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Topic: I GIVE UP!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 14, 2012 12:47AM)
[b]They're nuts.... I just found a Chinese web site selling our Ghostly Linking Finger Rings for 90-percent under our price. What can we do? Nothing... even uses our names in the copy. If they are anything like the few other ripoffs I've sampled they are junk.[/b]
Message: Posted by: iwillfoolu (Jun 14, 2012 02:32AM)
Pete,
I can't imagine the frustration you must experience as an inventor.

Just know that the professionals in this business know that you get what you pay for. After all you'll never find a new REAL Porsche for the price of any family car. We know that the best costs more for a reason (that is not to say that everything that is expensive is of high quality)

The few times I have mistakenly bought a second-class item (usually on ebay labeled as an original), I have gotten the item and immediately realized my mistake. Most of those items ended up in the trash.

No matter what the fakers produce, the original will always be the best because is was made by someone that used the product and can pass on their experience to others.

As for the amateur that buys the knock off, they either just want to know the method (but never the real secrets). I agree that knock-offs cheapen the art (and the original), but I know far too many people that will make something rather than buy all the wisdom of the creator. The secret-seekers and money savers will eventually learn that quality doesn't cost more, it's priceless.

The knockoffs never look, or perform like a real one.

Joey D
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 14, 2012 04:55AM)
Does Joe Porper hallmark his items?

Is there anyway to tell that an item is being purchased is a Joe Porper original?

Does Joe Porper not sell to China?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 14, 2012 07:58AM)
They copied the hallmark, Joe's signature, the instructions and even a description on how wonderful Pete Biro and Joe Porper are, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.
The first way to notice the fake is the instruction sheets are slightly off-size, not fully 8 1/2 x 11 (they are metric paper sizes).
Joe sells things wholesale to dealers and has no control over who buys and sends over there.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 14, 2012 08:20AM)
Wake up and smell the egg rolls. This has been going on for over 10 years. They buy one piece and just make it. I have some of my items knocked off in over 16 countries. China is notorious.
Some of the problem, is that when dealers out-source the production of their items, the Chinese producer feels that they can make as many as they want and actually competes with that dealer.
BTW Tannens used to make exact copies of items and just sold them as the original. Exact copies in a wholesalers inventory are hard to prove.
---------------------
It is also the consumer contributing to this. I have a friend who buys coin shells from China at .75 each.
Ebay has tons of the items for sale, but you (as manufacturer) can have ebay pull the item if you prove it is yours.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jun 14, 2012 08:32AM)
If they are using your names you most certainly should be able to use theirs.
I would badmouth them at every opportunity. Post a warning on your website.
If they sell on eBay - file a complaint. Doesn't U.S. Customs confiscate fake handbags?
They should do the same for you. Your Congressman should help you file a claim.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 14, 2012 08:37AM)
[b]My congresswoman can't even run her own job.[/b]
We have tried many things and none work.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 14, 2012 08:42AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-14 09:32, jazzy snazzy wrote:
If they are using your names you most certainly should be able to use theirs.
I would badmouth them at every opportunity. Post a warning on your website.
If they sell on eBay - file a complaint. Doesn't U.S. Customs confiscate fake handbags?
They should do the same for you. Your Congressman should help you file a claim.
[/quote]
Most items from Singapore and China seem to never hit customs on an individual basis. Small, under 13 oz. items seem to fly under the radar. There are just no resources available to police the volume of individual sales.
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (Jun 14, 2012 01:19PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-14 09:32, jazzy snazzy wrote:
If they are using your names you most certainly should be able to use theirs.
I would badmouth them at every opportunity. Post a warning on your website.
If they sell on eBay - file a complaint. Doesn't U.S. Customs confiscate fake handbags?
They should do the same for you. Your Congressman should help you file a claim.
[/quote]

Nope - Customs can't do a thing. No good answer to this. Pete posts this same thread over and over - just the product name changes from time to time. I guess he is hoping that it will alert people to check carefully when they order. But when people order these fakes they KNOW darn well it's fake based on the price alone. ("Oh, I really thought it was a genuine Porper product! I just thought it was a really, really, really good sale..." - Yeah, right.)

The handbags that are confiscated have trademark protection, which I doubt that Joe has on any of his items. Very expensive to obtain and maintain.

Jim
Message: Posted by: takeachance (Jun 14, 2012 08:02PM)
Yeah, but you'll get what you paid for. The quality will not be the same, and on an item like this, it does matter.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 14, 2012 09:38PM)
RIGHT when it breaks you are out whatever.
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (Jun 14, 2012 10:42PM)
Where else it hurts is that they often contact Pete or Joe because it doesn’t work right, or it is broken. Sucks all around.

Jim
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Jun 15, 2012 08:43AM)
One of the reasons pharmaceutical companies have to charge higher prices for their products is because the companies, who are always being ridiculed by the mainstream media, know that they need to make back their investment before their product gets knocked off. I imagine that Biro and Porper spent considerable time, money, and energy working out the details before actually going into the production stage. Prototypes don't make themselves!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jun 15, 2012 10:52PM)
Where are the duty charges? It should end up costing about the same -no?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 15, 2012 11:08PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-15 23:52, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Where are the duty charges? It should end up costing about the same -no?
[/quote]

This is an international economy now, we trade and deal with all the countries, even communist countries, all of the high tariffs have been done away with thanks to the Republicans running congress.

