Scale Magazine Summer 2004
"Market Commentary - The Chinese Invade!"

Digital Compact precision scales have been readily available for the past 20 years.  In the beginning the major players were only Tanita, Acculab and Ohaus.  My Weigh and Gram Precision entered the market later and that was pretty much the bulk of the market for many years.  Now it seems every other day there is a new scale "brand" entering the market. Similar to the deregulation of telephones,  the recent increase in off-brands and no-name brands flooding the scale market direct from China has both it's positive and negative effects.


POSITIVE:  The low prices offered by the Chinese Trading companies and junk exporters are unrivaled by any brand name scale.  This has forced the name brand companies to lower their prices in order to stay competitive.  Increased competition in a marketplace is always a good thing.  This is the very premise behind the free market economy of North America.


NEGATIVE:  The no-name scales are usually terrible quality and only last for a short while.  Since these companies are not "real" scale companies they don't stand behind their products.  They sometimes offer false warrantees to try and seem more like a real company.  For example,  one small Chinese Trading company (with a tiny office in the US) offers a 5 year warranty.  However if you send your scale in for warranty repair you won't receive anything back.  We call this the "Black Hole Warranty" or non-existent warranty meant to just convince you to purchase the off-brand scale.


At,  scales are part of our lives.  It pains us to see these small junk importers and exporters push their low quality merchandise on the unsuspecting public.    We get at least one email each day from people claiming to be a "large Chinese scale manufacturer" who offers us incredible deals such as "we can sell you digital pocket scales for $8".   However it has been our experience that these scales are honestly and truly - 100% JUNK.   As scale enthusiasts, we always ask these companies to send us samples.  Around half of the samples usually don't work at all and the other half are often terrible quality.  We also get many emails from store owners who tell us how they had received an amazing sample from a Chinese trading company, but when they ordered 500 pcs they were all junk and they had to throw most of them out.


Note: Most scales are made in China.  However the major brand name companies have their own factories in China (ie Mettler-Toledo China) where they oversee production and ensure a high quality weighing device.  Be extremely weary of unknown brand scales that are made in China. These are often produced in very poor conditions and the end product is often quite inaccurate and unreliable.


Unfortunately many of these terrible scales are now finding their way onto the internet.  Ebay and the internet are the only place where these Chinese scales have a chance to actually sell.  That's because in a real brick and mortar standard store,  the consumer has the opportunity to physically touch and test the scale before they buy it.   However on the internet you only get to see a picture and have to hope for the best.  This enables Chinese owned brands such as "Digiweigh" to try and sell inferior products.


Our strong recommendation is GO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW.  We mean stick with the name brand merchandise.  Brands such as Acculab, Ohaus, My Weigh, Tanita, Jennings, Mettler, GP, CAS, and Sartorius will always stand behind their products and you have a much greater chance of purchasing an accurate and reliable instrument.  After all,  what good is a cheap scale if it's inaccurate and only lasts a few weeks. Scales do break, that is an unfortunate fact of all weighing instruments.  Scales use sensors and some form of load cell.  These sensors can be easily damaged if the scale is shocked (ie dropped) or overloaded.  The quality HBM sensors (largest sensor manufacturer in the world) will outlast and outperform any of the junky Chinese made sensors.  However, the HBM sensors that most name brand scale companies use cost more then double that of the lower quality Chinese sensors.


So in short,  "let the buyer beware",  especially when buying a weighing instrument.  If you're looking for a scale on the internet we hope you'll shop our reviewed stores.  We have reviewed these merchants and they don't sell the off-brand merchandise.  Furthermore these merchants stand behind their products (otherwise we would get emails complaining about them and we would remove them from our list.  We do our best to provide consumers with accurate, reliable information and we promote a fair trading scale community.   Also be sure to read our latest reviews on many popular scales.


We encourage you to provide feedback on this article and/or tell us your personal experience with a scale.

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