On 11 October, 2017 I ordered a refill for my Canon inkjet printer, from Amazon India, from this order page. I’ve ordered the ink from here previously and it seemed genuine. However this time the price did seem too good to be true. The maximum retail price of this ink bottle is Rs 499. However I got it at a deal, at Rs 350. To a seasoned buyer like myself, that set a few alarm bells ringing. However, since it is Amazon, and not Ebay, and since Amazon is generally a marketplace I trust, I went ahead with the order.
This wasn’t a “Fulfilled by Amazon” product. The seller, “Epson Online Store”, shipped it after two days, and to my consternation, it was shipped by India Post. Today I received it, and I was greeted by an absurd looking packaging which seemed as if it was packed by a clumsy four year old. On opening it, a cursory glance told me it was fake.
Signs of a fake ink bottle:
1. The image of the ink bottle printed in front of the cover is faded and almost pinkish
2. The packaging feels to be of inferior quality.
3. There is a hologram, but contrary to actual Canon hologram which is of multicolor-golden and green, this was only golden.
The above signs may be difficult to recognize for a casual buyer.
The following are glaring signs of a fake/spurious product:
1. The month and year of manufacture is a date in the future. Today is 10/17. But this one reads 10/19. Someone is being overconfident!
2. Glaring typing mistakes in the packaging.
a. The email address says “[email protected]” (with two L-s).
b. Manufacturer is spelt as manufaccturer.
c. “For consumer complaints” is typed as “fiercconsumercomplaints”
d. Bottle is typed as “bottlee” in one place and bottle in another.
e. Manufacture is spelt as nanufacture.
For a duplicate, this seems a hopeless bad copy. What irked me the most is how this seller, Epson Online Store had blatantly lied about the genuineness of this product when I sent him a mail before placing the order.
It seems a lot of people have fallen prey to this counterfeit menace (see below screenshot from Amazon order page. Yet, Amazon India seems to be doing nothing to remove these sellers from its marketplace.
I have sent the seller a strongly worded message. Queries sent to Amazon India’s official twitter handle did not evoke any response. I will keep this post updated on what transpires.
Joel G Mathew, known in tech circles by the pseudonym Droidzone, is an opensource and programming enthusiast.
His favorite pastime is grappling with GNU compilers, discovering newer Linux secrets, writing scripts, hacking roms, and programs (nothing illegal), reading, blogging. and testing out the latest gadgets.
When away from the tech world, Dr Joel G. Mathew is a practising ENT Surgeon, busy with surgeries and clinical practise.