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Folks Of Interest Corporate Thieves....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Crazy Steve, Apr 22, 2024.

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  1. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 4,420


    I found several years back that buying items off Ebay and even just an online source that appeared to be a smaller business trying to build a market, that they often had knock offs of the name brands that appeared to be the real thing. The quality and inner construction often was subpar. Many people never realized that they didn't get the name brand that they thought they had bought.......from the cheaper source.
    At that time, I found that dealing with Summit........I always got the name brand that I ordered. So I purchased from them when I wanted a name brand part. They also sell many things that are made somewhere other than America that are not name brands. I have no problem with buying something from them or Amazon that's made elsewhere as long as they are honest about it. Like most people here, I'd rather buy something that has an American name and is actually "Made in America" as well..........the problem is that so many of the American brands are now being made overseas or in Mexico and then just sold in America. I don't think I would give up on Summit tho, I think they do a pretty good job of providing name brands when that's what someone orders . The truth is that most of the parts manufacturers don't give a sh*t about anything but profit, they just talk the talk because they know that's what we want to hear.
  2. The problem is the 'knockoffs' aren't always copies, sometimes it's the same part. Two examples... I bought a Milwaukee brand chop saw years ago, trying to 'buy American' and having great experience with the brand. What showed up was a repainted Makita, red and black rather than green and black. Still a quality product but made in Japan and not what I expected. Cost more than the Makita too. Many 'name brand' manufacturers have outsourced some or all of their product lines. Another example... I bought a kickdown cable kit for a C4 trans a few years ago. Lokar listed theirs for $100, Summit offered the exact same kit for $50. I had a chance to compare them, if there was any real mechanical difference, I couldn't see it and I looked hard. The only real difference is Lokar didn't give a country of origin, but Summit did... China. If Lokar didn't insist on an 'exclusive' contract, there's no impediment to the actual manufacturer selling to all comers. Although given the history with Chinese suppliers that may not matter.

    But this is a blatant case of just stealing another guys idea. Yeah, he could have gone for a patent but that's expensive and likely given his volume, just not practical.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
  3. IIRC, Ed Roth had this same problem in the 60's, with stuff he was having made over seas.
    A lot of knock off stuff coming out of China is made by the same company, with the same
    tooling used to make brand name stuff. The brand name company pays all the design, tooling,
    and set up charges up front. And builds that into their prices. Now the knock offs can be
    produced for just the cost of the materials. And some of the knock off stuff, are rejects from
    the brand name production.
  4. It appears that both Summit and Jegs has dropped all Speedmaster stuff. But it's reported that Speedmaster has 'relationships' with both SEMA and NHRA... Will they step up and follow suit? Can pressure be brought to bear by members?
    chryslerfan55, loudbang and Unkl Ian like this.
  5. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 7,054


    That's odd. I have one for an 8BA I have owned at least 20 years, and it was old when I bought it. One of the reasons I bought it was because the "old timers" said it was the best performer made.

    The chances are slim to none that some would "knock off" one of these. Actually, we would all be better off if they did.

    Although I abhor these knock-offs, they are of little consequence for me. I have never been able to find much of anything in either the Jegs or Summit catalogs that I can use on any of my cars.
    chryslerfan55, 2OLD2FAST and Unkl Ian like this.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 8,641

    from SIDNEY, NY

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that my 1959 Fenton catalog shows one.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
  7. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 10,077


    that would not hard to do, Fram set the bar pretty low.
  8. Six Ball
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 5,989

    Six Ball
    from Nevada

    Look at all of the "original" after market speed equipment. Weren't they all sort of knock offs of someones original modification? Pretty hard to patient an idea and make it stick through minor changes. An actual fake is different.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Does SEMA really care ? Years ago they changed their name
    from "Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association",
    to "Special Equipment Market Association". A few years ago,
    some of the booths in the Las Vegas show were shut down after they were set up.
    Something about counterfeits. And I don't think it was SEMA's idea.
    NHRA will just follow the money.
  10. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 2,426


