The age of counterfeit and substandard products in Kenya are here with us. Counterfeit electronics and appliances in Kenya are everywhere looking for your money. So it goes without saying that there are very cunning manufacturers and business people out there making it rich from selling such stuff. They produce very cheap products which is what you desire, right? But are those gadgets good quality? Probably not but luckily, there are ways of beating these cunning methods. Some of them you may have learnt from experience. I will not tell you how to differentiate between good quality original products from fake and counterfeit products but how to avoid buying counterfeit and substandard products in the future. The point is not to buy because it is the only way to beat them.
According to the free dictionary the word fake means one that is not authentic or genuine. In other words deceptive or fraudulent.
The word counterfeit means to imitate something. Make something to look like an exact copy of something in order to trick people. Or fraudulently pass as genuine. Sometimes fraudsters manage to fool you by placing a successful businesses logo on their products, but most of the time they play with words for example SQNY instead of SONY to get you to buy. Did you notice the difference between those two bold words?
The worst thing to buy is a substandard product because it does not conform to heath and safety practices in these days of now that we are aware of cancer.
But it does not necessarily mean that a counterfeit product is of low standards. For example a manufacturer who has no reputation in the market at all can place logos of his well known competitors on his products. This does not make his/her products substandard at all. In fact maybe his products would pass all the required tests with flying colours. But this is illegal and most of the time the products in question are usually of very low standards.
So, how do you protect yourself from buying substandard Electronics and Appliances?
- The first tip is to always buy from a supermarket like Tuskys, Naivas, Uchumi, Nakumatt you get the picture. These big retail chains have a reputation to uphold and they simply cannot sell you anything that is not quality.
- But sometimes these products from supermarkets have a fixed price that is not negotiable. If you want to bargain for your product then go for the dealers directly. For who sell only one brand of electronics can sell you quality products. If it’s SONY, they sell only SONY products only. Likewise for Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Pioneer and others.
- The third tip is to buy products that have the import standardization mark from the Kenya Bureau of Standards, KEBS.
- Another thing is to buy from recognized established brands only. It is never nice to be a guinea marketing pig. But that does not mean start ups produce inferior products. Some of them produce very good products, so choose wisely.
- Buy products with extended warranties. A one year warranty is good but a two year warranty shows that the manufacturer and the vendor have faith in their products. Also check on extended component warranty for example LG offers a 10 year warranty on the direct drive motor on their washing machines. Samsung also offers 10 years warranty on the ceramic inside a range of microwave ovens they sell. Such acts from manufactures part are great for ensuring consumer confidence. On the other hand 6 months warranty shows lack of seriousness.
- Make sure you get a warranty card and official stamped receipt from where you buy the product. Never loose these.
- Get professional installers to install things like washing machines, Air Conditioners, Satellite dishes and other gadgets that need pro installers. Bad installation can make an awesome product look very bad.
What other tips do you use to avoid buying counterfeits electronics and appliances in Kenya? Share them below.