At the Laptop Power Supply Shop we come across customers on a daily basis that complain that our prices are too high and that they can purchase the same products from the likes of eBay much cheaper. We explain time and time again that we can't even buy our chargers for the price they are sold at on these market places and that the offerings are for the most part fakes. Some customers take our advice but others aren't so easily convinced.
We're not too concerned that we are losing customers to these marketplace sellers, as we generally end up speaking to them on the phone a few weeks later where they tell us how their recent purchase went up in a puff of smoke. What we are concerned about, is how eBay are allowing sellers to sell counterfeit and in some cases illegal products on their platform and the fact that these sellers don't appear to have any consience whatsoever that one of their products could electrocute a child or burn down a house.
As an experiment, last week we made a test purchase from an eBay seller who claimed to be selling genuine laptop chargers. It's difficult to tell from a poor quality ebay image what you are actually buying and images are usually stolen from another website anyway but we purchased four chargers that appeared to be the real deal; a Samsung branded 90W charger, a Sony branded 90W charger, a HP branded 65W charger and a Liteon (Acer) branded 90W charger, all priced at £8.99 including a power cable.
Afterall, if these really were genuine chargers, we could stop buying our chargers from our usual supply chain and get them from eBay at a greatly reduced price.
Below are our findings for each of the chargers.
This was the image displayed in the eBay listing. This reselmbles something that we would expect to receive from the manufacturer. The correct Logo, correct company name, correct model number (PA-1900-04)
Above is a photo of the charger that we recevied. Firstly you will notice that there is a lot less information on the label. Less warnings and less safety marks. Not only that we also noted the following.
Don't get caught out, buy your Genuine OEM Charger for your Acer laptop right here.
This was the image displayed in the eBay listing. Very poor quality but at a glance looks like it's meant to.
Once again we can see that what's been supplied is different to the image shown in the listing and the following points make it clear this is a fake.
This was the image displayed in the eBay listing. Again very difficult to judge authenticy via the image due to quality. We did notice the image of the 3 pin plug as these are known illegal power cords (see below) but as we know images are often taken from other websites we took a chance in the hope that the power cable would be different to that pictured.
Despite the obvious lack of weight for a 90W charger we couldn't find anything immediately wrong with this charger, until we spotted the model number and an issue with one of the warning messages.
You can purchase a Genuine OEM Samsung 90W charger from The Laptop Power Supply Shop.
This was the image displayed in the eBay listing. Once again with a poor quality image we can't see the detail, but it looks just like we would expect from a Genuine Sony charger.
This is most certainly the worst of the bunch with glaring errors that clearly indicate a counterfeit charger.
As you also see by the images of the top of the charger, a Genuine Sony charger has the Vaio brand embossed into the charger casing and tip. This is missing from the fake.
You can purchase a Genuine Sony charger with a 2 year guaranatee right here.
These cables aren't just fakes, they are plain and simple illegal and dangerous.
We won't rewrite an entire article already written by PlugSafe to explain why these cables are illegal and dangerous. We'll just link to the PlugSafe Article who explain in great depth.
In summary though, should you choose not to read the full article by PlugSafe.
We have reported all of the above findings to Trading Standards and also Action Fraud. We don't seem to be able to find any way to communicate with eBay unless we are the brand owner and are part of their VERO programme. It remains to be seen if anything is done about this seller, but we'll keep a close eye and update here if anything transpires.
In the mean time, please buy safe. Some things just shouldn't be bought cheap. eBay are not the only place where fake chargers and cables are available, they are rife on Amazon and many other .co.uk websites.