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Thread: $200 Wasted on Chinese Counterfeit ICs

  1. #1
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    Default $200 Wasted on Chinese Counterfeit ICs

    As most of you probably know, I've got a lot of different rework boards for a bunch of potted modules that include a non-replaceable battery. I'd like to offer more of these as refurbished and ready to go, since I get a lot of people asking for them like that. Well, one of the more recent boards I've laid out is a rework board for MK48Z02 Zeropower NVRAMs -- this is a ST/Mostek product that's just a 2K battery-backed NVRAM. Pin compatible with JEDEC 2K SRAMs like the 6116. The originals are CAPHAT style packaging which are much easier to rebuild than the fully potted versions. So, I found a largeish lot of them on eBay, from a Chinese seller of course, with listing pictures that showed the CAPHAT version. I figured they'd be relabels and that the batteries would be nearly dead to totally dead, but that's OK since the plan was to rebuild them. This is what I got:



    Hooray! $200 of modules eventually delivered like a month later!



    Aw, not the CAPHAT packaging. That's OK, they'd still be rebuildable, just more difficult. Very poor relabels. Looks like someone took the old markings off with a belt sander. Wait...that doesn't look right...



    Why are there pins missing?! Time to cut one open...



    And there you go. They're not even MK48Z02s. They're not MK48T02s. They're Dallas DS12887 PC-style RTC/CMOS modules. Totally different device, not compatible at all, and not worth rebuilding since I can still get new DS12885 ICs from Mouser. Whats more is, they're so beat up I wouldn't rebuild them even if I needed them. Some of the pins bent and fell off this particular module just from handling.

    The wonderful thing is, I opened an issue with the seller because they wanted me to return, to China, at my expense, before they'd issue a refund. eBay never alerted me that the case was opened and that they'd decided the seller should accept a return, and apparently I only had a few days to respond. So now I'm stuck with around $200 of useless crap counterfeit modules, which were probably illegal to send back through USPS anyway. Oh well, I guess at least they won't end up being resold.

  2. #2

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    I would say you tell eBay that you are going to tell everyone that they did not side with you when you received counterfeit goods. Tell them that you will shout it from the rooftops until they make the seller refund you. Keep mentioning over and over again eBay and counterfeit until they decide it might be good to do the right thing.

  3. #3
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    Counterfeit Chinese ICs? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

    If the item wasn't as advertised, it goes back on the seller's nickel, according to eBay rules.

    I've been burned a couple of times when a Chinese seller takes my money and then is banned by eBay. Think you'll get your money back? Think again.

  4. #4

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    This isn't even considered immoral in some cultures.

  5. #5

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    Call eBay Customer Support on the phone and plead your case. They can pull strings for you that normally aren't possible through the web site.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    Call eBay Customer Support on the phone and plead your case. They can pull strings for you that normally aren't possible through the web site.
    Last time I talked to eBay phone support, I wasted two hours of my life to basically get told, "too bad, we don't want your business." This was on their decision to ban links to your own projects' manuals. I'll take the $200 loss and avoid sitting on the phone with them

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Counterfeit Chinese ICs? I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!
    Right?! I expected relabels and dead batteries, I didn't expect them to be completely the wrong part. Guess that shows me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    If the item wasn't as advertised, it goes back on the seller's nickel, according to eBay rules.
    That was my impression, but for whatever reason they didn't do the usual, "we send you a prepaid packing slip and notification email about what's happening." Instead, I got no email, just I guess a change in the "eBay Resolution Center" or whatever they call it now. On every other bogus transaction, I've gotten emails letting me know when there was a change in state and/or I needed to do something.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alank2 View Post
    I would say you tell eBay that you are going to tell everyone that they did not side with you when you received counterfeit goods. Tell them that you will shout it from the rooftops until they make the seller refund you. Keep mentioning over and over again eBay and counterfeit until they decide it might be good to do the right thing.
    You could try, but I suspect that Chinese recycled ICs make up such a small part of eBay's business that they won't bother doing anything, other than, say, banning the seller, who will promptly re-register under another name.

  9. #9
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    It remains to be seen how selling bogus vintage chips is seen as a lucrative scam. We are the ones to blame. We should all do the.right thing and pile all our vintage computers and gear really.high and set it ablaze. Before Chinese cartels start to.pop up.

  10. #10
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    One of my suppliers had all of their accounts banned from ebay for reasons I'll probably never know and I was really bummed about it. They were the only seller I could find that sold bulk capacitors at a reasonable cost that weren't fake or garbage dumpster dived from an alley behind some Shenzhen factory.

    But surprisingly all of their accounts were unbanned and reinstated about 3-4 months later and they started to have US stock, making it more convenient for me. I was a bit skeptical when they were "allowed" back, but I ordered a bunch of stuff and it arrived in less than a week, compared to about a month before.

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