Pirates of Ebay?

I was browsing through the entries at Digg.com yesterday and found this link to a page in the Overclockers Australia Wiki on how to detect whether a memory card is fake or genuine. Photos featuring original and counterfeit cards, packaging and manuals were placed side by side for comparison with short descriptions on how to spot the fakes. Although most counterfeit versions look like the real thing at first glance, closer scrutiny would show the shortcuts counterfeiters take missing notches, serials or holograms on the cards. Labels also tend to be printed in darker ink or have blurred words in them.

Curious as to how the MS Pro Duo I bought from Ebay measures up, I quickly took it out from my mobile phone and compared it to the photos on the Overclockers Australia site. The face of the card was completely flat, missing a groove as shown in the photo of the original. Turning over the card, there was a hologram of what looks like a serial number and the words “Made in Japan”. I also still have the packaging the card came in with and aside from it looking like it’s been stored in a dusty warehouse for some time, the printing and the colours don’t look off at all.

So, is it fake? I don’t really know. But I can tell you that I’ve noticed that the card’s a bit slow when I’m copying files to and from it. The price was nearly half of what it would have been had I bought it from the stores. I’m thinking that perhaps it is. But at that price, would I have willingly bought a counterfeit if I knew about the fact beforehand? Perhaps not. Although I’m not really brand concious when it comes to things like memory cards, I still want to know that what I’m getting has been manufactured by a reputable company and that the product’s reliable.

The Ebay seller I bought the card from has sold several of these cards in the past and nobody seem to have experienced any problems so far as his rating is an untarnished 100%, meaning all of his buyers have given him a positive rating.

Oh well. As the saying goes, you get what you paid for. I just hope the card doesn’t suddenly die on me or cause my phone to malfunction in some way. Fingers crossed.

UPDATE (03/08/06): We went to the Sony store at the Galleria (along Elizabeth Street) today and I made a bee-line for the glass case where they keep their memory cards. I saw the 256MB and 512MB MS Pro Duo they’re selling and it looks exactly like my 2GB card. The face is also flat and except for the edging, it doesn’t feature any grooves either. So, either they’re also selling fakes or the card I bought off Ebay maybe genuine after all.

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Published in: on August 2, 2006 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment