Back before I bought my GTO, I was a big follower of Holden. I would search the web to see photos of cars that I would never be able to get, ask friends traveling to Australia to bring back Holden paraphernalia, and watch V8 Supercars on old videos that I could find here and there.
In the spring of 2003, I went to the LA Auto Show and got my first glance at the GTO. I heard that some people thought the car looked to bland, but I saw the car in person and to the contrary, it was a must have for me. But with a sticker price of 33k, it was sadly out of my price range.
In 2007 I was driving past a Pontiac Dealership (RIP Pontiac) and saw an Impulse Blue GTO sitting on the lot. I decided to stop and have a look. Miraculously, I walked out that same day paying only $25,250 for a car I thought I'd never own. Better yet, the dealership swapped out the stock 17's for Chrome 18 wheels to close the deal and what a deal! Isn't she a beauty?
Because I was a big follower of Holden, the first thing I wanted to do was turn my car into a Monaro! At that time, there was only one company bringing in Holden Parts. Still, I had to have it, and I didn't care how much it cost (sorry, honey). The company that was importing them at the time was charging "extra insurance" for their employees to deliver parts. Shady, yes. An easy way to scam extra bucks off of desperate people, you bet your ass! But again, at the time I didn't care. I wanted it. I knew it was legit and a real Holden part!
Soon the trend caught on. More people were doing the Holden swap. They were even doing half swaps, buying only trunk badges and putting them on their GTOs. Even the cheaper VX taillights became popular and we saw more US cars doing this swap too. However, when people see something becoming popular, money makers like to take advantage of the situation.
One of the first things I saw was a fake Holden Badge for your airbag. In the photo below notice the silver is painted on and you can tell the casting is black with sliver sprayed over it. The scratches on the sliver show that it is painted.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. The airbag is an explosive. You can’t import an airbag into the States (well at least legally). So this person (who worked for a company importing “Holden” parts) showed me the part and said, "Don’t tell anyone I'm selling these." I looked at it and asked him, “How does this badge mount to the airbag cover?” He said, “You glue it on.” At this point I'm thinking, "Isn’t the stock badge on the airbag riveted to the cover? If this badge is glued on the cover and deploys, won’t it become a projectile?" Nevertheless, I asked him how much. He sold it to me for 50 bucks cash. I bought it just so I could tell this story one day.
Another way I saw people taking advantage of desperate Holden part seekers, was when people bought parts off of ebay.au. Remember the Commodore VX taillight? If you were in the GTO world back in 2007 or so, I know you know what I'm talking about.
Here's an example of an old ebay posting.
People would buy them and resell them on forums for 3xs as much even though anyone could just buy directly form ebay.au for as low as $20 USD! Yes, I understand it's called free enterprise, but telling people you "import them", “know someone” or "have connections" when all you are doing is buying them on ebay.au and reselling them, didn't sit well with me. This continues today. People sell Holden VF parts and say they have "connections" or a "contact" when in reality, they are just buying off of ebay. One of the key things they say is "I can get it for you" and "It will take two weeks" Which tells you they don't stock it and all they are doing is buying off ebay and reselling it to you.
Which brings me to the point I want to make about knock off Holden parts and these so called importers of “Holden” and “HSV” Car Parts or Holden licensed products. We have seen this movement change from the Pontiac GTO, to the Pontiac G8, to now the Chevrolet SS for this sought after “Holden” conversion or look. The Chevy SS seems to be the talk of the times now, and because of this, people want to make money off of it. Just like the GTO, we are starting to see more and more knock off parts come into the market. People are buying parts from ebay.au or Alibaba.com and reselling them again, calling themselves "importers."
If you haven't heard of Alibaba, it's sort of like ebay, but more of a marketplace for companies that sell larger quantity products for quarters on the dollar. It is based in China. However, it is not regulated very well, and many manufactures there sell knock off items: fake Nike Products, Purses, Wheels, basically everything.
So how about some fake Nike Jordan products?
Or how about a Nike Soccer ball for only $2 bucks?
Ever heard of Volk Wheels? These are some of the best built forged wheels in the world. They usually cost over $800 a wheel. Well, lookee here! On Alibaba, you can get them for... wait... only $80!
And the point of this whole story... Yes, even FAKE Holden and HSV Parts are available through Alibaba.
Do some of these images look familiar? Maybe you've seen the same photos from someone selling these exact parts on Facebook? Maybe on the forums? Or on their website? Come on guys, at least take your own photo! lol!
Below is a prime example of these types of parts on Facebook. Get this, this seller says "quality is better than OEM." You have to love that quote! I guess the other parts he must sells are all better than OEM too. lol! If it smells like a fake it is a fake!
Also if you notice in the Facebook posting it says he is "still negotiating" the price? Hum... how much more do you need to negotiate for fakes that cost $2.30 a set. lol! Below is an quote from the company who makes the center caps this seller was trying to resell on Facebook.
These sellers claim to be "Specialty" sellers for "Holdens" or "Commodores" yet they only thing they specialize in is counterfeit parts. No matter how you look at it admitting they are not genuine doesn't make it okay. They are still a fake. A fake is also 100% illegal. Don't think other wise? I wonder what customs would say if they knew these sellers were bringing these in?Lastly, how about a fake Holden Grill for your VE/G8? Notice how they hide the Holden Lion making it "OK".
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying something made in China. Hell, my iPhone is made in China and I love it. Many of you are probably reading this on something made in China! Even some licensed Holden products are made in China. What I have a problem with is people buying fake parts, then reselling them in the US, calling them Genuine Holden Parts, or maybe not saying anything at all to the customer or trying to do a play on words calling these fake parts "better then OEM"
Now there is also OEM "replacement" or an "aftermarket" replacement. These could be taillights, headlights, windows or trim or even grilles. When OEM parts go by the way side, the "aftermarket or "replacement" parts do come into effect. Are there anything wrong or illegal with those? NO, they are not using a licensed product like the Holden Logo so they are perfectly fine to sell. If you are unsure of what you are getting, ask the seller if the seller does not state that in their description.
Remember, you get what you pay for.
For example let's see what happened to Bob (his name has been changed to protect the innocent.) Bob bought a Holden badge from a well known ebay merchant known for selling Genuine Holden parts (notice this is past tense). When he received his package, low and behold, it was a fake! Maybe if Bob wasn't guaranteed a genuine part, I could justify this. BUT poor Bob paid HIS HARD EARNED MONEY for a Genuine Holden Part, and by golly, I say he should get a Genuine Holden Part! Don’t you think?
Here is another common complaint. Let’s call him “The Ebay Seller” Here is one of them.
So when a buyer sees this, they tell me my price is too high. Then they buy this part from “The Ebay Seller.” When they get it, it doesn’t fit. Opps! Then they call back and tell me, "I guess you were right." Sadly, they end up spending more then they would have if they just bought the real thing.
The photos below are of the exact badge from "The Ebay Seller" which a customer sent to me. When both are compared, you can really see the difference between the fake and the Genuine Holden part. On the left is the fake one. But wait... didn't the seller claim it was the "badging used on the Chevy Australian SS Cars" and that it is the "Correct Application for the trunk"? WRONG! Look at the size difference between the fake one on the left vs. the real one on the right. Not only is the size incorrect, take a look at the where the pins are located on the fake one vs. the real one.
Most, if not all Genuine Holden Parts are in plastic and marked with a Holden Part number like this.
Sometimes Holden parts come in a box with a similar part number sticker. Larger items like front grills and large trim pieces come in foam wrapping. Some sellers may take these parts out of the box as I do, to save on shipping cost -- but don't worry. No one's making knockoff parts of bulky items just not yet. Just use your common sense.
Personally, I do not care if you buy from me or from someone else. But if you want to buy from me and get 100% Genuine Parts you can HERE. lol! BUT the bottom line is this -- make sure you are buying a real Holden part if the buy states so. It's simple. Ask for a picture of the part. All parts should be in a sealed plastic bag or box with a Genuine GM label and part number. If they stumble around the question, you have your answer. If the part is too cheap, you also have your answer. Lastly, if they tell you they can "get it" (while they look on ebay), you have your answer.
Then there is the other side. Some people don't care if it's a fake. Some people and these so called sellers are okay with buying or selling these parts even though they are illegal. However it's obvious if you read this far, you want the real thing. Or are you just the guy who sells fake illegal parts or resells ebay bought parts and wanted to know what I wrote? Lol!
Remember Murphy's law? If the deal sounds too good to be true. It probably is.