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This is why you never buy climbing gear from Amazon

Original Post
djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110
mbk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

In fairness, the fake supplements are probably just as effective as the real ones.

Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 75
mbk wrote: In fairness, the fake supplements are probably just as effective as the real ones.

This is wrong. But you can go first. :)

I worked for a vitamin testing lab as a GC, GC-MS, LC-MS chemist.

Ever hear of melamine, cyanuric acid,  etc.? Residual solvents?
mbk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

I meant only to imply that most supplements are not better than placebos, not that counterfeit supplements are safe.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
mbk wrote: I meant only to imply that most supplements are not better than placebos, not that counterfeit supplements are safe.

+1

Supplements, including vitamins, basically make your pee a lot more expensive.
[Obviously we're not talking about prescribed supplements that actually help fix a deficiency of some type, like calcium, B12, or iron, but they're pretty much unused in a healthy individual]
Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 75
Marc801 C wrote: +1
Supplements, including vitamins, basically make your pee a lot more expensive.
[Obviously we're not talking about prescribed supplements that actually help fix a deficiency of some type, like calcium, B12, or iron, but they're pretty much unused in a healthy individual]
True. nothing fixes a poor diet except a good diet.
Julian H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 5
Marc801 C wrote:

+1

Supplements, including vitamins, basically make your pee a lot more expensive.
[Obviously we're not talking about prescribed supplements that actually help fix a deficiency of some type, like calcium, B12, or iron, but they're pretty much unused in a healthy individual]

Is that the whole point.? Your body takes what it needs and then the rest goes to waste. 

How about whey or creatine? Is that the same thing as vitamins? A lot of climbers get results from takin them 
Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 75

Counterfeit is a problem in gear as well as everything else. It should be assumed that it is subpar. Stick with what ya know,

As far as vitamins and supplements go, there have been many cases of side effects as well as outright poisoning. I have detected cyanuric acid in proteins, seen benzene residue in energy drinks, as well as MeOH.

Amazon is a great place for counterfeiters to sell their shit,.

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30

The OP’s reasoning here (Amazon carries fake supplements, therefore you should never buy climber gear on Amazon) is flawed.

You’re telling me that the climbing gear I bought on Amazon that shipped directly from the manufacturer is somehow fake?  

A less alarmist post would have been that Amazon buyers should check who the seller is before buying their gear.  If it’s shipping from the manufacturer, or a reputable seller (Backcountry sells a lot of gear on Amazon), you’re fine.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Julian H wrote:

Is that the whole point.? Your body takes what it needs and then the rest goes to waste.

Basically, yes. So for someone with no deficiencies, it's just money into the toilet.

 How about whey or creatine? Is that the same thing as vitamins?

Not really. Those are basically foods - proteins really. Kinda like eating more steak. Nothing at all magical about them.
SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30
mbk wrote: I meant only to imply that most supplements are not better than placebos, not that counterfeit supplements are safe.

This is probably a technically correct statement, because the majority of supplements likely have little benefit. 

However, there are also numerous supplements that absolutely enhance performance and recovery in healthy individuals without vitamin deficiencies.


SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30
Marc801 C wrote: Basically, yes. So for someone with no deficiencies, it's just money into the toilet.
This can be true, but can also be totally false.  It depends on the supplement.  You can’t paint them all with the same brush...it’s like saying fried donuts are bad for you, and donuts are food, therefore food is bad for you.
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
SinRopa wrote: This can be true, but can also be totally false.  It depends on the supplement.  You can’t paint them all with the same brush...it’s like saying fried donuts are bad for you, and donuts are food, therefore food is bad for you.
Basically agree. Unfortunately "supplement" is a very broad term. I was restricting it to vitamins and minerals.

Regarding the dougnut comment, I've always said there are no junk foods, only junk diets. A Big Mac two or three times a month won't kill you. Two a day for many months might.


Jay J · · Euelss · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 5

Amazon is known to stock counterfeit stuff along side genuine in many catagories.  I've been shopping for a new micro SD card and have read many accounts of Amazon shipping fake cards.  They seem to work at first, showing the full capacity on the computer, but in reality they are smaller capacity cards set up to trick your computer.  

