UPDATE 7th February 2007.
It seems the Maha patches fakers have also produced counterfeit Hoodies which are starting to be sold on ebay - avoid like the plague.
UPDATE: 19th January 2007.
A new fake: It looks like a new Maharishi fake design has hit ebay this week. This is what appears to be a counterfeit version of a legitimate Maharishi design of snopants. The design is the Maha Patches snopants - which feature a series of embroided patches, including a skull on the back pocket, LDN at the ankle and a lightening bolt on the front. Several pairs have been recently listed on ebay. Notice that the snobotton system is positioned across the knee pleats and not on the outer and inner leg seems, and that the snocords do not appear to be maharishi snocords, also the waist button appears to be on the outer side of the waist band and not on the inner side. I can not be 100% certain that these are fake, but they certainly look like it - tread carefully.
The good news is that fake Maharishi or mhi (maharishi's more "street" orientated lable) pieces are very rarely seen on ebay. The main reason for this is that Maharishi are most famous for their heavily embroided items. The cost of producing fakes which feature expensive and complex embroided designs is high, much higher than, for example screen printing a fake BAPE design onto a T-shirt. As such with the cost of production acts as a deterant for back-street rip-off merchants. The chance of you coming across a fake heavily embroided maharishi copy is increadibly low. In three years I have seen only 1 pair of fake maharishi embroided pants - these were from a seller from China and to even the least experienced maharishi fan they were clearly fake due to the distorted form of the dragon.
This is not to say fakes never appear on ebay. As of now (June 2006) three types of fake items have appeared on ebay.
1. Fake plain coloured original snopants.
The way to tell they are fake is by the lable printed on the pocket lining. Firstly, no size is printed on the lable and secondly the camo used is much duller and is not a Maharishi house camo. Maharishi only use their own house camo designs for the pocket linings and not pre-existing camo used by armies. The only exception is the early (1997-1998) designs which used woodland dpm camo (used as a standard camo by the US militairy).
These were often sold initially in lots of 12, but have since been listed (sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly) as single items.
2. So-called Kung-Fu Jeans.
These have criculated occasionally on ebay. They are dark blue and have diagonal bronze lines embroided on the knees. These are usually listed on one day auctions with starting prices of GBP19.99-GBP29.99.
3. Mhi Stretch Logo Sweatshirts.
This was also a design wihch was faked and sold on ebay. These featured a towelin Mhi logo with the tips of each letter extended. The design was on the back of the sweatshirt. Blue and Black fakes appeared on ebay a couple of years ago.
Currently a seller is listing different coloured t-shirts with the maharishi original dragon embroidery. The seller has a history of selling fake items and these T-shirts are Fake.
To reiterate fake Maharishi or Mhi is very, very rare. There are trands to look out for though. Be aware of sellers selling the same item in bulk (often in lots of 12), and often using one day auctions. The reasons are obvious, firtsly the sellers are looking to off load items quickly (to hope to avoid Maharishi reporting them to ebay), secondly by selling in bulk the time taken to offload items is further reduced.
Generally, the features which should alert ebayers to fake bape or nike items do not really apply to maharishi. So, unless you are looking at one of the items listed above, the following features should not put you off bidding or buying.
1. Low prices (even for new items) do not usually mean the item is fake.
2. One day auctions do not usually mean the item is fake - some sellers do this for convenience or because they believe the item will sell at a higher price at auction.
3. 0 feedback sellers do not always sell fake items. Every single ebay user was once a 0 feedback ebayer - without exception. If however, you deciede to bid on an item from a seller with a negative feedback score, whether a maharishi item or not, you run the risk of ending up with junk (not necessarily fake junk, but junk none the less).
4. Sellers based in the far east (excluding Japan) or Eatern Europe do NOT always sell fakes. I have seen 100% authentic maharishi items listed from countries which are often though of as being hot beds for counterfit merchandise. This is particularly true for maharishi crossover items wíth Hong Kong or Japanese artists or companies such as Michael Lau or Kubrick which are often released in Far East countries before being released in the UK.
5. Maharishi sometimes release samples to the public - these may not feature maharishi sizes on the lable or indeed feature a lable at all. They may also incorporate newer features such as X shaped snocords with older features such as night desert camo pocket linings. These items are not fakes and are manufactured to the same high standards used by maharishi for their collection-pieces.
So, if you are looking to buy maharishi or mhi on ebay, the chances of you ending up with a fake item are very slim. This is the case whether you are buying from ebayers looking to sell on their used items or from sellers that specialize in Maharishi such as myself or others such as missyparrot, *theflowers, unklemikesboutique or golfbirky.
Of course, if you see an item that you feel may be fake you can always contact me and i can confirm to you whether it is a fake or authentic.
Whether fake items are actually produced by gangsters or terrorists wishing to finance crimes like international terrorism or sexual slavery is highly debatable. I doubt that such organizations really need to to-up their incomes by producing cheap rip offs of maharishi snopants. However, you should not buy fakes, simply for selfish reasons - because you will be supplied with an item of inferior quality and style.