Not all pink products benefit breast cancer charities.
Anne Morris, CEO of Komen Connecticut, says some companies simply profit off the cause. "They're hitching their horse to the wagon in October, and they're doing it irresponsibly," said Morris.
Morris suggests reading the fine print on packaging before purchasing. "Read the label," said Morris. "Make sure it states the organization it's going to and how the donation is being configured."
You can also check the legitimacy of an organization on Charity Navigator, which reports on transparency and fund allocation.
Consumers are urged to be cautious about products that do not list a specific charity name and to watch for vague terminology that may only claim a "portion" of proceeds will be donated. "That could be five cents," said Morris. "That could be a penny. That could be five dollars."
Morris suggests that if there are two similar products - one benefitting breast cancer and one not - the better choice is to pick the pink product.
"When all other things are equal and one does have a reputable mark on it, like Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G. Komen...you should pick up the pink product because it is helping."