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Thread: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

  1. #1
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Well, this was interesting. A few days ago I changed out all my strings - 2 mandolins, 2 guitars and a banjo. Once I finish that, the next step is to order replacement strings so they are on hand in another 3 weeks when I want to change them out again.

    This time, I ordered through Amazon, and with my Prime membership had the strings arrive in 2 days.

    Life's good - sort of. I had ordered a 3 pack of EJ16 guitar strings, and unlike the packaging from my last string order, this time it was three sets of EJ16s in three cardboard packages, within a shrink-wrapped envelope. And proudly on the front of the shrink wrap is a sticker proclaiming the strings as "Made In China." And, in the lower right hand of the cardboard packaging, it states "USA MADE."

    An obvious contradiction, as the photo below shows.

    Called Amazon, they're sending replacements. Spoke with George at D'Addario, and he was apologetic and frustrated. I am not the first person to have had this problem with Amazon selling counterfeit strings.

    The replacements that Amazon is sending should arrive tomorrow. It will be fascinating to see if they send me another batch of counterfeits. I promised George I'd let him know how the saga turns out.

    I wonder if I can trust the rest of the strings...?

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    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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  3. #2
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Not the first time this has been discussed. Interestingly, its been going on a long time. There's a discussion from 2010 right here about the very same subject.

    amazon has a link where you can "Report incorrect product information." We should be all over that.

    D'Addario usually keeps a document available on how to detect counterfeit strings. Here's the latest version below.

    Lots of places to buy strings. I don't care where anyone gets theres and this is not a criticism of the OP but I can't imagine this happening at Elderly, JustStrings, Strings & Beyond, The Mandolin Store and lots of other retailers familiar to us.

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    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Point taken, Scott.
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    Point taken, Scott.
    No, no, not your fault. Lot of us buy from amazon but with the moniker of being the world's largest retailer online, some common sense responsibility comes with that. We shouldn't have to worry about something so clearly wrong.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandolin Cafe View Post
    No, no, not your fault. Lot of us buy from amazon but with the moniker of being the world's largest retailer online, some common sense responsibility comes with that. We shouldn't have to worry about something so clearly wrong.
    I have heard it said, "the bigger the business the less responsible the business"

  9. #6
    Registered User Andy Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Always make sure that anything you buy from Amazon is shown as "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com." Amazon also acts as a portal for other sellers, and sometimes does shipping for other sellers. If it is sold by Amazon and shipped by Amazon, there is seldom any issue with counterfeit items.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Call me strange, but I'm curious as to how the "counterfeit" strings sound compared to the real ones.........

    I guess we probably don't want to know, it might create a demand for the wrong ones!

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    You could support a local music store who is a D'Addario dealer . . .

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    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    You could support a local music store who is a D'Addario dealer . . .
    Often easier said than done. My nearest music store is a 40 minute drive away and they don’t stock mandolins. So I doubt they’d keep sets of strings in stock

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    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    This has been a problem with violin strings for quite some time. Shar, one of the largest shops in the country, has this on their website: http://blog.sharmusic.com/are-your-strings-real-or-fake

    With a decent set of violin strings going from $50–$100, I can see the potential for fraud. But for $7 guitar or $5 mandolin strings? It seems like the equivalent of counterfeiting $1 bills, just more time and trouble than it's worth. I guess it's a volume thing.
    1988 Reno mandolin, Trinity College mandola, Kentucky KM 272 oval hole mandolin, a few bowed string instruments and some stray woodwinds

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by OneChordTrick View Post
    Often easier said than done. My nearest music store is a 40 minute drive away and they don’t stock mandolins. So I doubt they’d keep sets of strings in stock
    You could ask them to order for you. They might even give you a discount if you order several sets.

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    Registered User Jim Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    I received a counterfeit Timex watch directly from Amazon :-(

  19. #13
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    You could ask them to order for you. They might even give you a discount if you order several sets.
    I could but by the time I've factored in the cost of petrol, parking etc. it really doesn't justify the cost to support a store that I would only use to buy strings from. Might be different if I also bought other stuff from them. Plus I don't use D'Addario strings.

