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Possibly fake eBay Mason Pearson brush - opinions?
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ginnielizz
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Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:42 pm      Reply with quote
Hi folks,

I'm hoping you guys can weigh in and help me figure out if I need to do something about this, or if I'm just clueless and needlessly paranoid. Smile I just got a Mason Pearson brush that I ordered on eBay, and I swear it really seems like a fake. The bristles ALL seem plastic, not just the white ones that are supposed to be. The black ones seem much thicker, stubbier, and, well, plastickier than they should be.

Can anyone else who has a MP weigh in? Is this normal - i.e. do they seem way different than the boar bristles you find on drugstore "natural bristle" brushes? I seem to recall reading somewhere on here that they're porcupine and not boar, but on the MP site they say boar. The seller has a really high feedback rating, and I've never had to dispute anything on eBay before, so I don't want to stir up unnecessary drama. Just thought I'd see if any of y'all could help. Please let me know any thoughts!

(Oh yeah, and other than the bristle texture, it seems fine - the box seems genuine as does the insert, and I tried emailing the serial number to Mason Pearson but the address they have on their site bounced back! I could try calling I guess but I sort of doubt they will be all that helpful or understanding.)

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32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
yogi
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Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:03 pm      Reply with quote
Was this the site you tried?


http://www.masonpearson.com/
ginnielizz
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Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:06 pm      Reply with quote
Yep, that's the one. I tried using their email address posted in the contact section, but it bounced back, so then I also tried using the submission form. But I know enough about basic HTML coding to know that if the form was built with a less-than-sophisticated framework, using the same email that was listed, then it'll have the same effect. We'll see!

_________________
32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:26 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz, I've "inherited" 3 MP real brushes in the last year - one is about 25 years ago (just bristle) and the other two were purchased from a genuine retailer a couple of years ago. One of them is a mix of white plastic and short stubby boar bristles. The stubbier ones do seem plasticy to me too. The third brush is w/o the white bristles and the black bristles seem lusher than the second brush, that one IMO has no comparison. I don't really like the plastic/bristle one that much on the whole but it really is genuine. So, I think you may well have a real MP, just sub-par. You have to make a big deal to actually receive the 100% pure bristle - seems to be becoming rarer.
ginnielizz
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:14 am      Reply with quote
Hey NiklaCat, thanks for your input! I was really concerned that mine was a fake, but I got this incredibly kind and helpful email from Mason Pearson (I guess the web submission form did work):

Quote:
Dear Mrs. Culler,

Thank you for your concerned e-mail. The code you have given us is
consistent with the model marked on the label. It is not often that we have
somebody think that black bristle is nylon, but it shows your attention to
detail and interest in what you have around you. We lost a trading customer
in Spain some years ago because the buyer's considered opinion was that the
bristle could not ever be so stiff and their "proof" was that there was no
trace of brown or white strands and there were no telltale pieces of the
bristle root on the tips (these were pure bristle brushes). So, your
scepticism is well-placed since there is always somebody trying to imitate
us. I understand that that can be known as the finest form of flattery, but
not in this case.

We spend a great deal of time processing the bristle before it is cut for
making into brushes. We cut off the root so your initial test cannot be
made. Sometimes a little bit of split bristle can get past the censors, but
usually they cut these out in the finishing process.

For identification:

1/ the name on the handle should be in goldblocking and sunken into the
plastic.
2/ The name on the handle should say:
The
Mason Pearson
London England
Nylon & Bristle
But it can happen that the wrong label could be on the handle, but unlikely
3/ There should be a hole in the end of the brush only.
4/ There should be ten rows (or five rings) of tufts.
5/ When you squeeze down on the brush you should hear it whistle or wheeze a
tiny bit as the air flows out of the cushion and the cushion should bounce
back at the same speed.
6/ The only real test is to take out the top of the pad and you will find a
stamp on the plastic head inside, but this is not practical for you.
7/ If you have used the brush so you are unable to return it to the shop
then a drastic check is to pull out a small piece of the black bristle and
set fire to it. The smell of singed hair would be clear or a plastic
chemical odour would be the alternative. Again, this may not be practical
for you.

8/ Beyond this, you can contact the USA distributor who can find out if the
retailer is one of their customers, which they should be if the product is
genuine. If they are not one of their customers, then there is no proof as
to where the brush was made and by whom. Then we will have to decide on the
best course of action.

However, I think the various checks you can make should tell you and us most
of what needs to be known.

Finally, the chances are that a purely nylon brush could create static
electricity when in use. Is this the case with yours or maybe you have not
used it yet, until we have replied to you first?


Our USA importer/distributor is:

Harry D. Koenig Inc.,
7, Main Street, East Rockaway Long Island, New York 11518
Telephone 516-599-1776, fax 1451 or e-mail Misskingsley1776@aol.com.
There is a toll free number # 1-800-645-6503 that is only good outside New
York; within the state you have to use 1-516-599-1776.

We have copied this reply to Harry D. Koenig so that they are aware of this
correspondence.

Please let us know what you discover and I hope this resolves your concern.


Best wishes,

M J Pearson


This was so sweet and helpful, and as obsessive as it sounds I'm totally going to try the bristle-burning technique to see if it's authentic, but I suspect that it is (it had a sticker from that distributor on it). I really don't want to have to deal with some eBay fraud hassle or something, so I'm hoping that this trick works fine - I'll definitely repost and let you guys know!

