The amount of counterfeit golf clubs on eBay has increasingly gotten worse. I wasn't aware that it had gotten so bad until I started looking for an Odyssey putter of my own. As you may know Odyssey is one of the most popular putters both on the PGA Tour and for average everyday golfers.
If you visit TradeKey.com, you can search for "golf clubs" or even by particular brand. All of the items shown will be made in China, some even advertised as "authentic." TradeKey.com basically connects the "average Joe" to a Chinese supplier of the desired merchandise. By doing so, they supplement the growth of the worldwide counterfeit market and more importantly, the number of fake merchandise on eBay. If anyone can get on TradeKey, buy Odyssey putters for really cheap, have it in hand within 5 days, and sell it on eBay for a lot more than they paid (and get away with it), they will start replicating this highly profitable scam more and more. Thousands of eBay sellers are doing just this and most are making lots of money selling knock-off merchandise to unsuspecting buyers.
After researching I found that there are a couple of things you can do to help guarantee that you don't waste your money on a counterfeit club.
1. Only buy golf merchandise on eBay from authorized golf resellers (3ballsgolf comes to mind). It's easy to tell who these sellers are from their listing format, inventory, and feedback.
2. If you are going to buy from a non-authorized golf seller, then make sure that they include actual pictures of the club in the auction instead of a stock photo.
3. If the auction does have a stock photo then send them an e-mail asking them how they got the club and where they got it from. If they won't answer you or their answer is very brief and vague then you should probably steer clear.
Usually sellers that are selling fake clubs have these characteristics:
1. Brand new
2. Stock photo in auction
3. Way under priced
4. Very vaugue about how they got the club.
5. Have a lot of auctions of they same kind of club.
These are not the only characteristics of sellers offering fake clubs, just ones that I came across as I was in the market for my putter.
Just remember, there are a ton of great deals on eBay to be had but many more fake ones than people realize so just make sure that you use caution when buying.