Makita vs Fakita: $140 driver vs $30 counterfeit

I get the sense that Harbor Freight is not as good a value as they used to be. Maybe it is just that conventional hardware/tool stores had higher profit margins in the past. Now that the big box stores compete with internet, it seems like I can usually buy a name brand tool for just a bit more than the harbor freight disposable. And now that craigslist and ebay make a market for used tools, you can get that extra cost back when you sell.

There is still a narrow slice of the market that they perform; rent if you only need it once, and buy quality if you use often. If you have cheap space to store items of questionable value and utility and don’t care about resale, go Harbor Freight.


Well I was just reading over on the Foing Foing blog and they said its not a good deal and don’t do it.



Anyway, site is in English and about counterfeit products that won the Plagiarius anti-award.



Swoon now, sweat before. But what else was I supposed to do with a pandemic lost year? I asks yous…


I see that the Foing Foing is way cheaper than Boing Boing. Do you recommend it? :wink:

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“Counterfeiting” is a bit reductive, honestly. There’s been a lot written about this. It’s to do with Chinese business and manufacturing culture. They don’t have the awareness and focus on branding that other countries do, because their entire manufacturing history has been making things to be badged by others and resold to other people. They’re slowly building their own identities in some sectors now, but most of these companies don’t even have marketing departments. They never needed them before. Branding is a skill set that they’ve never been taught so they’re learning on the job. Many of these products that look like rip offs are the sincere efforts of factory owners to make a product at a good price point that they think will appeal to a non-Chinese audience.


I think you are exactly right. People constantly say “thing X from HF was surprisingly good!” Well, it’s because they have gotten better. After making their name as the lowest possible price for everything, they’ve been slowly moving up-market and building brands like Chicago and Pittsburgh. Prices have been creeping up as well, but they have the bullet-proof reputation for being bargain-basement cheap so people don’t question it, really. It’s a great set up- people go in for the prices and fully expect garbage, pay more than they think they will, and are pleasantly surprised by the result.

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Exhibit A: this unpronounceable brand of curtain rod clips I bought from Amazon

Roger that. I’ve bought a fair share of no-name cheap Chinese not-quite-knock-off “reference design” stuff from Amazon. They may have Engrish instructions and … unconventional packaging decisions but they are often surprisingly decent for what you pay.


But don’t the “expensive” ones tend to from Chinese work camps too?

I had a 12V Hitachi that did that after I dropped it off a 6’ ladder where the spade bit stuck into the subfloor. I had another one I got on clearance so it got all the precision work and the wonky one took on the grinding, sanding, and large bore hole work. It lasted amazingly well considering the abuse I put it through.

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No awarness of branding?
I found them quite creative on this field actually.
This is the kind of “brand” you can find in China.

I wasn’t arguing that counterfeiting doesn’t also happen of course- it’s rampant and extensive. I was only saying that that’s not all that’s going on. Understanding how to copy brands and how to build one of your own are very different skills.

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