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PSA: Beware of counterfeit grips on eBay / similar sites


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There seems to be a big counterfeit grip operation going on around the web. I ran into this myself, and eBay was not willing to contact other buyers of the counterfeit products (they will only take action if the buyer reports it themselves, but many buyers were happy with the product), so I'm posting here in hopes that word can start getting around. There's a stigma around bargain hunting on eBay that leads to shaming the buyer with the "what did you expect?" question, but counterfeits are not just a bargain-hunting problem. I know this is an active issue for Golf Pride, and they even say so on their own website, but it may affect other manufacturers as well. 

If you or someone you know purchased grips on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, or another e-commerce site from a seller that's not an authorized retailer for that brand, they might be counterfeit - make sure the buyer is aware, and urge them to take action with the seller and/or platform if they end up being counterfeit. Obviously this is not going to affect 100% of purchases, but I bought a set of fake grips off of eBay, the specific eBay seller had a lot of similar grip auctions (even offering to sell me a second lot in a different color), and I saw a lot of listings from other sellers that looked nearly identical to mine (just with different models/colors).

My mistake: I've been using Golf Pride MCC grips for a long time. I've trying to get my hands on some different colored grips for a while, sick of the stock color schemes from Golf Pride. I couldn't get my hands on Golf Pride's super limited stuff (e.g. I really wanted the PGA Championship color scheme, but who knows how many were actually made and how to get them) and the new MCC Teams color schemes aren't coming out until closer to mid-season, so I went searching. I found some MCC Whiteout grips on eBay in the Green/Yellow color scheme, which is something I remember seeing in the past (in fact, they are featured on the old GP YouTube video), so I took the bait -- I expected the material would hold up well enough over time, pricing was on the lower end but consistent with old clearance prices for the same grips at legitimate retailers, and other red flags didn't show as red until after I clicked "Buy" (e.g. listing claimed Idaho but product shipped from what appeared to be a UPS Store in Florida; when asked, seller could not tell me what year they were made).

After receiving them, I looked a little deeper at GP specs and ran some tests -- I found cosmetic flaws (see photo 3 - lines don't match), inconsistent grip weights (GP said 49.5g, mine ranged from 51-55g), and even inconsistent grip lengths (weight differences appeared to be explained by length inconsistency - see photo 2, which shows a slight length difference). I had mostly decided that these were counterfeit, but I decided to contact Golf Pride directly to see if they could give me tips to determine authenticity and report it to them if they turned out counterfeit -- GP did way more than I expected, even accepting photos to review with their quality department to confirm they are, in fact, counterfeits. I gave them all the info I had to help with an investigation, but given the return address(es), I think the investigation is going to hit a dead end and these guys will continue selling a bad product. 

In the end, I got my refund and learned a lesson. A lot of others have fallen for the same thing but are unaware of the issue. Some might not care. Regardless of the situation, if you're looking for an alternative or just trying to save a few bucks, beware - I'm not saying definitely don't buy off of these sites, but if you do, use extra caution. 

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Driver: :taylormade-small: Stealth Plus 8* (adjusted to 8.75*), Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 70 X Flex (New toy incoming!)

Fairway: :taylormade-small: Stealth2 Plus, 15* (adjusted to 14.25*) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 7X

Irons:  :titleist-small: U505 1 Iron (16*), T200 "Utility Build" 3 and 4 irons, all with Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ 95 X Flex, :titleist-small: T100S 5-9 with Nippon Pro Modus 120 X Flex (2021 MGS Test). These things are monsters. 

Wedges:  :vokey-small: SM9 46.10, 54.12, and 58.08, all with custom etchings & KBS Tour Masters-themed shafts, X-flex (CHA Post)

Putter: Total headcase and Putter Ho. Down to two main options in the rotation (one mallet, one blade), but have 4-5 by the basement putting green that might make it in the bag at some point this year... Mallet: :L.A.B.: Mezz XL 36" Orange; Blade: :L.A.B.: Link.1 w/Accra White shaft & :garsen: grip

 

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Yeesh.... I just bought a set of CHAMPKEY on Amazon... hopefully nobody bothers faking cheap grips.

Thanks for the warning.

Driver-  Cobra  Aerojet LS
Woods-
Cobra  LTD 3w 15*, 5W 19*,  F9 24* 
Irons- XXIO X (6-A)

Wedges- Callaway Jaws Raw (54/58)

Putter- Bettinardi BB56
Ball- Maxfli Tour X
Buggy- Motocaddy M7 GPS Remote Electric Caddy
Bag- Motocaddy Dry-Series

Proudly testing for 2024:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've seen fakes on eBay and try to report them. It's unfortunate, but lots of fake golf products coming from overseas.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 (8*) with Diamana Kai'li X-stiff

Fairway:   :ping-small: G400 (14.5*) with Diamana Kai'li X-stiff

Irons: :ping-small: Crossover 3 iron (19*) with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shaft

            :titelist-small: AP3 (4/5) and AP2 (6-PW) with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shafts

Wedges: Scor 50*, 54*, and 58* with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shafts

Putter:  :cameron-small: Pro Platinum Newport 2 Midslant

Handicap: 3

Location: Illinois...until i can get my wife to move to a warmer climate

Right Handed: Although sometimes I wonder if left handed would suit me better :blink:

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eBay and Amazon pretend to care about counterfeit and shoddy merchandise but only react when their backs are to the wall.  They allow it because they make a lot of money allowing companies on their sites to sell these goods.  Another reason to support your local brick and mortar stores as well as trusted online retailers.

Driver - Ping G410

Woods - Callaway Rogue 5 wood

Hybrid - Titleist TS2 21 degree

Irons - Taylormade P790 5-PW

Wedges - Taylormade MG3 50, 54, 58, SM9 60

Putter - Mizuno Black Carbon BC3

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