Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last chance to buy discounted OPI nail polish?

OPI, one of the biggest names in nail polish, has requested that online retailers (e-tailers) stop selling their polishes at deep discount rates. The company does not sell their polishes on their website or allow the salons who have permission to carry the brand to sell it online either. They are suing the companies that don't comply.

OPI polishes normally retail for about $8.50 in the U.S.  Abroad they cost significantly more.  Several polish e-tailers (8ty8 Beauty, Head 2 Toe Beauty, and Victorias Nail Supply ) have stopped carrying OPI...no word on what they did with their current stock.

The only e-tailer, that I know of, still carrying OPI, and the one named in the lawsuit, is TransDesign.  They are liquidating their stock, so if you want to get some OPI's for between $4.50 and $5.25 each (more for Designer Series), this may be your last chance.

Here is what OPI's website says on the matter:

Stop Diversion Now!

OPI takes the safety and well-being of our trade and consumer customers very seriously, and has dedicated itself to providing them with the finest Professional Beauty products available today.

That is why OPI is so passionate about fighting diversion.  Diversion is the sale of Professional products outside of Professional beauty channels.  OPI has spent tens of millions of dollars in the fight against diversion, to ensure that our OPI brand professional-use products are used only under the supervision of trained professionals.

OPI brand products are intended for sale in professional beauty (salon) channels.  We sell them to distributors or wholesalers who sell exclusively in those channels.  Those distributors, in turn, sell exclusively to salons. OPI brand products sold outside these channels are improperly obtained and in violation of our agreements and commitments to distributors and salons.  Unfortunately, those diverted products may not be current, or may be improperly and illegally labeled or of inferior quality, or may even be fake or counterfeit.  OPI only guarantees or stands behind products sold through authorized channels.  For OPI brand products, these do not include mass retail channels, the Internet, drug stores, or grocery stores.

Diversion ultimately hurts both salon professionals and salon clients.  In addition, it deprives consumers of the professional care and advice that are necessary to enjoy these professional-use products.

OPI’s efforts to fight diversion include:
  • Agreements with distributors that prohibit the sale of OPI brand products outside professional channels
  • Coding systems to help trace diverted product
  • Pursuing leads that we receive about the unauthorized sale of OPI products
  • Supporting industry-wide anti-diversion efforts
  • A program to track down and take legal and other action against divertors, including the use of private investigators and lawyers
  • A dedicated staff with a toll-free number and email address to record and follow- up on diversion reports
You can help. Should you become aware of what you believe to be diverted OPI brand product, please contact OPI at 800-341.9999 or at diversion@opi.com.  Please provide your name, the name of the store in which you saw what you believe to be diverted product, the address of the store, and the products. 

I think this is ridiculous and is angering a lot of their loyal customers and polish lovers.  Here are a couple of nice posts by polish bloggers with their response to this situation.
The Swatchaholic - Anti-OPI opinion
Carina L'etoile - Pro OPI opinion

In my opinion, this is a total douche-move on OPI's part.  I don't believe their claim that this is about quality control...it is about purchase price control.  They want to force consumers to pay full retail price for their polishes.  If they want us to pay MSRP, they should lower their price because their polishes aren't worth $9.00.

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