kept seeing the same product but with different brand names. I then hopped on and look at the websites for the ads and compared the products. All 7 retailers, I realized were the same. 

From left to right:

Golden Sands Bikini: https://goldensandsbikini.com/products/home-laser-hair-removal $185

Bella Bold: https://bellabold.com/products/clinical-grade-ipl-laser-hair-removal-pro $159

Mello: https://mellobeauty.com/products/mello-ipl-laser-hair-removal-handset?variant=19410020139062 $75

Baby Amy: https://babyamyco.com/products/babyamy-laser-hair-removal-handset?variant=27713198424141 $129

OHVELVETY: https://ohvelvety.com/ $179

HeySilkySkin: https://www.heysilkyskin.com/products/heysilkyskin-ipl-hair-removal-handset $308

HappySkinCo: https://ca.happyskinco.com/products/ipl-laser-hair-removal-handset?variant=20322950250596 $179

I have not tried these products, so I cannot attest to their effectiveness. I am not disparaging the brands, just this specific product. According to the reviews on the website, many are happy with the product. If I were buying I would just go with the cheapest one.

This is actually part of a larger industry call “Dropshipping”. Drop Shipping is when many people sell the same product from a middle man or manufacturer. They are not the creators of the product, just another site selling it. It has been a get rich quick scheme (there are some legit ones) for a very long time, to the point where there are even courses hawking the practice. This has caused many people to lose a lot of money because these courses offer “an easy solution” to make a quick buck.

It sounds appealing, you are selling items to a vast online market but you don’t have to have any inventory. You get free marketing in terms of images, copy text, and built-in templates that make it “easy” to set up shop. 

This could be the case of licensing the product for people to use, but I’m not so sure. There is a dark side to this that doesn’t get mentioned. Cons such as:

  • Not being able to control quality. Often times these items are not as advertised and you are stuck with a lemon.
  • When there are returns, you can’t get your money back
  • There is too much competition and often times these courses don’t get into the difficulties and nitty-gritty of running an online business. Such the long term costs to have a successful online business, such as online advertising to maintenance costs.

You can learn more about Dropshipping at:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/the-strange-brands-in-your-instagram-feed/550136

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_shipping

I highly recommend the Reply All podcast on this topic. So buyer beware as the saying goes. It’s difficult sometimes as an online shopper to be able to properly vet the numerous online stores.

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