Snail mucin, the latest skincare trend on TikTok, has raised concerns about counterfeit products. Users have shared videos questioning the authenticity of COSRX snail mucin, with some suspecting they have been scammed. While COSRX did not comment directly, the company acknowledged the existence of fake products and encouraged consumers to purchase from authorized sellers. On TikTok Shop, prices for COSRX snail mucin are significantly lower than on other platforms, leading to suspicions that counterfeit products may be present. TikTok Shop has faced criticism for allegedly allowing counterfeit and questionable products to be sold, including brand-name perfumes and clothing from third-party sellers. Two prohibited products flagged WIRED have since been removed.
TikTok’s push into retail has ambitious targets of achieving $20 billion in merchandise sales this year. However, the presence of potentially fake or subpar products has cast doubt on the success of this initiative. Media watchdog group, Media Matters for America, has criticized TikTok for being irresponsible in terms of product approval. Users have reported purchasing fake products such as Stanley cups and Sol de Janeiro perfumes, which lack the expected quality or proper branding.
To maintain product quality and prevent the sale of prohibited items, TikTok utilizes both technical and human moderation. The company monitors listings that violate policies, checks for negative reviews and complaints, and takes action against sellers when necessary. Despite these efforts, TikTok disclaims any guarantees or warranties on the accuracy or completeness of TikTok Shop listings.
TikTok Shop provides a platform for various sellers, from big-name brands to small businesses, allowing them to reach a wider audience. The app’s algorithm promotes shopping content to users’ feeds, creating opportunities for sellers. Buyers are attracted the availability of discounts and promotions, and TikTok’s storage and shipping services streamline the process for third-party sellers.
While other social media platforms have struggled with shopping features, TikTok’s popularity and algorithm may give it an advantage. However, users have expressed frustration with the abundance of low-quality products and the difficulty of finding what they are genuinely looking for. TikTok Shop continues to expand and hopes to compete with major retailers, especially during Black Friday and other seasonal sales events.