They say that imitation is a form of flattery... but I think we can all agree that finding out that some brand-name product you just bought is actually a knockoff is anything but flattering. In fact, depending on how much you spent, it could be downright infuriating.
Thankfully, there are some useful tips you can use to spot a fake so you don't get taken advantage of the next time you go shopping.
1. Examine the packaging
Counterfeiters often ignore smaller packaging design elements, while official retailers ensure that every part of the packaging and design experience is in line with their overall vision for the product and/or how it should be experienced.
Be sure to check the print quality: official retailers make sure their font is legible and consistent throughout. Inside the packaging, nothing should be loose or rattling around as real manufacturers pack their goods tight to prevent damage during shipping. Even the seams of the plastic wrap should be impeccable.
2. Examine the user manual
The user manual is a critically important aspect of any product (especially tech products). All the relevant information pertaining to the product must be in the manual, written without spelling/grammatical/print errors in the language of the country of purchase (and usually several others). If the manual is only written in a language that is not local to the country of purchase, it may be a copycat or smuggled item.
3. Examine the material
Any material, whether it's metal, plastic, rubber, or whatever else, has high- and low-quality versions. Yet again, the original retailer is less likely to cheap out on these materials. Their plastic will be smooth and seamless, and a close inspection can often reveal superficial flaws that distinguish an obvious fake from the real deal.
4. Examine the fonts
Any major company knows that their logo is the face of their brand, and can never be compromised upon. Logos are always instantly recognizable, often even after years of wear and tear.
If you see something slightly off on a logo, don't just think it's a simple printing error - the real company wouldn't let that faulty product be sold.
5. Examine the charger
Unless you specifically purchased an item that you personally imported from a different country, chargers for electronic devices are always optimized for use in the country of purchase. So, if you live in Europe, your charger should feature European-style plugs. If you're told to buy an adapter or a separate charger, it's a potential red flag.
Brand-name chargers have seamless plastic and don't usually have parts in different colors. Real manufacturers are also liable for unsafe products, which is another reason why their version usually has neater tips and better insulation.
6. Examine the wires/plugs
Real charging wires are designed to fit into the socket firmly and evenly. If your wire sits loose or at a weird angle, it's probably a fake. The length of the plug is also an area to look out for. The quality of the wire and insulation will also be signs that can determine authenticity.
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H/T: Bright Side