Genuine MRF cricket bat made from English willow for only £40.00 - does this sound familiar?
This guide has been written to help you form an educated opinion about the authenticity of cricket bats for sale on Ebay, if you want to know how to spot a potential fake cricket bat then read on!!!
Firstly let's start with a short lesson in economics - if you sell an item that was an unwanted gift or you bought the wrong size or type you would typically expect to sell the item for between half and threequarters of its original value. If, however, you were selling items to make a profit you would expect to make a decent profit on your investment and this is the first clue to the originality of a cricket bat, so ask yourself - if you bought a bat direct from the manufacturer at trade price, how much can you buy a top of the range cricket bat for?
The answer will vary, but to give you an idea, the Asian manufacturers which sell their bats cheaper than English and Australian manufacturers would normally sell their bats for the following approximate prices:
Top grade - £75.00 (MRF Genius Ltd Edition, BDM Dynamic Power Super, CA Plus, Puma Ballistic, BAS Blaster etc.)
Grade 1 - £65.00 (MRF Genius, Puma Stealth, BAS 444 etc.)
Grade 2 - £55.00 (MRF Blazer, Puma X-Bow, BAS Legend Gold etc.)
Grade 3 - £45.00 (MRF Bonzer, Puma Octane,
Grade 4 - £35.00 (MRF Cameo, BAS King Hitter
KASHMIR (or nurtured in India/Pakistan) - £7.00 (MRF Typhoon, BDM Dynadrive, CA Power etc.)
Add to these prices at least £5.00 per bat for shipping if bought in bulk - approx. £20.00 if a single order, and a further 17.5% V.A.T and you can't buy a genuine Top grade willow bat for less than £90.00, so how on earth can anyone sell a legitimate Top Grade willow cricket bat for less than this?????????? The simple answer, they can't, unless they're buying bats to sell at a loss there is only one logical explanation - a large proportion of bats sold on Ebay are fake, and it's not limited to Ebay either, look at a decent cricket website such as cricketdirect.co.uk and look at their MRF bats - look at the stickers and now do a google search on MRF cricket bats and go into some of the sites - their "MRF" bats and gear are massively out of date - ask yourself - why is this????? These are small e-retailers with only a few bats in stock - surely any new stock they buy will have the latest stickers or designs if they are genuine????
If you intend buying a bat from and English or Australian firm such as Gray Nicols, Slazenger, Gunn and Moore, Kookaburra or Woodworm etc. then the cost of these bats should be even higher as their trade prices will be higher than that of their Asian competitors. Secondly, there are many sellers based in India and Pakistan claiming to be selling genuine bats by English manufacturers - do a search on Gray Nicols - you'll see bats going for £40.00 which is not possible as their trade price would be 2 or 3 times times just to buy in the first place.
My next problem is the issue of willow - let's put this to bed once and for all!!!!!!!
English willow is grown in England in wet soil, with humid air and is the best quality willow you can buy - it is shipped to Asia to be made into bats and then sent back, hence the high price of English willow bats.
Kashmir willow is grown in poor soil, in dry conditions and is brittle and prone to cracking, it is made into bats in Asia and shipped cheaply in large quantities, hence it is cheap and can be bought at trade for £4.00 - £7.00.
There is no other type of willow available - so anyone claiming that their bats are English willow and then putting "nurtured in India" in brackets is just duping you - if it's nurtured (grown) in asia it's poor quality and should be avoided.
Finally one last thought - if you're serious about cricket go to your local cricket shop and buy a bat that you can pick up and hold and make sure it's the right size and weight for you and if you're in doubt as to its authenticity ask to see an invoice to prove it came from the manufactur, and if in doubt contact your local Trading Standards.
Just because someone has good feedback on Ebay doesn't mean they are selling genuine items - I know of several sellers who sell fake items - one of them has over 3000 feedbacks - and they all buy from the same manufacturer in Meerut, I can't say who they are on here, but they know who they are.........
One last warning - MRF bats have security holograms - this means nothing - i have a sheet of them in my kitchen draw - remember any item can be faked and it's not just bats - if they sell fake bats, the chances are they are selling fake pads and gloves etc.
If in doubt - don't buy - if it seems too good to be true it usually is.