After being burned TWICE on ebay on fake GHD stylers, I decided to tell you everything I know about how to spot a fake.
1. Real GHD stylers have plugs with reset buttons, like you would find on a hairdryer.
2. Real GHD stylers have one hole on the cord where it meets the body of the iron. (Some of the newer models after the Pure and Dark have two holes.)
* One of the fakes I bought had three holes and one didn't have any... so make sure to look!
3. Real GHD stylers (applies to Hot Pink only) have a solid pink cord, the cord does NOT have a black ring where it meets the back of the styler.
4. When I contacted GHD of North America, I was told that North American GHD's do NOT have holograms at all! (The models available in the U.S. after the Pure and Dark models came out include holograms. Older models do not.).
5. Real GHD stylers say "Made in P.R.C." on them or Korea. They never say "Made in China".
6. Real GHD stylers will NOT have a hook on the cord to hang up your styler.
7. Real GHD stylers have domed screws, not flat headed screws.
8. The GHD styler DVD should have a number code and barcode on the back (compare it to the back of a DVD movie you own, they should look the same on the back). The fake GHD DVD's say DVD R really small on the back of the DVD towards the center, sometimes it is very hard to spot.
9. The booklets that come with the GHD styler should have colored pictures. Some fake GHD stylers have black and white pictures.
10. FOR THE HOT PINK GHD STYLER: The female snap on the bag should have little stars, the fake ones DO NOT. The fake ones have a Chinese company name.
11. If you open up your styler (if all else fails!), a real GHD styler will have two microchips, one on each side by each flat iron plate. The fake ones only have one (if it even works!).
12. Real GHD stylers have very strong, thick boxes. Fake GHD stylers boxes often come beat up, dirty, and are slightly smaller.
13. Fake GHD stylers often come with black scuffs on the body of the styler. They are not taken care of very well like a genuine GHD styler.
14. Real GHD stylers come with two booklets, some fake stylers only have one.
15. CHECK THE BOX AND TAGS! One of the fake GHD stylers that I received had misspellings on the tag! Apparently they don't use spell check.
16. Real GHD stylers have a date code on the inside of the body of the styler. It should have the year, month, then day.
17. LOOK AT THE BOX: One of the fake GHD stylers that I received (a hot pink one) had two different shades of hot pink on the top of the box.
18. HOT PINK GHD STYLERS should come with a card inside of the wrap and roll bag that says "Thou shalt surrender to pink". A fake GHD won't come with that.
19. Fake GHD stylers often come with the seal loose on the inside of the box. A real GHD should be sealed from the outside. (Does not apply to Dark or Pure since they have not been released in the US yet).
20. For the classic GHD stylers, the box should be matte, not shiny.
21. Hot pink GHD's should have black writing, not white writing.
22. Real GHD's sensor lights are clear but will flash red when ready to use and make a funny beep. Fake GHD's sometimes do not flash red or are solid red, not clear.
BEWARE of sellers with LOW FEEDBACK! Ask sellers questions about the 22 things I have pointed out above. If they do not answer, don't buy! If they make excuses, don't buy! Also, some buyers who have been ripped off are trying to resell their GHD's to cut their losses. Watch for things like "I got it as a gift" or "I recently cut my hair". One of the seller's I purchased from was supposed to be shipping out of Georgia but he really shipped from China. Don't believe everything you read about a seller's information. They can lie.
One of the sellers I purchased from actually bought her GHD's from a salon, and they were still fake! If in doubt, only buy from an approved stockist. You can find a list of approved stockists from GHD's website.
Always pay through PayPal if you still have doubts so you are protected and don't be afraid to ask for pictures from the seller to verify the plug, the DVD, or anything else you have questions on. Always ask questions before buying and remember, if it looks too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS!
The GHD Dark and Pure stylers are now available in the US and there are a ton of fakes on ebay now. Always always ask about the plug. One way you can always tell a fake is it will have a plug like a lamp. If it is REAL it will ALWAYS have a plug with a reset button, like a hair dryer.
GOOD LUCK! I hope this keeps someone else from getting burned like I did!