Many consumers are unaware of the prominence of product diversion and the negative issues it raises in regards to their hair-care products. As a professional member of the beauty industry it is your job to inform a client about this harmful practice. The next time a client comes with questions about diversion, be armed with knowledge.
What exactly is diversion?
By definition, diversion is when products designed and meant for exclusive distribution at a specific store end up on the shelves of an unintended store. In terms of the beauty industry, diversion occurs when professional salon products like Matrix or American Crew are sold at non-salon locations.
Is diversion illegal?
Unfortunately, no. There are breaches in contracts between manufacturers and distributors as a result of the diversion, but a vendor cannot demand the removal of their product from an unauthorized store.
How do I spot diverted products?
The next time you are at your local retail store, look at the labels of the products in the "Professional Hair Care" section. Products that have the phrase "for sale in professional salons only" or "guaranteed only when purchased in a salon" have been diverted. Any professional product you find outside of a salon is diverted and thus not guaranteed to be at the same level of quality as those found in the salon.
Why should I care about product diversion?
Diverted professional products are obtained through the "gray" or "black" market. In many instances these products have been found to be old, counterfeit or containing harmful bacteria. These products may not be safe to use and are not guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Aren't the products at the store cheaper than at my salon?
This is a common misconception. Diverted products tend to go through many channels during the black market process. In the end, this makes the prices higher and allows the diverters to make more money. Sometimes the product can cost up to twice as much as you would pay in a salon!
Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
Manufacturer suggested retail price: $16.95
Mass retail price: $28.99
Why not make hair-care products available everywhere?
Professional salon products have been specially developed for your individual hair type. These products need recommendations by a professional stylist who has been trained to do so. Your stylist can make educated product recommendations for your specific situation and show you exactly how to use it. You can't find this expert advice in a drug store.
How can I help fight against diversion?
Buy professional hair-care products ONLY at your salon. Make sure your support goes to companies that are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Purchase non-diverted lines as opposed to heavily diverted products. Find out which products make the cut at BIF's website.