I purchased a microphone from a uk based power seller, they have a shop and seemed to be very established. I paid with paypal, so believed I would be covered by them for this transaction. A shure SM58 will cost around £70 in most music shops, so when I paid £58.98 inc p&p I thought it wasn't too good to be true, just cheaper as I was buying it on ebay.
The microphone arrived promptly, had a glossy box, user instructions, even warranty information. The warranty had an American address in Denver, that's why it was cheap I thought, the seller is getting them from the USA, I have no problem with imported goods. However, when I was in a music store purchasing a Fender Telecaster guitar, I began talking to the sales assistant who informed me that a number of fake shure SM58 microphones had been sold on ebay. I returned to the store to compare mine with the ones they had. They are very similar, mine was lighter despite having an on/off switch which they don't sell, the xlr connections looked of a lower quality. I contacted Shure uk and discussed it with them, I was told that while the microphone was almost identical in appearance the product number on the box should be SM58SE, mine had SK, it was a fake!! Very dissapointed with this I emailed the seller, they offered an exchange. Having been sold a fake one already I was suspicious of the seller and asked for a refund, I have heardn't from them since despite numerous emails. I looked into claiming compensation from ebay and paypal but hit a dead-end as claims must be made within 60 days. With this experiance I would urge anyone wishing to buy a shure microphone to firstly go to the official shure website and find a list of authorised distributers and only buy from them. The UK based seller that conned me is still operating now under th name 'eleaudio', they sell other shure microphones, other electronic audio equipment such as alledged sennheiser headphones, bang & olufsen headphones, sony etc. It appears they purchase batches of counterfeit goods from Asia, then sell from within the UK. They have been a member since 24 March 2006 and will continue despite ripping people off. I was unable to leave negative feedback for this person because as time elapses you cannot enter items you sold or bought, I didn't find out my microphone was fake until it was too late. (Update 21 October) I have now purchased a genuine SM58, this time from Fret Music in Southampton, the visual similarity is amazing, although you can tell. They have done a good job counterfeiting but not good enough, Firstly the box and instructions etc are of a lower print quality, you can tell they are a photo copy of the originals, the colour isn't as rich and the print is slightly blurred. The fake microphone is lighter, and the band round the middle of the grill is wider, the fake band is 5mm whereas the genuine ones is 4mm, the print around the neck of the microphone is of a lower quality. When the grill is removed, the foamy bit on the top of the fake mic is black, on the real one it is grey. The fake one has a sticker that reads' TA -CAUTION- DO NOT TO OPEN OR TURN - WARRANTY WILL BE VOIDED ASSEMBLED BY SHURE IN MEXICO' There is no warning on my real microphone. The microphone bag is of a lower quality, the real one is longer 10" the fake one only 8.5", also the embossed SHURE logo is visible from inside the bag. The real defining difference is ofcourse the sound! The genuine microphone is far superior and worth every penny.