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I have recently bought 2 Pi's from a local reseller (Czech Republic). Both were in Raspberry Pi boxes with RS logo and so on. So I guess they were as genuine as one can get. I have had no problem with either of the Pi's.

Now, I plan to buy other one and I have found some financially interesting offers on Ebay. The Pi will be shipped from China. The offer on Ebay is $53 for Raspberry Pi 2.0 Model B + plastic case + 3x heatsinks.

At my local shop the price is $50 for Pi alone and additional $14 for case and heatsink. For $14 I can get charger, SD card and WiFi dongle at Ebay.

So the question is, is the quality of Pi's from Ebay (China) worth to risk? At local reseller I have 2 years warranty, so it's easier to resolve any issues.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

I would not buy anything like that from China.

95% of the time electronic devices direct from China:

  • are fakes, made from reverse engineering or stolen plans.
  • items that did not pass quality checks and they just slapped their own QC sticker on it) (1 cent charge) and charge half price.
    • And instead of getting recycled or destroyed, they leave the back door. (Usually these work as normal but then suddenly you figure out why it was that cheap)
  • They do not pay royalties to the designers, use hacked software or microchips, avoid TAX'es and usually come with 1 year "silent" warranty- In other words, you will be lucky if you get a reply when things go bad

If you really support the Raspberry Pi community it is worth buying locally and paying a few dollars more. Not only does it directly support the charity, it supports your local business and global trade, while supporting 3rd party licenses, like h264.

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I agree with you. To add I have noticed that the import tax adds up the $10. So in the end I would get possibly shitty device for same money. – jnovacho Mar 27 '14 at 18:33
There are currently no fake Raspberry Pi – Mike Redrobe Nov 13 '15 at 18:28
It to expensive to fake them... hehehehe. Pi's are made in the UK. not China...sooo hwo can you buy them from China???? – ppumkin Nov 13 '15 at 18:28

Caveat emptor "Let the buyer beware". Does sound too good to be true. But the only way you will find out is to try. Can you afford for them to fail and have to buy new ones?

Personally I have had good experiences ordering things from China through eBay, cheap price work as expected, quick delivery. But they items are often noticeably lower quality than I would expect for the full prices item.

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The majority of electrical goods here in the UK are from China anyway.

I mean, look at the back of that nice flashy iPhone and where was it made? China.

I have bought loads of things off eBay that were from China and Hong Kong and 80% of it has been pretty good, with a couple of things being exceptional quality. you do get the odd bad apple though.

Personally I wouldn't bother buying a pi from China. Though, as they are cheap enough to buy here, why risk it. The Pi is not very powerful as it is, if you got one with cheap components it might affect performance

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Yea. But iPhone make sure it passes tests and quality control, Apple pays royalties, employes other people for distribution, helps companies make a bit of money. Where as direct form China, it usually dodgy stuff, because, Why would Apple just let people in the factory over produce and bootleg? They wont, no company will. "The bad Apple" lol :) – ppumkin Mar 28 '14 at 18:01
I have added comment to accepted answer. It would not pay off, due to tax and customs payment. I bought it locally with the added benefit of 2 years waranty. – jnovacho Mar 28 '14 at 21:35
Interestingly, most RPis have been built in the UK. See this link: http://www.raspberrypi.org/1-75-million-sold-so-far-and-1-million-made-in-the-u‌​k/ – paul Apr 7 '14 at 5:54
Yes, Pi is a UK Charity and they used Sony UK to source and build parts for the first batches of boards. I am not sure if they still use Sony, I read somewhere they were trying to negotiate or move to LG in Poland or something but that's not confirmed. – ppumkin Mar 25 '15 at 11:54

I would advise you to buy from a reputed seller locally since you have the option to replace it or obtain warranty later on if something happens to your Pi.

Since you're from Czech Republic I would highly recommend this shop. They sell the RPI2 for about 40 USD. Very professional and enthusiastic. I bought my RPI2 from them. Website is in Czech but you can email Mr. Prenner your queries in English.

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I got one. Works fine. Seems legit.

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Accurate and clear explanation: http://goughlui.com/2015/02/19/the-raspberry-pi-2-not-all-from-the-uk/

They all seem to be "original". ;)

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Welcome to Raspberry Pi! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Ghanima Jan 11 at 7:43

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