Knock-offs: What's the story?

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by Springbrook, Dec 24, 2013.

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  1. Springbrook

    Springbrook Full Member Verified Member

    I am new to the Vaping world, though I fell fast and am already all in. Long time smoker, recent convert to Vaping. Surprisingly easy transition. Trying to figure a few things out, though.
    What's the story with Knock-offs? Recently I bought a Vamo, and am very pleased with it. A friend who's been around for a minute or two looked at my unit and said that because it didn't have an official stamp on the bottom, it wasn't the real thing. And that Vamos were among the most copied units around.
    Is that a problem, should I care?
    Of course if I'm happy with it I'm happy with it.
    But I'm curious about this. Is there a general consensus about Knock-offs vs. authentic products?
    Thanks for your thoughts on this.
  2. Vapoor eyes er

    Vapoor eyes er ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    My Vamo V2 has the markings on the Tube opposite the LED screen. My Vamo V3 has the markings on the bottom cap. Both are authentic BUT realize there are about 2-3 diff factories producing these. Realize also the CE markings are fake- they represent the words "China Export".
  3. Dakota Jim

    Dakota Jim Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    You will find virtually everything in vaping equipment is knocked of in some version or another.
    This generally happens due to the demand is much greater than supply on many new mods and to add to knockoff demand is that many people do not want to spend the big bucks for some originals if the original manufacturer can keep up with production

    Some do not get knocked off due to either proprietary electronic chips (eVic comes to mind) or the original manufacturer offers such a fantastic warranty and rebuild service (Provari comes to mind - although there are attempts at look-a-likes) which makes it cost prohibitive to knock off and sustain sales

    most knockoffs have a noticeable drop in quality (most common in threading - "crunchy" sounding threading is quite common) and some don't (thinking of Kayfun and Russian)

    China does not recognize patents as anything other than a need to make a minor cosmetic change

    Knock offs are inevitable and are usually represented as knock offs or clones - counterfeits are however illegal due to they are usually represented as the actual original device and usually offer a minor discount if any (the availability of a "real" device will usually cause most serious vapors to scream "take my money!!!" and just order it before someone else does)

    Some "profiteers" will keep track of a particular modders progress and will buy up all their stock (either online or at vape meets) and then resell them at a ridiculous profit - some experienced modders have caught on and will limit how many you can buy (people get upset when the show up at vape meet to see and buy a highly anticipated new device only to discover that they were all sold 5 minutes after the meet opened and then a week later see them listed on reddit or ebay for twice the price)

    hope this explains knockoffs a little better for you
  4. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    I agree with everything Dakota Jim said.

    The major brand manufacturers in China, ie Joytech, Vision, Innokin, Kanger are usually the pioneers at introducing new products and models, and the other manufacturers copy them usually with poorer quality control/parts quality/attention to detail and sell them at a less expensive price. The knockoff quality will be hit or miss.

    As far as mods go, China seems to have this business philosophy, "We build cheap, you buy cheap. If it breaks, you'll buy another." These mods will be made of cheaper parts and materials, have cheaper electronics, have a shorter warranty, and have no after warranty support for any repairs. They can be considered essentially disposables.

    Mods made outside of China will most likely have a longer warranty, offer after-warranty support for repairs, and are generally better built products which will be more durable in the long run. Of course, you'll pay more for these.

    There's a huge difference in the quality of replaceable, rechargeable batteries. Generic batteries are most likely either rebranded rejects purchased from Panasonic, Sanyo, or Samsung; or re-wrapped used batteries removed from other appliances such as laptops. Generic batteries should not be trusted for use in mods because they are made by an unknown manufacturer and are of an unknown quality. It's just not worth saving a few bucks on something that you use a few inches from your face and will charge in your home.

    I wouldn't personally use the lesser name-brand batteries such as Trustfire, Ultrafire, or Surefire from China. The flashlight forums had an article where someone purchased a few new batteries of the same model and decided to remove the shrink wraps to see what was underneath. All of them were a different battery cell proving that they were either used batteries or rejected new batteries from Japanese battery manufacturers.

