Leading-brand bearings listed for low prices are often too good to be true, especially if they are sold online on unknown websites. It has been widely reported for some time that there are problems with counterfeit bearings entering the marketplace. As a result, leading bearing manufacturers now invest substantial amounts of time and resource in brand protection to tackle the fakes.

While it may seem like you are getting a good deal with cheap bearings in the short term, the effects of substandard counterfeit bearings in industry can be catastrophic. Here, we examine why businesses must consider the long-term performance of their bearings and purchase from an authorised source, like Hayley.


1. Enhanced product lifespan

Established and recognised bearing manufacturers conduct thorough quality assurance tests on their products, and are certified to quality standards such as ISO 9001. By buying bearings from unknown sources, businesses can’t guarantee the quality of the product. Counterfeit bearings are often made cheaply, with little regard for quality standards, meaning that their reliability is adversely affected. These bearings have dramatically shorter lifespans than genuine ones, forcing businesses to replace them more often.

The old adage, “buy cheap, buy twice” applies. But, while cheap bearings may be fake, not all fake bearings are cheap, with the more sophisticated counterfeiters getting wise to the market value of genuine products. They can charge a higher price for a product by shipping it in a branded box and employing other techniques to make products appear more genuine.


2. Reduced risk of mechanical damage

Bearings perform a vital and precise function within machinery. You need to rely on your bearings to perform their role in the smooth running of mechanical equipment, but counterfeits can have the opposite effect, disrupting the operation of machinery.

With lower design and build quality, counterfeits can damage surrounding components and wider machinery. This can quickly lead to unnecessary downtime and lost revenue, as well as higher maintenance costs.


3. Reduced safety risks

Design failures occur within fakes more frequently than genuine products, and these failures don’t only affect machine uptime but can also harm people. The safe running of bearings within machinery that people work in close proximity to, is very important. The same applies to bearings installed within aeroplanes, trains, and cars – premature catastrophic failure has the potential to lead to injury and even loss of life.


4. Supply continuity

At Hayley, we pride ourselves on having a strong stockholding of products that are key to maintaining our customers’ operations. Stock is held locally across our branch network and centrally at our Halesowen NDC, enabling next-day deliveries UK-wide. Our relationships with industry-leading manufacturers also enable us to offer a comprehensive range of quality bearing products with expedited delivery timescales.

Repeat purchases of the same or similar bearing products are also easily catered for in a way that isn’t possible for online vendors. Consignment stock can be held locally at your nearest branch and called-off when required, helping to support even the most urgent requirement for critical components.


5. Technical support

Our dedicated Hayley Bearing Solutions team has centuries of combined experience in sourcing bearings and giving expert technical support to ensure accurate specification and selection. We also have staff right across the country with decades of individual experience in delivering reliable technical assistance to customers. Beyond this, our long-established connections with manufacturers mean that customers can access support directly from reputable brands.

Buying your bearings via unauthorised sources often comes with little to no level of support before or after the sale.


6. Product innovation

By partnering with an authorised distributor, customers benefit from having direct access to the very latest in bearing product innovation. New-to-market technologies, more energy efficient solutions, and products that have simply been redesigned to last longer or enjoy extended maintenance intervals are all available. If applicable, these innovations will be recommended for you, helping you to add value to your processes.


7. Enhanced traceability

One hundred percent genuine products sourced through an authorised distributor are traceable with full documentation tracking their journey along the supply chain. This ensures compliance with regulations and industry standards and offers better protection for end-users.


8. Warranty and insurance compliance

Product warranties provided by recognised manufacturers simply aren’t in place when the products are manufactured cheaply by counterfeiters. If a counterfeit bearing is mounted in machinery that suffers damage or breaks down, the warranty on that equipment could be invalidated too. Insurance products taken out by businesses could also be invalidated by using counterfeit products, making it more difficult to recoup costs.


The message is clear. Businesses should avoid buying bearings from unclear sources such as suspect websites or unauthorised distributors. The initial cost of bearings should not be the overriding factor in a purchasing decision process, and businesses should consider the long-term reliability, safety, and legality of what they are buying. By sourcing products through an authorised distributor like Hayley Group, you protect yourself from the risks posed by counterfeits.


We are here to assist with any bearing enquiries. Speak to your local Hayley Group team today. Find their details online!