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Check for Counterfeits - stung on 32GB Kingston SDHC card

Discussion in 'Recording' started by adiant, May 4, 2009.

  1. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    I got blindsided by the 32GB SDHC memory card I just bought for my brand new Marantz PMD620 digital audio recorder. It should have let me record 54 hours of continuous stereo 44KHz WAV (i.e. - CD quality) audio.

    It was a Fake! An eBay seller with a perfect record, who runs a reputable landscaping business in Montana, sold 25 of these beauties on eBay. And has already got nearly a dozen great feedback comments from the other 24 buyers. I wonder how long it will be before any of those 24 realize that they got stung.

    I'm not so smart. I only happened to contact Kingston because the packaging with my card was obviously intended for sale in Asia, so I was worried about my warranty, after the "Grey Market" warranty issues of the '90s. I was shocked when I was told it was a fake.

    How to tell: no engraved/printed info on the back of the card; no Authentication Code and other info on the back of the paper packaging inside the container; packaging opened without damaging the plastic container.

    But the label on the front of the card was an identical clone of the real label you'd find on the real Kingston card.

    This is not about someone making the same product, just using the Kingston name to increase sales and prices. This is about a product that is not what it appears to be. I didn't have a chance to check, but what I've read says that it really was a 1-2GB card that was modified so that it reported to the operating system of the computer (Windows, Mac OSx, etc.) that it was 32GB.

    Here is what I know about mine: it wrote very slowly, finally speeding up to less than one-third the speed of a real Kingston card SD4 card; reformatting failed, leaving me with a 0 byte card with 0 bytes of remaining space, and nothing I could do to change that fact.

    On the up side of all this, although the eBay seller sounded skeptical that it was a fake card, he promised a full refund if I returned it to him. Innocent me, I sent it first class mail to avoid a huge postage bill for something trackable, so we'll see what happens. I also read elsewhere that I technically broke the law, as it is illegal to transport counterfeit products through Canadian or American postal systems.

    Also to protect myself, I filed a Dispute with PayPal a couple of days before the deadline, which gives me several weeks to receive my refund before time runs out on making it a formal complaint, and getting my money back from PayPal/eBay.

    I'm also wrestling with the question of the 24 other suckers who bought one of these. Obviously, I won't do anything until I get my refund or PayPal pays me off, but what then? I do feel considerable responsibility for making eBay a safer place for Buyers.

    Based on Googling I did at the time I originally made the purchase, I believe this seller innocently bought these 25 cards from a "wholesale clearance centre" web site where you have to buy a minimum of 25. They were $24.95 each plus shipping. He sold them for $64.95 each with free shipping.

    Recent searches -- actually I saw them in Google ads -- no longer show this clearance centre site.

    Bottom line: check items out to be sure they aren't fake before it's too late to do anything about it. Even if you trust the seller, he/she may have been fooled by a wholesaler.

    And, please, don't give me that old "if it's too good to be true" nonsense. It just isn't true with technology. USB and Ethernet cables have been selling locally for $22-$30 Canadian for a decade now. But go to MemoryExpress, BCom or your local equivalent, and prices start at $2.50 for better quality cables!

    Plus, in these troubled economic times, goods are being picked up for 10 cents on the dollar when companies, especially retailers, go bankrupt. So, 80-90% discounts off retail are easily possible. A simple closing of a local Office Depot store had 40-80% discounts on stock, even though they could have just transported it all to another of the still-open Office Depot locations in the same City.

    And on eBay, lots of people got stuff for free, and are glad to recover 15% of an item's value. Admittedly, I could also be describing "hot merchandise" that was stolen from a truck or warehouse.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    OP, (adiant) if you want to get this googled better, you could rename your topic to be more specific about the product. The title has the strongest keyword indexing followed by its content.

    Good luck!
  3. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    Good point! I wanted to put out a general warning, but specific is even better.

    I've changed the title, as suggested.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I see a lot of stuff on EBAY that looks suspicious and a lot of merchandise that looks like a real bargain but then something on the packaging or on the merchandise looks iffy. I guess if it were me I would only buy memory where I could physically hold it or see it and make sure the place you purchase it from has a good return policy. One place you may want to know about is Micro Center. they have good prices, great service and they have a very liberal return policy. Here is there web address http://www.microcenter.com/ sometimes they have GREAT sales and everything they advertise and sell is top quality.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have a PMD 671 and it won't recognize more than 4gig no matter what. Just an FYI. I would be very surprised if the 32gig card worked properly. Also micro-drives are problematic in this line.

    Sorry for your counterfeit problems. If the guy is close, I can go bust his kneecaps for you (just kidding DHS monitors!).
  6. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    Thanks for the concern! Fortunately, I was able to research the PMD620 before I bought it, as detailed in farther down this thread (Dead Link Removed)

    Marantz themselves wrote an FAQ that says that the PMD620 can use up to 2TB SDHC cards! As I wisecracked in that thread, "now if they'd only tell me where to buy one".

    Obviously, I don't have a working 32GB card to test with, but the 16GB card that I bought locally to replace it, formatted perfectly. I'll do some more testing to know how well it records, but don't foresee any problems. As I also got a personal response from a Marantz rep. who said that the PMD620 automatically splits into multiple WAV files whenever it would exceed the 4GB limit on standard WAV files. Without missing a microsecond of sound.

    Latest News: I got a full refund, including the insurance (shipping was free) from the eBay seller.

    For the record, it would have been impossible to tell that this was a fake from the eBay auction. The original picture was taken from the Kingston web site, as the seller had not received the ones he was selling yet! AFTER I bought one, I got an e-mail saying that the packaging was different than what was shown. BUT, he only showed a picture of the front of the SDHC card itself, which is a perfect clone of the real one. No pics of the back of the card, or the packaging.

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