Have you ever bought dodgy hardware or software and what did you actually end up with

Many years ago their used to be a monthly computer fair held in one of the conference rooms of a local music venue.
As well as what looked like genuine hardware ... the price said otherwise ... their were also items in brown cardboard boxes with the contents hand written.
On one demo set up a price sticker fell off the monitor to reveal a message confirming the machine was NOT running a genuine copy of windows.
Dozens of just released game £15 for 3 in cardboard sleeves and not cases .... i wonder what was on them.
I picked up a game called hackers delight .... dont google it you wont find it ..... as i was looking at it the stall holder leaned over and said ITS NOT A GAME. , it cost me £4 and driving home i chewed over what might be on the disc and who might knock on the door if i used it , i wound the window door and threw it onto the motorway.

It hit the local newspapers when the event got raided , sellers were arrested and apparently some customers got clobbered because buying fakes is an offence because customers give the fakers an outlet for their goods.

I cant believe that the venue owners did not know what was going on.
Aside from a Razor Blade laptop? (Hunk of junk, don't ever buy their computers)

I made the mistake of buying suspension components for my van off Amazon. I'm pretty sure they must have been either fake or didn't properly meet manufacturer specs and were discarded by the company, because within a year, the strut tower had wallowed out and the strut was actually coming through the tower ceiling and contacting my windshield wiper assembly anytime I went over a bump.

I spent an entire year chasing that sound, completely rebuilding the front end, only to have my wife discover the source of the fake strut tower. As it was hidden under the windshield wiper cowl, she could see it, because she's 5'4" and therefore short enough to just spot it. I'm 6'2" and could never see it.

At any rate, I managed to get a refund for one strut and then went and got new ones at the auto store, where I know the parts are good. Had to do the entire job over again, but at least my car is not going to fall apart and kill me now.
In my Uni days i got a new PC to replace my P3 500mhz. We bought a pc from Tiny and it cost my dad £999. What enticed me was the potential for gaming. Unfortunately thats where the problems began. Fire up a game and less then 15 minutes later, pc crashes. Cue my horror that we might have to return my new pc and so began weeks of me troubleshooting the issue. Adjusting the AGP settings from x8 to x4 meant that i could get an hour before it crashed. - it should have been a sign that the graphics setting was an issue and reinstalling drivers hadn't solved the issue. it left hardware issues, but i wasn't convinced that the graphics card was the issue, otherwise it wouldn't work at all.

So i went for the cheaper options. replace the PSU with something more beefy. No luck there.

replaced the ram and whilst i was doing that boosted the ram as well. Little improvement.

in the end i invested in a Geforce graphics card (to replace the 128gb radeon 9800gs i had) and success! But by this point the pc was a whole different beast. i finally understood why everyone said Tiny brand PCs were crap and i vowed to stick with Nvidia and to build my own pc when i bought a new one. I haven't looked back since. i believe this event gave me the experience and confidence to do it. granted, its idiot proof and i still had a few unknowns but half of the battle had already been won.
I am in England ... the day before Tiny went bust in 2002 i went into one of their stores , i was looking to buy my first pc and had no idea what i was looking for. I made an off the cuff comment about how expensive the Microsoft office package was especially when i would probably only use word instead of pen and paper.

The sales guy gave me a nod and said something on the lines of ...... if you only want word i am sure we can come up with something ????

As i said ... it was the day before they went bust and i think only a select few knew they were going to shut because local news showed staff locked out of the store when they turned up for work the next day.
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only a select few knew they were going to shut

Yeah, shame that. My fav store was a Fry's Electronics near LA, which also shut its ~30 stores overnight ~3 years ago—but there had been rumblings and controversies for years.

Only dodgy stuff I got was in the 90s—learned my lesson then, have been careful and lucky since. AOL and Photoshop were the culprits, they both seemed to assume that my PC had suddenly become their PC when I installed them. PS was particularly intrusive, altho I don't remember the detail anymore.
Aside from a Razor Blade laptop? (Hunk of junk, don't ever buy their computers)
Guess that is about only bad hardware I bought, a Razer keyboard that died within a year but they sent out a better one as replacement so I can't really complain.

