I'm going to guess s/he paid $57 (3 @ $19) + tax just like anyone else buying a lightning cable from Apple.
the apple cable has an authentication chip in it that third parties don't. might not work, so its a risk.
I dont think the cables have an authentication chip like the car keys have on their fobs, that wont work with the original car key fobs.
I doubt, apple has come to that stage as of yet.. even if it is.. they wont sell something like that for cheap..