Trustpilot announcements
November 10, 2023

One in four UK consumers have lost trust in smaller brands after buying ‘dupes’ online which fell short of expectations, new Trustpilot study reveals

LONDON, UK - 6 November 2023, For immediate release - New research by global review platform Trustpilot today reveals that three in 10 consumers have bought ‘dupes’ through social media, only to find they weren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

A poll of 1,000 Gen Z and millennial social media users found 47 percent have bought dupes - short for ‘duplicate’ and referring to recreations resembling high-end products like cologne and perfume. Legal and openly marketed as alternative options to the original goods, they’re often available at lower prices.

However, 30 per cent have been left disappointed by what they ordered - with 29 percent claiming they were taken in by influencers promoting the product.

Worryingly for consumers, the research found as many as 58 percent bought their underwhelming dupe from a well-known retailer or brand; and as a result, 25 percent and 17 percent have lost trust in smaller and bigger brands respectively after receiving below par purchases, with 31 percent of those let down admitting they’re now less confident buying goods through social media.

The study also found 56 per cent of those polled use social media to shop more now than ‘ever before’ - and when doing so, almost three in four (74 per cent) make a point of researching retailers by checking reviews before buying dupes online.

Carolyn Jameson, chief consumer and trust officer at Trustpilot, said: “Owning something which is as good as a high-end product but comes at a low price is an understandably appealing prospect for consumers, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis when purse strings are stretched for many.

“But it’s worth remembering that currently there’s little regulation around dupes, so more potential risk with every transaction - which means it can be hard to know which brands or products will genuinely deliver on their promises. That’s why, before handing over hard-earned money, it’s really important shoppers do their research; and checking the real experiences of real people on an independent review platform like Trustpilot is one way you can effectively verify a brand’s trustworthiness.”

The most popular social media platforms for shopping for these goods are TikTok (25 per cent), Instagram (25 per cent), and Facebook (16 per cent).

While some consumers have been left disappointed, a not insignificant proportion of those polled (44 per cent) say they trust products which trend on social media - such as dupes. This was perhaps with good reason - of those who’ve purchased such products, 60 per cent believe they’ve saved nearly £100 on average during the past 12 months.

The most trusted retail categories for dupes, according to the study, are fashion (35 per cent), beauty (27 per cent), and household items (23 per cent).

To read more about dupes and for whether they are worth the hype, click here.


About Trustpilot 

Trustpilot was founded in 2007 with a vision to create an independent currency of trust.

A digital platform that brings businesses and consumers together to foster trust and inspire collaboration. We are free to use, open to everybody, and built on transparency.

Trustpilot hosts reviews to help consumers shop with confidence and deliver rich insights to help businesses improve the experience they offer. The more consumers use our platform and share their own opinions, the richer the insights we offer businesses, and the more opportunities they have to earn the trust of consumers, from all around the world.

Over 238 million consumer reviews of businesses and products of over 980,000 domains have been posted on Trustpilot, and those numbers are growing by more than one review per second.  

Trustpilot has over 850 employees and is headquartered in Copenhagen, with operations in London, Edinburgh, New York, Denver, Melbourne, Berlin, Vilnius, Milan, and Amsterdam. 

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