    If they are going to copy a product in the hope of riding on the sales coat-tails of the original, wouldn't they want the name/logo to be on it ??? It was most likely not a mistake...
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. Duster418
    Joined: Jun 24, 2021
    Posts: 13


    This has been happening for decades, you would think summit was already aware of the copies
  12. I was looking at a Willwood brake component and it was being sold here in a speed shop for about $150. A couple of days later I saw the same part, same colour, with a "Speedway" sticker on it , about half that price. I bought it, and peeled the sticker back. "Willwood" was cast into it. I don't know where it was made, but I suspect chinese.
    Working with a lot of Chinese engineers many years ago, they were telling me about how quickly things can be copied. They get someone in another country to buy an item (there are people sent to specifically do this), they send them back, and within 24 hours they have been scanned and the copying process has started. Within a couple of weeks they are for sale on the internet, all faults and flaws included, for a fraction of what the original was. Sometimes they even try to hide the original brand.
    chryslerfan55, Unkl Ian and warbird1 like this.
  13. Kevin Ardinger
    Joined: Aug 31, 2019
    Posts: 822

    Kevin Ardinger

    I had the same thing happen back in the early 80s when I was making C4 trans brake valve bodies. I was still in the works on fine-tuning the thing and a big transmission company, that I see mentioned here fairly regularly, called me and wanted to buy one. Said that they would test it for me. I sold them one. That was a big mistake! Not only did they copy and sell my valve body, but they copied my directions by laying their letterhead over my letterhead. I found out about it when I picked up a national dragster paper and saw it in the “new gear” section of the paper. I didn’t really have a leg to stand on as it was not copyrighted so, I’ll just say I got even.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
  14. Ziggster
    Joined: Aug 27, 2018
    Posts: 1,894


    A former friend started a business years ago and was totally paranoid about folks copying and stealing his idea. Had it patented, copyrighted, and trademarked, but to this day, has never got it into production because he spent all his money worrying about stuff like that. Really really sad story actually.

  15. It's not just our parts, try looking at Ray-Bans. I'd bet the knockoffs outnumber the real ones by 100 to one

    Shoes, handbags cologne, car parts, electronics....if it sells, it gets counterfeited
  16. 40Vert
    Joined: Jun 10, 2006
    Posts: 679


    Getting harder all the time with companies like Holley buying up the small guys. FWIW, Summit owns Trick Flow.

    chryslerfan55, Roothawg and Sharpone like this.
  17. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 4,408


    This is smart in most cases, but you gotta research!
    There is a well known Mopar designer/manufacturer that is known to be difficult to deal with as an end-user. The word on the street is to avoid buying direct and instead, go through one of the approved distributors. In fact, if you search for "don't buy direct from XXXX" you get results from forums from 2008 to 2018 and you tube videos, and that's just the first page!
    chryslerfan55 and Sharpone like this.
  18. lostn51
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,313

    from Tennessee

    Son of a gun I had no idea.
  19. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
    that mediocrity can pay to greatness."

    I wanted to say, anyone can make a copy, but my experience
    shows this is not the case. Some people lack the very basic
    understanding necessary to be able to copy exactly what is
    right in front of them. Whoever made this part for Speedbastards,
    made it look sort of the same-ish, but obviously missed some
    small details critical to the proper function of the transmission.
    If it was a good copy, nobody would have complained.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
  20. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,704

    lumpy 63

    They had one of the bigger displays at Goodguys Del Mar a couple of weeks ago... Big tractor trailer with everything displayed. Blocks, heads, manifolds etc. Looking closely at most of the castings they looked very porous and crude.
  21. Easy to spend a bunch on promotion, when you have no R&D costs.
    Stan Back, Mr48chev, lumpy 63 and 2 others like this.
  22. PotvinV8
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 452


    It's actually legal in China to over manufacture and then sell said overages out the back door. I've heard numbers as low as 10% but I bet it's more than that, or just blind-eyed. So, that knock-off might actually be the real deal, just an overproduction item sold out the back door. Still doesn't make it right.

