Counterfeit Ski Equipment – Seriously?
It is beginning to look as though no industry, market or sport the world over is safe from the influence of counterfeit manufacturers and general dodgy dealers. Until recently, it had been suggested that at least skis and snowboards had the potential to remain unaffected to a significant extent, for the simple fact that creating counterfeits of either or would be too difficult and expensive in its own right.
Sadly, and as if to serve up a slap in the face to those who doubted the pluck of the black market, counterfeit skis, boards and other equipment have indeed found its way into circulation and concern over the numbers is growing.
The trouble is, unlike most counterfeit goods that represent nothing more than wasted money for those who fall foul, counterfeit skis have the potential to be mortally dangerous. From substandard materials used in the overall design to poorly fitted bindings and hugely dangerous weak spots, riding on counterfeit skis and boards is literally like rolling the dice with fate.
So, the question then begs as to how best to avoid taking home these potential death traps?
Well, the good news is that common sense and vigilance will as always prevail and those willing to exercise a little of both can be sure to steer clear of the cons and only ever enjoy the real-deal.
A no brainer if ever there was one – ensure that all such purchases are made via authorised dealers and the chances of taking home a clone fall to as close to zero as makes no difference. This applies to both online and High Street stores, therefore look out for official certification/authorisation and you’re pretty much in the clear.
Lack of official authorisation doesn’t necessarily paint a picture of a rip-off merchant, but care should be taken nonetheless. For example, are the products on offer in line with the current season’s range at other retailers? Are the prices on par or unusually low? Are there are apparent discrepancies in the designs? Is the retailer offering any kind of guarantee? Assess all of these points and the risks can be reduced considerably.
If looking to buy skis or a board second-hand in-person, you should be able to assess the overall quality of what you’re looking at with a thorough hands-on inspection. However, when it comes to buying second-hand wares online, it is here that extra caution must be exercised to avoid investing in something you’d be very much safer without.
Again, you need to be looking at things like the price – is it in line with what you’d expect, or does it seem too good to be true? Is the seller a genuine enthusiast or someone that doesn’t know what he/she is talking about? Do they have a background in selling this kind of thing? Do they have any feedback from previous sales? What kinds of guarantee are they offering on the product?
This might seem a lot to take into account for no more than making a purchase on eBay for example, but the sad truth is that this is becoming the everyday standard for products across the board as the black market expands and shows no sign of slowing down in the near future.