I have experienced that we have on eBay a new China-Seller-Scam in progress. There are right now many seller who sell Fake “SUNmini UVLED Nail Lamps”. This lamps do not have the power or the durability of the original Lamp (SUNmini UV Nail Lamp” from SODIAL [basically the 2nd version of this lamps, this lamp is collapsible]).
I am writing this text because many women buy this product, most of whom are not electrical engineers and therefore cannot judge what they have in front of them. (simply as a help)
My initial experiences
In December 2018 I did need an UV-LED Lamp for hardening some type of UV-Gel and so I had found a very inexpensive and reliable Lamp for 3.68€ on eBay.
US $4.39 (EUR 3,68)
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6W White Nail Dryer
At a test the output-power was not so high as it was advertised, only 4.3 Watt (not 6W) with my best USB-Cable, but it was doing the job and as I looked inside and did see a aluminium PCB for the cooling of the LEDs, I was happy with the whole product.
If you look into a UV-Lamp it could damage your eyes, but these LED chips have a silicone lens, which is mixed with some phosphorus, so that the UV rays are converted to a small extent to white light.
The eye recognizes the white light, so that the eyelid reflex is activated. 🙂
My new experience
At February 28, 2020 I did need more of the “SUNmini UVLED Nail Lamps”, so I did buy some of this lamps on eBay. Not from the previous seller (he did not sell this lamps any more), but from two other seller for nearly the same price with the same description on their eBay-product-website.
I got this lamps very late, because of the “Corona pandemic in China”, but the lamps are looking exactly like my original lamp … except the printing on the surface. The text was the same, but the style was different.
So I compare my original Lamp with the new one:
Original SUNmini “UVLED Nail Lamp”
Power: 4.3W (depends a bit on the USB cable)
Wight: 49.4g (without cable)
Upper shell: 13.6g
Lower shell: ? (I do not want to brake it apart)
Circuit board: ? (I do not want to brake it apart)
Lower shell + circuit board: 36.0g
Fake SUNmini “UVLED Nail Lamp”
Power: 2.5W (depends a bit on the USB cable)
Wight: 50.9g (without cable)
Upper shell: 15.8g
Lower shell: 26.6g
Circuit board: 9.2g
Lower shell + circuit board: 35.1g
Lets take a look on the printings
A closer look:It looks different, the fake does not have the line under the product-name and the printing is thicker.
It is very easy to open this lamp undamaged. Slits can be seen on the sides, which can be pushed apart a little with a knife. The best way to open the lamp is on one of the shorter sides, where the click lock is located.
Take a look at the housing from inside of the Lamp:
It looks almost the same. The weight of the upper shell is higher for the fake lamp.
Compare the LEDs:
… this is bad!
The LED-Chips are much smaller than the Chips in the original UV-LED-Lamp.
A closer look at this Chips:
Her is the original LED with the two chips inside, one is a 365nm UV-chip and the other a 405nm UV-Chip.
Compare the chips from the new Fake-UV-LED Lamp:
These chips in the fake-Lamp are far smaller, even with the magnification of the silicone.
Compare the bottom-side of the housing:
Compare the PCB inside of the UV-LED-Lamp:
The original Lamp is equipped with a little driver-PCB for the USB-Connector, the switch, a MosFET and a little unlabelled microcontroller. The surface of the controller is sanded down, so that there is no dot-marking for Pin #1 visible. Behind the switch and the USB-connector was added a bit silicon, possibly for stability reasons.
The LED-Chips are soldered on a aluminium-printed circuit board (PCB).
The fake Lamp has nearly the same setup, but there is a little bit of thermal paste over the 1 Ohm resistor (right over the USB-connector) what do not makes any sense. It is pretty useless.
The LED-Chips are soldered on a FR4-printed circuit board (PCB made from “glass fiber and epoxy”). This means that the heat resistance is very high and the cooling is much worse.
There are several problems with this device in this condition.
1. The timer have the wrong time, because of the lower power the device need more time to harden the UV-Gel. It needs 2.4 times longer for the same work, but only if the LED have the same ability.
