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KMC Chain authenticity question, bought on Taobao

Old 09-05-22, 11:00 AM
  #51  
BCDrums
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
What stops a counterfeiter from just copying the code?
Good question. When I put in the code for confirmation, the website returned a message confirming that the strings were legitimate, and it said:

Please note that attempts to authenticate the same Players Circle code a second time will produce an invalid result.

However, after seeing your question, I put the same code in two more times and got a Verified both times, so it didn't seem to work. Will drop them a note, see what they say.

I do know that when you go to a ballgame or a concert, they scan your ticket's bar code. The next guy who tries the same code won't get in, so such a technology does exist.
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Old 09-05-22, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
What stops a counterfeiter from just copying the code?
You see this with the calibration certificates on the boatloads of fake Mitutoyo calipers in the world. In that case the serial number on the calipers often doesnít match the one on the certificate inside, and if you buy multiples they all have the same serial number.

Invalidating the SN doesnít help as someone could check the SN before purchase, invalidating it for future users. Nobody wants to register their chain.

Supply chain traceability like a shipping tracking number could solve this. If for example the KMC we page says that chain was sold 3 years ago to a local distributor in France and Iím looking at a seller in east Asia or the USA then the odds are good something is fishy.
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Old 09-05-22, 06:02 PM
  #53  
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I am sending the fake chain back to China.
> One of the easiest ways to spot fakes is the model name font which will be inconsistent.

Ah, yes, I see now that the zero is oval in the fake "0" but a sort of rounded rectangle in the real KMC packaging.


Fake zero is thinner and oval, real zero is fatter and slightly straight on the vertical sides
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Old 09-05-22, 08:16 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
I buy a dozen sets of guitar strings during the year. Cost per set can range from $6-$18. Guitar players have to watch out for counterfeit strings in the same way that bicyclists have to watch for bogus chains.

One of the string manufacturers, an American company called D'Addario, puts a unique 19-character code on each pack of strings, which may be sold individually or in 3- and 10-packs.

A pack of D'Addario guitar strings with unique code

A buyer can go to its website and enter the unique code to confirm it's a legitimate product. D'Addario also uses the code for a promotional/loyalty program.

It would seem that KMC could do something similar to allow consumers to verify its chains in retail packaging.
Thank you for the reference. We are also looking into similar options for packaging.
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Old 09-07-22, 09:03 AM
  #55  
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Somewhat off-topic

I wrote:
Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
Guitar players have to watch out for counterfeit strings in the same way that bicyclists have to watch for bogus chains.

One of the string manufacturers, an American company called D'Addario, puts a unique 19-character code on each pack of strings...A buyer can go to its website and enter the unique code to confirm it's a legitimate product...It would seem that KMC could do something similar to allow consumers to verify its chains in retail packaging.
Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
What stops a counterfeiter from just copying the code?
Originally Posted by BCDrums View Post
D'Addario website says:
Please note that attempts to authenticate the same Players Circle code a second time will produce an invalid result.

However, after seeing your question, I put the same code in two more times and got a Verified both times, so it didn't seem to work. Will drop them a note, see what they say.
D'Addario responded:

Thank you for reaching out! Our Play Real site is currently experiencing a bug - but our team is actively working on getting it resolved. During normal function, the Play Real site will only authenticate a code once, but since there is an issue on the site currently, this is resulting in a valid code being able to be authenticated multiple times. We are hoping to have this issue resolved shortly.

So the idea of a unique code on a chain's package that could verify it as authentic seems quite feasible.

Good luck, Papa. In the meantime, I buy my chains (and strings) from reputable sites and businesses and I don't have to worry too much about counterfeits.
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Old 09-07-22, 05:08 PM
  #56  
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I get counterfeiting Rolexes. Good ones can sell for thousands. But bike chains? Down to the packaging?? I would have never guessed.
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Old 09-07-22, 06:01 PM
  #57  
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Incidentally, the difference in the packaging of Shimano chains (which are also afaik made by KMC) is as below,

Fake the three slashes towards the top left hand corner of the cardboard box are printed all in white

Fake Shimano Chain without Silver top Right
by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr
Genuine the first two of the three slashes are printed in silver ink

Genuine Shimano Chain with Silver top Right
by Timothy Takemoto, on Flickr
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Old 09-12-22, 08:04 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
What stops a counterfeiter from just copying the code?
The best fake verification method I know is used by Pineng power bank brand.

