The sports equipment market has grown into something huge and is still growing; the brands are present in plenty. In fact, in the past decade, the number of brands has grown exponentially. Earlier, we used to have a few brands of cricketing equipment, and the same was the case with any other sports equipment.
On top of that, nowadays, pirated gears are abundant in the market. In addition to that, the current pirated sports goods are so top-notch, it is almost impossible to tell if that equipment is genuine or fake. Hence, it is getting complicated for people to find the gears they want.
Therefore, Sportsuncle has a detailed guide to help you spot whether your sports equipment is genuine or fake. In this piece, we will talk about a few brands and how you can use them to verify some equipment from those brands.
How to find out if your sporting equipment is real?
Fake products have become a significant problem for all sports enthusiasts. In addition, several myths are floating around about how to check the originality of an instrument. For instance, some people use web documentation to verify equipment, and sometimes these documents are 4-5 years old, which is not usually in line with company changes and innovations.
What's more, some people call their "so-called expert" friends to verify the equipment, which is not right either they are unaware or have updated full knowledge. So, what's the proper way, then?
Let's talk about that according to brands.
Yonex India Sports Goods
The first name on the list is a renowned sporting brand- Yonex- and most people must have heard it. This brand is even more popular among badminton enthusiasts, and it is no surprise considering Yonex provides the best badminton rackets and other equipment in the market. And to check if an instrument is genuinely Yonex or not, do the following things.
Generally, all Yonex products have a silver colour scratch code to verify whether the product is genuine or not. This code contains two parts on the upper side dealer code to whom the product is billed is mentioned, and below, you need to scratch the area to find the genuineness code.
To use that code, you must open the website, www.sunrisetnt.com and put in the code. Keep in mind that a single code can be used only once. Plus, make sure to add a www before the website's name. Otherwise, the site might not open in some browsers for verification.
Yonex had to introduce this scratching verification mechanism to stop the bubbles of myths floating around Mavis 350 shuttlecocks. Specifically, some experts used to say the shuttles with a triangle are genuine, while some used to say the square ones are real. However, we all know how difficult it is to stop this ever-going cycle of myths because most people have little knowledge. Hence, to fill this knowledge gap, people assume what they think is right because they have experienced it for many years.
Furthermore, another misconception was that the badminton rackets with the JP code were genuine, while the SP (South Pacific) one was fake. Of course, that's not true. Even though Yonex didn't release any official statement about the issue, we know that both articles are genuine and manufactured in Japan. And the codes are just a representation of the sales division. Sunrise Group is based in Singapore, and all imports in India are through them. Mostly, SP and MY (Malaysia) codes are mentioned on rackets imported in India through the official channel.
You might find people saying the SP variant's paint job is not good or those are cheap. However, the truth is all Yonex rackets are imported by the importer Sunrise India in India. Plus, the JP and SP cost is almost the same, and nothing is conclusive about the paint job issue.
This Hologram is discontinued by Yonex India (Sunrise Sports) in Jan 2022, and hopefully, this will be restarted in mid of 2023. (Restart date just an assumption)
Besides Yonex, Lining India uses the same scratch mechanism via lining.com to verify the equipment's fakeness and originality. Due to some technical issue, if the code is not working or the site is not opening, you can also scan the QR code through your mobile scanner to verify. Now they implement the Color Code system, so not only the numbers but the colours of the numbers can also be matched, and they are also showing which racket (model) code this is, which is very advanced and good from a buyer's point of view, and most important quite easy.
Lining and other Badminton Brands
Brands like Carlton, Apacs, Ashaway, Mizuno, Woods don't have any verification process yet at the time of writing this article. Neither products are available fake in India, so these will find genuine everywhere whether you buy them offline or online. Apacs have introduced a golden hologram system that is not easy to remove from the racket shaft.
SS Cricket Equipment
Unsurprisingly, almost all cricket equipment is susceptible to piracy, but fakeness issues are mainly limited to cricket bats, balls and kitbags. The sellers mostly try to fool people by pasting a popular brand sticker on any bat and then selling the bat as a genuine article. Moreover, some sellers offer low-quality kitbags made with cheap build material at the price of a high-quality product.
