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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm looking for a good deal on Manitou R7 PRO and apparently the cheapest option is from some sellers from Taiwan or China on Ebay. They sell it at around 300 USD (shipping costs not included) and here's an example.

The point is that on european websites it usually sells at more than 500 USD (e.g. chainreactioncycle.com, hibike.de), so I'm wondering whether this items are genuine. Looking at the pictures and considering the feedback of some of these sellers, I'd say they're not fake, however I'm always a bit suspicious when buying from such countries.

To tell the truth, I've alse found a cheap option from the US, little less than 340 USD.

In this case I would be a little less suspicious, but.. am I right?? Anyway, unfortunately the US option is for disc only, while I need to use V-brakes, so the tawaneese option seems to be the only cheap one.

Do you have any advice? What do you think of these quite substantial price differences?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Deals from Taiwan seam cheap?

mtnbiker72 said:
Well they are made in Taiwan so it's not a stretch that they could get sold from Taiwan...
I've seen other e-shops that sell this fork at interesting prices. These shops are mainly based in Germany or Austria (e.g. bike-components.de, tnc-hamburg.com), and they do seem completely trustworthy.

Bike-components.de sells R7 PRO w/ MILO lockout at 460 USD plus shipping. But considering shipping from Taiwan (more expensive than from Germany), customs fees and expenses, and VAT, I'd be paying just 20 USD less if I buy from Taiwan!

So perhaps items from Taiwan are not fake, as they are not extraordinarily cheap--they seam cheap simply because prices are netted from taxes and customs fees. All in all, there are some competitive deals from ordinary e-shops in Europe, even though it's true there are many more shops selling at much higher prices.
 

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MattSavage
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They're legit. I've purchased one and some other name brand products from those same Taiwan distributors at about half the retail price that you could get them here in the US, and they'll ship it quicker!
 

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Haro Sonix LT VL120
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bad mechanic said:
Genuine? Probably not. They're most likely seconds or fakes.

Of subject but the kinda funny i guess. I have seen a couple post recently where bad mech and mtbiker72 say the exact opposite of each other
 

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D-Avid said:
Of subject but the kinda funny i guess. I have seen a couple post recently where bad mech and mtbiker72 say the exact opposite of each other
they are actually conjoined twins
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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The ebay dealers in china and taiwan selling brand new higher end bike components for cheap do so because the factories are there and they're buying the over-stock at something only a little higher than the scrap value. When the factories that make the bikes end up not selling all the bikes that they order components and frames for from other manufacturers, they either scrap / recycle them or they dump them to distributors/dealers who are willing to buy them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Warranty issue

mattsavage said:
They're legit. I've purchased one and some other name brand products from those same Taiwan distributors at about half the retail price that you could get them here in the US, and they'll ship it quicker!
But will the warranty be valid in Europe, if I buy from an ebay seller in Taiwan?

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DeeEight said:
The ebay dealers in china and taiwan selling brand new higher end bike components for cheap do so because the factories are there and they're buying the over-stock at something only a little higher than the scrap value. When the factories that make the bikes end up not selling all the bikes that they order components and frames for from other manufacturers, they either scrap / recycle them or they dump them to distributors/dealers who are willing to buy them.
We're just in May. Is the stock of 2011 products aging (hence devaluing) already? I'm not into bicycle business..
 

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I bought one of those forks off eBay 6 mos ago. I was a bit apprehensive as well. Fork shows up and it's correct and genuine. The operation is great, so if it's really a fake, they need to go into business making suspension forks themselves!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ebay and warranty

Todd_F said:
I bought one of those forks off eBay 6 mos ago. I was a bit apprehensive as well. Fork shows up and it's correct and genuine. The operation is great, so if it's really a fake, they need to go into business making suspension forks themselves!
Yes, I am more and more convinced that it's genuine. Looking at many shops on the web from different countries, I reckon the price from the tawain is not dramatically low.

The only thing is warranty. Here's the reply I got from Manitou on this issue:

The seller's country is where it would have to go for warranty. With
buying from Ebay, that can get tricky as many sellers are not actual
stores or distributors.


For this I think it's a bit risky buying from ebay sellers.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Gray market

I contacted Colmax (Manitou's authorised distributor in Taiwan) and they told me products like this are not from them (!) They refer to such unauthorised selling as "gray market".

Moreover, Manitou itself has remarked that they do not approve what this seller is doing and they are working to stop it.

Although the product is perhaps not a fake, it certainly does not come from an official distribution channel. I don't know whether it was stolen or something, but consider that often serial numbers gets removed and so such products are not under warranty.
 

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MattSavage
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solitone said:
I contacted Colmax (Manitou's authorised distributor in Taiwan) and they told me products like this are not from them (!) They refer to such unauthorised selling as "gray market".

Moreover, Manitou itself has remarked that they do not approve what this seller is doing and they are working to stop it.

Although the product is perhaps not a fake, it certainly does not come from an official distribution channel. I don't know whether it was stolen or something, but consider that often serial numbers gets removed and so such products are not under warranty.
Maybe, but it's not going to stop us bargain hunters... Now, if only I could find a $500 Dorado...
 

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solitone said:
We're just in May. Is the stock of 2011 products aging (hence devaluing) already? I'm not into bicycle business..
It doesn't even have to be old product, and this problem is even bigger in other industries.

One way that it can happen is extra shifts or just extra production. Say a factory needs to produce 1000 forks to fill an order. Since they're ordering materials in bulk and already tooled up to produce that item, they go ahead and produce 1050 good forks and then they sell the other 50 through ebay or through other sellers for much more than they get for official, properly delivered product. It's apparently a big danger with contracting production out to some factories but I've even heard of it happening with factories that are completely owned by the company. It's not "stolen" in the traditional sense, but certainly not ethical
 
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