Back in the early aughts, name brands were everything. They were a status symbol, an indicator of supposed wealth and a representation of what was undoubtedly “in.”
That was then. Nowadays? It’s all about the dupe.
What Is Dupe Shopping?
A shortened term for “duplicate,” dupe refers to products with a permissible similarity to another, more expensive product. For example, this $37 Amazon dress that’s a dead ringer for the viral $90 Skims version, or this insulated water bottle that could pass for the mega-popular Stanley, but for half the price.
Even fast food favorites can be duped:
Dupes get you the look for less, and everyone wants in. Videos tagged with #dupe on TikTok have over 6.5 billion views, solidifying the trend’s gargantuan popularity – and mighty profit power.
Why Are Dupes Trending?
The short answer? Saving money.
Although brands that are commonly duped aren’t considered luxury (midrange brands like Skims or Abercrombie are popular duped brands, particularly for Gen Z), there’s a certain thrill in finding a cheap alternative for a popular product – especially if it’s been discontinued, sold out or otherwise unavailable.
Thanks to TikTok and Instagram, we’re now able to see the dupe possibilities on a whole array of products from makeup to jeans, water bottles, home decor, shoes and everything in between.
Tricks to Finding a Good Dupe
Three aspects to consider when searching for a dupe:
- Similar ingredients
- Other features of the original product like shape, flavor or color.
Some dupes can be found simply by how they look. Over the holidays, many on social media were finding dupes for Pottery Barn holiday decor that looked essentially identical to those being sold at a higher price from the retailer.
Other dupes need a bit of research. Take the viral Flawless Filter makeup foundation from Charlotte Tilbury ($49) versus its dupe contender Halo Glow from e.l.f. Cosmetics ($14). Both have generally similar ingredients, which can suggest a comparable formula (not to mention Halo Glow’s almost identical packaging and applicator).
For a product like athleisure, it’s all down to feel. Both of these $23 leggings from Amazon and Lululemon’s coveted $98 Align pant have an 80% nylon composition, making them seemingly analogous. Paying special attention to a garment’s fabric make up also makes it a bit easier when buying online when you’re not able to see or feel the difference close up.
Of course, one of the best ways to investigate a good dupe is to search for it on social media. Simply searching for the product of your choice plus “dupe” in TikTok or Reels will reveal video upon video of users testing, trying on and reviewing, so you can see for yourself how its dupes really stack up.
Start Dupe Shopping!
|KIVENJAJA Swivel Barrel Chair, Teddy Sherpa Upholstered Modern Round Accent Arm Chairs, 360 Degree Swivel Small Single Sofa Armchair for Nursery Living Room Bedroom (Teddy, Ivory)
|Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water for All Skin Types, Facial Cleanser & Makeup Remover, 13.5 Fl Oz (400mL), 1 Count (Packaging May Vary)
|Neutrogena Hydro Boost Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid for Dry Skin, Oil-Free and Non-Comedogenic Water Gel Face Lotion, 1.7 oz
|e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter, Complexion Booster For A Glowing, Soft-Focus Look, Infused With Hyaluronic Acid, Vegan & Cruelty-Free, 5 Medium/Tan
|e.l.f. Hydrating Core Lip Shine, Conditioning & Nourishing Lip Balm, Sheer Color Tinted Chapstick, Ecstatic, 0.09 Oz
|Colorfulkoala Women's Buttery Soft High Waisted Yoga Pants Full-Length Leggings (M, Black)
|PUMIEY Long Sleeve Dress for Women Square Neck Maxi Dress Sexy Bodycon Fall Dresses for Women Blue Dress Aegean Medium
|Hydrapeak Voyager 40 oz Tumbler with Handle and Straw Lid | Reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle Travel Mug Cupholder Friendly | Insulated Cup | Holiday Gifts for Women Men Him Her (Navy)
Have you found a dupe worth sharing? Let us know in the comments.
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This article is for informational purposes only. AAA does not endorse any of the products mentioned.