I don't think I ever bought anything else that is dodgy. I have bought an empty game box before but that was a mistake on the shops behalf. 20+ years ago when I had an N64 I caught a bus to the shop I always bought games from, bought the Gold cartridge version of Zelda OOT and went home... just to find they hadn't swapped the empty box with one that had the game in it. I just had to waste more time going to shop again.

After that one time I made sure to open boxes on the bus... or just after leaving shop to save time.

Generally I research anything I want to buy to point I am watching related videos that might not be exact product. There are only so many videos/reviews of some things. I also only buy off real stores as opposed to just websites if I can. Less chance of buying incorrect things.
I am seriosly trying to remember if i ever bought something dodgy but I can't recall i ever did. It is possible I did in the 90s but if I did, then i just went on with life and forgot about it. In the 90s I worked at a PC hardware/software retailer so buying stuff was never an issue, and now i am to old and farty to bother buying cheap crap on wish .)
My blind buying of games stopped in the 90's. Before the internet, when all you had to go on was box art. I bought several games that I never played very much of. Now I try to watch videos before I buy anything.
I never watch videos on the games I buy, but I do enough other research to know what I'm getting (and I love dodgy games). I do kind of miss taking wild guesses based on boxes.
I paid $100 and all I got was a box


Nah, I didn't really. Not stupid enough to buy off Ali express
they are the most reliable place I know to get USB drives that say they have one capacity but are often way smaller. I just go there waiting to find first fake USB 4 drives, still haven't shown yet. Guess its too soon to hide among real ones if they don't exist yet
this seems to be real - https://ziketech.com/products/ziked...fastest-usb4-ssd-drive?variant=42809341608097 but its just an enclosure, no drive inside. and then you need a USB 4 connector.... probably another reason no fakes yet.
Former collegue of mine used to order large USB sticks on wish knowing full well they didn't hve the capasity listed, once he recieved the sticks he filed a complaint that they didn't come as advertised and he got the money back. Not sure that works anymore though.
product price... I didn't show the costs of the other GPU that were on same google search. They were all closer to reality.

I little bit of perspective

so yes, $150 for two 4090 sure does suck.... I hope those boxes are worth it. if anything the freight price is another anomaly but anyone with half a brain would know thats fake trap for idiots.
I have. I've been the guy that buys a 10 buck mouse cause I'm cheap and most of the time I've gotten what I paid for.

The most dodgy things I have bought though, specially for what ya pay for em has been basically everything by Razer or however it's written.

The crap daddy of em all being their one "budget" headphones. They were like 60 bucks, made of cheap plastic and lasted about a month before they fell apart. I could of sent them back to get them replaced, but then I'd just get sent the same piece of garbage.

I avoid them like the plague..... actually the plague is more reliable.
probably a lot of the parts in the first PC I ever made were all dodgy but that was mostly out of lack of choice. Before a lot of stores started having their own websites to buy hardware from, I would have to rely on a travelling computer market that would show up in city every few weeks.

I didn't know anything about hardware back then. I knew enough about windows to be dangerous. It was my next computer that set me on a better path but I still didn't know a lot. Hanging out on Computer forums eventually rubbed off on me. At very least it made it easier to pick the right parts.

@Zimbaly last post is why I go opposite and probably spend too much on things. Generally they don't fall apart in a month. Especially headphones. Though not audiophile grade, my last pair is most I spent on one pair - https://au.sennheiser-hearing.com/products/pxc-550-wireless-headphones-bluetooth

my last two mice lasted 5+ years, guess you do get what you pay for :)
I have. I've been the guy that buys a 10 buck mouse cause I'm cheap and most of the time I've gotten what I paid for.

I think I've been fairly lucky with my budget peripherals. I had a couple that broke after a year or two, but my speakers are probably around 15 years old and I'm pretty sure cost less than €20 when I got them. I think I'm cheaper off even with the couple things that didn't last than if I bought expensive stuff.
A long time ago, I bought MS Office 2010 off of ebay because it was really cheap. That was back when it came on disc, and it came in a plastic case with one corner rounded. It did come in the case, with a somewhat legitimate looking disc and case insert. The only problem was that you could tell it was all printed from a crappy printer. I learned pretty quickly that those cheap deals were just pirated copies. It actually worked for a year or two before the key stopped working, though.
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