NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Buying things used or second-hand is a great way to save money, and now, some unlikely products — like cosmetics — are finding their way into the retail market.
Glambot is a new retail marketplace that buys and sells used cosmetics online. The service will buy new or slightly used makeup from sellers, sanitize it and repackage it for resale at roughly 20 percent below face value, CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported.
They purchase it from sellers with products they don’t like, or use, or want anymore.
“We try to provide a safe platform for them to buy discounted authentic, name-brand quality quality makeup,” Glambot founder Karen Horiuchi said.
One customer, Kendall Rae, said she was pleased with her experience with Glambot.
“This was extremely discounted, and it was really cool to be able to buy something like this that I normally wouldn’t be able to,” she said.
According to Horiuchi, there’s strict quality control and authentication before a product’s even accepted for re-sale. All used makeup has to be at least half-full, and can’t be expired.
“It looks brand new – there’s not even a smudge on it,” Rae said.
Horiuchi said Glambot uses a thorough process to clean used products.
“We do use different alcohol solutions and other oil emollients and clean the outer container and we also remove like the top layer of the product so its virgin product,” Horiuchi said.
Products also have a distinctive seal so the buyer knows it’s been cleaned and inspected.
Rae said the Glambot products looked good as new.
“You’re like, there’s no way this was used or hasn’t been cleaned, and it just looks new. It smells exactly like the company’s does,” she said.
But not everyone has had a positive experience.
“Oh my God,” one customer said. “I get an eye shadow with mold?”
Clinical dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel expressed concerns about using pre-owned makeup.
“I know some of these products they’re cleaning with alcohol; they’re heating the products. But that’s not really sterilizing,” Dr. Sobel said.
Dr. Sobel adds there’s also potential for bacteria on a product.
But for Horiuchi, sharing makeup is common for women — usually without consequence.
“People have had really used makeup put on for weddings, other events, or they have like a makeover at physical stores, and so Glambot is actually that, but better,” Horiuchi said.
Sobel said the risk with reusing makeup is low, but it does exist.
“Most of the time, nothing’s going to happen. You’re not going to have a problem. It’s just that person that does have a problem,” he said. “OK, so is it worth the chance? You know, I’m going to leave it up to you.”
Certain cosmetics, like mascara, lip gloss or anything with a wand or multi-use applicator are typically not re-sold due to apparent health risks. Used skin lotions or creams are also typically not for resale.