Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Choose or Lose


If you can find a dupe for a product, will you buy the original or less expensive version?

  • I'd buy the less expensive version! (55%, 1,743 Votes)
  • No, I'd buy the original! (40%, 1,270 Votes)
  • Other -- I'll tell you in the comments! (5%, 135 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,148

Feel free to elaborate on your answer in the comment section! :)

Thanks to Alexis for today’s poll!

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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55 thoughts on “If you can find a dupe for a product, will you buy the original or less expensive version?

  1. Carrie

    If the quality is there, I’ll buy the dupe. Otherwise, the original

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Gina Gina

    I’d stick with the original! For me, formula is more important than color. I’d rather stay with a formula that I know is quality, rather than downgrading just because the color is similar. The only time I ever search for dupes is if something I loved was discontinued!

    • Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Danielle Danielle

      I agree! Quality is so important to me.

    • Ayzee

      “The only time I ever search for dupes is if something I loved was discontinued!” — Totally agree! If I can afford the original one, that’s what I’ll get. Quality is my top priority. Not saying dupes aren’t good, its just that, 99% of the time, there is a pretty good reason why its expensive.

  3. Melissa

    I’m both probably. There’s some brands that I wouldn’t buy dupes of because I’m familiar with the formula. They tend to be more expensive ones (e.g. Chanel and Guerlain) where you expect there to be nice quality. I’d be more likely to buy a dupe from a mid-range brand (not saying that all mid-range cosmetics aren’t good quality, it’s just been my experience). Also it depends on the product itself. Mascaras are EASILY dupable, but lipsticks on the other hand are a bit more difficult.

  4. It depends, if the packaging etc. is much nicer on the original and the formula is better then I’d most likely get that, if the dupe is very good and all I want is the end product (how it looks on my face) then I’ll get the cheaper one.

  5. Abby

    Depends on the price difference and if the dupe applies to both color and formula!

  6. Mel

    I don’t dupe, if I like the original enough I just buy it. Looking for dupes take too much time and I’m pretty big on quality and I’m not going to compromise that to save a few pennies. I budget for beauty items so price isn’t a big thing for me.

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Esther E

    If I’m familiar with the brand of the less expensive one and know that it won’t be a waste of money, I’ll typically buy it. But if the only known dupe is a brand with a bad rep or that I’ve had bad experience with, I’ll splurge for the original.

  8. heidi

    It depends if its really a dupe. I don’t consider something a dupe unless the color is indistinguishable and the longevity and texture/formula is the same.And even then the packaging has to be convenient. If I have to dig through a huge palette to get the shade I won’t use it. So I’d rather just get the more expensive single but say mac satin taupe vs nyx iced mocha. I’ll get nyx because the packaging is convenient, the shade is identical, and the quality to me is the same as well.

  9. Bubblewrapper

    I chose other. It has to be an exact copy. Not close, a perfect match. I learned my lesson after buying carbonite from Revlon. No, it is not a dupe for Chanel’s graphite. Not at all *shakes fist*

  10. Kathy S.

    First, I ask if it is a dupe. A dupe is a product that matches color and texture. For some things, dupes are rare and for some they’re common. Some color cosmetics that are not dupes are good enough to pass as one.
    Second, is the quality the same? I agree with Carrie, Gina and Danielle – if the formula is comparable, then that’s fine. Some brands can dupe a color base, but put in too much mineral oil or skimp on components. That may hurt the hang time.
    Third, does it matter if it’s high-end? Like Melissa said, good mascara is good mascara.
    Let any item pass that test and I’ll buy it.

  11. stephanie

    unless i strongly support the more expensive brand, ill opt for the cheaper one if it’s a dead-on dupe and formula/application is similar.

    • Naomi

      I agree with you Stephanie ! I also believe a dupe is exact in color, texture and pigmentation. So if it is just that but a different brand, packaging(if it will break then no) and price then of course I’d go with the dupe! Oh and I don’t look for dupes unless something is no longer available but if I am aware of a dupe to a product that I planned on purchasing and it meets my criteria then, once again why not!? In terms of makeup I’d get get dupes, but when it comes to other beauty items like the Clarisonic or the Olay pro-x brush; I’d get the Clarisonic. Although those are not “dupes”, a lot people on Youtube have claimed they are. Oh and another random rant I also wouldn’t buy clothing dupes like the way F21 does it (not saying everything the make are copied but there are many things I’ve seen that are); I feel its wrong to copy designers work and sell it as your own, when it takes a lot of time and effort to come up with them.I know some people might say well not everyone can afford the real thing but i still feel its better not to get the knock off and supporter the designer or to get something that you can afford.