    My point is more that many people don't have a convenient local store that they can use.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Why would anyone wishing to pull off a 'counterfeit' state in a very obvious manner, that the strings were'' Made in China'' ??. Most counterfeit items state the 'correct' country of manufacture,that's what makes it so hard to track them down - i don't quite understand what's happened here !. If the shrink wrap had said ''Made in the USA'' you'd maybe have suspected nothing & the counterfeiters would have got away with it.

    IMHO - it's always best to order from well known music stores. Very often,for multiple sets they'll offer a discount. Here's the D'Addario 'Play Real' string checker :- http://www.daddario.com/PlayReal.Pag...8-f5106fd0219b,
    Ivan
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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    My nearest half decent shop is similarly a 40 minute drive away (Richtone music in Sheffield) thefore I always order on line. Luckily, on the last few occasions, ordering via Amazon, the cheapest has been Richtone and the price has been the same whether I order via Amazon, from their website or calling into the shop.

  24. #16
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Marshall View Post
    Always make sure that anything you buy from Amazon is shown as "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com." Amazon also acts as a portal for other sellers, and sometimes does shipping for other sellers. If it is sold by Amazon and shipped by Amazon, there is seldom any issue with counterfeit items.
    Hi Andy.

    Here's the interesting thing. If you look at those on the Amazon web site, you will see that they were sold and shipped to me by Amazon - not a third party vendor. I will say, the customer service rep at Amazon was concerned that they were directly selling counterfeit items, and said he was going to contact the buyer about this concern.

    My family routinely buys from Amazon, and we (fortunately) have never had problems with the quality of what we buy. So, when I needed strings last week, I added them to a family order. Never thought twice that I might get junk.

    It will be fascinating to see what I am shipped as replacements...should arrive today.
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Marshall View Post
    Always make sure that anything you buy from Amazon is shown as "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com." Amazon also acts as a portal for other sellers, and sometimes does shipping for other sellers. If it is sold by Amazon and shipped by Amazon, there is seldom any issue with counterfeit items.
    Except that Amazon allegedly doesn't always keep the inventory separate, rather they may "commingle" products from various suppliers. Here's a quick quote from an article "Does Amazon's Inventory Commingling Help Fake Products Fly Under The Radar?"

    "Part of the problem is with Amazon's inventory system, critics say. Third-party sellers sign up to shill stuff through Amazon's order-fulfillment services. All those products often get pooled together by bar code, regardless of whether they come from the brands themselves or other distributors. That way, Amazon can grab whichever product that's ordered at the nearest warehouse to the customer.

    "That means even if you buy something that is technically sold by Amazon under the brand's name, you might end up with a product supplied by a third-party merchant, which may or may not be the real thing. And that doesn't make brands happy, because it makes them look bad to consumers who receive counterfeit goods."

  27. #18

    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Sure, Amazon is convenient and all and I buy plenty of stuff from them but folks need to realize that they are not the best source for everything, nor are they always cheapest. Case in point:

    Just yesterday I placed an order with Strings & Beyond. I buy from them, JustStrings, or TMS depending on who has the best sale going on when I'm getting low (not when I'm out and desperate).

    My order was:

    3 D'Addario EXP74CM - On a buy 2 get 1 deal.

    1 Aquila 30U fifths - Since I didn't have a backup set for the banjolele.

    1 DR Rare Phosphor Bronze Light MD-10s - Compared to my usual GHS A250 (10-15-24-36), the gauges on the DR's (10-14-24-36) are slightly closer to the specs printed on the Flatiron's neck block (10-13-24-36) so figured I'd give them a shot.

    1 Martin Darco Nickel Wound 9150 Custom Light electric guitar - 4 of them are the perfect gauges (11-14-28-38) for restringing the Mandobird for half the price of buying individual strings!

    Add in a 10% discount still in effect for Valentine's and free shipping since the order was over $35, my total was $35.11.

