If you're reading this you're probably looking at buying a memory card, possibly for a digital camera. Maybe you've heard of Sandisk before. Just looking on eBay you've probably seen the huge number of these cards going at less than 75% of retail price, brand new they claim, manufacturers warranty they say... sounds too good to be true?
It is. Be very wary of any of these cards - there are a huge number of fakes on eBay at the moment that they are doing nothing about. Sandisk cards are a particular target, espescially the Ultra II range.
Give away 'fakes':
Listed with 5 Year/1 Year/No Warranty - Ultra II cards come with a Lifetime Warranty as standard. Even Standard Sandisk's come with a 5 year warranty.
Packaging - If the card is 'retail packed' it will come in a sealed plastic container, not a cheap cardboard imitation. It should have a leaflet or pamphlet telling you a little about the card and warranty.
No Serial Number / Edge Stamp. All Sandisk cards should bear a serial number either on the reverse of the card or stamped on one of its edges. Eeven if it does have this, call Sandisk customer service on 0207-3654-193 (UK) and get them to confirm that your card has a genuine serial number. If not, get a refund from your seller.
Very cheap? High postage and a very low bid price- why would a genuine seller let a £80 card go for £15? Maybe because its actually an £8 card with a different label on it? And these people sell hundreds of these a week.
Check the capacity of the card is correct. The card should report its useable capacity as just under the quoted card size, for example a 1gb card should have approx 990mb free space.
If you've used memory cards before and have bought an Ultra card - check its speed. These cards should be considerably faster than any standard card. If you can, benchmark the card against a standard card of the same size, by copying data to it from your PC and timing how long it takes to complete.
NEVER buy a card that is sent directly from China/Asia. These are fakes. Always buy from the UK.
Just because this guide focuses on Sandisk doesn't mean other cards are all genuine-its just because Sandisk cards are the most widely targeted here. If in any doubt, all cards will bear a serial number, call the manufacturer and get them to check for you- they'll be more than happy to stamp out any trade in fake goods with their name on it!
Hope this helps even a few people buying inferior goods on a brand name!