How to spot a fake product in a race for bargains

As a place where you can Sell Your Mac and Sell Your Laptop, we have to look out for a fake product all the time. Counterfeiting is a huge industry. Lots of people worldwide are involved in this shady business, producing fake technology the sometimes may be visually indistinguishable from the original. Sometimes fake technology is even produced in the same factory with the original. “What is the difference”, you may ask. But fake goods quite often may not only be a poor investment, lack support services of the original manufacturer, but also hazardous, as the production does not follow the same quality control as originals.

Our guide how to spot a fake product.

Build, design, and performance

Quite often build and performance defects are easy to spot: ragged edges, cheap plastic body, things are not properly aligned, and etc. Production of counterfeit goods quite often uses cheaper materials or little to no quality control. When you take one of these devices in your hands you may notice how unexpectedly light the thing is. Boot the device and try to use it for a while. Note any error messages that pop up, slow performance, lack of or delay in touch-responsiveness, unusual clicking, buzzing or beeping sounds.

Product code, details and features

Make sure you check specifications of the product with the online listing or another point of reference. Check that you have the product you have ordered. Try the little things: ensure that cameras, fingerprint readers, wireless connectivity are in full working order. Take a closer look at the device and search for production details: serial number, model, service tag. Quite often you will be able to check service tag and serial number on manufacturer’s website. If you having troubles looking the device up, it could be a sign of warning.


It is very easy to skip terms and conditions assuming that it is all the same. It is not. It is crucial to familiarise yourself with all “formalities”. Especially the part about the warranty. For new items the warranty is normally at least one year, for refurbished items 6 months warranty is acceptable. The shorter warranty period is yet another warning sign.


The proverb “cheap man pays twice” has never lost its relevance. We are all tempted to get the “good deal” and find the cheapest price. However, you must never lose the boundaries of the sensible price range. Surely, in the case of refurbished items, the price will be lower than one of an official retailer, but even here a £50-laptop should make you stop and think. What may appear as a small sum of money, yet could be a small sum of money thrown away.

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