2. The ability will be reduced because of the overheating of the single LED-Chips, the Output-Power-Effiziency of the LEDs are lower if the temperature is increasing. Because this we have the problem of increasing duration of time. Because of the longer On-Time of the LEDs and the >not existing cooling< (or at last very, very inadequate solution with some PCB-Traces) the LED-Chip will die very soon. This product looks like a Scam-Pruduct, simply a Fake UV-LED-Lamp. For the customer it looks like it would work, but it will not do the job and be trash within a short time. … this is very bad.
Some images in detail from the inside:
Compare the USB-cables:
The original cables have a more edgy shape of the connector-housing.
The cables of the fake lamp are very rounded.
I talk to the eBay-seller and the problems what I have with the product.
The product looks like the original UVLED-Lamp and they use the same values, but it was clear that it could not do the same job in 30 seconds or 45 seconds if the power of the UV-LED-Chips is much lower.
I started a case on eBay with the reason: “The product does not appear to be genuine.”
It takes me one week and 4 detailed answers with pictures to get my money back from this (scam) seller.
Right now I see that the sellers are selling the same product still on their eBay-Website, but now … for a higher price.
A higher price dispels buyers’ concerns that it could be a scam. High-priced goods are always better than cheap products. 😉 (No, not in this case … they have simply increased the price.)
Look at their new offer:
General call: Report to the dealer or eBay that you have received a product that “Doesn’t seem to be genuine.”
Report the design-related problems with the product.
If there were enough complaints, the traders might consider whether they would rather give truthful information and not try to defraud people.
This is my message history from eBay:
- 10. Apr.
You have sent a messageMessage:This device is unusable for me, it is made for scamming people and not to work. It was trash as you have produced it and since I get it, it has not developing to something better. It is still unusable trash. Please talk with your supplier (if you are not involved in this scam). Please send me a full refund.
10. Apr.The seller has sent you a messageMessage:Dear customer, we understand your situation. We are sorry for this situation. However, this product can still be used. We will refund 5 EUR as compensation. Could you please accept this? We look forward to your reply soon. Yours sincerely.
09. Apr.You have sent a messageMessage:There are several problems with this device in this condition.1. The timer have the wrong time, because of the lower power the device need more time to harden the UV-Gel. It needs 2.4 times longer for the same work, but only if the LED have the same ability.2. Because of the overheating of the single LED-Chip, the Output-Power-Effiziency of the LEDs are lower. Because this we have the problem of increasing duration of time. Because of the longer On-Time of the LEDs and the >not existing cooling< (or at last very, very inadequate solution with some PCB-Traces) the LED-Chip will die very soon. This product looks like a Scam-Pruduct, simply a Fake UV-LED-Lamp. For the customer it looks like it would work, but it will not do the job and be trash within a short time. … very bad.
09. Apr.The seller has sent you a messageMessage:Dear customer, we apologize for this situation. We will definitely improve our quality. We will refund 4EUR as compensation. Could you please accept it? We look forward to your reply soon. Your.
08. Apr.You have sent a messageMessage:The lamp does not consume the specified amount of energy and does not have the advertised performance. Due to the fact that no aluminium was used for cooling, the chips are getting much hotter. The FR4 glass fiber substrate is a very poor heat conductor, so the durability of the lamp is not guaranteed. What you are selling is simply a cheap copy of the “SUNmini UV Nail Lamp” from SODIAL. Just try it out yourself and measure the energy consumption of the device. The UV LEDs also look very different. I don’t know what you’re selling, but it’s obviously a typical “China scam”.
08. Apr.The seller has sent you a messageMessage:Dear customer, thank you for your email. We have not seen the situation you are reflecting on. Would you circle it? Thanks for your help. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Your.
07. Apr.You have started a returnOrder number xxxxxxxxx
Reason for return: Doesn’t seem genuineRemarks:This 6W LED Nail Lamp has only a power consumption of 2,5W and there is no adequate cooling available, because the PCB is made from FR4 and not made from Aluminium ! This will greatly reduce the shelf life. The original SUNmini – UV LED Nail Lamp is equiped with a Aluminium-PCB and have a power consumption of 6 Watt.