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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
As many of you know, there are counterfeit items out there but the most recent one I bought was a Gates cambelt for my 24v 164.
Having bought several of these before and always being away of counterfeit possibilities when buying on ebay, rather than from a trusted supplier like Alfissimo, I logged onto Gates own verification pages:
https://www.gatestechzone.com/en/pr...ion/verification/verification-general#option1

This confirmed my belt was counterfeit. Was furious with the seller, who sells so much stuff they may not even have been aware it was fake. Reported it to ebay anyway and asked for a refund on counterfeit grounds; no reply as yet.

Be careful out there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not good. What tipped you off for it being fake before you checked with the Gates site?

Will we know who the seller is?
Hi Del.

It just looked wrong. Normally there is a diagram of the belt configuration on the blank white front area and the price had been 25% lower than others and generally seemed too 'clean'; i.e. generic and lacking all specific belt details. The sealing tape just said 'VOID', which is also generic, rather than Gates and delving into the Gates website page for identifiers quickly confirmed suspicions.
If it hadn't been such a critical part as a cambelt I might not have bothered but glad I did.
The seller is a UK-based ebayer but it could have been anyone. My advice would be, if it is a critical part, either buy it from a trusted seller or check it via the manufacturer's own website, or both. Manufacturers are getting very good at offering verification procedures on their websites now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Out of interest, when I was in Halfords, probably the UK's largest consumer motorfactor, I asked a member of staff about cambelt packaging and whether it would always meet the full standards. He said no - it depends on where the belt was made. So now I'm none the wiser.
Have contacted Gates about it and had my query acknowledged but nothing more so far. Will post when they reply and if they don't.
Happy motoring,
R
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys. Yes, Jason, that is exactly the look of box I was expecting to get and Charles, brilliantly detailed breakdown of the printing.

I did report the item to ebay and the seller is giving a refund. Still no reply from Gates though...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Still nothing from Gates. Have emailed them, yet again but getting tired of their less than enthusiastic response. Ebay have a policy of not letting reporters of possible fakery know the action the are taking - which I'm guessing is nothing, judging by the amount of counterfeit stuff available on ebay. Starting to feel like, if they don't care why should I? For my part, I think I've done my part by raising the issue here.
The lesson seems simple: if it's a critical part, buy it only from a critically renowned buyer.

If Gates do bother to get back to me I will post their reply but I'm not holding my breath.

Stay safe, with good parts, and thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Further complication.

I received a TRW brand part and it had the exact same 'VOID' seal on the box and the same lack of QR anti-counterfeit code etc on the box. I contacted the seller and they gave me the name of their supplier. Guess who? They said it was the UK distributor for TRW. I checked them out and appears they are also the UK distributor for Gates. So got in touch. Was asked to send in pics of the 'offending' items and did so. Silence so far... And still silence from Gates, despite three emails. And nothing more yet from TRW, who I also got in touch with.

What is going on? The picture I am beginning to get is the big brand global rhetoric against fraudsters and their three stages of anti-counterfeit identifiers are being circumvented on cost grounds by national distributors. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen it. The alcohol industry in the UK seem guilty of it too - using cheaper labels than officially required. It is saving pennies/cents at the expense of leaving us mere buyers in the dark as to whether products are genuine or not. Stupid is probably the politest word I can think for this.

But maybe I am wrong and have missed something or just been dreaming. Either way, will update this post when have any updates from any of the organisations involved.

Happy motoring.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Formal update:

Gates have replied the belt is genuine. What seems to be happening is several manufacturers are bulk supplying minimally wrapped parts to major distributors and these major distributors are saving money by placing them in generic packaging.

Have seen this before in the alcohol industry and the whole thing makes a mockery of attempts to thwart counterfeiting by careful labelling.

Gates have been asked to consider this mockery of anti-counterfeit measures and will be writing to the major distributor involved directly too. How on earth are consumers supposed to know what is genuine if even genuine distributors junk genuine packaging?

Madness!

Until the situation changes though, the only way we can feel safe is to buy items that do come in the proper packaging, with items that have the proper markings on them. Yes, I am now told by the belt manufacturer that the cambelt bought is genuine and it does look genuine but.... If the cambelt goes, so does my engine and my car. What a horrible situation they put us in for the sake of them saving a few pennies/cents in packaging.

If Gates or the distributor give any further response I'll post it here. Feel glad the items are genuine but frustrated they weren't properly declared as such, via proper packaging, in the first place.
 
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