That is why it is so important to do away with all those small attached "ear marks" that are passed with large bills in Congress. They have taken all the laws off of everything that governed our consumer laws, foreign and domestic.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 16, 2012 01:52AM)
Prototypes don't make themselves.

My Kinetic-key has been ripped off by a bunch of makers.

My last estimate is that over 75,000 have been sold and I havent seen a dime.
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Jun 16, 2012 08:54AM)
These Chinese companies sell wholesale to the U.S. so another problem is the possibility of getting a knockoff from an unscrupulous dealer here at home!
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 16, 2012 01:09PM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-16 02:52, jay leslie wrote:
Prototypes don't make themselves.

My Kinetic-key has been ripped off by a bunch of makers.

My last estimate is that over 75,000 have been sold and I haven't seen a dime.
[/quote]
Ya know, I am amazed that ANYONE is making ANYTHING at all today (as far as Magic)...Back in the late 70's and early 80's I had about half a dozen effects I was thinking about marketing. Walter Gibson talked me out of it. He was in Nashua N.H. back then, and we talked on the phone regularly.

He predicted this very scenario! I'm glad I listened! I don't know how you guys do it. Pete Biro's latest problem just galvanizes my thinking...:(

Doug
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 16, 2012 01:12PM)
One theory is to make a bunch of 'em... wholesale 'em, then forget what happens and create another, etc. etc.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 17, 2012 01:26AM)
Pete, that is exactly what Martin Breeze did with the Smoking a Thumb gimmick when he came out with it years ago. I emailed him when I heard about it, and that he was the one that made them. He wrote back, stating that he only had a 1000 made and shipped them all to the wholesalers. Nice deal for him, he sold all them at one time and was done with the project.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 17, 2012 10:23AM)
Sad to lose Martin. He was a very long time, old friend. Interestingly, his Smoking gimmick was the best.
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Jun 17, 2012 08:07PM)
I recently purchased a few stock supplies and was amazed at how some of them had changed. Nobody could use some of that junk. There were a few other items that were of the original quality I expected.

So the knock-offs hurt the buyer, too. Seems to me the leverage point here is the US Distributors. I wish there was a way for the buyers to provide more feedback about what was junk, what is stolen, etc.
Message: Posted by: Alexander Wells (Jun 18, 2012 07:09AM)
How about starting an association of magic dealers (guild, society, club)? There could be a code of conduct which includes a commitment not to sell knock offs. If someone spots a knock off, reports it and the creator of the effect backs the grievance then the dealer is expelled from the organisation/socitety.

Membership of the society would have commercial benefits as the more ethical amongst us would favour or exclusively patronise those establishments.
It could operate in a similar way to the Magic Circle or AMA.

Sound like a plan?
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 18, 2012 09:16AM)
[quote]
On 2012-06-18 08:09, Neal Alexander wrote:
How about starting an association of magic dealers (guild, society, club)? There could be a code of conduct which includes a commitment not to sell knock offs. If someone spots a knock off, reports it and the creator of the effect backs the grievance then the dealer is expelled from the organisation/socitety.

Membership of the society would have commercial benefits as the more ethical amongst us would favour or exclusively patronise those establishments.
It could operate in a similar way to the Magic Circle or AMA.

Sound like a plan?
[/quote]
The magic dealers association had a plan where they would police their own industry. But, in truth, it was the fox guarding the hen-house.
Most of the knock-off dealers were the members.
I went to an MDA dealers show in Fort Lauderdale years ago and bought a book with me on the Super-gel. I gave samples to 4 dealers, and within weeks, each and EVERY dealer I submitted it to, came out with an in-house booklet on it.
Message: Posted by: Alexander Wells (Jun 18, 2012 11:05AM)
What about a magic producer/inventor's co-op then? Get a bunch of independent producers to band together to get lower distribution costs etc..

Failing this, the best solution seems to be going direct to the producer and cut out the middle men altogether. A lot of the better props are easier to obtain directly from the producer anyway.

If you can't play fair then maybe you shouldn't get to play at all?
Message: Posted by: Illucifer (Jun 19, 2012 12:19PM)
You're not likely going to get China to stop this sort of thing. They make knock-off iPhones and iPads. Hell, they even have entire knock-off Apple Stores. Good luck getting them to care about something at the economic scale of a magic trick.
Message: Posted by: AnthonyJD (Jul 3, 2012 09:25PM)
In my opinion the only way around this is for all of the magic community to stick together and only support each other from the source. I know from speaking to George Robinson that some will always buy cheaper either because they have to or to just save. I may be an amateur but I never buy anything with a "hallmark " name other than the source. Pete , and all others who produce high quality effects and help to elevate the art keep up the good work , serious magicians appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 13, 2012 05:11AM)
Just seen on Ebay the Proper Ghostly Linking Finger Rings from China is now only $35.00 for a $695.00 miracle. Can you believe it!

