Looks like my previous post on the fake power balance bracelet scam is getting some google hits as worried consumers wonder whether they’ve been ripped off. So in this post I’ll tell you definitively how to know if you’ve been ripped off and in possession of a worthless bit of plastic with a hologram.
One of the google queries that found my site was “How to spot a fake power balance“. I mean it’s an important issue right? These things are bloody expensive at $59.95 a pop and who knows what sort of impact a misaligned energy holographic sticker thingy might have on those pesky meridian lines or “natural energy”!
So when do I know I’m being scammed by a power balance bracelet?
Let’s for the sake of this define “getting scammed” or “ripped off” as “paying good money for something that doesn’t have any special ability and is just a piece of plastic with a sticker on it”.
So for the people considering buying one and worried about getting scammed: relax. I have a very easy guide as to when you’ve been ripped off.
1. If you buy it direct from power balance: you’re getting ripped off.
2. If you buy one from an authorised dealer or distributor: you’re getting scammed.
3. If you buy a fake one you will also be getting scammed, albeit slightly less. The difference is entirely down to a single metric to determine how much you’re getting scammed. If you pay $59.95 then you’ve been scammed 59.95 units on the power balance scam-o-meter (also known as Australian dollars or AUD). If you have some shifty looking guy (well.. a shifty looking guy who isn’t officially affiliated with the power balance company) sell you one for $29.95 you’ve been scammed out of twenty-nine bucks and ninety-five cents BUT that means when you stand next to the person who bought a “real” one: you’re actually $30 less scammed than that guy. So in essence you’ve got the same placebo for half the price.
So out of the possible options presented so far: your least scammy way of purchasing one is from the seedy non-genuine powerband guy offering you cheaper ones. The authentic power balance bracelet at full price is the biggest scam.
Avoiding power band scam!
The only way you don’t get scammed is if you got it free (perhaps discarded by someone reading my earlier blog or other people exposing the hoax of power balance bracelets). I suppose you could steal one, but really: it’s illegal and there’s one thing stupider than buying one in the first place and that’s going to jail for one. But it would actually cost the original scammers (or their minion local scammers) some money, perhaps less than a dollar a unit. Go into a bargain/discount store full of kiddy’s toys and plastic crap and find the cheapest plastic wrist band and that’s probably what you’ve cost them. So not worth going to jail for. Perhaps the “fake” product will drive them out of business and they’ll have to get real jobs.
So, instead of the placebo peddlers of powerbalance products: trust honest Nathan’s snake oil detection services to steer you clear of scams: if you buy a power balance band, real or fake: you’re getting SCAMMED sweetheart.. Instead (or if by some miracle I’ve stopped you wasting $60), might I suggest a donation to one of these fine, secular, charity organisations:
- The Fred Hollows foundation (donate here) – restoring sight to the poor throughout the world
- Oxfam Australia (donate here) – a number of great charitable works around the world
- Australian Red Cross (donate here) – neutral humanitarian aid with an extensive history of helping.
Sorry if that last bit was a bit preachy, but fuck me: $60 for a bullshit plastic bracelet? I mean take a look at what that means to the above charities and what they can do with it versus your typical evil scumbag placebo scam artist rolling around in piles of $100 bills having cocaine snorting contests with $10,000 a night hookers.
Now I don’t know what the peddlers of power balance do with their cash, but it’s ill gotten gains in my book: even if it is down to people’s stupidity.
Update: this also applies to iRenew bracelets. Check out how similar the claims are (and the dodgy tests). Thanks to Frank Montez for pointing them out.
From their website:
The iRenew Bracelet does this by helping to balance your body’s subtle BioField.
and a bunch of claims about strength etc. Also even more placebo-ey than powerbalance:
Keep in mind the positive biological effects a balanced biofeld has for your plants and animals as well! The most efficient way to benefit your plants and animals with the technology is to use an iRenew Energy Balance System product to charge their water prior to dissemination. You can also place an Energy Balance System hologram on your pet’s water and food bowls or on the pots in which your plants reside.
Wow! Really? I guess next time I disseminate my plants, I’d better dose up the water on good quality plastic placebo.
Although I can say that the iRenew is slightly less of a scam than the power balance. Going back to my metric on the “fake” bracelets being cheaper and thus less of a scam. These are apparently USD$19.95, so a lot better *cough*value*cough* than power balance.
I’d still like to see them outperform a rubber band or bit of string though for placebo value goodness.
UPDATE: See newer post about Power balance admitting they were deceptive. No longer able to make any of the claims in Australia. So before you start going on at me: power balance themselves say these things do nothing.