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  1. #1

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    Fake SD camera memory cards!

    I posted a simular article on the Photographers Club in the MC Gold section recently, but then I thought… Not all MC readers are Gold members and not all folks who use digital cameras or either MC Gold members or read the Photography club…

    I recently bought a couple of SD memory cards from a couple of sellers on eBay. I also just found out about the huge fake memory card market.

    I bought a SanDisk 1GB Standard and a SanDisk 1GB Extreme III. The Extreme III looked a little fishy (no serial number on back), but the Standard looked OK.

    I did a little research and I found out that there are 3 different kinds of fake cards.

    1. Failed to pass Q&A, resold to a commodity seller who then puts them in the channel. This is a Low quality card, beware.

    2. Product overruns (these are good cards) that are "extra" but not certified, and put into the channel, and sometimes sold with products and as OEM products. These cards have no serial number but are just as good as a "real" card.

    3. A fake, fake card which is unreliable. No good at all!

    Anyway, I did some more research, and I found that I got very luckey, both of the cards are genuine SanDisk.

    The SanDisk standard was confirmed at the SanDisk site through registration, and I contacted the seller who sold me the Extreme III (Christmas Eve) and he responded very promply that the Extreme III was an OEM version and warrented by his distributer for one year (I paid about 1/3 retail) so I guess that's OK, and he says he has a satisaction guarentee, and asked if I wanted to return the card. As far as I can tell, he sounds honest, so I'll keep it.

    I got lucky if anyone decides to purchase camera memory from eBay, be very, very careful. Make sure the seller has a return policy and ask about the origin of the cards before purchase.

    Here are a couple of good links about fake SD and other camera and flash memory:

    http://www.overclockers.com.au/wiki/Fake_Memory_Cards

    and

    http://reviews.ebay.com.au/BEWARE-of...00000000706427

    There are some good cards on eBay, just be careful.

    Also, there have been reports from folks who got fakes from resellers from Amazon, and of all things a couple of brick and mortar stores (Staples and Circuit City were reported by a couple of posters on the DPReview forum) I'm not sure any reseller is immune from gettig fake cards. Whenever you buy a SanDisk memory card go to the SanDisk site and register it, if it fails registration, it is likley a fake, take it back to the vendor you got it from and report it.

    The moral here is, if you buy any flash memory for your camera, SD, CF, whatever, check it out.

    I hope this helps someone else,

    CU@DL

    Andy

  2. #2

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Whoops I forgot to mention, even though there are four categories of memory cards sold on eBay, from what I understand they do not fall in a equal distribution. The fourth categoriy is a genuine SanDisk Memory card, from a reliable source. I've read that there are more fake cards on eBay than real, so you don't actually have a 1:4 chance of getting a good card on eBay. From what I read it is more like 10:1 against getting a non-fake.

    I got extremely lucky. If you do your homework before hand, you can find an honset seller and stand a better chance of getting a good card.

    Also, I understand that your chance of getting a good card goes up if you buy from a vendor who is in the U.S. and your chance goes down if you buy from a vendor in Hong Kong or S.E. Asia, as more of the fake and bad cards are dumped there.

    IHTH

    CU@DL

    Andy

  3. #3

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Did you give him negative feedback and report him to ebay?

  4. #4

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Thanks for the warning! I was about to buy a card on ebay too.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Thanks for info


  6. #6

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Wow! I didn't even know about fake cards and have been thinking about getting a new one for my camera. I just learned something new today! Thanks for that!

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Quote Originally Posted by barfownz View Post
    Did you give him negative feedback and report him to ebay?

    I did not need to. The cards I got were OK and the sellers were fine also. My warning here was, be careful, check it out first. I did not know of the fake media market until after I purchased. But for some reason, what I got was good, and delivered promptly. I gave both vendors a positive.

    CU@DL

    Andy

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Thanks for the heads up!! I am alsway buying from ebay, I am glad to know all this. I will buy my card from a near by store.

