Understanding Copycat & Knock Off Brands
Having been researching and reviewing wallets over the past 4 years you end up learning a little bit about the industry – some goods things; and some not so good. I’ve been thinking about writing this article for a while but always found a reason to postpone it mainly due to the anger it might cause as the nature of this article will, rightfully so, discredit many wallet brands on the market today (to combat this I don’t mention any specific brand names here).
That being said, at allthewallets.com we always try and strive for complete transparency. We want to provide impartial and accurate information without being clouded by money or incentives to give one brand an edge over another. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to make money. We still include affiliate links in many of our articles and aren’t going to try and suggest otherwise. But at the end of the day we’re here to help you, and to do so we need to bring up the rising issues of what we’ve dubbed ‘Copycat’ and ‘Fake’, or ‘Knock Off’ wallet brands.
What is a Copycat Brand?
Simply put a Copycat Wallet is a generic design that is typically seen across a lot of different wallet brands combined with mass-produced wallets from large factories and sold in bulk to many different brands. This idea is nothing new and it happens in many industries across the world. For example, If you buy some generic baked beans from a budget supermarket (say Aldi) the chances are they’re from the same factory that other supermarket beans (this time say Lidl) are from. The only difference is they’re rebranded.
They appear in all different shapes and sizes from classic leather wallets though to cascading wallets. The biggest culprit is probably the metal wallet where I see them popping up almost weekly. Most likely fueled by the popularity of the Ridge Wallet, the most famous wallet brand in the world, it’s no surprise people are trying to get a piece of this lucrative pie but trying to replicate their success.
Examples of Copycat Brands
I wanted to provide a good example of a series of copycat brands. Below is an image of 3 different wallet brands. Anything look familiar? Although each individual brand is different, with different branding, marketing, and logos each wallet is exactly identical in appearance, size, and functionality. I own every one of these wallets and can confidently say there’s no difference in any of these wallets. This gives me even more confidence to say each of these wallets was bought from the same manufacturer or wholesaler and simply branded and priced accordingly to the brand’s goals.
A quick search on the Chinese Wholesaler site Alibaba showed a huge variety of wallets identical to each of the brands below. At only $5.00 or less per wallet, it’s clear how they can easily print their own logo, buy in bulk, and resell to people like yourselves at great profits. These brands are not unique, not special, and are definitely trying to make a quick buck from people like yourselves who don’t realize it (see image above for this).
3 different brands, 3 different prices, the same wallet. I’m not here to be a moral compass. This sort of mass production occurs in every industry under the sun. Just look at the likes of Nike or Adidas and their sweatshops. The only thing that successfully sells its products and its the same sort of thing with the below.
Where to draw the line…
It’s a fine line between whether or not you care about these copycat brands. Sometimes you can actually get your hands on a cheaper version of a more popular wallet. That being said, some hate the fact they’re essentially being misled by these brands that always write about how unique, different, and dedicated to customer service they are – this is a lie in my opinion. These types of brands only serve to make a quick buck, a profit, and nothing more.
People can argue that no wallet is truly unique as many bi-fold wallets are near identical to each other – I can’t argue with that. But, that’s not my point in this article. If a wallet is truly handmade and not mass-produced then that’s fine. This is only relevant to those brands that feel they can mislead customers by bulk buying genetic style wallets – this is not okay!
The Copycat Tag
When it comes to reviewing these copycat brands we’re going to continue to review them like any other wallets. We won’t discredit them, we’ve reviewed them like we would any other wallet and provide let you know that we ‘think’ these are Copycat wallets. We can’t know for sure, but if all the tale-tail signs are there we’ll do our best to alert potential buyers.
Because of this, we’ll be introducing a new ‘copycat’ tag on any articles/reviews we think includes these types of wallets. This will hopefully indicate and educate anybody thinking of purchasing that wallet that we believe the wallet to be a copycat brand. It’s then up to you, our visitors, to decide whether or not you want to go ahead with the purchase. This tag will appear alongside our other tags on the page.
Below you can click the link to see potential copycat brands. Please keep in mind that I use the word ‘potential’. I cannot outright dictate whether a wallet brand is a Knock Off or not. This is down for you to make your own informed judgment. Always do your due-diligence before making any purchase.