A few days ago I ordered an Otterbox Defender case for the iPhone 5S. I did not through otterbox.com or through the official distributors, which is the safe way to make sure that you buy an original authentic Otterbox product. I am getting my Otterbox Defender tomorrow, but like many other people who probably ordered it through eBay, Third party dealers on Amazon and other online eCommerce website — You probably want to know how to spot whether your new Otterbox Defender case is Counterfeit or a genuine product.
This is an unofficial post of course, and I am just sharing a few things things that I’ve read about that will help you determine whether your Otterbox Defender case is real or fake. Some of them aren’t related exclusively to the “Defender” case and might be true to other Otterbox cases.
The counterfeit product industry is a multi-billion dollars industry. When a product is successful, there are many people that want to ride on its success and sell fake products to people. Many people don’t have a problem ordering directly from otterbox, but some people just search for the cheapest and fastest way to buy an Otterbox case, especially if they just bought a new shiny iPhone smartphone and want to keep it safe.
The problem in many videos that compare a fake Otterbox vs original ones is that when you get your case, you can’t compare it versus an original one — Why? Simple, because you probably only have one case in your disposal, and you can’t compare it against an original one. The best thing to do is to go over a list of all the things that you need to inspect and see if one or more of them fits your product inspection. If one or more do happen to fit match your experience with the product, you might have a fake Otterbox case!
Here’s is a short list of the things that I wrote to myself in notepad. It lists a few things that I should check with my Otterbox tomorrow to make sure that I got a real case, not a fake one.
- On the original there isn’t any plastic cover to protect the front screen which can be peeled of. There isn’t any need for it, as the screen itself is scratch-resistant
- The texture at the back feels cheap compare to the original that feels less flat and more rigid
- The inner part of should have a foam cover that feels like a high quality rubber. On the fake Otterbox you might get a fabric-like material.
Furthermore, this protected cover should have an Otterbox logo text embed on it, and you should also inspect the quality of that text. In the fake you might not see this text at all
- In some videos people tested the silicon protective cover by holding it in one hand and shaking it up and down. The genuine Otterbox is more sturdy compare to the more “jelly” feel of the fake one and it easily bounces up and down, should be more rigid
- The packaging should have the Otterbox sticker on the left side. In the fake it’s positioned on in the center
- On the protective cover there is an Otterbox logo at the back. On the fake one it does have that logo, but sometimes it’s not clear
- The fake Otterbox Defender might have a screen with green tint, instead of a clear transparent one
- The original should have an hologram square sticker at the top of the box. There are many fakes that have that sticker, but if it’s not there that might suggest that you are holding a fake Otterbox defender case
- The fake on has a straight line crossing the middle of the side of the plastic cover. The original has that line on the sides. This is more prominent in the buckle at the bottom of the plastic cover, which on the original you don’t see that line and on the counterfeit you do
- The real Otterbox defender box have more information at the front-bottom of the box, whether the fake has has much less (see this image)
- There should be a sticker at the front with “iPhone 5 & 5S” int it
- There should be a 4 digit number inside the case that start with either number 6 or 7
Here’s a few videos that I recommend watching (via YouTube)
As you can see, it doesn’t seem so be hard to tell between an authentic and original Otterbox case and a counterfeit, but no doubt that those fake ones look very similar to the eye when you first see them and if you haven’t owned a genuine one before.
It’s easy to know if an Otterbox Defender is fake if it is sold for $10 or a very cheap price on eBay, Having said that, those who sell fakes changed their tactics and now they sell it for a much more expensive price, close to the original — making it hard to determine whether you buy a fake or authentic Otterbox case when purchasing online.
I usually don’t buy from websites that don’t have a business address and just phone number or / and email as a way to contact the owner of the business. This counterfeit industry is making lots of money because so many people are victims to those forgery crimes and I am sure that you don’t want to be the next one.
It’s better to spend $50 on an original Otterbox product than spending $40 on a fake on and spending $50 more to get the original one. It’s worth waiting a bit more and order from otterbox.com.
You can find our more about Counterfeits on otterbox.com website.
I might found out that I was a victim to such Counterfeit Otterbox product myself, buy I will probably will know it by tomorrow when I get mine from the post office.
What the Worst thin the Can Happen?
You might wonder what are the consequences for getting a fake Otterbox Defender case, or any Otterbox case in that mater? — Well, first of all you throw your money and get a product that worth much less, one that is made with much cheaper materials.
Second, your mobile phone will be much less protected obviously. Third, the case itself might even damage your phone. In this image you can see that the inner part painted the iPhone rear part with the Otterbox logo in black. This guy was probably lucky because he used rear protective cover, but this certainly put a mark that won’t be removed easily without a protective cover.
Talking about covers, I made a phone call to Otterbox today asking them a few things about how to know whether I have a fake Otterbox Defender or not, but the guy that I talked to didn’t provide any information, and I can understand that. They don’t want to give that information for forgers and help them make products that look more as the original.
Buying a case is not like ordering a fake medication pill on the Internet, but I am sure that no one want to pay money for a fake product. So although nothing to catastrophic can happen, just make sure that you order from a legit distributor or directly from Otterbox website.
What can I do with the Fake Otterbox Product?
Obviously Otterbox won’t return your money back. However, you can contact the seller that sold you the product (might be a seller on eBay) , return the product and ask for a refund. It depends on the place that you order the case from, and in some cases you might be stuck with a fake Otterbox case without any option to do anything.
If you found a place that sell counterfeits, I recommend contacting Otterbox and reporting the store and help Otterbox official legal department handle this.
I personally don’t take any chance and I put a screen protector and a protective cover on the back. I could have saved me all this headache and trouble by just ordering from otterbox.com. This why I recommend those of you who eager to get the case cheap and fast, to wait a bit and not be cheap, as this cover will protect your device for the months to come.
Again, when I get my (fake or original) Otterbox Defender I will share my findings with you — hopefully I won’t be disappointed, but I will share it with either way. Thanks for reading.