While some may say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, in the automotive manufacturing world it is not. In fact, terms like knockoff, copycat and more are all just a nice way of saying counterfeit, which is illegal an illegal activity that costs the US economy billions of dollars every year. Read below to learn more about counterfeiting, why it is a problem, how to spot a counterfeit STILLEN product and what you can do to help.
What Is Counterfeiting?
Counterfeiting is creating and selling an imitation of a brand-name product. The counterfeit product is typically made of low quality materials and do not have the quality and attention to detail that STILLEN has built its reputation on
Why Is Counterfeiting a Problem?
Counterfeiting hurts everyone involved, but most especially the customers that purchase the knockoff STILLEN product. It is not uncommon for us to read negative reviews on third party websites about counterfeit items. As one customer said of the counterfeit urethane part they purchased from a counterfeiter, “Poor quality. I just wasted my money.” Unfortunately, this happens all too often and once you have purchased, there is very little we can do to help you get your money back.
How to Spot a Counterfeit?
Knowing a product is counterfeit can be difficult. This is especially true when shopping online where counterfeiters can make a few subtle changes to their listing to make it look as though you are purchasing genuine parts. Would you know that the listing below is a listing for a fake STILLEN product?
Because of their low barriers to entry, most counterfeit sellers peddle their products on popular marketplace sites like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and more. Now, just because you find a STILLEN product listed on one of these sites, DOES NOT mean that the product is automatically a fake. STILLEN actually sells on Amazon and eBay and has several other authorized retailers that do the same. Keep reading below for more information on how to identify counterfeit STILLEN parts.
Because of the high quality materials and detailed manufacturing process, genuine STILLEN products are priced at a certain level that all reputable manufacturers will be following. If you find a reseller that is priced significantly lower than everyone else, this seller is likely selling counterfeit goods.
Now you might be wondering how counterfeiters are able to manufacture such in expensive products. The answer is simple – they copy the STILLEN design and use lesser quality materials. As an example, counterfeiters that sell urethane body parts cheaply are able to do so because they use urethane chemicals with a high amount of filler (typically calcium or silica). In contrast, STILLEN only uses pure urethane polyols made in the USA. The filler in the counterfeit body components will make the part brittle with little flexibility, causing it to crack easily. This is why STILLEN is able to offer limited lifetime warranty against defects on our urethane parts. Whereas the counterfeiter does not or they will tell you go to STILLEN for your warranty – which we cannot honor because it is not our product.
Each authentic STILLEN part will have the STILLEN logo in the photo – either in one of the corners of the image or on the part itself. If it does not, there is a good chance that the part you are viewing is not an authentic STILLEN part.
Name of the Part
Most often, counterfeiters will use names that imply the part is a STILLEN product. Here are a few popular aliases used by counterfeiters in their product titles:
- STL Style
- STILLEN Style
Be wary of these products. These are NOT STILLEN products and are made by counterfeiters who are trying to trick unsuspecting purchasers into believing these are genuine products.
STILLEN Packing and Stamp
Each STILLEN part that leaves our facility will do so in a STILLEN box with STILLEN tape. Additionally, each part that we manufacture will have the STILLEN logo and part number stamped into the part.
What You Can Do to Help
Don’t Purchase Counterfeit Products
The best action you can do when you run across a counterfeit item is do not purchase. By not purchasing, you are not financially supporting the counterfeiter and are removing their monetary incentive. If enough people do this, they will be forced to shut down their operation.
However, that being said, we know that the price is a main factor in deciding whether or not to purchase a knockoff or the real thing. When you are faced with this issue, be sure to keep in mind that despite how tempting the price may be, you are not getting an authentic STILLEN part. This means that the part is not made of our high quality materials by expert craftsmen, does not come with the customer support we pride ourselves on and does not come with the manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty that all STILLEN parts come with. If you have problems with your knockoff part, unfortunately, we cannot assist you.
Let Us Know
The next best action you can take is to let us know that you have come across a counterfeit part by calling us at (866) 250-5542 or email us at Sales@stillen.com. When you contact us, please include as much of the information listed below as possible:
- Name and contact information of the seller
- Type of location (swap meet, online, retail store, etc.)
- Location (physical location or URL)
- Do the items say STILLEN, have a STILLEN logo on it or a variation of the STILLEN name or logo?
Please note that all information you provide us with will be considered anonymous. We thank you for your help in the fight against counterfeiters of STILLEN performance parts!