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(Ideas'R'us) Improve the ability to distinguish fake/genuine racquets

Discussion in 'Identify Fake Racket (Price/Source/Serial/Photos a' started by newbi, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    I have an idea, but this basically requires the company to implement a system.

    How about instead of having the serial number exposed on the racket right from the beginning.. apply a coat of silvery protective layer (u know .. those scratch n save type of layer).

    When a customer buys a racket (brand new one). He will then:

    1. scratch off the silvery layer.
    2. Register the serial number online. This, requires the racket company to keep track the serial numbers on every racket they manufacture.
    3. The webpage will show the racket type (eg. AT800.. etc) once the serial number is entered. (kinda like a confirmation thing)
    4. User then input their personal information
    6. User chooses a password they desire, so if the rackets changes hand later, the new user can enter new personal information (by going into the online system again)
    7. Register complete

    this will be hard for fake (i suppose) to imitate because,

    1. once a serial number is registered, i cannot be register again.. Hence, they cant just buy a genuine and make 1 million copies of it.

    2. fake companies cant just use a formula to generate these serial numbers. Well that's if the genuine company implement the generate number system well.. but basically random (no pattern, no nothing)


    so basically.. once a racket is made, the company will input the serial # in the database.. and waiting to be registered.

    What do you guys think?

    P.S. the above system HELPS to distinguish fakes and genuines... but it doesn't prevent people from buying fakes.. (because you can't see the serial number and even if you can you dunno if the serial number is valid or not)
     
    #1 newbi, Dec 14, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2004
  2. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Regular Member

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    Exactly, the system can't stop people from BUYING fakes, so there is no point to it.
     
  3. Sgt_Strider

    Sgt_Strider Regular Member

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    That is a very good idea.
     
  4. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    there's a difference between intentionally buying a fake and being conned by being sold a fake when you want a real one.
     
  5. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    not really, u see, alot of people here have posted in BF about if they have bought fake or not..

    if we have a method that can prove if a racket is fake or not 100%, then it acutally prevents people from buying fake in a way, because then, the person will know not to get rackets from the place where he got the last racket.. at least it will "discourage" these fakes

    as we all know, fakes nowadays are getting better and better at imitating.. sooner or later.. there will be "perfect fakes" around.. and these "security features" on the racket itself will become less and less effective..

    this is why i suggested a system like this.. where these "security features" are not on the racket itself.. but something the genuine companies can CONTROL ... they can certainly control the serial number databases of their online website if system is implemented correctly... this, is something fake manufactures cannot imitate.

    conversely, if there is no certain way to distinguish a fake and a genuine,
    we might mistaken some genuine sellers as fake sellers or vice versa.... and that can create quite a big mess..

    and IF people want to buy fake intentionally, they can be sure to know where to get them with the system also i guess..... :(
     
    #5 newbi, Dec 15, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  6. Lobber

    Lobber Regular Member

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    this is kinda of a good idea but it will prove to be a hassle..
     
  7. Kai91

    Kai91 Regular Member

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    well thats true.... however if thats the case.... Yonex will have to spend more money... do coding for the website make a website for different country distribution code.... and the thing is not everyone have internet at home even 99% of the population in the world shuld have... thus this idea will only bring:

    1) More charges to our racket
    2) More hassle

    the benefits is:

    1) Able to distinguish a conman
     
  8. Mr. Anderson

    Mr. Anderson Regular Member

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    What I meant was that this system couldn't prevent unwary consumers from unintentionally buying fakes because of conning.

    And I still think this system isn of no value and impractical. If you need to ask whether you've bought a real racket, why buy it in the first place even though you were in doubt? (You could say he/she was conned into buying one, but then if one is alert enough to doubt the authenticity of the racket after buying, then why still buy it?)
     
  9. WhyrlWynd

    WhyrlWynd Regular Member

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    this system will not prevent people from figuring out how the serial number is derived and inputting all of it and hogged the accounts. so even if one bought a real racket, their serial number might be occupied.
     
  10. meteo

    meteo Regular Member

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    This reminds me of the huge CS: CZ frenzy that went on when it was released. Some people got the leaked version ahead of the release date and registered with fake numbers. It turned out the numbers weren't so "fake" after all since people with those numbers couldn't register. The helpline was horrible and the consumers found out that its a lot easier to simply register with fake numbers themselves. :D

    I don't know about you guys, but I hate product registration. They tell you they won't send unsolicitated mail, but they do anyway... If I already know that I bought an authentic racket because I bought it from an authorized Yonex retailer (which all of you should be doing in the first place) why would I bother registering?

