Beware: Amazon Still Sells Counterfeit Memory Cards

This post is by Michael Zhang from PetaPixel

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Photographer and Nikon Ambassador Charmi Patel Peña ordered four 128GB SanDisk SDXC memory cards from Amazon last month. Things seemed fine… until the cards started constantly stopping her camera. Peña then examined the cards more closely and realized that all of the cards were counterfeit.

“When you get cards, look at the color of [the] switch (should be grey, not yellow) and look at the label,” Peña says. “Sandisk’s label is matte, the counterfeit cards have a shiny metallic label.”

Thankfully, Amazon did refund Peña for all four cards so that she could try her hand at buying genuine


We first reported on the problem of counterfeit cards “Fulfilled by Amazon” back in 2012, but it seems Amazon is still having a hard time keeping counterfeit products out of its marketplace.

“Fulfilled by Amazon” only means that the product is being shipped from an Amazon warehouse to you after being sold by a third-party seller. It’s not a guarantee that the seller is trustworthy or that the product is genuine.

To be more confident of your purchase, you should check to make sure that your product is labeled “Ships from and sold by,” which means Amazon is directly selling a product without a third-party seller involved.

Counterfeit products can be found across Amazon these days. Engadget reports that two years ago, Apple purchased 100 Lightning cables and chargers marked “Fulfilled by Amazon” over 9 months and found that roughly 90% of the cables it received were counterfeit.

In 2011, a SanDisk engineer estimated that roughly 1/3 of SanDisk-branded memory cards on Earth are actually fakes. And in the past several years, numerous photo companies have issued public warnings about fake products, including Canon about fake flashes, Nikon about fake accessories, and BlackRapid about fake camera strap hardware.

“Ultimately, if Amazon doesn’t want counterfeit goods to be a widespread issue, it will need to be more transparent about its efforts to combat it,” writes Engadget. “And, most importantly, it will need to start taking more responsibility for third-party sales through its FBA service.”

Image credits: Header photo by Charmi Patel Peña and used with permission

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