The Digital Photo Guy

Fake Duracell AA & AAA Batteries

by on Sep.09, 2016, under Articles, gear, Monday Morning Tips

Public Service Announcement!

As photographers, most of us probably use AA and AAA batteries by the boatload. Just be aware that boat may have come from China with fake poor quality, low power batteries of dubious origin. I recently fell for one of these eBay vendors.

Here’s a site that shows some ways to tell counterfeit Duracell batteries. BTW, don’t expect Duracell to be too awfully concerned if you report it. They’ll feign indignation but, bottom line, there are so many fakes out there chasing down a vendor is low on their priorities.

When I called the eBay vendor to complain, they immediately offered a refund, a sure sign that they know they’re selling fakes. They even took back the one cell I had taken apart to confirm my suspicions. The fakes are so good these days that it requires peeling off the fake plastic wrapper on a cell and comparing it to a known genuine battery.

The 1st photo below is a fake battery. Notice how the positive terminal isn’t completely crimped. This battery will readily leak and ruin whatever you use it in. Also, notice how the label is opaque on the backside while the genuine battery is clear, allowing the printing on the outside to be clearly seen from the backside. Finally, the fake label easily peeled off while the genuine label was a bear to remove. In the last photo, the fake was stamped “DURACELL” on the cathode (negative) terminal. The genuine battery had no such stamp.

fake1 genuine1 fake2

Even Walmart has been fooled so don’t take any chances. If you peel off the label, the batter will still work if it’s a genuine Duracell. If it’s a fake and you call the vendor, they will most likely take them back without a hassle because they don’t want to be targeted by eBay or Amazon or Duracell. They know they’re selling cheap Chinese junk.


2 Comments for this entry

  • Howard

    I have received the identical fake batteries a week ago…even has the same Mar 2025 date as yours along with DURACELL stamped on the negative terminal. They probably came from the same batch of Chinese counterfeits from the same manufacturer. I purchased through from merchant Altatac – who insists they are not fake. However, there are plenty of reports online of Altatac selling fakes on numerous websites.

    From now on, I’ll pay retail and buy locally in person. I should have known that for the ridiculously cheap prices they charge that they were surely counterfeit. This is a good reason why brick and mortar stores should not disappear.

    Cheap lesson learned for $15.

    • Lee

      Thanks for telling us your experience. Even Walmart has been victimized so these cheap counterfeits are everywhere. I’ve always had good luck with but I’m not enamored of the practice of letting sleazy sellers use their site.

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