The phenomena of fake power banks in Malaysia has been exacerbated the last few years with many on even the popular Lowyat forum and Lelong.com.my, the B2C marketplace selling fake power banks (or battery packs as we prefer to call them, and as they are known in the States) with the original label plastered all over the ad and sometimes even on the power bank itself.
Previously, we wrote about this when we wrote about choosing a smart phone external battery pack back in 2012. However, back in 2012, we had not begin to sell any iPhone and iPad accessories. As mentioned in our earlier post (Happy Chinese New Year!), we always wanted TechGarage to sell iPhone and iPad accessories. However, that got delayed for a while, until recently, where we started working with several local distributors on selling smart phone accessories.
However, to our horror, as we uploaded products and began scouring the internet for prices, as compared to our recommended retail price, we found many fake Yoobao Power Banks advertised as real and genuine ones. At the prices there were advertising on Lelong, it was way below our cost, causing us to wonder how they manage to get such "good" prices. And sadly, most of our friends and customers to be would end up buying one of these fakes, instead of the original. And end up telling us that they had gotten such a bargain.
Is selling Fake Power Banks a new thing?
No, definitely not. As we have experienced in the Camera industry, many retailers (whom are good friends of ours), have resorted to selling fake and imitation products under the label of OEM. Not all shops does this, and we would not want to reveal more on this blog as it definitely isn't edifying. But if you took us out for a drink and took an oath of secrecy, we might just tell you who.
Why do shops sell imitation products?
And yes, it happens across many industries, not just in the camera line. Honesty in doing business isn't so easy as rising cost and slowing sales perhaps due to an over saturation of the market or being in a sun set industry doesn't help. Nowadays rental can go sky high. A small trolley to sell accessories in Mid Valley can go for an average of ten to fifteen thousand ringgit. Whereas renting a shop in a shopping mall would incur a charge of somewhere between RM 15 to RM 100 per square foot, depending location. Prime locations in Klang Valley like 1-Utama goes for about RM 30 per square foot onwards, making a 300 square feet shop's rent about RM 9k per month.
Now, the margins from selling genuine, bona fide products are indeed low. You will be surprised with the margin camera shops make for each DSLR sold. Similarly, margins for iPhone and iPad themselves is only enough for a couple of meals. But when you have to pay an exorbitant rent and yet employ a minimum of three staff to man the booth, you really need to make ends meet via selling accessories.
And yes, the margins from selling genuine accessories like Yoobao from its official distributor, A-Mobile, is not much. Most shop owners would think, "Why should I sell a genuine product and make RM 30 to 40, or perhaps less, when I could sell an imitation and make about RM 30 with a stock holding cost of only RM 20?"
After all, if they sell you fakes, they make 150% in margins, as compared to perhaps 20-30% if they sold you original, genuine Yoobao Power Banks. You have to remember, these shops do need to keep stocks, as they need some items to display. And customers like us, don't like to wait for them to fetch the stocks, do we?
Also, if you are based in a digital mall, like those in Section 13, Sungai Wang Plaza and Low Yat, where most of the stalls around you conveniently labels the fake Yoobao Power Bank as a OEM or as factory goods, what would your motivation be? And where most of your customers would tell you off for selling Yoobao Power Banks way too high (in their opinion), only that they don't know you are selling the original.
How do I identify an original Yoobao Power Bank?
Now, having spoken that, we need to know how to identify an original Yoobao Power Bank. First and foremost, original and locally distributed Yoobao by Mobile Dot Com will have a series of stickers the imitation wouldn't. Take a look at the photo below.
As you can see, the genuine, locally distributed Yoobao has Mobile Dot Com's sticker and a MDC Warranty Sticker and Logo. Also, it comes with a 12 months warranty, as opposed to parallel sets which only has 6 months. (And yes, I need to change the warranty for Yaoobao products on TechGarage to 12 months too!)
Furthermore, other thanÂ the images on the above, you can also check with Mobile Dot Com on their authorised resellers. This is crucial as there are many imitation sets around. Now, the danger with imitation sets are that they come with really bad performance, and if badly built, they might even catch fire.
If you are still looking for a Power Bank / Battery Pack though, you may buy original Yoobao Power Banks here in TechGarage.my. And would kindly do so, you will support our writing 🙂
Find out more at aboutÂ Power Banks In MalaysiaÂ or read on why we say Anker is the best power bank in Malaysia
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