Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beware of fake/phony Alfa products

In the past month we have confirmed with Alfa the removal of five online marketplace listings that were for fake Alfa AWUS036H wireless USB adapters. Some of those had in excess of fifty sales. A phony Alfa adapter is not like a pirated song or movie. A fake Alfa product only looks very similar on the outside. On the inside the hardware is inferior, the performance is sub-par, and there is no warranty from Alfa. Here are some tips to help ensure you are buying a genuine Alfa product, and to help keep the market clear of pirated products.

1. Always be sure to purchase from an authorized reseller of Alfa products. Authorized resellers have passed a multi-faceted test with Alfa to ensure they give the best customer service and support, and it also confirms they buy the products directly from Alfa to ensure they are 100% genuine. Alfa will be launching a reseller verification page very soon, but in the meantime you can confirm if a seller is authorized by contacting Alfa directly via their web site (http://www.alfa.com.tw).

2. Be cautious of killer deals. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. All of the removed listings mentioned in paragraph one were selling well below the regular market price. Sellers of pirated items can sell them very cheap because they are not quality items and cost very little to make.

3. If you are buying for resale, check to make sure the distributor you are buying from is an authorized reseller, or obtained them from an authorized reseller. A proportion of pirated sales comes from reputable and honest online shops who did not investigate their purchasing source.

4. When in doubt, contact Alfa directly with a link to the advertisement or web page of the seller. If you have already received a product and want to make sure it is genuine, email Alfa with the name of the place where you purchased the item, the date of the sale, the serial number, and MAC address of the item you received.

When fake items are sold, we all pay the penalty. Reputable businesses lose sales, Alfa loses sales (which means less money to invest in developing more great products), and perhaps most importantly, the people who unknowingly buy the fake units get an item of inferior quality and performance.

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