We never imagined in our wildest dreams that we’ll be seeing counterfeits of a Chinese brand in the market someday. But that is what is happening in India right now. Two of my friends recently ordered multiple units of 10,400mAh Xiaomi Mi Power Bank from Snapdeal for a price that was considerably lower than what is listed on Flipkart, Xiaomi’s official (and exclusive) retail partner in India.
While, we did suspect that these could well be fake, given the low price and the Power Banks being available in black (as far as we know, this Power Bank doesn’t come in black), our suspicions turned true when these Power Banks arrived. For starters, they were simply wrapped in bubble-wrap and the boxing was entirely missing. Removing the bubble wrap, we discovered that the build quality of these Power Banks was extremely poor. As you can see in the attached photos, the edges come without proper finishing. The overall material in the construction looks cheap. Confirming our suspicion further, the cable that came along with the charger had a Mi logo on one of its ends, which is not seen in the original cable.
Lastly, Xiaomi chargers have the unique ability to be able to charge your phone while it’s connected to a power source and charging itself. This didn’t work on the units ordered from Snapdeal of course. These products also had a very fast charging rate compared to the original Power Bank, implying the battery size was not actually 10,400mAh and was much smaller. Oh, and we’ve purchased original thing from Flipkart in the past, so we’re confident of our claims.
It’s sad to see the such products on a leading e-retailer such as Snapdeal. While Flipkart and Amazon have a mechanism in check where each item sold by third party retailers go through stringent quality checks before reaching the customer, we’re not sure if the same practice is adopted by Snapdeal. We’ll of course be returning the products. As for the moral of the story, in case you’re looking to buy the above mentioned product, get it from Flipkart.