How to Spot Fake SanDisk SD Cards on eBay ... Watch out!

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Fake SanDisk SD Cards on eBay ... Watch out 

How to identify counterfeit or fake SanDisk SD Cards.
A significant high number of eBay sellers have been deceived by inferior quality, unpopular cheap, slow SD rebadged as SanDisk Ultra or Extreme for quick profit as a very high percentage of all 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB SD cards listed on eBay are counterfeit items. Genuine buyers got scammed by fraudulent eBay sellers everyday and this process keep on happening.
Most of these come from China but can be from anywhere so you should check the SD card out carefully when you receive it and don't just go for the SD card because it is cheap.

Below is a stringent list of Certified Genuine & Authentic sellers for peace of mind purchase of flash and computer memories on eBay. One can safely purchase from these sellers as they have been through our restrictive process of verification & checks:-
  1. 1800memory - I used them to buy my SD cards and they were great!
  2. memory-r-us
  3. techinfiniti
The list is open to all genuine sellers to join. Due to overwhelming requests to be on the list, sellers MUST maintain 99.8% and above eBay feedback and/or a minimum of 1000 positive feedbacks before you will receive a reply. These requirements even surpass the standard eBay PowerSeller program at any level.

Since many have not seen genuine production SanDisk unit and counterfeit is now made to appear like 80% genuine, it is indeed difficult for most people to tell them apart. From the pictures submitted by eBay sellers all over the world, we are exposing the physical difference in the counterfeit which you can benefit from whether you intend to purchase one or make comparison with your own. Beware of sellers that are using original SanDisk web download pictures to sell counterfeit SanDisk as they do not represent the actual item that you will receive!

These are a few things to look out for on the card you are buying:
Clue #1 Front view
  1. Genuine has a 'notch' at the bottom edge of the card. Fake does not have the 'notch' is all flat.
  2. Genuine has white color plastic sliding Lock switch. Some fake has sawteeth on the sliding switch and some is yellow color.

Clue #2 Front view (Zoom-In)
  1. Fake has inferior low resolution dot-matrix printing on the dark gray wave lines easily exposed by zooming in.
  2. Genuine uses print ready/control vector art technique to print the label. Fake has imperfect logo print (white edge artifact, a result of printing over the original scanned duplication).

Clue #3 Back view
  1. Genuine has a 'notch' as the bottom edge on the card. Fake does not have the 'notch'.
  2. Genuine has 2 lines of white color production batch/serial number 'BE06xxxxxxxxB' and 'MADE IN CHINA' near the bottom edge. Older fake usually has none. Newer fake has other different pattern of characters like: 'CN0605330205D', '828690621024', 'ASYD0607CG', 'ASS0606DH', ... and using quite different font face. If you see other variant patterns with non-white colors, they are fake.
  3. Newer fakes are now being reported to have the 'legitimate' batch number like the genuine so this may no longer be a useful criteria.

Clue #4 Retail packaging view
  1. Genuine has all its printed wording properly set and allign. Fake has the red 'II' word out of allignment (it may sit lower or higher) with the rest of the 'Ultra' word. Some fake also have the 'R' trademark logo much smaller in size.
  2. On the circular 'TICK' logo, genuine has 'LIFETIME LIMITED WARRANTY' wording. Fake has 'LIMITED' wording missing. 
  3. On the '10MB/s 9MS/s' speed rating logo, genuine has thick white color band ring with 'LECTURE-LECTURA' below 'READ' and 'ECRITURE-ESCRITURA' above 'WRITE' enclosed inside the white band. The language is French and Spanish respectively. Fake usually has 'READ' in Chinese and 'WRITE' in Chinese characters and without the thick white color band ring and without these foreign language wordings. Beware of the sellers who have this part of the item picture consealed when selling.
  4. Genuine always has the card position inside the semi-clear plastic clamshell as pictured below. Some fakes are using larger clamshell with the card upright but the clamshell is at 90 degree rotated position.
  5. All retail package has the golden metallic 'SanDisk 3D holographic sticker' at the front of the retail box with unique serial number, as pictured. However newer fakes are now being reported to also have changing serial numbers. Learn the FACTS about unique SanDisk serial number here.

Clue #5 Exposing internals
  1. Upon snapping open a fake 2GB SD card, we discover the PCB is unmarked with unmarked/unknown brand flash memory chipand it uses Hyperstone S2-16XQ memory controller.
  2. Genuine uses Ball Grid Array (BGA) memory chip where the pin connections are beneath the chip whereas the fake uses TSOP(Thin Small Outline Package) chips where its pin connections are on the edge. Fake always perform unreliably.