Petzl issued a warning quite a few years ago that counterfeit gear was being made in Asia and sold as Petzl products.  I never heard if any of it showed up on US shores or if any of it was mechanically deficient.  

djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110
Jon W wrote: Counterfeit is a problem in gear as well as everything else. It should be assumed that it is subpar. Stick with what ya know,

As far as vitamins and supplements go, there have been many cases of side effects as well as outright poisoning. I have detected cyanuric acid in proteins, seen benzene residue in energy drinks, as well as MeOH.

Amazon is a great place for counterfeiters to sell their shit,.

There were some fake petzl carabiners out there a few years ago that were so good the only way to prove them fakes was to test them to failure.  The failed considerably earlier than the legitimate item.

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30
djh860 wrote:

There were some fake petzl carabiners out there a few years ago that were so good the only way to prove them fakes was to test them to failure.  The failed considerably earlier than the legitimate item.

Unless these were somehow getting made at the same factory that supplies Petzl, I’d still argue that buying direct from the manufacturer or an authorized distributor (BC, Moosejaw, etc) via Amazon is safe.

nlbaumgardner · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
SinRopa wrote:

Unless these were somehow getting made at the same factory that supplies Petzl, I’d still argue that buying direct from the manufacturer or an authorized distributor (BC, Moosejaw, etc) via Amazon is safe.

its only safe if the reputable company is shipping to you directly after you place your amazon order.  if its "fulfilled" by amazon, all amazon does is pull whatever item from what's effectively a big bin and ship it out.  If amazon is fulfiling, they don't really keep their varoius seller' stock separated if its all supposed to be the same thing.  That's how legit and counterfeit items get commingled.

Zacks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 65
SinRopa wrote:

Unless these were somehow getting made at the same factory that supplies Petzl, I’d still argue that buying direct from the manufacturer or an authorized distributor (BC, Moosejaw, etc) via Amazon is safe.

There have been articles about this.  It is often still not safe to buy from Amazon if amazon is shipping it.  If you buy something fulfilled by moosejaw on amazon why not just buy from moosejaw?  If the seller is moosejaw but amazon is shipping it from their warehouse it's not safe as amazon does not have different SKUs for the "same" product from multiple sources 

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30
nlbaumgardner wrote:

its only safe if the reputable company is shipping to you directly after you place your amazon order.  if its "fulfilled" by amazon, all amazon does is pull whatever item from what's effectively a big bin and ship it out.  If amazon is fulfiling, they don't really keep their varoius seller' stock separated if its all supposed to be the same thing.  That's how legit and counterfeit items get commingled.

Agreed.  When I wrote “direct from the manufacturer,” I meant exactly that.  Amazon is the financial middle man, but doesn’t ship or ever have possession of the item.

SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30
Zacks wrote:

There have been articles about this.  It is often still not safe to buy from Amazon if amazon is shipping it.  If you buy something fulfilled by moosejaw on amazon why not just buy from moosejaw?  If the seller is moosejaw but amazon is shipping it from their warehouse it's not safe as amazon does not have different SKUs for the "same" product from multiple sources 

I’m not taking about things that are shipped, fulfilled, or ever in Amazon’s possession.  I’m taking about items listed on Amazon that are fulfilled by the item’s manufacturer (Petzl, BD, etc), or by a reputable company like Backcountry or Moosejaw.

Depending on how companies choose to price their items on Amazon, you can sometimes end up with ridiculous deals.  You’ve probably seen normal books or other standard items going for many hundreds of dollars.  This happens when there’s a short supply, like two items available, and both sellers use the Amazon algorithm to price their item at some nominal price, say, $0.35 higher than the cheapest same item.  That’s how you end up with computer generated bidding wars, such as this Yosemite guidebook selling for $2500:

It works the opposite way too.  If you know how/when to search, you can find listings for legit items that are artificially under-priced.  For climbing related items, generally this happens with past year models when the online supply dwindles in a relatively short timeframe, like Black Friday, or around Christmas.
SinRopa · · parts unknown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 30

Some other examples below.  Want a laminated road map of Long Island, or a folding map of Tulsa?  It’s gonna cost ya.


The opposite extremes are more rare, because more sellers take the time to input a minimum selling price, but it still happens.  There’s a reason that one Christmas my climbing friends all got dozens of Doval wiregates, and I suspect at least one OM employee lost a bit of sleep over that oversight.  I don’t know what a few hundred discontinued new biners normally goes for, but it’s probably more than a case of beer.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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