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Headphone safe buying guide - how to avoid fake and grey import headphones

Discussion in 'AVForums News & Notices' started by Stuart Wright, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright AVForums Founder Staff Member

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    <h2>Headphone Safe Buying Guide</h2><p>How to avoid fake and grey import headphones</p><h3>1) Buy Only From Authorised Online Dealers</h3><p>Purchase only from authorised online dealers, which ensures you will receive a genuine product and receive high levels of pre and post sales service.</p><p>When you buy from an authorised dealer, whether at a shop or online, you can be sure you&#39;re buying a genuine, factory-new product. &nbsp;Authorised dealers will have access to the latest product knowledge and be able to offer a full warranty service in the event of problems.</p><p>See the list of manufacturers below for lists of authorised dealers.</p><h3>2) Buying Safely From Amazon, eBay, Playtrade, etc.</h3><p>While Amazon themselves are an authorised online dealer of many headphones brands, many resellers who sell through Amazon are not. When purchasing, it is important to note where the product is being &quot;shipped from and sold by,&quot; which is stated clearly in the header for each product on Amazon.</p><p>Many resellers on eBay selling headphone products are not authorised dealers, but instead are individuals or traders who do not provide the level of before and after sales support that is expected by headphone manufacturers.</p><h3>3) If In Doubt Ask</h3><p>If you are in any doubt about the retailer you are considering purchasing from please check the manufacturer links below.&nbsp; If you are still uncertain contact the manufacturer directly to check before you purchase.</p><h2>Understand The Risks</h2><p>If you purchase headphones from an unauthorised online reseller you risk the possibility of receiving faulty, fake or even stolen goods with little hope of obtaining warranty support in the event that the product develops a fault.</p><p>Unfortunately, headphone products are sometimes sold by companies that are not authorised dealers.&nbsp; Goods sold by these unauthorised companies may come from a variety of sources, including:</p><ul><li>Purchased via a grey secondary market (often from outside Europe that will not have warranty cover).</li><li>Fake goods not produced by the manufacturer.</li><li>Damaged, defective or so-called &ldquo;B&rdquo; grade stock.</li><li>Stolen goods.</li></ul><p>Many of these unauthorised resellers list products via Amazon Marketplace, eBay and similar sales outlets, but there are also more established retail stores who obtain stock via these unauthorised channels.</p><p>Due to the nature of the goods sold by unauthorised resellers and their business practices, it is very unlikely that a manufacturer will offer warranty support for products purchased from these sales outlets.</p><p>In many cases unauthorised resellers frequently change names, website addresses and locations to avoid dealing with customer problems.</p><p>If you suspect that a reseller is not authorised to sell a manufacturers products consult the manufacturers authorised dealer lists or contact the manufacturer directly for confirmation before purchase.</p><h2>Where To Buy Headphones Safely Online</h2><p>Before purchasing a pair of headphones online it&rsquo;s strongly recommended that you check that you are purchasing from an authorised online dealer.</p><p>Below is a list of links to manufacturers&#39; UK authorised online dealers, as well as blacklists of unauthorised dealers:</p><h3>Audio-Technica</h3><p>Lists supplied by: Audio-Technica Europe</p><p><strong>Authorised Dealers</strong></p><p><a href="http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/contact/buy.asp">http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/contact/buy.asp</a><br /><a href="http://www.henleydesigns.co.uk/dealer_results.asp?County=&amp;Brand=39">http://www.henleydesigns.co.uk/dealer_results.asp?County=&amp;Brand=39</a></p><p><strong>Unauthorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>The following websites are known resellers of fake Audio-Technica headphones:</p><p>headphones-best.com<br />headphonestore.org.uk<br />headphonesale.co.uk<br />headphoneshop.uk.com<br />kingspecssd.com<br />soundsgreatuk.com<br />traders-market.co.uk</p><p>The following websites are non-authorised resellers of Audio-Technica headphones and Audio-Technica strongly recommends European customers do NOT purchase from these stores:</p><p>accessoryjack.com<br />eeepcssd.com<br />hammerjack.co.uk<br />iheadphones.co.uk</p><p>In addition, Audio-Technica strongly advises customers against buying from eBay, or from any website where the price appears unusually low.