Fraud alert: Fake strings are being sold on Amazon

Fraud alert: Fake strings are being sold on Amazon


norman lebrecht

February 24, 2018

Contributors to the Mandolin Cafe website are reporting that is selling amazon is selling counterfeit D’Addario Strings, which are made in China.

D’Addario, which is based in New York, makes guitar, mandolin, banjo and violin family strings.

D’Addario have complained to about the fakes but have received no resolution. Meantime, people buying strings on Amazon are received duds.

Here’s a sample complaints:

I had ordered a 3 pack of EJ16 guitar strings, and unlike the packaging from my last string order, this time it was three sets of EJ16s in three cardboard packages, within a shrink-wrapped envelope. And proudly on the front of the shrink wrap is a sticker proclaiming the strings as “Made In China.” And, in the lower right hand of the cardboard packaging, it states “USA MADE.” 

Called Amazon, they’re sending replacements. Spoke with George at D’Addario, and he was apologetic and frustrated. I am not the first person to have had this problem with Amazon selling counterfeit strings. 

Here’s the thread.


  • Robert Holmén says:

    Amazon and ebay have made their fortune allowing counterfeits and patent/trademark violations to flourish on their site. They may act in individual cases to maintain the appearance of propriety but plead ignorance to the larger reality.

    • Bruce Jackson says:

      Bezos is a hero to the dimwit millens. He’s a good “robber baron” because he supports the right causes & gets good press while selling chinese garbage.

    • gordy says:

      chinese made products are utter junk and i mean everything when are the stupid public going to listen no they are blinded by the bling bling culture dressed in fake copy items and guitars and cars best buy japan usa and europe goods

    • Sol says:

      They got popular and gained alot of net worth during the time they were a book store, not brcause of this.

    • SVM says:

      Paypal (which ebay requires everyone to use/accept) is clueless about fakes at the other extreme, simply accepting a buyer’s claim that a violin were “fake” and instructing the buyer to destroy it, without any due process. I avoid Paypal wherever possible (unfortunately, there is no choice for most ebay purchases), and would urge music shops and institutions to *not* accept payments via Paypal in solidarity.

      As for Amazon, I have not purchased anything therefrom for years — I feel its tax affairs are unethical, and I refuse to collaborate in putting sellers with ethical tax affairs out of business.

  • duane says:

    Nothing new. I’ve had customers come in with fake Evahs, fake Tonicas, fake Dominants, and a few others.
    Violin family strings aren’t inexpensive, so when you see a set of strings on Amazon for 15 bucks that your local violin shop sells for $65 you probably shouldn’t be thinking, “Hey, I can save 50 bucks”. Rather, you should ask yourself-“are they fake or real?”

  • David R Osborne says:

    Weird, why would you bother. Guitar strings are not like bowed instrument strings, they’re not exactly expensive. It’s unlikely that making counterfeits would be financially viable.

    • Scotty says:

      Although guitar strings aren’t expensive compared to bowed instrument strings, the quantiles sold are far greater. The world has way too many guitarists. And guitar strings don’t last very long. Millions could be made knocking off a name-brand string that retails for 6 bucks.

  • Filip Ziebicki says:

    I should have known better….. Elixir strings for two thirds of the price, on eBay uk…. same packaging but blurred printing… didn’t last a week!
    Moral: only buy from reputable guitar/music shops!!

  • eugene mitcell says:

    don’t fear the reaper

  • Luchano Deleon says:

    I recently bought some ernie ball earthwoods for my acoustic. The package looked legit. I put them on, started tuning, and played for about 5 minutes until the G string popped. I take another look and my package..sure enougb i see…made in china…last time i biu from amazon…i bought some martin & co strings from guitar center. Lets see how these work out

  • tuning guitar to drop c says:

    Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great layout.