_________________
32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
Diana P
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:56 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz, have you tried the brush yet? If so, how do you like it? I've read how great these brushes are and was considering getting one, but am having a hard time justifying the cost.

If you confirm that the brush is indeed authentic, do you mind posting or PMing me the ebayer you bought it from? That way if I decide to go ahead and get one, then at least I know it is authentic and I don't have to do the burn test. Laughing
Debster1000
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:08 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz,
I find this all very interesting, as I purchased a Mason Pearson brush from Ebay the same day that you did. I have yet to receive it, as I purchased it from London and it may take longer than from the US.
I bought the BN3 model (bristle and nylon).

I will have to "inspect" my brush when I receive it to make sure it is indeed authentic.

I also would be interested to know how you are liking it as far as actually brushing your hair.
Thanks so much.
ginnielizz
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:12 am      Reply with quote
Hey gals,

I'll do the test first about the bristle and see if it's real or not - I don't want to spread untrue rumors about this seller! But don't worry I will definitely update this thread this weekend when I get a chance to test the brush. I feel a TINY bit insane going to the length of BURNING a bristle on my brush, haha, but if you think about it that's actually a pretty smart suggestion, and I don't mind trimming just one to do that test. So I will keep you posted!

Oh, and by the way, I haven't really used it much, just minimally once to see if it felt "normal" - I wanted to make sure it was relatively clean and unused in case I needed to try and return it. After I do the test I'll start using it and see how I like it. But on initial inspection, I'm a bit disappointed that the boar bristles (if that's what they are Laughing) are shorter than the nylon ones - I would think that means it would be harder for them to reach your scalp. Ah well, I'll letcha know!

_________________
32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
Debster1000
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:30 am      Reply with quote
Thanks ginnielizz!

Anxiously awaiting the verdict.

I don't blame you for being paranoid. There are so many fake items sold on Ebay, and let's face it, $60 or $70 for a hairbrush is pretty expensive.
ginnielizz
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Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:30 pm      Reply with quote
Okay, so the "burn test" results are in and they are conclusive - this ain't no fake. I'm really glad I contacted MP and got this trick before contacting the seller or anything - I think this is just higher-quality bristle than I've ever seen before!

So that said, now that I'm actually willing to use the brush, I've tried it and I love it. I've always liked how it feels to have my scalp stimulated, so I've sometimes used those scalp-scrubby brushes you can get at the drugstore, but sometimes I think I've been too harsh and caused little scratches. Sad No more - the nylon bristles on my MP are so gentle that they bend if you press too hard, so you virtually can't hurt yourself. And it feels great!

My hair is so thick that I kind of have to do several layers to get the bristles to reach down to the scalp easily, but that's nothing new for me (I straighten and blow-dry using about five layers). I can brush it all thoroughly in three. I wish the boar bristles were a bit longer, since it seems like they may have trouble reaching the scalp since they're shorter than the other bristles - but I can only assume they've designed it this way for a reason, and either way it feels divine.

So there you have it - fear not the eBay! Just to let you know, though, mine had a sticker from Harry Koenig's distribution site in New York, and I think that means all authentic ones distributed in the US should have that sticker - so just make sure to look for that if you're buying from a US vendor, I guess. Other than that, well, you saw the man's tips! Smile

Hope this helps other future MP owners.

_________________
32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
Debster1000
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Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:48 am      Reply with quote
ginnielizz,

That's great news! So glad you have an authentic MP brush.

I'm also glad that you love the brush.
Thanks for the review and the "burn test" Laughing

I'll let you know how I like mine, when I finally get it, that is. Don't you just hate waiting for parcels to arrive?
daisylondon
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Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:51 pm      Reply with quote
Wow that reply from MP is really quite something. Very commendable.

Glad your brush is the real deal and you're loving it.
chimera
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Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:08 pm      Reply with quote
After reading the worst customer service thread it was nice to see such a thorough response from Mason Pearson! I have been using their brushes for years. A few years ago I switched from their nylon/bristle brush to their purely nylon brush and I actually like it much better. My hair gets very tangly and their nylon brush suits me better.
Debster1000
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Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:43 pm      Reply with quote
Well, my Mason Pearson brush finally arrived!

I love it!

Like you, ginnielizz, I have very thick hair and have to brush it in layers. I wish the boar bristles were longer, also, but it does feel really good on my scalp. Sure is different than the $5 brush I've been using.

I'd like to try the all-bristle brush at some point. I've finally found the skincare that works for me (at least for now), but now I have a hair obsession. Does it ever end? Sad
ginnielizz
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Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:04 am      Reply with quote
Debster1000 wrote:
Does it ever end? Sad


Nope. Laughing I think I was the other way around - I've always had crazy thick hair so I paid attention to that even at a very young age, because I could tell certain cuts and products made it freak out. And then I moved on to skincare. As long as I don't move on to way more expensive and potentially dangerous stuff like risky plastic surgeries, then I think it's OK. Smile

_________________
32, fair hair/eyes/skin, always a mix of dry/oily/sensitive/acne/clogged pores. But I keep getting compliments on my skin, so something must be working! Beauty blog at http://heliotro.pe; online dating coaching at http://theheartographer.com
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