</p><h3>Beyerdynamic</h3><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>TBC</p><h3>Denon</h3><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>TBC</p><h3>Etymotic</h3><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealer list</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.etymotic.com/dealerlocator/">http://www.etymotic.com/dealerlocator/</a></p><p><strong>Unauthorised Online Dealer list</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.etymotic.com/dealer/unauthorized.html">http://www.etymotic.com/dealer/unauthorized.html</a></p><h3>FiiO</h3><p>List supplied by: James Zhong (Director of International Sales)</p><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.fiio.com.cn/where/index.aspx">http://www.fiio.com.cn/where/index.aspx</a></p><p><strong>Unauthorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>iheadphones.co.uk</p><p>iheadphones (via Amazon)<br />mymemory (via Amazon)<br />shwelone (via Amazon)</p><h3>Grado</h3><p>List of authorised dealers (with map) <a href="http://www.grado.co.uk/where-to-buy-grado-headphones.htm">here</a>.</p><h3>Jaybird</h3><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>5050.ie - <a href="http://www.5050.ie/">http://www.5050.ie</a><br />Advanced MP3 Players &ndash; <a href="http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/">http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk</a><br />Advanced Headphones &ndash; <a href="http://www.advancedheadphones.co.uk/">http://www.advancedheadphones.co.uk</a><br />Amazon &ndash; <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/">http://www.amazon.co.uk</a><br />BestBuy &ndash; <a href="http://www.bestbuy.co.uk/">http://www.bestbuy.co.uk</a><br />BestDigitalMarket &ndash; <a href="http://www.bestdigitalmarket.com/">http://www.bestdigitalmarket.com</a><br />Comet &ndash; <a href="http://www.comet.co.uk/">http://www.comet.co.uk</a><br />Dixons &ndash; <a href="http://www.dixons.co.uk/">http://www.dixons.co.uk</a><br />Gum Mobile &ndash; <a href="http://www.gummobile.com/">http://www.gummobile.com</a><br />Harrods &ndash; <a href="http://www.harrods.com/">http://www.harrods.com</a><br />HiFi Headphones &ndash; <a href="http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/">http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk</a><br />Home &amp; Office Innovations &ndash; <a href="http://haoi.co.uk/">http://haoi.co.uk</a><br />Instock Direct &ndash; <a href="http://www.instockdirect.com/">http://www.instockdirect.com</a><br />Play.com &ndash; <a href="http://www.play.com/">http://www.play.com</a><br />The MP3 Company &ndash; <a href="http://www.themp3company.co.uk/">http://www.themp3company.co.uk</a></p><h3>Phonak</h3><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.audeoworld.com/en/GB/Wheretobuy/WheretoBuy.htm">http://www.audeoworld.com/en/GB/Wheretobuy/WheretoBuy.htm</a></p><h3>Shure</h3><p>List supplied by: Shure UK</p><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>If you come across a dealer selling Shure earphones, headphones or microphones and you are not sure whether they are authorised or not, refer to the below link, or call 01992 703058 for clarification.<br /><a href="http://www.shure.co.uk/meta_en/where_to_buy/dealer_locator">http://www.shure.co.uk/meta_en/where_to_buy/dealer_locator</a></p><p><strong>Unauthorised Online Dealers</strong><br />Shure UK would advise you NOT to purchase from these companies:</p><p>4gadget.co.uk<br />accessoryjack.com<br />coolmart.co.uk<br />eeepcssd.com<br />hammerjack.co.uk<br />iheadphones.co.uk<br />simplyelectronics.net</p><p>The following websites are known resellers of fake Shure products:</p><p>kingspecssd.com</p><p>Shure UK would also advise against buying from any company where the price seems unusually low.</p><h3>SoundMAGIC</h3><p>List supplied by: Michael Lin (SoundMAGIC International Sales Manager)</p><p><strong>Authorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>Advanced MP3 Players &ndash; <a href="http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/">http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk</a><br />Advanced Headphones &ndash; <a href="http://www.advancedheadphones.co.uk/">http://www.advancedheadphones.co.uk</a><br />Amazon UK &ndash; <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/">http://www.amazon.co.uk</a><br />Audio Out &ndash; <a href="http://www.audioout.co.uk/">http://www.audioout.co.uk</a><br />HiFi Headphones &ndash; <a href="http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/">http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk</a><br />The MP3 Company &ndash; <a href="http://www.themp3company.co.uk/">http://www.themp3company.co.uk</a><br />The Headphone Company &ndash; <a href="http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk/">http://www.theheadphonecompany.co.uk</a></p><p><strong>Unauthorised Online Dealers</strong></p><p>The following websites are non-authorised resellers of SoundMAGIC headphones and SoundMAGIC strongly recommends European customers do NOT purchase from these stores:</p><p>bargainpile.net<br />iheadphones.co.uk<br />redhotgadget.com</p><p>iheadphones (via Amazon)<br />in2digital (via Amazon)<br />market monkey (via Amazon)<br />onlyheadphones (via Amazon)<br />shwelone (via Amazon)</p>
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