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Veronica Veronica

    With one exception, I’ll be the cheaper dupe if it’s significantly more cost-friendly and of similar or equal quality.

    The one exception would be shades made by indie companies, since I think it unfair to do price challenging for businesses that don’t have the benefit of a huge manufacturing corp behind them.

  13. Martyisblue

    My answer was “other”. If i have the chance to buy/try the original product,i’ll buy it..if its price tag is something like a steal,or the product is not avaible in my country,i’ll buy the dupe. :)

  14. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Laurel Laurel

    I said other because it depends on what kind of dupe it is. If it is just the same color, but the quality of the dupe sucks, then I’ll stick with my original. BUT if it is a dupe on all levels: color, quality, longevity, packaging, then I would buy the dupe

  15. Z

    Depends entirely on the formula. Is it just a dupe in shade but less moisturizing or chalky? Or is it a real dupe all the way? Then, yeah, I’d probably buy the less expensive version. But at this point in time I realize there are some things that have “dupes” that fail short of the original formulas. And sometimes the less expensive dupe actually is a better product.

    Just depends. :)

  16. Catherine

    It depends, if the dupe is lower quality and/or is animal tested I’m not buying at all.

  17. Sexy Sadie

    The less expensive.

  18. cindy

    theres a lot that goes into the dupe world for me, sometimes I’ll buy the original if it came out first, sometimes I’ll buy a dupe if I couldn’t get my hands on the original (got the china glaze shatter instead of the opi shatter) and sometimes I’ll buy dupes if the original is lacking something (like the original product creases but the dupe doesn’t)

    long story short, too many things depend on whether I buy the original or not

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Laura Laura

    It depends what the product actually is and how much te original and te dupes are. If the dupe/original was from a company that I didnt really like then Id get the other :) x

  20. Yazmin

    Ive bought several dupes of products, but i find the original is always better.

  21. Angie

    This sounds silly (even to me) but even if I find something that is an exact dupe, Im more likely to go with the more expensive because of packagine alone. I like how my vanity drawers looks when they are all organized and everything matches. Its dumb, I know, but the DS stuff I have picked up here and there is just all thrown together in one drawer and it just looks messy and unappealing. Ill stick with the majority of my items for 3-4 of my favorite brands.

  22. Nyree

    Only if the quality of the dupe is comparable to the original.

  23. sam

    depends. if it’s the same formula/texture and not just the same color, i’ll pick it up but if it’s just the same color but the quality is nowhere to be found, i’ll pay more money

  24. Hilary‚ô•

    If the dupe is good quality and can perform as nicely as the original product, then I’ll go for it. But if there’s no quality, then I’d rather skip it and save up to get the original thing.

  25. AmyS

    I an unashamed duper! If there is a dupe, I will likely buy it. For one, my budget doesn’t have much wiggle room, so I cannot justify a 20+ purchase for makeup. For me to shell that kind of money, it has to be special. Also, I contend that most cosmetic companies do not manufacture their own makeup. So chances are the colors are duped because of where those companies have their makeup manufactured.

    • Lark

      They have proprietary formulas, but clothes houses contract out make up. Chanel, Dior, Armani. But most companies DO make their own stuff. The sheer sales volume of certain brands demands a dedicated factory with lines tooled up for that brand.
      OK maybe not artist brands, but Estee Lauder- Markham owns or contracts for over half the brands out there. Price Point and quality are pegged together to appeal to a niche or demographic. Most customers want a price tag that keeps the rabble out, lol! The stuff is so cheap to make the packaging costs more than what’s in it. The huge quality differences in MAC and say, Dior are about ingredients that cost almost nothing, but the thrill of a Dior eye shadow quad cannot be had at MAC.
      They really do sell fairy dust! LOL

  26. That really depends on the product and brand, sometimes it’s worth getting the more expensive one. It also depends on if I’m planning on wearing it a lot, if I know I’m not going to use it that often I would get the less expensive one.

  27. I feel ive spent so much on high end cosmetics that I’m ripping myself off by downgrading to lower end

  28. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Angela Angela

    It would depend on the ingredients and where the product was made and the quality of the packaging. If the dupe contained cheap materials that I could be allergic to,flimsy cheap packaging or if it was made in China I would most likely buy the more expensive product.

