Generic electronics are best described as a plague, because they do nothing more than infest the marketplace with a terrible product, and to make matters even worse, tons of people buy them…and they’re in for one heck of a surprise.
Why, you might ask? Aren’t they just all the same?
They’re poorly made
Trust me, they’re not the same by any means. I, quite unfortunately, have had lots of experience with generic electronics, and I can safely say that they almost always fail in a relatively premature fashion in some way or another. If you’re lucky, they fail during the return window, but a lot of the time, they fail just outside of it. It’s completely backwards logic, as you’re hoping it’ll last you a long time! Trust me, it won’t.
If you’re a tweaker, and you decide to repair the generic electronic product yourself, then things get uglier, since not only are these items made extremely poorly, but even if you do manage to fix it, all you’re doing is delaying the inevitable…right outside of the return window.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Depending on the kind of item it is, it can also be outright dangerous. Power supplies are the biggest, greatest example I can currently think of at the time of this writing. The reason why is because they’re in complete control of whatever you’re powering, thus they are very much responsible. They have an important job to do, and if they screw it up just a tad…you have a complete and total failure.
I long ago saw a generic laptop power supply ruin the motherboard of the laptop it was powering. The board wouldn’t have had to be replaced if the charger wasn’t el cheapo. Thus, was the charger purchase really saving any money?
Obviously not. Thus, they’re not even cheaper like they seem to be to begin with.
Never mind the generic soldering irons that literally pop open and fly away at any given moment. The danger levels are
over nine thousand! self-descriptive.
There are lots of companies(?) that actually do nothing more than import Chinese generic electronic products, possibly slapping their brand name on it, and calling it their own item. Just because you find one made by “Zeny” and another by “Syba” doesn’t mean they’re actually different items. But who’s to say they aren’t different items? There really isn’t an easy way to tell, other than looking at the pictures. Even the pictures themselves aren’t that reliable, though, because you won’t know what you’re getting until it arrives!
Never mind the fact those two brand names, like many others, are four letters long…just like some words you might say when trying to use (or worse, repair) the items sold under their names!
Thus, they’re expensive
Seriously, it doesn’t matter if it costs $5 less, because it actually doesn’t cost $5 less, it actually costs probably tens, if not hundreds, if not thousands more, depending on what kind of item it is. If it’s a power supply, think about it: if it failed, caught on fire, and burnt your house down, would that be cheaper? Not really!
Plus, if you repaired it, that was time and possibly parts you had to invest into it. “Time is money.”
The solution here is avoiding the plague of generic electronics, you know, like you’d do with any other plague!
- Limit your online shopping searches to filter out China (sorry, guys).
- Take any listing with “for” in the title with extreme care.
- Look for real company brand names, particularly on the item itself in the picture.
- Find a model number, and look it up to find information on it and its maker.
Not every protective measure here is possible, but when possible, it’s important to follow them. If you find you can’t follow one of these measures or more, take extreme caution and only buy from a seller with great reputation and a good return policy.
Also remember that two five-star reviews, even if it’s 100% five-star feedback, just isn’t enough reassurance. Given the fact that they haven’t experienced a failure yet, as well as the fact that two reviews means it’s probably a very new and/or unpopular item, means that there’s less information to go by. Proceed with caution.
The bottom line is, quality is what matters most – not saving five bucks.