** BEWARE - Fake memory cards on Ebay **

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by NATO, Jun 19, 2006.

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  1. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    #1
    I thought I would create this thread to provide a warning to those who would be tempted to buy a memory card from Ebay.

    I have just bought a Sandisk Extreme III Compact Flash 2GB from a seller on Ebay (100% Feedback), I got a prompt despatch e-mail and positive feedback left for me straight away. However I've recently received an e-mail from another ebay user asking me to check my card against a website as he wants to know if this seller is selling fake cards.

    To cut a long story short, I had no idea that there was a problem with fake memory cards on Ebay, and upon further investigation via Google, it appears that the problem is more widespread than I thought.

    Be very wary when buying a memory card from Ebay. Hopefully my memory card is legit (I will be phoning Sandisk for confirmation of the serial number etc), however I will be buying all my future memory cards from official resellers.


    A couple of links detailing the problem:

    Photo Comparison of Fake vs Legit cards/packaging

    Forum Thread with plenty of user feedback
     
  2. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #2
    Those comparison images are jaw-dropping. :eek: I would've never guessed the one on the left was fake if it wasn't for the descriptions. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be sure to steer away from eBay when purchasing memory cards.
     
  3. MacTT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #3
    Oh wow, I just bought a memory card off ebay. I came really fast from hong kong and it was a real one. Phew, close one.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Wow, that's crazy.

    I'm gonna check the memory card I have at home, because quite honestly, I can't even remember where I got the card. Possibly got it online, although it was likely from a larger, legit retail store.
     
  5. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #5
    Very weird, I was gonna say "so what?" but then I read about how the performance is somewhat bad.
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    Yeah, like SURPRISE, anonymous vendors on eBay sell counterfeit goods. And flash memory cards are easy to counterfeit, have a higher profit margin and are easier to ship than CDs, DVDs, and most other electronics.

    Not only on eBay, but through "legit" computer stores and online stores, who shop for "deals" on name brand goods through the gray market (that is, from suppliers other than the authorized distributors of name brand products) or import for themselves from Asian or Eastern European sources (where enforcement is virtually non-existent)

    The "legit" store may or may not suspect that the card they got for $5 less than the normal authorized wholesale is counterfeit. At best though, they are just not looking too hard, 'cause they don't want to know.

    The basic rule is, if it didn't come from the authorized distributors' channels in your country, the manufacturer usually will not honour a warranty. This has been a longtime problem with cameras and digital cameras.
     
  7. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

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    #7
    I got a little scared myself there. I Looked on the my card and appears to be genuine. I'll be staying away from ebay when I go to buy another. Thanks for letting us know!

    Nuc
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Even big chain photography stores? I mean, does buying from a store you know is big mean that you're somewhat guarded from buying a dodgy import, because I believe I bought mine online from a company who owns a chain of stores. Not sure if that matters, though.

    Dang, it's so hard to tell the difference. This is gonna make me paranoid about buying memory, flash drives, etc, from anywhere.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #9
    The larger the chain, the less likely they are to be tempted by discount, unauthorized wholesale deals. And of course, if it is a Brick and Mortar store, you can at least get in their face and demand your money back. Which you can't with Mr. Disappearing EBay PowerSeller.
     
  10. NATO thread starter macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
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    #10
    I've just received my card, and I seem to have received a legit card despite my worst fears (and also a report from someone else naming the ebay seller I used who apparently received a fake card from him).

    I phoned Sandisk and they say the card is genuine which is a relief, but I'm still a little wary as the plastic protective box the card comes in doesn't quite fit the card, but the packaging and card itself look 100% to me.

    Even though I have probably been lucky this time round, I think I'll avoid Ebay from now on for memory cards.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a very wary buyer when it comes to stuff on Ebay, but the description, the feedback from other users etc, coupled with the fact that the fakes are very very good counterfeits mean that had I not been alerted to the fact, I would have never known that this was possible! There's probably hundreds of people on ebay using fake cards who don't even know it!
     
  11. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    Jul 29, 2005
    #11
    I can't belive what im seeing. On wednesday im going to t-mobile to buy smartphones and they are giving away 1gb memory cards. Im worried if these are bootleg.
     
  12. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #12
    I wonder if places like Amazon are affected by counterfeit memory cards as well? I just bought a Sandisk 2Gb Ultra II card from Amazon for a price which seemed ridiculously cheap (almost 50% cheaper than places like Jessops). At first I thought I'd bagged a fantastic deal, but the more I think about it, the more I think that I might be being scammed (as well as Amazon being scammed by their supplier).

