counterfeit books on amazon

More Counterfeit Books by Lewis Lin

Last time, I covered counterfeit versions of the Product Manager Interview.

The counterfeiters are back at it again, but this time, they’re counterfeiting Decode and Conquer and selling on Amazon. Here are some photos along with some of the key differences.

(And I apologize in advance: my original copy of Decode and Conquer is well-loved. So it’s the one that’s dog-eared and has wine stains.)

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The counterfeit versions utilize bright white paper, but a legitimate copy (middle) uses cream colored paper.

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In this photo, the counterfeit is on the top, and the original is on the bottom. The original has the cream paper. The fake on top has the bright white paper. You’ll also note that the print quality is different and the fonts weren’t reproduced correctly. The counterfeit on top also has a black smudge mark that’s not appropriate for a supposedly “new” book.

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The fake book (top) doesn’t have the UPC symbol or the additional information shared in the original.

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The spine is clearly different: the fake books are shorter. The also don’t use the same fonts as the original.

You’ve probably guessed it: the front is different too. The fake ones are shorter, as I’ve mentioned before. Also, the original book is matted, but the fake books are laminated. And you can see the original has some additional text above the book title, which the fake ones do not have.

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Lastly, the back of the book is dramatically different. Yes, You see the laminate peeling off from the fake one, and the fake ones are shorter too. However, what’s most revealing is the fake ones:

  • Do not have an appropriate UPC symbol

  • The fake books have more printing discoloration, which is most evident in the author photo

  • The price is $10 more expensive at $39.99 vs. $29.99

  • And the testimonial text is shockingly different

One last tip: a sure-fire way to avoid buying counterfeit versions of my book on Amazon is to double check and purchase books sold by Amazon.com only. When purchasing, look for the Amazon.com logo.

Counterfeit Books by Lewis Lin

Over the last month

Over the last month, I suspected counterfeit versions for both The Product Manager Interview as well as Decode and Conquer.

I took a couple photos to document the differences of the fake and genuine versions. Starting with the spine (above), the most glaring difference is the counterfeit version (middle) is:

  1. Not as tall as the original books

  2. Utilizes a sans-serif font for the book title that’s a much thicker font-weight than the original

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It’s harder to tell from this second photograph, but the counterfeit version (middle) doesn’t have the same color as the genuine books on the left and the right. It’s also shorter. It also some dirt and what feels like spilled water damage on the cover.

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The back cover also indicates differences in color. It has a bit more of a reddish tint than the legitimate books.

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For the interior pages, you can see the differences between the counterfeit copy (right) and the genuine book (left). The counterfeit’s pages are darker, the text is fuzzier, and the contrast is less nuanced. In other words, if the counterfeit one looks like a copy of an original book, it is.