According to a study conducted in the United States in January 2010 the number of counterfeit instances increased from 3,868 in 2005 to 9,356 in 2008. Globally, it is found that all facets of the electronic component supply chain reported findings of counterfeit products. These statistics are steadily growing due to the market forces we have present today, such as outsourcing and off-shoring, and the way in which global E-waste is handled. It is recognized as almost impossible to stop the production and distribution of counterfeit electronic items, but it is up to you to avoid consumption of the counterfeit electronic products knowingly.
Here are a few ways how to avoid being duped by counterfeit electronics components: (tips collected from American electronic resource)
- Be very aware of the electronic component you are about to consume. Before actually considering a product, take the time to carefully inspect the product. Many consumers tend not to exercise this particular right their entitled to and are evidently duped. Don’t wait until you are stuck with a electrical product with bogus components, nip it in the bud and check for any incorrect spellings on labels and packaging or clumsy printings or logo markings. These are evident signs of counterfeit production since it is a legal requirement that all prints on a label and product packaging be correctly spelled regardless of the language. Aeri, a component distributor that has been leading the way in counterfeit detection had this to say, “We will never sell a fake, Aeri is too proud to do that. Not only that, counterfeit Aeri, and you will get blown up to the rest of the industry”
- Even though bargains and discounts may be convenient for you and your pocket, be aware that the majority may be counterfeit electronic products.
- Further, inspect the product for strange date codes or dates that may be in the future. This is a also a common mistake made by counterfeiters.
- Keep looking for signs of re-attachments, remarking, blacktopping, other forms of resurfacing, strange indents and uneven surface textures. Counterfeiters usually would resort to sanding down or try other methods to conceal certain markings on electronic components that they would want to reuse.
- Check for safety regulatory parts that may be missing. For example, if a product is moisture sensitive they will require a humidity indicator card/ dry pack, etc. Research these requirements and put them to use during purchasing.
Being duped with counterfeit probably happens more during shopping online, to easily avoid this; check customers’ reviews about their products and services, or get recommendations from family members or electronic products blog sites.
The most important tip to remember is to always trust your gut. The majority of counterfeit electronic products are proven to be manufactured in China; arm yourself with past and present facts and apply them when shopping electronic components and related items to avoid being duped and having money and time wasted, or worse, a life in danger.