Read on to see how this query from a member looking for wholesale makeup factory seconds really alarmed me…

“Hi Mel, I have recently become a member and think that your website is great! You seem very approachable so I thought that I would send you an email to see if you could give me any further information and advice.

Basically I am moving to Spain in 3 weeks and looking to set up a business selling high end makeup at low prices. What gave me the idea was that I went to a make-up party just before Christmas where high end makeup (Benefit, Dior, Chanel, MAC etc) was being sold at very low prices (for example, I bought a Benefit make-up bag with 4 Benefit items inside; mascara, blusher, lemon aid & lipgloss, for only £20). Also some of the items that they were selling at the party were ‘factory seconds’ where for example a set of 4 Dior eyeshadows with ‘Dior’ across each eyeshadow, one of the 4 would have the Dior written upside down or a mascara in a box which had been misprinted and said that it contained a lipgloss instead of mascara. So my plan is to do something similar in Spain selling high end make-up at low prices and factory seconds.

My family have been involved in retail and wholesale for years (although not with high end makeup) and my parents moved to Spain 5 years ago so I am ok with that side of things and actually setting up the business but I need your advice with regards to sources/contacts (especially for buying factory seconds), thanks in advance, Natalie”

Any guesses on why this makes me really mad?? The above, my friends, is a classic example of a genuine buyer who has been duped by someone she probably trusted, and who is passing off the mistakes in crappy replica wholesale makeup by claiming the cosmetics are “factory seconds”. I think a quick down to the local Boots or House of Fraser would confirm that these items are as fake as my nana’s mink coat.

Please be careful out there folks – only use trusted suppliers, always use secure payment methods, and if you need any advice on specific sites or sellers and you are a Cheap Slap member, then drop me a line.