I am new here and ordered my 1st pair of VFF today (black KSO from KayakShed). I passed very very close to ordering a pair from eBay 2 days ago for not a lot cheaper actually.
Fortunately, I thought about doing more research to make sure I would order the right pair, what to expect from VFF and so on.
And then I found this site, and read all the comments posted by people who just ordered a pair of VFF (or so they thought) on ebay to find out they were fake. I was horrified.
Let's be clear: I have nothing about Chinese making VFF like shoes. Everyone is entitled to do business. What I don't like is selling NON Vibram shoes as Vibram. I do not care that much about the Vibram company financial health really, but am more worried about some of us buying what we think are VFF, at close to Vibram prices and end up with a cheap knock off (I am not saying ALL counterfeits are bad quality, just that misleading people is not right).
I just reported 37 eBay auctions on the 1st page of a search on Vibram Five Fingers. I am unsure what effect this will have if any, but I am still young enough to think that this will have at least a small impact and cause inconvenience to those sellers.
I realise that by myself there is no way I can have a real impact by doing this. I have a job, a family and better things to do than protecting Vibram's interest (and ours) 24/7.
As a community though I believe we can have an impact and even if we won't get rid of all the knock offs, we will limit their sale.
This would results in more happy buyers, potentially more sells for Vibram and (one ca always dream) a lowering of Vibram's price due to economy of scale (I am probably dreaming here though)
So here is what I propose: every time you are on ebay looking for something, or if you have a few minute to lose, or just to be good christian/patriot (I am neither BTW), just to feel better, report a few of them to ebay. If only a fraction of us do it, it should have an impact overall.
Here are some of the few comments I used while submitting my copyright infringement reports (might also help to see what to look for in the posted pictures):
- Strap is wrong way round. Other colors offered by user are not available from Vibram
- Some colors are not available from Vibram, materials used are different (leather is shiny)
- Model doesn't even exist on Vibram's catalogue
- Some models are stock photos but some are not even on Vibram's catalog
This covers most of the cases.
Thank you for your attention folks and thanks for contributing and making this community alive!
(BTW, please excuse any mistake, English is not my primary language)