  9. #9

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakuna Makarla View Post
    Thanks for the heads up!! I am alsway buying from ebay, I am glad to know all this. I will buy my card from a near by store.
    Even if you purchase locally, be sure to register the card with SanDisk. By registering with SanDisk, you will use the serial number on your card and if it is a fake, the resigtration will be rejected. If you get a fake you should contact SanDIsk, and the reseller who sold it to you to get the other fakes removed from the supply chain.

    CU@DL

    Andy

  10. #10

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Wow! I had no idea this was possible! I guess I got lucky with the card I bought on eBay! I got a great deal on a 2GB card and thankfully didn't get burned! But if I buy anymore I'll pay more close attention!




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  11. #11

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Just curious.. how cheap are these cards you bought CU? Flash memory is one of those things that can be dirt cheap if you wait. Are these 'too good to be true' prices? Like $15 for 2 or 4gigs?

    Curious where the 'fishy' price point may be.

  12. #12

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Just curious.. how cheap are these cards you bought CU? Flash memory is one of those things that can be dirt cheap if you wait. Are these 'too good to be true' prices? Like $15 for 2 or 4gigs?

    Curious where the 'fishy' price point may be.
    If you can find a reputable reseller, then any price is OK. You just need a reseller who will stand behind the product they sell.

    As for Too good to be true prices,

    Example retail prices on SanDisk's site are:
    SanDisk Extreme III 2G is $130
    SanDisk Extreme III 1G is $80

    Standard Sandisk 4G is $180
    Standard Sandisk 2G is $90
    Standard Sandisk 1G is $55

    Sometimes these cards can be had by local resellers for about 1/3 off of these prices (2/3 retail + sales tax out the door). I haven't see them much beyond 1/3 off at brick and mortar storses (sometimes extremely good sales, but not often less).

    So when you get down to where the price is 1/2 or less than retail, start asking about the reseller. Start emailing them and finding out about polocies and where they get their cards.

    $15 for 2G to 4G seems in the extremely fishy category.

    Another thing I have noticed is that the resellers on eBay out of the far east (and some other places) have extermely low, low prices, but the shipping and handling is way out of line with what everyone else wants, so the memory price may be low, but the cost to get it to my house is no better.

    There is also a page (I believe connected to the eBay page in the link) that lists resellers on eBay who are suppoed to only sell genuine cards.

    Lots more to check out on memory than I want to deal with when buying, but if I want qulality memory to protect photos I take, it pays to get the good stuff, where ever youget it. Just check it out!

    As for large cards, my personal preferance would be to carry two 1GB cards rather than have 1 2GB card in my camera. On some cameras that shot 8 or 9 MP RAW format, maybe have a 2 GB installed and carry a 2GB instead of having one 4GB installed. I figure if I divide my photos on seperate memory cards, and a memory card goes bad, I don't lose all my photos, but that's just my preference.

    Oh, the prices for my cards, too low $30 for the 1GB standard and $40 for the 1GB Extreme III, but I got lucky, extremely lucky.

    I hope this helps,

    CU@DL

    Andy
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  13. #13

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Thanks for the data.

    I typically watch for deals .. typically associated with rebates.. but flash is a hot sale item. For instance, Kingston themselves had SD 1gig for $10 the other day.. and 2gigs are common under $20 if you wait for it. The 'ultra' style stuff is usually under $30 as well.. 1 and 2gig are commodity now.. its the larger 4gig stuff that still demands a bit of a premium.

    I paid $37 OTD for Sandisk 2g ultra back at thanksgiving without rebates and that was without waiting for a deal.

    I agree though, Brick and Motars are typically much higher on this stuff - and should be avoided like the plague

    Have you had much problem with media going bad? I've never had any problems with CF, but my father has had a failure or two with his memory stick pro. Now my devices are memory stick pro and SD. Need to pickup a good cheap combo reader again..

  14. #14

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Woo, 'im glad that the card I bought off of eBay is legit!
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  15. #15

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    Re: Fake SD camera memory cards!

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverNeverland View Post
    Woo, 'im glad that the card I bought off of eBay is legit!
    There are good ones out there, even on eBay. You just need to be aware of what to look for and be careful.

    CU@DL

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