Fake guitar strings are big problem that every major string manufacturer including Elixir, Gibson, D’Addario have had to battle. Many of the fakes are sold on Internet websites like eBay, Amazon, and AliBaba. Most of the counterfeits come from China.
A few years ago, Long Island based D’Addario & Company, which makes guitar strings for rockers like Lenny Kravits and Dave Matthews, got fed up with complaints from retailers around the world about fakes and enlisted assistance from U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This led to a meeting with Alibaba Group and in 2013. Addario & Company opened a storefront on Alibaba Group’s Tmall.com platform which hosts storefronts for major brands such as Nike Inc. and Gap Inc. and is very stringent about becoming a piracy-free zone. The idea was to go head to head with the pirates. The strategy worked and will hopefully encourage other string manufacturers.