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I Bought Counterfeit Razors on Ebay

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Back when I was starting this blog, I wrote a post about Saving money by buying razors on Ebay. (It's fun to look back to 2006 when a 150-word post could generate 17 comments.) I still use the 40+ blades I got back then.

Recently, my wife mentioned she needed new razor blades - Gillette Venus blades to be exact. I always give Amazon a first look, especially since we became prime members. However, the prices were over $2 a blade. I quickly went back to Ebay and found someone selling blades for $1.20 a piece. The catch was that I had to buy twice as many I bought before, more than I think she'll use in years and years. The other catch, since you've read title, is that they were counterfeit, but at the time I didn't know this.

I almost had a new business model. Buy something in bulk and break it into pieces to sell individually. My wife is starting to get slightly very addicted to selling on Ebay, so this would be perfect. It would be easy for her to keep a couple of boxes for herself, and then sell the rest, likely collecting $50 in profit.

It was all going according to plan until she listed the blades. Ebay ended her auction the next day with a note that the blades were counterfeit. She had no idea because the box looked professionally done and she hasn't used any from the box she put aside. We opened up a box and compared a blade to one bought at a local CVS. Clearly they were of a lesser quality.

I registered a complaint with the seller and he said that he'd refund the money if I ship the blades back. Having now done some research, I found an Ebay Buyer's Guide, that said I shouldn't return the blades. The seller will just sell them elsewhere. So I refused to send back the counterfeit product. The seller went George Brett Crazy saying that I just wanted to get free blades. He also said that he couldn't get the money back from his supplier without the product. I had three thoughts here:

  1. He's right, I have nothing better to do with my time than to try to buy counterfeit blades on Ebay, so that I can use the crap product for free (Sarcasm). To prove the point, I suggested that he ship me authentic product that he bought from CVS or other reputable location and keep my money.
  2. It's not like people passing counterfeit bills or fake IDs should expect to get them back, right?
  3. If the supplier doesn't give this seller back his money, he should call the police on him for selling counterfeit products.

I offered to send the blades to a disinterested party for disposal, which he agreed to. Unfortunately Ebay didn't want to be the disinterested party. I awaited their guidance and they took the lazy way out. They said to return the counterfeit product to the seller as he's offered a refund. I had to pay the costs to return the product - $11 and that wouldn't be refunded. I guess that's my penalty for being the victim of fraud?

I really thought about writing "counterfeit" on the boxes so that they couldn't be resold to unsuspecting consumers. I mentioned it to my wife and she said, "Do you really want your money back? If you do that he'll probably complain that the product was destroyed and you won't get your money back." Since, I had no faith in Ebay customer support doing the right thing, I decided she was right and sent the product back in perfect condition, except for the one box we opened to ensure the product was indeed counterfeit.

Last updated on September 9, 2013.

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8 Responses to “I Bought Counterfeit Razors on Ebay”

  1. phr3dly says:

    I bought a couple seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’ on ebay. The discs didn’t play on any of my DVD players and, after a closer look at the packaging, it was clearly faked. I’d say it was a 85% reproduction, but just didn’t have the polished look you would expect from a genuine product.

    The amazing thing to me is that the seller had very good feedback.. like 99.7% on thousands of transactions. How it’s possible to get feedback that high while selling what, as far as I could tell, was exclusively counterfeit merchandise (I looked at the seller’s other auctions; all appeared to be for counterfeit DVDs) I don’t know.

    In my case the seller refunded my money, and said that she would refund shipping after I sent the DVDs to her. I opted not to send them back, and destroyed them.

    By the way, I have also started to find counterfeit items on Amazon, even on those shipped directly from Amazon. I bought several “Belkin” USB car chargers that were fakes and have seen others that numerous reviewers flagged as fake.

  2. Steve says:

    One time when I bought some Mach3 blades off ebay. I later received an email from ebay that they seller had been suspended, and they proactively refunded my money. I still got to keep the blades. I later learned they were almost certainly counterfeit, but at the time, they seemed good enough to me.

    Even buying off Amazon is no guarantee; there are many reviews complaining about counterfeit blades amongst the Mach3 reviews.

  3. Money Beagle says:

    Even if you buy them on Amazon, you have to be careful to note that Amazon has to be the seller, not a third party seller. Otherwise you could fall trap to the same thing.

  4. I’m actually pretty impressed that Ebay managed to identify counterfeit blades from a listing which the seller (your wife) thought to be genuine! If you had to open a box to determine they were fake, how did Ebay figure it out?

    • Lazy Man says:

      Now that I know what to look for, I can say the box is clearly different than the others. It has a much bigger “bulge” in front for lack of a better word. The box did say that it was made in the UK, so I felt the need to open up an confirm to make sure that they didn’t just have different packaging in different countries. I wasn’t going to simply take Ebay’s word that they were fake and give up what I thought was a great deal without looking.

      I suppose Ebay, by having the knowledge that such counterfeiting exists, and a large sample size of various counterfeited products, probably can spot it pretty quick. I wonder if they have someone focusing on such high counterfeit items. Maybe they’ve got a rep for Gillette doing a daily scan? Seems like the kind of thing that Gillette could be interested in since Ebay is a large market.

  5. Evan says:

    I am almost positive that you were one of the sites that inspired me to look into the safety blade. Am I right? It was YEARS ago (like or or 5+).

    If so, couldn’t get the wife on board?

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’ve heard so many good things about the safety blade (also 5 years ago), but I never gave it a try since I had so many Gillette Fusions that I need to use up. I think I still have well over a dozen.

  6. Alex says:

    Razor blades are just such a rip off, those big brands like Gillette pay only $1 or less to make them and sell for like $20
    in the UK its worse. We have several other brands selling razors blades such as Bearded Colonel which has razor blades on subscription for less than £10 each month. I think subscription razors are probably the best way forwards for the active shavers!

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