We’ve all heard about stories about one e-commerce platform or the other that sent their customer a brick instead of a phone etc. But that’s not as scary as receiving fakes that look just like the original piece. You can complain about the brick and get your money refunded or receive the actual product later but when you receive fakes, you can keep the product and continue to use it without ever realising that the vendor palmed off a fake to you.
The fakes are obviously not going to be like the original and won’t be as comfortable or last as long as the originals will. This will lead you to diluting the image and quality of the brand you bought into. In this case, it was NIKE. And the shoes in question are two of the best running shoes in the world – Nike Pegasus 31 and Nike Pegasus 32.
It was my brother’s birthday and we thought of buying his some great shoes. He ordered some shoes from jabong.com, myntra.com and amazon.com to compare and choose. He liked Nike Pegasus 32 running shoes but was not thrilled about the colour choices and wanted them in blue, as shown in the Nike ads. So he searched some more and finally found them on Snapdeal. He was so impressed by Snapdeal’s sourcing prowess and told me that none of the sites had these shoes in blue but Snapdeal and they are being procured from an authorised seller in Faridabad. I said great, you attach a lot of trust to a seller who has been listed as the authorised dealer of Nike shoes because that’s supposed to be a double check – authorised by Nike and confirmed by Snapdeal.
So did not even have the slightest inkling that we were about to receive NIKE fakes from Snapdeal. The fakes were so good that we would have never noticed something was wrong with them had we not compared them to the ones we bought from Jabong and Myntra. See the pictures below that illustrate the minor but major differences in the two products. The originals are from Jabong and the fakes from Snapdeal.
The one on the right (blue) is the fake Snapdeal version and the one on the left (Grey) is the original from Jabong. Notice that they look exactly the same !
Notice the difference between the length of the ‘NIKE’ tick and the gap between the two ticks on each pair.
Now look at the soles below. They were exactly the same too except little differences like the white colour. Also notice NIKE ZOOM written on both soles and the little embossed dots on the original sole on the left.
Notice the NIKE tag on both shoes. Notice any difference? At first sight, you won’t, not even when you see the fake on its own. But when you compare both the shoes, you realise that the font on the fake shoe on the left (blue) is skewed as compared to the one on right (grey). Notice the tall ‘M’, ‘A’ and ‘U’ in ZOOM PEGASUS 32 on the blue shoe. Also see the imperfect NIKE embroidered on it vs the perfect NIKE on the original grey shoe.
Notice the inner soles. The fake one on the left has no spacing between NEUTRAL and RIDE. Also the word RESPONSIVE is missing.You can also see that the fake sole is unshapely and not as well contoured as the original one on the right.
Notice the sturdy innersole on the original Jabong shoe and the flimsy, cheap quality one below on the fake Snapdeal shoe. Also see the clarity of debossing on the nike tick on the inner sole.
See the difference in stitching on the inside of the fake blue shoes on the right and the original grey shoe on the left. Also there is supposed to be air bag on these Nike shoes but it was missing from the fake ones.
See the difference in the color and make of the box. Also the tagging.
Turn the box over and you will see the fake product has more missing tags and information.
Snapdeal’s ‘dil ki deal’ turned out to quite a heartbreaker for me and my brother !
So these differences made us suspicious but we still did not have enough proof so we took the help of barcode scanning. Below is the barcode on the fake pair of shoe from snapdeal.com and the result upon barcode scanning. It shows up a random string of 099999999 whereas as per its tag it should be ‘105605089’ which is the number that appears below the barcode.
And then we scanned the gray shoe from Jabong.com and it gave us the right string of numbers as mentioned below its barcode confirming that it was the original product.
I cannot emphasise enough on the fact that we felt so disappointed and cheated by Snapdeal.com that they were selling fake products either knowingly or unknowingly. If Snapdeal was in dark about this particular seller then it says a lot about Snapdeal’s Quality Assurance processes and seller background checks.
Below is another pair of NIKE shoes that we ordered from Snapdeal.com which had all the above mentioned flaws and one very evident flaw that shown in the picture below – The tags on both the shoe were different !! One said ZOOM, one did not.
After we complained to Snapdeal, he quickly got the product picked up and refunded the money. On asking them about how they penalised the seller, if at all, they replied that they have taken an action but their policy does not allow them to share the details of the action with the customer. They did not refund 200% or 300% of the amount to us which is the policy with most e commerce ventures if their product is found fake. We were lucky that we had an original pair to compare Snapdeal fake product otherwise we would have been duped like so many unexpecting customers would have been.
Having said that, let me say that I am a champion and early adopter of startups and I love shopping online but I have had many bad experiences with Snapdeal and have forgiven them understanding that it takes time to set up a seamless business but this incidence after being in the market for so many years was just unacceptable to me coming from Snapdeal.com.