    Also, considering that some country's Yonex websites haven't been updated in YEARS, would Yonex be willing to shell out loads of money to satisfy the small percentage of people who were too cheap to buy at retail price like the rest of us? I'd be pretty unhappy if Yonex rackets cost $5 more to all of us because a handful of people were too cheap to buy at a retailer in the first place.
     
  11. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    The idea has good intention, however:

    1. If buying a 2nd hand racket, as the serial # is already there (w/o the scratchable protection), how I am going to tell whether it's a fake or real, w/o having logging on line?

    2. The fakes can simple use the same "layer" trick, which makes the problem even worse:

    2.1 Fake seller can "proudly" refuse to release serial # info on ebay, as they can say, "how could i know with it being covered???"

    2.2 When you purchase 1 online, you won't find out it's fake or not, until u register. What's the point then? You already paid, and being robbed... :cool:
     
  12. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    how could they register with fake numbers when the numbers contain in the database only contains numbers on rackets that were actually made?

    oh btw, people can't "hog" all the serial numbers.. because there is silvery layer.. if its scratched off but was selling as a brand new racket.. then ppl will know not to buy it..
     
  13. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    1. maybe they could post a screenshot of their racket.. and a screen shot of the page ? (since the page contains serial number and type of racket and the owner's name) i m sure most of people have email nowadays ... thats if the transaction isnt based on online (tell ur friend to send u the screen shots by email!)

    but buying 2nd hand racket is never easy even now.. u take even more risk of getting a fake than a real.. for one, the heat shrink plastic handle cover is gone (so far i dont see any fake could imitate YET, or they can now already?)...

    2.1 u have a good point.. i never really thought about ebay.. but people can make up anything on ebay even now anyways.. since they dont own a store (most of them).. but only individuals

    2.2 well think about this.. if i purchase 1 online from a site or a person that sells large volume of rackets.. and we have a bullet proof method to distinguish fake or not.. IF the person is selling fake.. that saves hundreds of other ppl from buying from him

    on the other hand.. if we cant be sure if a racket is fake or not.. other people might not believe u.. cuz they might just think u have something against the seller or sth..

    at least the system gives some hard "proof" on a racket is fake or not
     
    #13 newbi, Dec 15, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  14. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    the intention of the thread is good. ie. to find a robust way to distinguish if a racket is genuine or fake.

    however, the reality is that while it may not be an impossible thing to do, it will be tough and potentially expensive to implement.

    imho, any type of textual identifier will be tough to make unique. the serial number that Yonex is currently using is hardly robust, we are already seeing fakers able to imitate it pretty closely.

    a serial number with a scratch-off protection is essentially textual identification. all fakers need to do is to get a few of them and figure out the pattern as we already did in the serial number thread. sooner or later they will catch up with Yonex.

    are there anybody among us with solid knowledge of digital security? i believe if we can embed a small (ie. cheap) digital chip in each yonex racket that contains some form of encrypted information of the racket, and only Yonex has the ability to encrypt and decrypt the information, that will make it robust. all Yonex racket then will have to be accompanied by this chip that only Yonex can manufacture. if we plug the chip into a USB device into the computer, the user can then connect to the Yonex HQ to verify the racket.

    of course, the problem still remains and that is if a customer is at the badminton shop, how would he be able to verify that the racket that he is about to pay for is genuine?
     
  15. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    as i suggested earlier.. the way of generating these serial number must be totally random (no patterns. no nothing)

    for eg.. a digit can contain all alphanumeric symbols (36 permutation)
    so if a serial number consist 6 digits, there will be 36^6 permutation.. and thats quite a big number or if necessary add 1 or 2 more digits.. permutation goes up exponentially (is yonex using this already? cuz i never really checked the serial number thread)

    of course, fake companies can use bruteforce methods on the yonex website to try to find valid serial numbers.. but these can all be avoid with a good implement of online system

    wat i m trying to say is that computer security can be much more reliable than hardware (racket) security (eg. engraved serial number.. etc) ..

    well, i m not saying my method is bulletproof or anything.. but maybe its a step a forward to the right direction.. (just an abstract idea afterall)

    and the chip idea is acutally pretty good =) but it might screws up the chip because when playing badminton, racket can experience quite a bit of vibrations..

    very well, mayb if we continue on the discussion, we can find a very good way to eliminate or at least discourage these fakes! i will check back the thread later =)
     
