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Certain types of products are extremely commonly counterfeited. I would never consider ordering luxury goods like cologne/perfume/handbags, flash memory cards or sticks, or small mass-market electronics like chargers.

Due to the way Amazon commingles their stock at the SKU level, there is simply no way to guarantee that what you're getting is genuine, even if you order "sold and shipped from Amazon".

Even from an authorized retailer - the first thing I do with any flash card is fill it full of a test pattern using f3write, and then validate that it actually reads out fine. Counterfeiting of flash cards is absolutely rampant.


I've bought lots of flash cards, flash drives, chargers, and cables from Amazon and have never had a problem (or they were great counterfeits, in which case I'm not too upset). I don't do much research either, choosing mostly based on search results, brand name, reviews, and shipping/sold by Amazon.

I'd strongly advise against high-voltage/power, questionable quality electronics, because even counterfeit charger will work fine most of the time, until one day, it fails and burns your home down. It's usually not functionality that differs between cheap/counterfeit and quality electronics, but protection, failsafe mechanisms, durability and quality control. I do order myself plenty of cheap, low quality electronics, but nothing that touches more than 12V.

> nothing that touches more than 12V.

And as a reminder since you mentioned them explicitly, a USB charger counts as 110/220V, not 5V.

As a counter anecdote, I ordered ("[s]hips from and sold by Amazon.com", not "[f]ulfilled by Amazon"; just double-checked) a branded microSD card a few months ago, and did a full device write / read on it, and it died on the read pass. I wasn't even thinking that it could be counterfeit at the time: this is just a basic smoke test I do on all new storage devices. But now that I think of it it does seem awfully suspicious.

Yeah, it's very common that rejected cards will find their way back into the supply chain, or that employees will run "ghost shifts" with rejected sub-standard wafers. Bunnie Huang did a fascinating teardown on some fake cards.


I do the exact same smoke-test - as I mentioned I use f3write to fill it full, and the counterpart f3read to read it back and test it.


There's no official Win32 distribution but it compiles and runs without issue on Cygwin. When I get home, I can send you a Dropbox link with a build and enough Cygwin DLLs to make it run in a standard Windows command prompt.

As mentioned on the f3write site - one of the very typical hacks is to make the controller report a larger capacity than it actually has - or a larger capacity than is actually functional/reliable. So this is the obvious test to perform - write it full and see if you can read it out.

Amazon will co-mingle their stock with third parties as long as the stocking unit (typically UPC) matches. So if some retailer sends them fake memory cards you get a fake memory card, "Sold And Shipped By Amazon.com". And of course eBay is full of this junk.

At this point I prefer to buy from camera stores. My theory is that since their customers will be making their livelihood off the memory cards that they have an additional incentive to keep their supply chain clean.

Belated but here you go with a Windows build of f3write (built on Cygwin64).


Get the flash card from wall mart, it works just fine. (feel free to replace with whatever shop you go by on your way to work).

Or Adorama, or BH Photo Video. Or really anyone except Amazon and eBay and other hubs for cheap Chinese junk.

Newegg is probably still OK too, although they are now fronting for third-party retailers I haven't heard of them commingling their stocks yet.

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