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:
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,