Friday, June 17, 2011


Those of you in my Facebook Group know how much I have been wanting OPI Mad as a Hatter. I have been through a lot lately trying to get my hands on a real bottle of this at a reasonable cost. I refuse to pay the ridiculous prices right now on ebay. I have seen this polish sell for as much as $75 a bottle on there, which is outrageous IMO! 

I have recently come across a website who admittedly "makes their own" OPI because they import raw materials from the US and France and sell them as genuine. I placed an order with them before I found this out. But once I did, I opened up a paypal dispute and insisted that they refund my money. I refused their shipment and I have since received a refund. Personally, I will not knowingly support a company who is making counterfeit product. Yeah sure, you can get the same look for less. But when it comes to nail polish, there are lots of harmful ingredients that they could be using. You have no idea what type of quality control they have, and what is in that bottle. Who knows what it could be doing to your health by putting that on your nails. Its not right and its not safe. So beware of  companies online selling MAAH. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Since then, I saw a listing on ebay for MAAH, Buy it Now for only $18.95 with free shipping. It was a heck of a deal, there were about 30 for sale in the listing, and they all sold out within a few hours. I was leery about this because of the cost, and the fact that is was on ebay. Although I have ordered lots of OPI from ebay, I only ever received fakes one other time. Again, if its too good to be true it probably is. But I ordered one anyways. I also had a swap coming from my friend Jen, she was also sending me MAAH, but a real one. I was looking forward to comparing the two, along with my MAAH mini that I have, to see if they all looked the same or if there was noticeable difference. Both bottles arrived today and there are OBVIOUS differences to them. I took lots of photos for you to compare for yourself. 

I have since emailed the ebay seller. He says he will be refunding my money once I ship it back. I have no problem with sending it back. I don't want a fake. I am worried about the other people who ordered from him though. I am sure the other bottles of MAAH are fakes as well, since they came from the same place. I have noticed several people have left the seller positive feedback for the item, so they probably have no idea that they received a fake. Or maybe they do and they don't care. Or perhaps they will be reselling them on ebay for even more money. I hope the seller decides to do something about this.

Onto the photos, I suggest clicking them to see the details up close. 

Fake on right. Notice the height difference of the lids? The lid on the right is also crooked.

Fake in middle. Comparison to a genuine OPI on right that I purchased from authorized retailer.

This one I suggest clicking. You can see the difference in color of the glitter. Fake on right. It has RED and GREEN glitter, the genuine has pink and teal. Also look at the print on the bottle. It looks "off" doesn't it?

Close up of the fake bottle. Notice the red and green glitter??

Genuine bottle. Pink and teal glitter.

Comparison again, fake on right. Take a look at the print, its different on the back as well.

The labels are different. The one of the right is an obvious fake.

Tops of the lids, this time the fake is on the left.

Comparison to my mini bottle. Fake on left.

Another close up of the fake.

Close up comparison to the mini. Fake on left.

Close up comparison to the mini, both bottles have the same colored glitter.

Height comparison. Fake on right. Notice how the lid is crooked and higher.

Which one is the fake? The one on the right. Look at that print on the bottle!

Another lid comparison. Fake on right.

Fake on right.

Red and green glitter, dead giveaway.

Pink and teal glitter, genuine.


Fake on right.

Fake on right.

Check out those lids! Fake on right.

Crooked lid. Obvious fake.

Fake on right. Again look at the difference in the lids.

Fake on right.

So, what do you think about this? Do you see the differences? Have you ever come across a counterfeit OPI before? Does it make you more cautious of buying online? What do you think the seller should do to resolve this?


rebecca said...

sheesh! amazing that they can manufacture something so similar.

i've never bought OPI online (save for DS original) so i don't have any fakes!

Minty said...

It's so obvious now that they are compared. I would love to see him deny it after seeing this post!

And I was cracking up at the captions "FAKE on the right!" Lol.

BlingerNails said...

That is definately a fake bottle, and probably bought from the same kind of website as the one you refused delivery from. I had a similar thing happen to me, I reported the ebay seller to ebay and to the OPI distributer here, but nothing happened sadly :*(

Fab-La-Licious said...

