I was buying GHD's for the first time and saw that I could buy them on ebay for about £20-£25 less than the best deals in the shops. I managed to get a pair that were advertised as genuine GHD mark 4's - for £65. The seller, based in Durham, had 99.7% positive feedback, most of it from people who had bought GHD's and were more than happy with them. Postage was £8 which seemed steep but anyway - they arrived withing 2 days. I was delighted. They were fully boxed, with DVD and instructions.
On the label of the straighteners it said to check the 'hologram' section on the GHD site to ensure they were genuine. Looking closely, I noticed a very slight scrape to one of the plates. But having read the online guides to spotting a fake, I was relieved to see;-
- the bar codes on the cable tag and the straightener itself were different - as they should be
- the holograms appeared correct, a picture of straighteners with GHD logo in background
- after 30 mins of inactivity, they went onto standby, and the LCD turned amber - and they beeped
Everything abouit them seemed correct - even the tag encouraging you to check their authenticity! Just to be sure I phoned GHD and they told me this code had been registered over 100 times - a sure indication they're fake.. I raised a dispute through Paypal and got an imediate refund with a load of rubbish from the seller about how 'all GHD's are made in China, no such thing as a fake, just GHD making sure they don't lose any money.' If this were all true, why on earth did I get a full refund...
I'm just writing this to let people know that positive feedback makes no difference if people haven't checked whether or not they have fakes! The girls in my office have used their GHD's for years and had not idea these were fake...I now have a genuine pair. The instruction books are thicker, way better quality and not in a plastic sleeve. On the fakes, there was no space between 2 of the words on the DVD - this is not the case on the real thing. However, other than that, it's pretty hard to tell - unless you can check the code before buying, I wouldn't bother. I actually got my real pair for virtually the same price I paid on ebay by using a discount code and Quidco.