Older Girl Beauty

Distribution and Grey Market Beauty Products

You guys know that I live with my mom, and am pretty much her caretaker/chauffeur/personal shopper/tour guide since she stopped driving last year. That means we get to go hang out at her favorite discount stores on the weekend – especially the TJ Maxx just outside our of neighborhood. Convenient for me, not so much for my wallet!

Anyway, I tend to post my beauty finds over on my IG, with the last trip including this delicious smelling gel moisturizer from The Body Shop.

Now, this was definitely not my first TBS grab from there. But, it was the one that made me wonder if *maybe* these were some “grey market” beauty products, as in they may be pretty sketchy. So, I went straight to the source to see if TBS were aware that their products were being sold at TJ Maxx, if they are an official distributor, and that I am scoring some pretty sweet deals. Well, you will be relieved to know that The Body Shop got back to me, and according to them:

While TJ Maxx is one of our retailers, our products that are sold there are either discontinued, soon to be discontinued or not in the newest packaging. So they’re not considered to be on the “grey market,” they just aren’t our newest products.

And that, my friends, is great news. Because, now, when I am not at their store in the mall picking up all. the. body butters. to give to my coworkers as gifts, I can pick up random goodies at TJM when I’m browsing with Momma. (*Seriously, if you aren’t already, you need to get involved with the body butter gifts sets around the Holidays. They are such a ridiculously good deal. And, I have been assured that this year’s offerings are “amazing”. Per usual!)

But, not every line you might see there are using TJM as a legit distributor of their product. One brand you may have seen on here before, DermOrganic, seems to be a staple at many TJM’s. But, on their website, they explain that you could be purchasing “diverted” products:

Diversion is when professional salon-only products are found for sale in unauthorized retail outlets. For example, genuine DermOrganic® products are sold exclusively by your hairdresser and licensed hair and skin salons. But every once in a while you might see a professional product for sale in a retail store or discounter. These are what we call “diverted” products.”

TJ Maxx’s do not have salon’s in them. At least not around me, which, my wallet would cry harder if there were.

So, fellow Maxxinista’s, like any other find you pick up there, you are taking your chances when you get home, and they DO have a return policy. But, at least in the case of The Body Shop, you know it’s a legit outlet for their outgoing products. Just don’t forget to support the main stores when you want the latest and greatest! Is it Holiday season, yet? 🙂

(P.S. I did reach out to TJ Maxx’s rep for a comment on this, but hadn’t heard back by the time I posted. If they get back to me with a reply, I will update this to let you know!)

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2 Comments

  1. Gouldylox says:

    I believe most of the products at TJ’s, Target and drugstore to be grey market products. What is the expiration date? Not that I didn’t just break out a lipstick from 2002 the other day, but it’s my germs, KWIM? So it’s not grey per-se, but would TBS stand by product that you purchased at TJs? In the immortal words of Flavor Flav, “You can’t truss it.”

    1. Paula says:

      In the case of TBS, based on my conversations, I believe that they would back it up. They indicated that they were an official retailer for them, but the products were the discontinued, package changed items. Granted, first line, like anything bought from a retailer is to use their return policy first, I think. Now, other brands, like DO won’t, because they don’t deal direct with TJM.
      One thing I find fascinating about the whole grey market thing is the legality of it. Basically, as soon as it ships from the manufacturer, and signed by the receiver, anything can be done with that product – the original transaction is complete. Like me selling you my 2012, germ-filled lipstick, who ever made it can’t say a thing about it, because their transaction is complete.
      As for expiration dates? I really wish their was a standardization for that on products, because, seriously, who know what each code on the packaging really means!

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