To overcome the above problems, a renowned name in the cricketing equipment world- SS, developed a QR code scan system for cricket bats. You need to scan that QR code on SS Cricket bats through any scanner on your smartphone. After asking for your personal information, the information about the product will be displayed.
SG Cricket Equipments
Like SS, SG has also developed an app to reduce the number of fake equipment going around. You need to download the app from Play Store if you are an Android User or the Apple Store if you are an iOS user. With the downloaded app only, you can scan the codes available on the SG cricket equipment.
However, it is not so straightforward with SG cricket bats and cricket balls as they have 2 QR codes. One of the codes is for the inventory, while the other is for verifying the instrument. The latter code is actually hidden, and you will need to scratch it through your nails softly.
But what people usually do is scan the inventory code and start saying the instrument is fake without giving a thorough reading of the manufacturer's guidelines. After scanning the wrong code, they start complaining to the manufacturers that we have purchased it from your dealer. The code is not getting verified or starts crying on social media Fake-Fake, is a juvenile behaviour.
To be honest, most of these manufacturers don't have a dedicated cell to handle these complaints. So when people complain about the issue, chances are some receptionist or someone else picks up the phone and gives a heart attack to the person complaining by saying something like that's not our dealer or blah-blah.
DSC Cricket EquipmentsLike SS, DSC also introduced a QR code scanning system on the cricket bats; you need to scan and scratch the code and send it to the mentioned phone number to verify the DSC cricket bat's genuineness. You must know these basics, but many sellers/marketplaces hide these details because they sell fake goods. Then run some giant advertisements with superstars, and you will run for sale and use counterfeit goods.
Then you start blaming online, but the truth is that your ignorance and less knowledge make this possible. At Sportsuncle, we ensure that such things never happen to anyone, either a first-time or repeat buyer, but still, if some "'moron" buyer's product gets broken or torn early or any performance issue, then blame directly goes to the seller without confirming that brand model has issue or not.
Always remember fake products of only those models are made that are bought excessively; not every model is made by fake manufacturers; after all, money and copying hard work are also involved there.
There are distributors, dealers, retailers, resellers, and so on in the sports field, and anyone can give you a fake product. Still, more chances are if you purchased from any one of these, then you get a genuine product.
From where to Buy the Genuine Sports Goods?
Buying goods from these sellers doesn't affect your purchase or warranty(if any) because none offers any extra benefits. Still, chances are dealers/retailers/resellers give you the same product at a cheap price.
If you are not aware of which offline shop or online store provides the genuine product, you must first believe in your gut feeling and the looks of the site or shop. If the website looks horrible or outdated, has lousy-quality product pictures, and doesn't have an App in the play store, how can you even think of buying from them?
If any site not providing a COD at your location doesn't mean it's a fake site; it's not the correct way to judge because COD includes lots of expenses and is harmful to the economy and reduces some sites disable this feature. If any buyer does not accept the COD or cancels in between, that's a direct loss to the company or seller. And many of you have a tendency to order from 2-3 sites at the same time and keep the first one that arrives.
Always remember, if anyone likes to cheat, that's possible in COD, too, so that's the wrong way to judge anyone and reflect the buyer's small thinking and buyers need to think a little broadly.
The quality and quantity of sporting equipment have increased significantly over the past few years. We have more brands than ever. However, at the same time, the number of fake equipment is also at an all-time high in the market. Hence, it is best to do the proper research before buying anything. Additionally, it is essential to know the process to check if the equipment is genuine or fake.
Moreover, the verification process to check if the equipment is fake or real may look different for different brands, but it is usually the same process. And if you are aware of small things like mobile apps and scratch codes, you can verify your equipment on the spot.
If you have any doubts or more ideas on how to reduce/find fake sports goods products, share them with us below.
Stay tuned for more educational pieces about other sporting equipment.
Page Updated: Apr 2023