Monday, April 06, 2009

Counterfeiters aren't too sharp (yet)

I would never have imagined that anyone would counterfeit a razor blade, and yet the other day I had the unfortunate experience of attempting to shave with what turned out to be a counterfeit Gillette Fusion razor blade. I think most high-end consumer products are mostly hype, but I have to tell you, if you have four-gauge whiskers like me you don't know what a comfortable shave is until you've tried the Fusion. It's horrifically expensive, but in my hirsute opinion worth every penny. (And no, Gillette is not paying me to say that. But if anyone from Gillette is reading this, I'll entertain offers.)

It was immediately obvious that something was wrong as soon as I took my first swipe. Instead of the normal effortless glide across my morning stubble leaving smooth skin behind it felt like my face was being ripped off. At first I didn't know what to make of it. It didn't dawn on me that there were counterfeit blades out there until I did a Google search and discovered that not only are there fake blades, there's an entire website dedicated to helping people ferret them out. Who knew?

Contrary to the information on that site, it was *very* hard to tell the counterfeit blades. I bought a package of known-good blades a local store so I could do a side-by-side comparison, and I was stunned and how close a match they were. About the only difference was the crappy shave, and the counterfeit's lack of the tell-tale serial number on each blade, which is supposed to be the smoking gun of genuine Fusion blades.

My latest acquisition is a package of Fusion blades ordered directly from Amazon. They also lacked the serial numbers, but they shave like genuine blades. So are they real or just good counterfeits? Does it matter?

I really wonder if 1000 years from now, when the technology to synthetically generate any object, any image or any video scene is available on electronic devices so cheap that they're given away as free premiums with your morning breakfast cereal, if anyone will be able to tell truth from fiction any more.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Once we can synthesize anything from raw matter, we won't need "authentic Gillete Fusion blades." You'll just run an open-source program for constructing a blade (or a whole razor) to your specifications. That is, if you haven't already decided you don't care for the whole shaving bit and told your body to stop growing facial hair.