    As far as the OP goes, that part was probably copied to the "T" but something operational that only someone like the original inventor would know, got missed. A radius where a ball seals a section of the valve body or an o-rings composition, etc. could easily cause a failure even though it looks the part.

    If anyone wants to go down a Speedmaster rabbit hole, Google some of their engine blocks and read all about them on the many forums online. There was one where an engine machinist actually inspected one of their crate blocks and it was so out of spec that it was impossible to get it to where it should be (think core shift, deck height differences, cam to crank centerline specs, etc).

    Had a firsthand experience where a company knocked off a product from another company, in so far as using the same part number. Almost as dumb as the OP. :rolleyes:

    Like they say, "buyer beware".
  23. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 5,355

    from illinois

    I'm really "surprised" I guess at the number of members displaying all this righteous indignation over something that's been happening since forever !
    Chucky, Sharpone and bobss396 like this.
  24. I compare prices between a few parts houses, many times they are the same EXACT number down to the penny.
    chryslerfan55, Sharpone and Unkl Ian like this.
  25. This ^^^.

    I'm sure that some of us have had run-ins with really crappy rubber products sourced from off-shore. I had ball joint boots crack even before I got one mile on my car. There is something missing from the "formula", maybe that extra pinch of salt?

    Manufacturers tend to hold their cards close to the vest. I had worked one summer making pizza, there was no formal recipe for sauce with measures like tablespoons, cups, etc. Everything was from numbered cans, so it would be hard to backtrack and make the sauce yourself, BTW... his sauce sucked.

    In military electronics and commercial as well, on PC boards there is almost always one "proprietary" chip that makes it hard to easily copy a design.

    There are decent factories in China, India and elsewhere that turn out a reliable product. The parent companies have a presence in the physical plant, they make regular visits, do testing, they inspect the parts there before they come here. Alas, not all do this.

    I did some work for a big manufacturing place here on Long Island. They leased fabric processing equipment to all over the world. The owner, no dummy, gets a request for some equipment. He does his homework and comes up with the "customer" being associated with a place in China that is notorious for stealing intellectual property. He dodged a bullet for sure.
    chryslerfan55, Sharpone and Unkl Ian like this.
  26. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,766


    This is OT, but it does have some bearing on this topic.
    We bought some dog food off of Amazon for my wife's 2 Havanese. It was a big, name brand company (we thought). The dogs got extremely ill and we didn't know what was going on. Took them to the vet, she asked what we were feeding them and where did we get it. We told her and she said to never buy any dog food from Amazon. She said they had an influx of counterfeit dog food made by, guess who? The Chinese. It was labeled just like the original manufacturer. We threw that crap out and the dogs miraculously got better. Buyer beware.
  27. GlassThamesDoug
    Joined: May 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,643


    If your prints go to China, component to be produced... expect copies to hit market. Read your supplier contract, many allow direct competition by supplier to get $price$.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2024
    bobss396 and Sharpone like this.
  28. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,880

    from Berry, AL

    This is used a lot by the counterfeiters to shed attention from themselves. If their product is priced the same or just a little lower than the actual item, they can get by longer before being discovered. If their products were priced at half compared to the original product, you’d have a pretty good feeling it was a knockoff. It costs X amount of dollars to produce a product, that amount is slowly recaptured over time until a product produces most of its own revenue. The counterfeit product skips all the R&D and goes straight to market, so they don’t have as high an amount to recapture, so they sell cheaper to start with. The markets do funny things though, as companies will sometimes overprice their products to quickly reduce the recapture rate or will set themselves up to be in a position to lower their prices to compete with others. The counterfeiter just wants to sell and move on to the next item.
  29. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,846

    from Oregon

    We can blame the big American companies who had their parts manufactured in China for later getting ripped off by those same Chinese companies they used! Why wouldn't the Chinese decide to cut out the American company they were selling to if they can increase profits by selling direct to US customers?
    All those US companies who thought they could trust the Chinese factories were foolish, and only concerned with increasing their profits. They deserve to get ripped off if they decide to deal with the devil.
  30. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 4,531


    I always end up buying cheap. Just never seem to learn.
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