    My personal thoughts on batteries and chargers is that you usually get what you pay for. You'll get better and longer use with a brand name battery and charger if you pay a little more at the time of purchase. Battery brands like AW, Panasonic, Orbtronic, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony are top of the line and have provided quality and safety over a number of years. Pila, Xtar, and Nitecore are the top brands for chargers.
  5. Springbrook

    Springbrook Full Member Verified Member

    That's all extremely helpful, thank you.
    Part of my initial confusion has been because I did a search on this and read somewhere on this forum that some of the authentic companies were essentially churning out after hour clones, so that there was often no difference between the authentic and its clone. Something like: "don't be overly-concerned about clones, they're as good as the originals." But it sounds like you can never be sure about any of that unless you are clearly buying the real thing -- or know up front that the clones have a solid reputation.
    And even if it is true I guess the real issue is the hit and miss nature of it that Baditude mentioned. Maybe you get lucky, maybe not. (Which appears to be true even with, for example, an authentic Kanger PT2 tank I bought which had a poorly machined bottom cap and gurgled and seeped.)
    That "profiteering" stuff is just mercenary and crappy and maddening. I guess the way to fight it is exactly what goes on here -- educating us beginners.
    Scary about the batteries. I think the ones I'm using now, for example, that came with my Vamo kit, are questionable. Generic, in a blue wrap, without a brand name. Already after only around 10 days of use they aren't holding a charge as long. I guess I'll drop into my local shop day after Christmas to re-stock.
    Anyway, this is all really helpful. I don't like screwing around, and would prefer to spend a little more up front, rather than paying less and then having to do it all again in a couple months. Provari, maybe. With my Vamo knock-off as a back up (which who knows might be a solid performer for a long time).
    Anyway, I guess a lesson learned is a lesson learned.
    Thanks again. Really good stuff.
  6. K_Tech

    K_Tech Slightly mad but harmless Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sadly, even that isn't always a guarantee of getting a good battery. Sometimes vendors get taken in by counterfeit goods as well.
  7. Thrasher

    Thrasher Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    As for your vamo, they arent clones as the design is what you are buying, the original company released the design but not the product. so in a sense they are all vamos as long as they follow the template and there are several companies making them right now.
  8. K_Tech

    K_Tech Slightly mad but harmless Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Lol. Next up: "Vamo, the AK-47 of the vaping war".
  9. Thrasher

    Thrasher Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    surprised it hasnt been used by a blogger yet LOL

    (BTW the inventor of the ak 47 died this week)
  10. dice57

    dice57 PV Exporer/Juice Saucier Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    a Vamo is a Vamo, like with anything some are more glitch than others from the same factory, as long as it is working well and you are happy with it, then it's all good. Your batteries and charger may be another story all together. Quality batteries and chargers are a must in all mods for vaping.
  11. Gerald Freeman

    Gerald Freeman Full Member

    For the most part, what I've seen from the clone/knockoff market. Unless its just made from total trash materials or was put together wrong (it happens even with the real ones) buying and using clones is a matter of consumer morals and personal budget.

    I started vaping to save money. I simply can't afford the real (and often much more expensive) models. If and when my finances get better, sure, I'll throw the original manufacturer some money. But for now all I can afford are the clones. I'm ok with that. Planning on getting a nemesis clone very soon. If I waited to save for the real deal, it wouldn't happen. So the original manufacturer wouldn't be getting my sale anyway.

    I'm a fan of clones. Just remember, with companies like fasttech, there's gonna be a lot of $25-$30 trial and error to find a solid unit. My 2¢
  12. Springbrook

    Springbrook Full Member Verified Member

    Yeah, cool, and the truth is I'm totally diggin' the vamo esp -- w/ a carto in pyrex tank. I started with the evod, and liked it, but this is a different level altogether.
    But it's been fun reading about all the crazy mods, and watching the video reviews. I've got the bug. Slippery slope, I guess.
    My local shop does in fact carry the AW IMRs. I'd gonna spring for a 18650 and 1350 later in the week.
    I heard a quote this week that Kalishnikov, when asked if he regretted his little multi-cloned invention, said something like, "no, its not my fault, its the politicians." Ha. Made me laugh.
    The water isn't totally clear yet, but its less muddy. Learning curve, for sure.
  13. Gerald Freeman

    Gerald Freeman Full Member

    As you go along. You'll find that even the pros are still learning new tricks. This thing is still so new you can still consider it the ground floor. Its crazy to think of the possibilities that may come out a year from now.
  14. dice57

    dice57 PV Exporer/Juice Saucier Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Yeah hate it when a new trick, tip or new twist on an old concept comes along, and I have to try it, then it's back to school and learning the properties of a new wick, coil or rba all over again. lol. And then a new must have high end rba comes along and have to justify spending another $200. Hate that when it happens. But got Vape. lmao.
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