The internet has changed the way we shop. It is, at times, easier, faster and more economical to shop online rather than at a store. Comparing prices is more readily available with many stores’ websites at our fingertips. Availability and shipping speeds are easy to search and the trip to the store(s) can be eliminated. Win-win.
Well, is it? Many times it is. Browsing, price comparison, a few clicks and the product is on its way. The World Wide Web has altered our shopping experience and much more, mostly for the better. Unfortunately, it has also created a platform for deceit, scam and counterfeit dealings. That does not mean we ought to avoid online shopping altogether, not at all. But adopting some internet shopping caution can save money and aggravation.
By now most internet surfers are aware that not all that is online is true. Same goes for shopping. Saving money on products is great, as long as you don’t end up with a counterfeit item or lower quality than you paid for. A price that seems too good to be true is often time just that. A drastically reduced price from most competitors usually has a reason.
Are Counterfeit Cables that Bad?
When it comes to cables, a counterfeit item or a lower quality one can end up costing much more in the long run. While the lower price is a great plus for the overall budget of the project, the product ‘s reliability is the issue.
Running a cable is the most labor intensive part of the job. Now imagine running a cable that doesn’t work, or does not transmit signal as strongly and/or as far as it claims to. Other than the cost of replacing that faulty wire, there are the costs of rewiring. That is if the issue was caught early on during construction. If the issue was discovered later on troubleshooting can be even more complex and costly.
Another scenario involves the cable’s materials and construction. A counterfeit cable may be constructed of cheaper materials. A cable’s specifications of materials and constructions are what allow it to perform as advertised. More so, they are designed for safety reasons and if tampered with may be a fire hazard.
Avoiding Counterfeit Cables
On the plus side, there are agencies dedicated to regulating the cable industry’s quality. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is the one to look to when it comes to the wire and cable quality. They test cables for safety and certain standards, then retest. A cable that has passed their standards testing will have a UL marking on it. Unfortunately, a UL mark can be falsified; therefore you’ll need to check it is truly UL approved.
Other than looking for the UL marking, it is always smart to test new products before running long lines. Finding a brand/manufacturer you trust may take time as well a period of trial and error, but it will save you headaches in the long run.
Happy cable hunting.