10 Ways Not To Get Scammed on EBAY!
We did a random survey of 100 golf club listings on EBAY a couple months ago and our “Golf Club Scam Alert System” found that there was a high-probability that 24 of those listings were FAKES! (24% of the club we surveyed were fake)
Since this has become such a problem we thought it would be a good idea to help you know what you are getting when you purchase something online. So today we are going to show you 10 ways not to get scammed when you are purchasing equipment online. But first, we want to give you the background on how this whole illegal operation all got started and why it is so rampant right now.
How & Where Golf Club Counterfeiting All Got Started
During my 11 years in the golf industry I have seen an explosion in golf club counterfeiters.
Why? Well there are many reasons why this became such a popular profession and one worth serious jail time and heavy fines. It all started when foundries overseas started to get the majority of the golf club production business from the United States. China and Taiwan began to get almost all the work in regards to golf club manufacturing about 2 decades ago. And now…the US produces next to nothing and the reason is cost and efficiency. The engineers and foundries overseas for the most part are finely oiled machines…they do incredible work at unbeatable prices. They are very good, extremely creative and incredibly hardworking. The majority of their workers put in 12-hour days, 7-days a week, and are paid only about $150 a month. But…and this is a big but…they can make up to $10,000 for stealing an original design by an OEM…which is a huge motive when you consider the fact that it is more than they make in 5 years!
Secondly, and no less important to the cause of golf club counterfeiting is the fact that so many people now touch this product or design before it is completed. There are now lots of middle-men involved in the production of a golf club…believe it or not there might be over 75 people touching a design before it hits the shelves. And this leaves much more room for mischief. This is where the majority of the shadiness begins. There is much less control when lets say a company like Taylormade gives its design to a firm overseas compared to one in its own backyard.
The counterfeiting of golf clubs actually began in Taiwan although after the Taiwanese government started enforcing intellectual-property laws and the Taiwanese wages went up compared to China’s, the roles reversed and now China is the main producer of counterfeit golf clubs. They make about 85% of all the counterfeit golf clubs on the market today. Although…ironically many are funded by Taiwanese investors…interesting huh. Employees make such little money, that they’re will always be stealing and the selling of molds going on in this business. Even though many foundries perform daily body searches with metal detectors at every entrance an exit and security cameras which watch over them like hawks during their shifts…it still won’t make a difference. There is just too much to gain…the market for this has just gotten too big.
So, why do we keep using these foundries to make our clubs you ask? Well the big OEM’s will tell you…the benefits and rewards (profits…go figure) are just much larger then the risk of someone knocking off their club. If they didn’t use these foundries, drivers instead of costing $300 would run you about $1000 smackeroos! And iron sets…shewwww fogetaboutit!
So How Do You Avoid Buying A Counterfeit Club? How To Spot A Fake!
We spoke to reps from every major name brand golf club company on the market and then put together a comprehensive checklist for you to use the next time you purchase something of EBAY or from any online retailer for that matter. And if you don’t think these fakes are showing up in the big retail stores…guess again. Almost all of the big chains have had to implement mandatory inspections of every club that comes through their shop because the quality of the counterfeits are getting so good. And that is why we put together the most comprehensive checklist.
GOLF CLUB MANUFACTURERS
- Callaway 1-877-CALLAWAY (877-225-5292)
- Taylor made 1.800.888.CLUB (2582)
- Ping 1.800.4.PING.FIT (1.800.474.6434)
- Mizuno 1.800.966.1211
- Cleveland (800) 999-6263
- Nike Golf 888 799 6453
Examples Of Counterfeits (Via GolfBidder.co.uk)
FAKE CLUB TEST #1 – Callaway X460 Driver
One of these is one of Callaway’s superb long-hitting X460 driver manufactured from pure titanium. The other is a cheap imitation which hits the ball considerably less distance. The fake, here, is on the left – note how the number 9 denoting the loft is a slightly different font – and how Callaway written on the side is less defined. Note also that the plastic ferrule – which covers the join between club head and shaft – is slightly thinner on the fake.
FAKE CLUB TEST #2 – TaylorMade r7 460 Driver
The heads on the TaylorMade r7 460 drivers are uncannily similar – even the fonts are pretty close – although the shade of orange on the crescent isn’t quite right. (The counterfeit is the on the left by the way).
FAKE CLUB TEST #3 – Nike Sumo SQ 5900 Driver
To the untrained eye, the counterfeit driver (left) is not immediately apparent; the main giveaways are that the yellow paint is not quite the correct shade – and the casting of the raised triangular shards within the yellow section are not as crisp and proud as the genuine article.
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