Once upon a time I unfortunately purchased an Odyssey 2 Ball SRT Putter from Ebay User Blackpool7755. The putter turned out to be a fake. This was confirmed by Callaway Customer Services.
The simple rules in my honest opinion are:
- Check the serial number. Although this is proving more tricky, for example, I won't give out serial numbers due to the amount of genuine serial numbers that are being cloned in this way, so this is by no means a guarentee. If I am selling a club, it will always try to include the original sales receipt if possible. I only buy my clubs from American Golf as I have a great relationship with the guys there, so if you are buying a club from me, you are effectively buying from American Golf which is your 100% satisfaction guarentee.
- Check the sellers feedback. If the seller has a lot of recent feedback for 0.99p items, or all their listings/feedback are kept private, again, walk away. A lot of unscrupulous sellers get their mates to buy 0.99p items from them in order to rapidly build up 'good' feedback. Why make things private unless you have something too hide?
- Make sure PayPal is a payment option. That way at least you should be eligible for Buyers Protection, (but please remember to check the small print). Even card protection is no guarentee because by the time your card company makes enquires, the chances are the seller will be long gone, and so will your hard earned cash!
- Check out the manufacturers website and compare images of your prospective purchase against the ones on their site, or better still, visit your local golf shop and have a good look at a genuine club. The fake putter I bought looked ok to me on first inspection, but when I saw a genuine one in American Golf the differences were glaringly obvious.
- Remember the golden rule, "If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is"
Known Sellers of fake clubs:
blackpool7755. Seller of proven fake Odyssey SRT 2 Ball Putter. Feedback made PRIVATE! The guys name is Ke Wen Zheng, he is know to use 2 email addresses, they are; lambox5(@)hotmail(.)com, and jiandandexingfu789(@)yahoo(.)co(.)uk, (please ignore the brackets), and he is based in Glasgow, (City of). I am happy to say he is no longer registered, at least not as Blackpool7755!
- blueblueblueb. Was selling fake Nike Sumo SQ Drivers. He is now 'No Longer Registered' The guys name is Elliot Paul, and he is based in Darwen, Lancashire. (just in case he sets up again with another username!) Feedback was available to view, but all items were PRIVATE!
I sincerely hope that this information helps at least one person avoid getting ripped off.