You have such a good of never of knew myself...but then i don't know enough about OPI to spot a fake....but yeah if its to good to be true it probably is....looking at your pics, its as clear as the nose on your face that its a Fake.

Kelly said...

Interesting post... I came across some fake OPI in Singapore. But IDK what they were thinking because it was obvious. I actually think they made it themselves cause it was basically uni-colored glitter. LOL. And on the bottom they all said "Nail Envy". Except they were still $10... weird....

rock-or-not said...

Without the bottle to compare it's impossible to distinguish I guess!

Melissa Birch said...

I am speechless! I am also very sad and this makes me afraid I will never get my hands on a real MAAH. I wish they would have a limited re-release or something. Limited editions encourage no-good-niks to counterfeit :(

I also agree with could be hard to tell a fake if you are buying online or don't have a real one to compare it to.

Poetic Realist said...

Wow, I'll be looking out for fakes. Thanks for this post!

Kimberly said...

I would probably have not known it was a fake unless I had an authentic one to compare it to. But I wouldn't support fake companies like this knowingly. Did you report them to Ebay as well?

TraceFace said...

Thanks for all the comments ladies. Yeah, without another bottle to compare it to, it could easily pass as legit. I was suspicious because of the price he sold them for, so cheap, and because of my run in with that company in China. I feel for the other people who purchased MAAH from him, and probably have no clue.

This polish also smells awful. Another dead giveaway that its not a genuine OPI. Like I said, I have purchased many other polishes from ebay, and only ever had one time that I received fakes. If you know what to look for, you can easily spot them! I don't want to discourage you from buying online. As long as you pay with paypal, you have that purchase protection just in case you get a counterfeit. Don't be afraid to open up a paypal dispute if the seller isn't willing to refund your money. Ebay does not condone the sale of counterfeit items. A seller can lose his/her selling privileges and access to ebay in general.

And yes, as far as OPI is concerned, the only FOR SURE way to know that you have a real OPI is to purchase it from an authorized seller. Like Ulta, JCPenney salon, Trade Secret, etc. You can go to and click "where to buy" to get a list of local authorized sellers. Unfortunately, with retired colors like MAAH, ebay is most likely our only option other than dusty hunting.

Just be more aware of what you're buying and take the time to examine the bottle before using it! :-)

Nan said...

Hi! I'm sorry to butt into the conversation like this but I just had a similar thing happen to me and I wanted to say that you really need to be super extra careful before purchase because if it's a fake, even Paypal's help won't really be all that helpful...

Last week, I ordered a bottle of Absolutely Alice from a UK seller, it shipped out really fast, arrived really well packed and was really fake.

Here it is compared to Simply Smashing & Black Shatter (both bought from authorized dealer, not eBay):

Yeah. Looks totally legit o_0

Seller refused to admit even obvious photo proof, just shut me down again and again. Eventually I turned to Paypal who told me I might be eligible to a refund if I shipped back the polish (no problem!)... at MY expense (wait, what??)... with online tracking. SO at this point, it would actually cost me more to ship the fake back than just trash it.

The thing is, you can list as much proof as you want, show pictures, whatever; all the seller has to do is say "that's not true" and not give a shred of proof and Paypal considers it a "he said/she said" case and will order the buyer to pay for trackable return shipping to get a refund on original purchase price. At worst case, seller has to refund but gets the fake back so loses nothing, while the buyer loses either the original price of purchase or the cost of return shipping and gets nothing. What the hell, Paypal?

All this to say, seriously, think twice before buying on eBay, do your research, check how long the store has been active, check that the positive feedback of the seller is actually for nail polish and not for jewellery or scarves or whatever, ask seller pictures of the actual item they're selling etc etc.

I'm sorry this is super long but long story short: be wary!

SiSi Sparkles said...

wow that's CRAZY!! it looks SO similar too, I wouldn't be able to tell if I purchased a fake one... >.< Thanks for the detailed post.

OliviaNobody said...

