Seen a cheap drill or tool that looks immaculate? Think again.
Most often, many builders fall into the trap of purchasing a fake power tool or drill. It is not surprising that is the case because the price of tools can be quite expensive in the construction field. Personally, I had seen people selling brand-new (which makes it even more questionable to the credibility of the tool) fake power tools and drills way too often in my local car-boot sale as the traders were selling for example, a recent model of a Dewalt drill kit (including the box and batteries) that has an marketing price from trusted sellers of around £350 (depending on model), for £150! It may have looked legit, but sellers especially at car boot sales like these attempt to flatter you with extortionately low prices compared to the market value with fake power tools and drills. So, how can you spot a fake power tool/ drill?
1) All fake tools/ drills do not comply with European safety standards or regulations
Whenever you purchase a real power tool/ drill, there is always some sort of guaranteed warranty, even if it is from a third-party such as eBay – where the warranty will be included in the purchase. However, whenever the seller does not provide any sort of guaranteed safety with the product, it is highly likely that it is a fake. Another way to spot a fake drill from a seller regarding safety standards, is that there would be no operating or safety instructions that come with the product. If that is the case, do not buy the product whatsoever, otherwise you will fall into being scammed. This is the most essential feature when identifying the credibility of a drill and is the most important because there are major safety hazards when using the drills e.g. the drill may be unstable when using it in risky situations and the drill bit may suddenly come loose unexpectedly.
2) The battery life is terrible compared to real products
A common and easy way to know that your drill is fake is seeing your drill’s battery die quite quickly. The battery can sometimes be so bad, that you may end up charging the battery more than actually using it! The fake drill’s batteries will require constant charging and once presumably “fully charged” they will not even last for a couple of hours let alone the whole day. The reason for the battery life being terrible is because in the manufacturing process the batteries are not made as efficient as the real drill/ power tool ones. So if your battery dies remarkably early, you should return your item or report the seller if from an online source and if bought in person, try contacting the seller for an immediate refund.
3) The drill’s/ power tool’s life is limited itself
If the battery causes you enough problems, then the drill itself will give you even more of a headache. The motor (what powers the tool) life is relatively short. A normal/ real drill or power tool would last your several years, even when used on a daily or frequent basis. However, a fake model would not even last a couple of months if it was to be used on a constant basis or even when used occasionally, they make last a year. In order to determine the motor life, it can usually be seen by how long the battery life is. So basically, if you want to find out how powerful/ durable your tool is, the battery life will tell you.
4) Legitimate power tools/drills come with a moulded plug
This is a lesser known fact, but the plug for the charging dock will be moulded. They are definitely not household shaped or foreign so that is something to keep your eye out for. Normally, this would come with the safety manual, but if there is none then the likelihood of the drill’s charging plug will be fake.
5) Legitimate power tools/ drills will come with a true model number
All of the drills and power tools you buy are certain to have a model number. The reason for this is for preventing fraud and fake drills from being sold and for determining the newer models each time they come out. If the seller has no knowledge of the model number or bluffs by providing you a made up serial number, the tool is likely to be fake. You should always check the model number with the seller and be sure that they know what they’re talking about, especially at car boot sales.
How to avoid buying a fake power tool or drill
As mentioned, it is surprising how many people fall into scams and unfortunately purchase fake products at a cheap price. There are many ways to avoid this, and some even help you get your desired item (which is real of course) at a cheap price.
1) Buy from trusted sellers
It is sometimes quite shocking at how many people decide to buy tools from third-party sellers whom are most likely to con you for your money. Like I said, it may look nice and cheap but in reality it’s like the toy version of the real thing. Although trusted sellers and manufacturers sell power tools and drills at a significantly high price, it is definitely worth that. Buying online from Amazon, Dewalt, Hitachi-powertools, Screwfix or ToolStop are famous and well-trusted sellers whom are 100% guaranteed to give you real products. Famous local warehouse stores whom special in DIY items are also another option who are trusted sellers. For example in the UK, there are countless stores such as Wickes, B&Q, Homebase, Screwfix etc. who sell all types of drills and power tools from different well respected manufacturers. You cannot go wrong with them as they also have guarantees and return-policies.
2) Always question the seller
Wherever you buy your respected item from, you should question the seller. This is especially relevant to sellers on eBay, wholesalers, stores with lesser known credibility and car boot sales. There is a high chance that you may be scammed when dealing with unknown sellers. You should always ask numerous questions about the product because you would rather know the full details of a product rather than getting lured by the cheap price and buying it ASAP.
3) Try to buy your product in person if not buying from trusted online sellers
There is a high tendency to get scammed online because 1) you have never seen in the product in person 2) you have probably never dealt with the person. Since the surge in online shopping and our human nature has strived further towards laziness, sometimes trusted stores are the better option. An act of laziness could lead to your bank details being exposed to untrusted online sellers and going out to a trusted store is much safer. Car-boot sales are another option, however, you have to be extremely cautious of legitimate sellers and the prices they have advertised power tools and drills at. That is the only downside of car-boot sales, but on the bright side you are likely to gain experience about handling these type of sellers and gain a knack for identifying legitimate sellers. You may even come across stores who have dead stock (i.e. mass supply of goods that are not being sold) and selling new power tools and drills at a discounted price. This leads me on to my next tip.
4) Search online for DIY stores closing down or have dead stock
This tip may require some research and time, but it is certainly worth it if you are looking to secure long-term tools. There are always going to be stores closing down that want to get rid of their stock ASAP so they either sell in bulk or at a very lucrative discounted price. By searching online or even seen in your local yellow pages book, you could come across stores with real power tools and drills being sold cheap. For example, your local Wickes may be closing down or a Wickes store half a mile away is closing down whom are selling items for 30% off. That is an opportunity not to be missed especially if you’re having no luck elsewhere or the prices are too expensive. This will both help you get your tool at a discounted price and is not a counterfeit item. This way you can get as they say ‘the best of both worlds’.
5) Buy real second-hand tools from eBay or even Gumtree if necessary
Markets like eBay and Gumtree are full of sellers looking to get rid of well-functioning and good conditioned tools that are used. There are many reasons for people to be selling second-hand tools that are in perfect working conditions. I have seen people sell drills because they have upgraded and no longer require their downgraded version. However, you must always check the description and more importantly always look to see if they have a return policy. Buying from a seller with a return policy gives you the comfort that you can test your power tool and drill out within that period to see if it to your liking and standards and if you are not satisfied, you can always receive a refund. Sometimes, the seller may refuse to refund you, but eBay has always protected the buyer with ‘report a seller’ option and vice versa, so you are safe from getting your money stolen from. Second-hand tools do the job if you’re not too fussed with how it looks on the outside and will last you longer than several new fake drills/power tools put together.
I hope this article has helped you be more aware of the risks and dangers that are visible when purchasing power tools and drills. Be sure to drop a comment if you have any tips or any questions and I will reply to each individually. If not, be sure to check out our twitter! Thanks for reading!