    PS - It's the official Amazon store, not the Marketplace section.
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #13
    Official Amazon isn't likely too bad. Marketplace is full of dodgy cards/batteries and what makes it worse is when the first option on Amazon UK adds a marketplace line to your basket because it's a £1 cheaper than the official Amazon one.

    I got caught out with a Sony battery fake on Amazon Marketplace. It was a good one but it was definitely a fake - and while I wouldn't have minded so much if it was being sold as a generic battery at a low price, there's no way I'm forking out the extra cash for a real battery when it isn't.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    They're giving away 1 GB cards? Free? Why are you worried? Even the "fake" ones work, and they generally work quite well. Maybe they don't work equally as well as a genuine Sandisk or whatever, but maybe 95% as good.

    Who cares if it's genuine or not when it works and it's free? It's just a name. As long as you're not paying full price, i don't see the problem.

    The reason I'm worried about whether I got a "genuine SD card" is because I paid money for it, and at the time, I paid only $10 less for my Sandisk Ultra II 1GB (it was originally $169 AUD or something, and i bought mine for $159 AUD), so expect a genuine product. It's not like I bought it from an eBay seller in Malaysia.

    Oh, and I just went to Sandisk's horrid website to register my product, and I think my card is genuine, because from what I can tell, it registered ok.
     
  15. Linkjeniero macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #15
    Even if the card is "free" (but it really isn't; it's a bundle with the phone), you are entitled to get what was advertised. And the way I see it, if they are gonna bundle a no name card, then do so, and don't disguise it as a brand one; that's a crime as far as I'm concerned (what if somebody honestly thought it was a genuine card, tried to sell it, and got in trouble for that?).
     
  16. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    May 1, 2005
    #16
    Er. They make mistakes, too. There was a fiasco the last couple of months because they were selling Burberry copycat umbrellas. The listing showed "Made in Italy" but the umbrellas said, "Made in China." Also, people contacted Burberry and they scoffed saying Amazon wasn't an authorized reseller. :eek:
     
  17. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #17
    Well, I just checked the Nikon UK website, and it has Amazon down as an official reseller, so it should be fine I think :confused:
     
  18. mcmadhatter macrumors 6502

    mcmadhatter

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    #18
    If you get sent a fake card

    1) When you report it to do you have to send it to ebay or can you keep it?
    2) If you claim under paypal protection do you have to pay the first £15 of a claim?
     
  19. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #19
    That's not the only fakes I have heard of being sold on eBay. DVDs, Games, Perfumes, Aftershaves, etc have a good selection of reals and fakes, personally I think if it sounds too good to be true then it usually is.

    My younger brother got caught out after buying Oz Seasons 1, 2, 3 (can't buy them in Australia) so he though he found a reputable eBayer but it was just a scam. After purchasing the DVDs the eBayer closed up shop and couldn't be contacted at all, we are still persuing the matter with eBay.

    I have found eBay is great however there are a few morons who ruin it for everyone else.
     
  20. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

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    #20
    I've never had a problem with Amazon.com, everything I have bought from them has been very well packaged and arrived in a timely manner.
     
  21. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    #21
    lol oh wow how stupid of me i never even thought of people making fake memory cards.

    i bought a 1Gb card a long long time back, on ebay for super cheap, both of my 2GB ( ultra II and extreme III ) i purchased in store from calumet photographic. and then just the other day i bought a 2GB SD ultraII for like $30 bucks.

    i check every single memory card i own, and they all check out. thank goodness. but i will be steering clear from ebay for memory cards now. i guess i got lucky.
     
  22. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    Canada, eh?
    #22
    My local Costco is where I would buy my memory cards, they have a Sandisk Ultra II 2 gig card for $99 Cdn which seems quite reasonable to me.
     
  23. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #23
    anyone ever had a bootleg micro SD card, i need a 1GB card for my V3i, i dont so much care if the cheap ebay ones are fake more if they work at a decent speed.
     
  24. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #24
    Sorry to say the tales of woe about fake memory cards and such CAN be chalked up to human nature of wanting the lowest price on what ever we buy.

    In regards to memory cards (at least with SanDisk) we know how to spot a fake. Doesn't help if we want to buy off the net, but in the store we should allow you to open the package to confirm the validity of the product. If questioned, having a printout of this link - http://martybugs.net/articles/fakesandisk.cgi - should help.

    I guess the lesson I learned from buying on eBay or from "lowest" price merchants on the web is - let the buyer beware - that is why I never tend to buy from eBay in particular, unless I am willing to suffer a "loss" on my purchase. And sometimes I am willing to take that gamble.
     
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