I BOUGHT ONE FROM THAT SELLER TOO! I saw the price and freaked out so I bought it immediately. As soon as my purchase went through I thought "Oh my god what if it's fake?!?!?!" And sadly yes, it was too good to be true. Well at least I know I'm not the only one who bought into this mess. :( Ridiculous.

TraceFace said...

OliviaNobody did you contact the seller and request a refund??

Nailderella said...

Oh yeah, it really looks different! esp the green glitters!

Luckily I've never come across fake OPI bottles!

OliviaNobody said...

Just about to do so! This sucks!

Abby said...

I just got an OPI MAAH I ordered a year ago (long story) and so far it looks real but I haven't seen it in daylight. It has a very genuine looking label (unlike the one you have) and has all the signs of a genuine OPI but I can't get these suspicions out of my head! I'll probably be checking tomorrow in daylight and I might write a post on it too. Sorry you got a fake! ):

Jackie S. said...

I see the differences, but they are really close!!

Cara Robinson said...

I've never seen a fake OPI before, but from your photos it definitely looks like the one you got is a fake.
I always buy my OPI from proper stores in the UK, even though the price for an OPI here is a joke!
I bought MAAH and am sad to say it's dried up already... hopefully some polish thinner will work, as it's one of my favourites.
Keep looking though, you never know you might find a genuine one day! xx

BJ said...

I've never seen a fake bottle, but I just received a bottle of Skull and Glossbones from a seller on Amazon that filed the serial number off of the bottle. He claimed that it was an OPI policy to do so. Yeah. I'm sure. I reported him to Amazon and OPI and received my money back and store credit for amazon as well. They had me file a report and the seller is being investigated. Why can't people just be honest?? Is money really that important??? I don't have much $$ myself, but I'm not going to steal or make counterfeit products just to make a buck, ya know???

Jane said...

I purchased two bottles of fake Mad as a Hatter from two different ebay UK sellers last month. They both swore up and down that they bought from OPI distributors but they were the same purple, green, red and smelly polish you received. Luckily I was able to send them back for refunds. It is super frustrating to see them both still selling the bottles, and I see them popping up now from sellers in America as well. I just hope people who are buying the polish have obsessed over it long enough to know when they receive it that the colours are way off. I was lucky that I owned a bottle previously, that broke in my house move last summer (RIP), that I used many many times before its passing and was super familiar with it.
All we can do is be vigilant, and try and pass the word on to OPI and other polish bloggers/blog readers. And if you see bottles of MaaH on ebay scrutinize the hell out of the photos before you buy it, and report the sellers with the bogus polish.

Sparkle Lover said...

At least your fake was close! Mine was not even close! The first thing I noticed was the smell. I have never had an OPI polish smell like that before. I bought mine from a seller named thunder-print-pro on ebay. It is mostly pink glitter with some green and silver. Not even close to MAAH. Even worse I left feedback before I even really looked at the bottle. I am so sad. :( I am a glitter loving freak and have wanted that polish so bad for so long. Shame on them.

TraceFace said...

Sparkle Lover, thats the seller I got mine from as well. There were several people who bought it from him. Did you ask for a refund? He was a real jerk about it to a friend of mine who also bought a bottle.

Hey-Hay said...

OMG this is so crazy! this same thing happened to my friend, she ordered it off ebay, and knew it was a fake. just like yours with no teal, mostly just red and green glitter. and the lady refunded her the money. So crazy.

beachgal said...