    #15 newbi, Dec 15, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  16. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Yonex should totally hire us as consultants... ;)

    i proposed the chip instead of textual for a couple of reasons.

    a digital chip is very difficult to replicate. almost impossible to reverse engineer such a chip unless one is equipped with very expensive equipment. ones that fakers are surely not willing to pay for. furthermore, a digital chip can store much more information than text. a 1024 bit key can be easily stored and then read out electronically.

    and a small chip can be quite cheap to produce, it may add dollar or two to the cost of the racket, but if Yonex cares enough to do it, they may justify the cost. there is also the cost of developing such a chip that Yonex also need to take into account as well.

    as for the physical integrity of the chip, the most logical location to hide it will be the racket handle, the most space available as well as the place that sees the least physical impact.
     
  17. newbi

    newbi Regular Member

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    haha very good! i totally agree on digital chip can provide more space for information storage.

    as for the buying brand new racket from shop part.. yonex could introduce a seal on top of where u plug the usb (or other adaptor) .. this seal should be a 1 time seal.. (u know bottle drinks have vaccum seal, sth similar here).. kinda sends a message to customer like.. if the seal if broken.. they might risk buying a fake racket or already registered racket..

    another reason that yonex should implement this system (chip or wat not, as long as security is not only based on the racket itself) is that this will encourage people to buy brand new rackets instead of second hand.. since for second hand the seal is already broken (buyer taking more risk of buying fake products).. these "adv. technology dependent" security features should acutally increase yonex's revenue...!

    the better fakes become (assuming they can make a "lookalike" fake chip, that doesnt register), the more people will depend on these improved security features.. and the less people will buy 2nd hand racket.. hence have to buy new rackets........ talking about "jeung gai jau gai" .. (using other's plan as advantage to own plan) :cool:

    and yes.. should definately hire us as consultants :p
     
    #17 newbi, Dec 15, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  18. annab

    annab Regular Member

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    No need to reinvent the wheel. Yonex should just copy Rolex and have their customers register their new, original rackets into their database.

    Rolex owners have certificates of authenticity with their watches, and anyone who owns one has incentive to register for 3 reasons:
    1. after sales service
    2. lifetime warranty
    3. theft prevention
    If someone wants to buy a second hand Rolex, all they need to do is check Rolex's database to see if the watch is:
    1. genuine
    2. under the original owner's name
    This will prevent people from buying fake or stolen watches. Also, once the sale is made, then the new owner is registered into Rolex's database and the certificate is physically transferred to the new owner (as in it's in his possession) so now he/she can avail of the after sales service and warranty.

    Simple, right? And it doesn't even require any new technology (like a digital chip, whose cost will for sure be passed on to the buyers). Yonex just needs to include certificates of authenticity and a mail-in card with all their new rackets so people can register.

    To implement an effective real-time, proactive anti-counterfeit measure to help their consumers, Yonex can create an online database much like software companies use to "activate" a product.

    For example, if you're in doubt as to the authenticity of the new racket you are about to buy, go online and input the serials on both the shaft and the cone. The system should be able to spit out if the serials are:
    1. valid
    2. already registered (without disclosing the owner's details for privacy reasons)
    If you're buying a new (with unbroken, shinkwrap) racket online or from a store, and the serials fail the validity test or shows that the serials are already in use, then you know that the racket you are looking at is most likely fake.

    But the real issue is whether or not Yonex wants to protect their brand.

    Of course, any new system that is implemented is not going to be backwards compatible as this will just introduce flaws in the system.
     
    #18 annab, Dec 15, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2004
  19. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    My point was, "ur method is good, to identify the fake AFTER purchase". However, it is NOT a solution to identify fake BEFORE purchase. Therefore, I am not sure if it worth all the investment (manufacture, database, etc) to adopt it. :cool:

    More important, this method can't PREVENT the fake sellers to stop. Now, they even don't need to fake the serial #, as it's been COVERED. Of course, buyers will find out, but so what??? :(
     
  20. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Ok, just thought about another thing:

    1. Say, i bought a 2nd hand racket(real) from someone. For some reason (computer, database, or he simply try to screw me up), I can't modify the user registration with my information. What I can do??? Now, my real racket is identified as fake, and lose all its value? :crying:

    2. How to modify the database? "Force" the original user to release his password to me? No way, many ppl will against this as personal information is consider as privacy. Never have to metion many ppl using same password all over the place, once he gives u one, he might need to worry about his bank account there after. :p
     

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