I just read somebody elses guide to rippo lighters. This area of the markey is easy to understand while difficult to explain. At its simplest, anything that says it is a Zippo product and is fake is actually Rippo. Everything else that uses the design is only able to stand on its own merits.
But I have been a collector for some time of Zippo lighters and products. The task of spotting a fake is hard, and as time goes on it is impossible for even the most keen eyed collector to not get stung with a rippo. though when this has happened to me I have always managed to get ALL my money back, including the postal costs.
Some sellers may not even realise that what they are selling is fake, such is the attention to detail that a cursory glance does not give things away.
Rather than rewrite a whole mass of information that is useful but difficult to explain when a picture says much more. I committed a lot of time to both a Rippo and Non Rippo areas of my personal Zippo site on the subject of these issues. The English Diablo944 site is easily found, well known amongst collectors and contains a considerable amount of information on the subject of fakes amongst other things.
Pages deal with the majority or Rippo lighters, along with flint dispensers (yes they are faked as well) and a number of other products. Links on the page show numerous aspects of the fakes including errors in stamped bases and comparisons between real and fake zippos
while other pages deal with those of a more honest nature. Please dont complain about the title, I am a Zippo collector at heart, so the term imposters was used glibly when I should have considered it better. But this page is dedicated to those such as the park that share each others style.
Its a shame that ebay will not allow direct links to the site, as expalining that a rippo can look exactly like the real thing unless you can see thelighter next to a real zippo is something that cannot be done without images.
There are a great many Zippo syle manufacturers out there, park, penguin, hurricane, but if you are buying a Zippo online, then its a real Zippo you want delivered.
I hope that this guide (such as it is) does not breach any guidelines in the attempt to help those looking for information find somewhere useful to help their task.