Clue #6 SanDisk counterfeit hotline
  • SanDisk counterfeit Hotline & Contact
What to do if I have acquired a counterfeit item! Who is responsible?
  • Selling counterfeit items deceiving as genuine is considered as FRAUD, not merely a simple mistake. It is seller's sole responsibility.
  • Consumer protection laws are designed to protect all consumers, the gullible as well as the shrewd. The fact that a false statement may be obviously false to those who are trained and experienced does not change its character or take away its power to deceive others less experienced. Our consumer protection laws were enacted for the protection of the people, many who are trusting and naive about the wolves of the business world who come dressed in lambs' clothing.
  • Counterfeit items are NOT covered by genuine manufacturer's LIFETIME warranty.
  • If your item is from high volume sellers, don't be left ALONE in the battle, kindly advise and encourage all buyers in same situation as you are to take action.
How to get full refund and how to expose fraudulent eBay sellers?
  • Check if the seller is still actively listing the same counterfeit items today!
  • After confirming receiving counterfeit item, please follow eBay guideline to contact seller to obtain full refund from seller. However if you are NOT telling PayPal/eBay about this problem, you are NOT assisting the process of exposing counterfeit sellers. 
  • Many counterfeit sellers are willing to provide full refund, only if they get caught by you, if you did not catch them, they are laughing their way to the bank. So it is STRONGLY recommended that you must always file a report to PayPal/eBay by completing the Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described process dispute after 10 days of item closing date so they are alerted of the development of fraudulent transaction and seller's BAD record will be permanently written in PayPal/eBay dispute system. If you have paid by Paypal, completing the Paypal Buyer Complaint Process to obtain full refund from Paypal within 45 days. Effectively you will get your money back either from the seller or from Paypal. Most important by going through the PayPal/eBay reporting procedure, you have assisted the process of exposing fraudulent sellers on eBay.
  • Since you have NOT been provided with what you have paid for, it does not falls into seller's return policy of faulty product so that they can get away for you to return the fakes at your own cost. Counterfeit is FRAUD, do not settle with the seller unless the seller is paying for all the associated return shipping cost of the item. You are covered by the 90 days protection period under eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program.
  • In many countries it is actually ILLEGAL to post counterfeit merchandise by mail or by commercial carrier, if the merchandise is being discovered by your local Customs, they will be confiscated with HEAVY FINE to both sender and recipient. If PayPal / eBay seriously wants you to ship the counterfeit items back to sellers before offering a refund to you, you should seriously bring the LAW to their full attention.
  • You still own the right to provide negative feedback against the seller to alert the fraudulent situation to warn other eBay buyers to uphold the eBay values and community spirit. Provided that you have provided negative feedback to the seller and if subsequently the seller provides you with an unfair retaliatory negative feedback, you have a case to lodge against the seller by requesting eBay for feedback removal to fully protect your feedback.
  • Beware that intentional wrong feedback extortion tactic is on the increase where you will receive a "positive comment/feedback in writing" but then it was purposely selected as red negative. Sellers are using this tactic so it would make you to believe that he has carelessly chosen the wrong feedback radio-button so that you would agree to mutually to retract the negative feedback you have provided him earlier in order to hide all his past BAD ratings. They have sold you a counterfeit, so don't fall into his feedback trap the second time.
  • In most countries, FRAUD is a CRIMINAL offence and injunctions may be brought against the fraudsters to prevent them from moving on under a different name after being banned. Thus, you may choose to contact your law enforcement agencies or each respective brand manufacturers in your region, to report counterfeit and provide them with your item detail and the source of the item, seller's address and contact phone number.

Why eBay did not put a full stop to all these fraudulent activities?
  • We have been informed that eBay will NOT act unless the trademark owner (SanDisk, Sony, Kingston) contacts them. All buyers report to eBay hoping that the sellers receive permanent suspension for supplying counterfeits are in vain. eBay will ONLY act if directed to do so by your local law enforcement agency or the rightful trademark owner under eBay’s VeRO program.
  • You must file a complaint to your local government agency (in Australia is the Department of Fair Trading) about your seller. When increasing amount of fake reports are received daily by the government agency, pressure will accumulate and more heat will be generated.
  • When there is enough pressure and momentum, something will eventually be done as such government agencies are obliged to act against eBay's unguarded open web channel of allowing high influx of fraudulent items into each country's public marketplace, directly from overseas.

I hope this helps some of you out there, who are unsure or unaware of this. Be careful and buy safely. 
Happy eBaying!
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