You have to scratch the verification label at the back side of the packaging. Then you will see a unique serial/verification number, that you have to enter in Pineng website. It will return if the number is valid or the date and time the first valid verification was tried.

The detailed procedure could be seen here: https://pineng.com.my/Beware-Of-Fakes

The site for entering the verification number is this one: https://pineng.com.my/Product-Verification
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Old 09-12-22, 01:25 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
There are a lot of things valuable enough to counterfeit but I don't think bike chains are one of them.
You might not have shopped for a chain on EBay lately...I would not be surprised if 80% of the Shimano/KMC chains for sale are fake....
P.S....I don't get my chains from EBay
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Old 09-12-22, 03:03 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by smd4 View Post
I get counterfeiting Rolexes. Good ones can sell for thousands. But bike chains? Down to the packaging?? I would have never guessed.
Letís say for a moment that the counterfeit costs as much to make as the name brand product (Iím guessing it does not).
You get the same sale price, so right off you get the same margins as the OEM.

You also save:
Warranty (goes to Shimano).
Packaging cost (those reflective bits cost something).
Advertising cost.
Cost of development for any IP.
Iím guessing some cost of quality. Those details that Shimano puts into the side plates have some tolerance and Iím guessing itís tighter on the genuine product. Same for proper metallurgy though thatís a low fallout sort of activity.

Better yet youíre doing something harder to track down than a high dollar item.

Of course you also sacrifice my definition of basic morals, but thatís just my opinion.
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Old 09-12-22, 03:18 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by AndrewJB View Post
..I would not be surprised if 80% of the Shimano/KMC chains for sale are fake...
I would.

Of course it depends on your definition of "fake". Possibly the same chain, but lacking proper packaging, or a "back door" product, or even a reject from a bad production batch. Otherwise, there's no reason to tool up to produce a counterfeit unless you can sell it at a large margin close to what the original would fetch.

A lot of so-called fake bike items were originally made and sold to an OEM. Later they were surplus to needs and unloaded onto a middleman to sell.

You make money counterfeiting high value goods like Rolex because they fetch a high price and there's plenty of room to make a passable fake cheaply, and make a good profit while still undercutting the original.

The economics of bike chains aren't anything close to that.
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Old 09-12-22, 05:16 PM
  #62  
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I agree with FBinNY, in the early 2000s while doing vendor evaluations for industry I was fascinated by the shift in fakes and quality legitimate production endruns, etc. from the alley behind the American Embassy to the massive Silk Street Market. If the parent company does not do it's due diligence and manufacturer can get the same steel supplier, have all the production equipment ready to go, only short the Shimano provided packaging so the package lettering or color is off you might actually get a good deal.
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Old 09-13-22, 01:19 AM
  #63  
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In the case of the chains in fake Shimano packages (without the silver bits) the chains that I bought from aliexpress did not last at all long -- less than 3000km.

I think I can usually get nearly twice that from even the cheapest (FSC) chains that I buy but then in the past I have tended to wait for chain drop before changing chains rather than using a tool (my waxing experience is going well so I think I will be using a tool in future).

There several reviewers saying that some of the fake KMC chains are failing on the first ride but I have sent mine back so I will not find out. The seller claimed "It came from the factory" and the chain itself looked like a real one rather than the fake pictured on the KMC site.

KMC chains from individuals in non fake seeming boxes are now pretty cheap on auction in Japan, their price perhaps having been depressed by the fakes.
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Old 09-18-22, 08:45 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I would.

Of course it depends on your definition of "fake". Possibly the same chain, but lacking proper packaging, or a "back door" product, or even a reject from a bad production batch. Otherwise, there's no reason to tool up to produce a counterfeit unless you can sell it at a large margin close to what the original would fetch.

A lot of so-called fake bike items were originally made and sold to an OEM. Later they were surplus to needs and unloaded onto a middleman to sell.

You make money counterfeiting high value goods like Rolex because they fetch a high price and there's plenty of room to make a passable fake cheaply, and make a good profit while still undercutting the original.

The economics of bike chains aren't anything close to that.
80% is too high, but you may be surprised at the amount of fake chains online. Check out the multiple Shopee and Lazada websites for a deep dive. If the seller claims that the chain "came from the original factory" but it's in a fake aftermarket box, they are lying. If it's a grey market OEM chain (without AM box), they would likely sell it in it's polybag packaging.
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