    The same exact order on Amazon totals $68.62!

    Plus I'm supporting a small (internet) business where I know I'll be getting what I ordered as opposed to my local GC where I'd be lucky to find EJ74's and nothing else.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Why would anyone wishing to pull off a 'counterfeit' state in a very obvious manner, that the strings were'' Made in China'' ??....
    Any item being shipped into the US has to have the country of origin on them to get past a customs inspection. Once the inspector sees the Made in China he or she doesn't look any farther. They aren't shipping in illegal drugs, they are shipping what looks like a legit consumer product. That's why they would have the Made in China label on the box.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Don from D'Addario here - further to the question of how the strings sounded - not very good, would cover it. Some of the samples we've received started out fine much like any set of strings. Some died really quickly but the real point of note, is that the quality of the winding and lock-twists are rather questionable. Our concern is that if you purchased a set that says D'Addario and then have a poor experience with them, it's quite likely that you wouldn't purchase D'Addario again in the future. We're thankful for players who actually point this out and share their experience. It helps educate others to the issue. At one point in China, we were seeing 8 out of 10 sets sold there as counterfeit. We now have an office there in order to help us facilitate getting REAL products to the key retailers as well as fight the counterfeiting.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Stringsandbeyond.com is my go to for all of my instruments. Great prices and excellent customer service! I've bought from Amazon a few times if I needed something overnight.

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  34. #22
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    I've always had nothing but great experiences purchasing strings (Mandolin, Guitar, Electric and Bass) through juststrings.com. Good guys over there for sure.

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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    I just drive on down to Fiddler's Green every month or so and stock up! I know they'll be legit D'addario products, and I'm supporting the good folks at that shop, too. Win win!

    AND I get to play a bunch of really cool mandolins, and especially this really killer Passernig mandola that blows my socks off every time.

    WIN WIN WIN. Can't argue with that.
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  38. #24
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by TEvans View Post
    I just drive on down to Fiddler's Green every month or so and stock up! I know they'll be legit D'addario products, and I'm supporting the good folks at that shop, too. Win win!

    AND I get to play a bunch of really cool mandolins, and especially this really killer Passernig mandola that blows my socks off every time.

    WIN WIN WIN. Can't argue with that.
    That's a good point. When you go to a shop (if there is one reasonably close) you get to jam on sweet mandolins and dream. I do this at Dusty Strings were I buy strings too.

  39. #25
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Counterfeit D'Addario Strings from Amazon

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ Donahue View Post
    Well, this was interesting. A few days ago I changed out all my strings - 2 mandolins, 2 guitars and a banjo. Once I finish that, the next step is to order replacement strings so they are on hand in another 3 weeks when I want to change them out again.

    This time, I ordered through Amazon, and with my Prime membership had the strings arrive in 2 days.

    Life's good - sort of. I had ordered a 3 pack of EJ16 guitar strings, and unlike the packaging from my last string order, this time it was three sets of EJ16s in three cardboard packages, within a shrink-wrapped envelope. And proudly on the front of the shrink wrap is a sticker proclaiming the strings as "Made In China." And, in the lower right hand of the cardboard packaging, it states "USA MADE."

    An obvious contradiction, as the photo below shows.

    Called Amazon, they're sending replacements. Spoke with George at D'Addario, and he was apologetic and frustrated. I am not the first person to have had this problem with Amazon selling counterfeit strings.

    The replacements that Amazon is sending should arrive tomorrow. It will be fascinating to see if they send me another batch of counterfeits. I promised George I'd let him know how the saga turns out.

    I wonder if I can trust the rest of the strings...?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    UPDATE - True to their word, Amazon shipped me a package overnight. However, it only contained one set of mandolin strings, not two, and no guitar strings. EPIC FAIL. I left a review warning people not to buy D'Addario Strings from Amazon due to the company selling counterfeit products, attached a photo of the package stating made in China, and asked for a refund. Guess we'll have to see where this lands. I am very frustrated with the entire experience.
    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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