With so many bodybuilders and athletes turning to anabolic steroids for performance enhancement coupled with the fact that they are illegal to possess, the number of people selling fake gear across the country is startling. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can spot the fakes before you spend your hard earned money.
Things to Keep in Mind
Before diving into the best ways to spot fake gear, it’s important to take a little time to remember the basics of buying. These tips and tricks will help you make better buying decisions, and they may even help to protect your health.
- You can’t return. When you buy in countries like the US, UK, and Canada, chances are good that you’re not acquiring them 100% legally. With that in mind, there’s not much you can do if it turns out you’ve bought fake gear. After all, it’s not like you can go to the police or take the seller to small claims court. Some respectable websites do offer a re-shipping option if items get stuck in customs though.
- Trust your intuition. If someone offers to sell you gear but they seem shady, or if something about the situation seems off, listen to your intuition. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health and livelihood.
- Read online seller reviews. It’s impossible for you to look at a website and know for a fact that the seller is legitimate. Sometimes, the sellers providing counterfeit products have incredibly professional-looking websites. This is because they make a lot of money selling fake gear at real gear prices, and they can afford to pay web designers for their services. Be wary of where you buy, and read unbiased reviews from third parties beforehand.
- Consider the seller’s knowledge of the product. Finally, one of the telltale signs that someone is trying to sell you fake gear is their overall lack of knowledge. For example, if someone is in front of you holding vials of what should be Winstrol Depot, but is advising you to take a dose of 200mg a week – well below the average 50mg per day dose – then this should be a warning sign that the individual knows nothing about them and is likely trying to sell you fake gear.
#1 – The Expiration Date
When you buy a box of real gear, whether the they are tablets, vials, or even ampules, pay very close attention to the expiration date. When legitimate manufacturers print their boxes, they do not include the expiration date in the original printing; they add it later through a stamping process. Counterfeit gear sellers often save time (and a great deal of money) by printing the expiration date directly on the box with the rest of the package information.
Because of this, if you see that the expiration date is not a stamp, steer clear. Along those same lines, there are some sellers who will try to sell you expired gear so they can make money. There’s some evidence to suggest that expiration dates are merely guidelines and your steroids will be effective for up to a year afterward, but along those same lines, steroids do start to lose potency the older they are. You should never be duped into buying that are past their expiration date, even if they aren’t fake gear.
#2 – Seals are Everything
When you buy any kind of drug from a pharmaceutical company, that company utilizes a very strict sealing process to keep out air and bacteria that might contaminate the drug. These are machine-generated seals. These products, like most others, are manufactured on an assembly line with commercial-grade equipment. When you buy, check the seals.
Often, counterfeiters will use hand-sealing technologies that give them away. The seals on vials might be crooked, or a corner of a blister pack may be peeling. If it looks suspicious, you should never buy or use it. Sometimes, sellers will attempt to give you gear without any seals at all, and this is a telltale sign that it’s fake gear. Those seals are there for your health and peace of mind, so you should never buy any product that is not carefully sealed. Sellers may try to convince you that it was “leftovers” from a prescription or that the packaging was damaged, but in the end, it simply isn’t worth your money or health to find out the truth.
#3 – Know Your Packaging
Many pharmaceutical companies will provide injectables in single-use ampules rather than vials, or in single-pill blister packs rather than bottles filled with loose pills. If you know that your steroid should be in a blister pack but your seller is trying to give you a bottle of loose pills, he or she is trying to dupe you. In fact, you should think twice before you buy any kind in a multi-dose container.
Some, such as Anadrol and Dianabol, come in blister packs tucked inside boxes directly from the manufacturer. It helps if you know what that packaging is supposed to look like so you can compare it to the packaging the seller wants to provide you. Pay attention to things like spelling, colors, shapes, and more so you can tell more easily whether the product you’re about to buy is fake gear or the real deal.
#4 – Know what the they Looks Like
Aside from understanding what the packaging should look like, you should also know what the steroid itself should look like. For instance, if you know for a fact that Sustanon should be a clear serum in an ampule, but someone tries to sell you an ampule of milky white liquid, then chances are good that it is not Sustanon. What’s more, if you know firsthand what a Dianabol pill looks like, but the pill being offered to you is a different shape or color, or has different markings, it probably is not real. You can find pictures of genuine products online for the purpose of comparison.
#5 – Know the Seller
Unfortunately, this is the most difficult part for many people. If you really want to spot fake gear, though, it is imperative that you know something about the seller – especially when you buy yours online. The number of companies on the internet selling fake under real steroid names has gone through the roof in the last five years, so taking the time to thoroughly research a company is vital.
Remember that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Real steroids are never “cheap”. Leading companies also offer laboratory testing on their merchandise as well. Buying fake gear is not only disappointing, but it can also cost you your health. If you are going to put a substance into your body, make sure that substance is a beneficial one. Follow the tips above and learn how to tell the real stuff from the fake.