How to Recognize a Counterfeit Bearing
Counterfeit bearings can end up costing you money in repairs and machine malfunctions. Learn how to identify counterfeits here.

Counterfeit bearings are growing ever more present in the marketplace. Some companies mislabel counterfeit bearings as brands from reputable bearing companies. Unfortunately, these counterfeits aren’t up to the same standard as their authentic cousins.

Counterfeit bearings pose a danger to operations and the people and finances behind them. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to spot a counterfeit. Counterfeit manufacturers use a number of methods - like mislabeling, re-manufacturing, and simply cleaning an old bearing – to ensure that their products often go unnoticed for what they are.

As a business owner or person put in charge of purchasing bearings, there are number of things you can do to prevent accidentally purchasing a lower quality fake. The first step is to educate yourself. Be aware of industry standards and authorized dealers in your area. Also, see if you can ask your colleagues in the business where they may have run into counterfeits themselves so that you may avoid making the same mistake.

Detecting a counterfeit is difficult and often only the tiniest nuances can mean the difference between a real and a fake. One way to do it is to check the part number. Each manufacturer has their own unique stamp and etched part number that is standard across their bearings. If there seems to be something different about a stamp or part number on your bearing, it may be a counterfeit.

Next, only buy from a trusted source such as an authorized dealer. If you suspect that you may have purchased a counterfeit, contact the bearing purchaser to report the problem. If the problem is debilitating, you can get your bearing tested by the manufacturer.

Lastly, understand that if the price of a bearing is too good to be true, then it’s probably a fake. Unfortunately, one of the appeals of a counterfeit is its cheaper price. By attempting to save money on the initial purchase of a counterfeit bearing, business owners can often end up paying much more in repairs. By being aware of industry standards in pricing, business owners stand a better chance of detecting false prices.

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