I also got 2 fake OPI's off eBay and odd thing is they were not rare shades even. They had no sticker on the bottles on the bottom and the description did not say anything about that. These were 1 new shade for me and a back up bottle of Thrill of Brazil. Well I opened one bottle and the smell about knocked me over it was so bad. It was not the color or formula of my Thrill of Brazil real ones at all. Soooo I wrote the seller. the story was well she bought them from a local beauty supply and knew what shade they were due to there was a TAG on the bucket the bottles of shades were in!!!Buckets of the same shade? OPI reps don't let you display in buckets in your shop! She insisted I was wrong and said she knew there were no stickers to ID the polish on the bottle. I told her that had to be disclosed in her ad and she was not allowed to call it as X shade or OPI when there was no manf label - all she could do is sell it as a 'red' polish - no label - even referring to looks like Thrill of Brazil is against eBay policy. She got more defensive with each post back to me so I just opened up a case in res. center on eBay. Took eBay all of 20 mins to issue me a refund. Oddly eBay did not make me send them back but they did not issue me a refund for my postage which I try to deal further with eBay on as unfair I got taken for the postage and no refund on that. Never hear anything more from eBay about my wanting my postage refunded and my offer to mail the product back if eBay gave me their promise if I supplied the delivery confirm # they would issue me refund on postage to and back. I think I got a newbie on eBay dealing with this as that is not normally what eBay does. So he seller still won - got to keep the extra $ for postage she had made. But I feel the same way - counterfeit is easy to spot. There is a lot of it out there. I tend on eBay to try and stay with sellers I know or ones who have been in business for a long time or they are only selling 1 of something rare and you know they bought or found an extra bottle or never opened their back up - stashing it until the price went up for collectors. But at least eBay nailed this seller right off in less than 20 min. I hope they put a watch on her selling. But you are right - the chemicals on the fakes are anything - and not safe. Most are made in So. East Asia as there is such a mark up for OPI in Australia - a lot of the fakes end up being sold there. I still buy on eBay and Amazon but I am very watchful of feedback and don't just go by % - I look at the feedback. You follow eBay polish folks enough and you will know the best sellers out there on Essie and OPI which is a bulk of what is sold on OPI. I can buy Zoya and Nfu-OH myself direct cheaper than on eBay usually or at least the same price.

Cass said...

"I have recently come across a website who admittedly "makes their own" OPI because they import raw materials from the US and France and sell them as genuine."

Is there any way you can share the website that sells fake OPIs? I've seen a lot of sites (actual websites, not ebay sellers since I don't usually buy things there) that sell cheaper than retail polishes, which kind of makes me suspicious. It'd be nice to know which to avoid.

The Nail Files said...

I agree with the above comment. You need to tell us who the seller is. Awareness is the first step in preventing this from happening.

For all you girls scammed, you need to open disputes on Ebay when this happens. Ebay has a great buyer protection program.

I had an incident where the seller had filled off the serial numbers. Obviously to protect their ass (pardon my language), in case they were caught selling OPI when they are not authorized to. I bought a bottle, unaware of the missing serial number, the polish was real/authentic. Ebay refunded my money in full and I got to keep the polish, since most sellers have a no return polish on makeup. It was a win-win situation for me, but people need to be aware of the scams on Ebay.

The Nail Files said...

I agree with the above comment. You need to tell us who the seller is. Awareness is the first step in preventing this from happening.

For all you girls scammed, you need to open disputes on Ebay when this happens. Ebay has a great buyer protection program.

I had an incident where the seller had filled off the serial numbers. Obviously to protect their ass (pardon my language), in case they were caught selling OPI when they are not authorized to. I bought a bottle, unaware of the missing serial number, the polish was real/authentic. Ebay refunded my money in full and I got to keep the polish, since most sellers have a no return polish on makeup. It was a win-win situation for me, but people need to be aware of the scams on Ebay.

Val said...

Hey, any idea if sells fake opi?

Leslie K. said...

Hey Traci,
So is it possible that one or more of the OPI My Private Jets are fake? Or did OPI actually make 4 different formulas of it & lable it MPJ? Just wondering if when you were doing the review on those if you compared the bottles closely? Or did OPI actually admit to making all of those formulas?
Another question for anybody who may know... Once you report someone to EBay for selling fakes, do they kick them off EBay or contue to let them sell their products?
I purchased some sunglasses that claimed they were original BabyPhat. Obviously they weren't & the seller said she didn't know. (yeah right) It would have cost me more to ship back then what I paid for them. I didn't even think of reporting her at the time. It was like my very 1st purchase about a year ago.

beachgal said...

Curious if you ever got your own bottle of Mad As A Hatter? I think I have 3 - maybe 4 never opened ones I held on to. It's like no other out there despite all the attempts that have been made to dup it from other companies. I am not a huge glitter fan but would not want to be without MAAH in my stash