  29. Nancy

    Original. I’m a label whore.. ._.

    • me too – plus ever since I’ve got away from using drug store products, I’ve found I prefer the quality of the higher ends – I mean come on, yer puttin’ this stuff on yer face so it needs to be quality!

  30. Mieze

    The most important things to me when it comes to cosmetics are quality, look, and whether or not it’s animal tested. I will NEVER buy something that’s animal tested. Add that onto the fact that I probably won’t downgrade for a dupe if it’s not an exact match in color and little to no quality sacrifice otherwise, and that should tell you how often I go for them. Just about never, since so many of the cheaper companies do animal testing.

  31. For me, it would always depend on the quality and on which companies are in question. For instance, I tend to purchase Chanel polishes if I can get my hands on them (and them on my hands), because even when a cheaper dupe is available, there is some nuance to the original that I prefer. But if I can find something from Mac that’s comparable to an item from La Prairie, then I’d be likely to buy the Mac item because I trust their quality and La Prairie is really out of my price range.

  32. Emily

    If the colours are dead-on dupes, then it’s down to the formula. My sensitive skin can’t handle some of the cheaper formulas out there and if I find a formula that works for me, I’ll play it safe and stick to it regardless of price.

  33. Em

    It really depends on the quality of the dupe.

  34. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Tiffany Tiffany

    Depends on brand. If the dupe brand is good quality, and the original isn’t one of my favorite brands, I’ll get the dupe. But I have a huge brand loyalty thing going on.

  35. For me it really depends on the product, if everything is the same – quality, colour, smell, packaging etc – I will definitely get the less expensive version!

    However, I do sometimes buy products because I like the packaging, the texture of the product and brand of the product. But most of the times when I see a product that I like, I will not hunt for alternatives, I’m lazy that way! *sheepish smile*

  36. Adelita

    I always look for the ones with better quality. If the original is better then I’ll stick with the original, but if the dupe is the better one then I am more than happy to purchase it! To me, dupe doesn’t always means same color with lower price tag, but does it perform like the original?

    While most of the time the cheaper dupes disappoint me, but I also have been wowed by some drugstore items that outperformed the more expensive original one.

  37. I’d love to say that I go for the dupe and skip the original since it’s supposed to mimic it but I usually get the original and purchase the dupe, yeah, real fickle like that lol

  38. Depends on the product, e.g. if it’s a nail polish I would go for the dupe, but if it is a lipstick I would go for the original. Sometimes applying a Chanel lipstick can give me a necessary boost of confidence that I couldn’t get from a dupe.

  39. Lark

    Who’s making the dupe for what?
    A MAC dupe for a Dior color? Sure! The Elf dupes of Nars blushes? NO!
    A high quality dupe is great, but a low quality one? Waste of money as I’ll never be happy with it and wind up buying the original anyway. Lipsticks dupe well but I’ve never had anything else work out OK.

  40. Hareem

    For example, I love Brule by MAC. But when I found out Wet n Wild has a same exact dupe called Brulee as well, I got it to try it out. Its definitely an exact dupe and have bought it ever since!

  41. Cannella

    I think you forget one option: I’d buy both – the original for the original’s sake and the dupe as a backup ;-)

  42. Eyes to Kill from Armani or my new love…Tom Ford Titanium Smoke eyeshadow also doesnt appear to be duplicable…especially Tom Ford’s bronzer brush….Aah that is heavenly.

  43. Avril

    If the quality is there or I’m unsure how I’d wear the colour, cheaper. But if quality’s questionable, it (expensive) is a favourite, or so on, the more expensive. Lots of times I’ll try both, but usually only if I alreay had the more expensive

  44. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Myracel my

    It depends, like, if the dupe is not readily available then I would opt for the original. If both are available to me, and the dupe’s quality is really not that great, then I would still opt for the original. But, otherwise, I would choose the dupes.

  45. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Street Jaime Jaime R

    I’d buy the dupe, but me being me, I’d still have it in my head that the original is better and I’d wind up with both.

  46. Adele

    As long as a brand/product meets my minimum standards, I consider it worth buying. So if a dupe of an expensive product I like is made by a brand that I consider good enough (or that reviews suggest is good enough, if I’m not familiar with it) I don’t see any reason not to get it instead of the more expensive version.

    I won’t pay for a product I expect to be poor, of course, but if it’s cheap and great quality vs. expensive and amazing quality, I’m choosing the cheaper one.

  47. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Kia Kia

    I think it depends on the product.