What is so weird, is that the Himber linking finger ring with duplicate ring is $25.00. So for $10 more dollars they include the box, and pen.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jul 13, 2012 07:42AM)
[quote]
On 2012-07-03 22:25, AnthonyJD wrote:
In my opinion the only way around this is for all of the magic community to stick together and only support each other from the source. I know from speaking to George Robinson that some will always buy cheaper either because they have to or to just save. I may be an amateur but I never buy anything with a "hallmark " name other than the source. Pete , and all others who produce high quality effects and help to elevate the art keep up the good work , serious magicians appreciate it.
[/quote]
I agree, and I feel there is a group who follow exactly what you do- I know that I am saving up for a Dean's Box because I want the real thing from the real source. It is unfortunate that there seems always to be a market of those who think otherwise- else the goods wouldn't be made. The consumer controls the manufacturing.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 14, 2012 12:56AM)
I was told today that "culturally" in China ripping off and counterfeiting is not considered a bad thing. So, we are screwed. Sad thing about the CHEAP priced Porper Linking Finger Rings is, as Porper told me, [b]"They don't know the real secret to how the inner parts are made, and their rings don't work right and don't last very long."[/b]
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 14, 2012 03:06AM)
So Pete, are you saying the Chinese rip offs last as long as the attention span of todays buyers. As that is all it seems from being on the Café, is todays buyer is only interested in knowing the secret and looking at the props. I guess that may be worth $35.00.
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Jul 14, 2012 06:35AM)
Mr. Biro,

Perhaps this is a long shot, but would it be worth your time to file a complaint to eBay? In my dealings with eBay - and I hasten to add that my dealings had little to do with the plight you are experiencing - a solution MAY be possible. Sad to say - and we all know this - there are Western makers of magic that have done and still do the same thing. Viking Magic have been taken to the cleaners a number of times.

Namaste,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 14, 2012 09:30AM)
I believe Porper has gone this route, the only trouble the ebay sellers are often just one-shot buyers that want to dump what they bought. The manufacturers sell off their websites and to some small-time dealers.
Message: Posted by: Acolophon (Jul 15, 2012 12:51PM)
Pete,
Like many people I feel for you. Why can't some people realise that there is nothing in this world that cannot be made a little cheaper by making it a little worse!
Message: Posted by: yjp5 (Aug 26, 2013 07:29PM)
Argh! My first post to this forum to gripe about US sellers on eBay. I recently bought Porper's Just a Key and Strong Box on eBay and when the items arrived, the quality simply stunk, which is NOT the reputation of Porper items that I read about as a lurker on these forums. Then I find these posts about all these fakes. Very sad. I guess I am the sorry owner of two piece of c**p Porper knock-offs.

Sorry, Joe, for thinking I was getting a great bargain on your stuff by looking on eBay. These knock-offs must be costing you and your distributors a lot of business, and I'm sad that nothing more is being done to protect you from this practice.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Aug 26, 2013 08:34PM)
[quote]
On 2013-08-26 20:29, yjp5 wrote:
Argh! My first post to this forum to gripe about US sellers on eBay. I recently bought Porper's Just a Key and Strong Box on eBay and when the items arrived, the quality simply stunk, which is NOT the reputation of Porper items that I read about as a lurker on these forums. Then I find these posts about all these fakes. Very sad. I guess I am the sorry owner of two piece of c**p Porper knock-offs.

Sorry, Joe, for thinking I was getting a great bargain on your stuff by looking on eBay. These knock-offs must be costing you and your distributors a lot of business, and I'm sad that nothing more is being done to protect you from this practice.
[/quote]

You can see the country of shipping origin next to the Shipping column on eBay ads. If it says China or Malaysia, you know it's a knockoff. The ridiculously low price is another tipoff. If you're purchasing from the U.S., know your seller!
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 16, 2013 11:32AM)
If you're going to buy a Porper item, buy it from HIM! :) Want a Pete Biro item? Buy directly from him!

http://pete-biro.com/tricks/

I have a Pete Biro item I am VERY happy with, and he's right here in the Café! I never buy magic on eBay. Almost guaranteed a knock-off. Buy Chuck Leach items from Chazpro.com, Lassen/Schoolcraft items from their respective sites. This way you GUARANTEE the real thing! If we don't support our creators, they will vanish!

Doug
Message: Posted by: Torquay22 (Sep 21, 2013 04:41AM)
Can we make a new forum topic based on a list of known fake items and sites and how to avoid them. Also would there be some form of certificate of authenticity or seal of approval
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 21, 2013 10:24AM)
That, I think would go in either the [b]Right Or Wrong[/b] forum or the [b]Good, Bad & Garbage[/b] section. Not sure about [b]From Soup To Nuts[/b]. [b]Office of Advisement [/b]might want to add another forum to that section based on your idea, Torquay.

Then we get into a dicey situation. In this lawsuit-happy society, ya gotta be careful, if you know wudda mean. ;)

Doug