Good morning guys.
Ive really spent the last few days thinking hard and consulting a few friends on how to handle this situation and i think after sleeping on it for a few nights i have come to a suitable way on how to handle this situation. The situation is obviously about non authentic cricket bats or aka fake bats.
There are two companies in the middle of the controversy at the moment. Its Spartan cricket and Ihsan cricket with me ( www.cricketstoreonline.com ) sand-whiched in the middle. Im putting my hand up. Yes i did for just a few days try and sell Fake spartan bats on my website BUT i did in all honesty believe these bats were genuine ( although poor quality ) & i would like to point out a few things people who are talking about this issue may not know about or who are just not choosing to give thought to.
Im going to explain how all this went down and where we are sitting right now.
A few months ago i attempted on several occasions to contact Spartan cricket through their website and also by phone but unfortunately i had no luck at all. I never heard back from any of the emails i sent and when i did get them on the phone i was told sorry, i did not have a brick and mortar store and therefore they weren’t willing to sell to me. Even though i explained the situation that im in america and we don’t have walk in cricket stores here they were still not willing to work with me. That was a big blow for me as i pride myself in carrying the latest and greatest cricket gear around. And normally if big brands refuse to sell to me i make sure i make contacts with someone and get their gear through a 3rd party. Unfortunately i couldn’t find anyone in AUS to sell me gear at a reasonable rate as they may all be upset with me for selling my gear to customers in australia. ( trust me i have heard from a few big names down there and have been asked to stop )
Then through one of my CA contacts in pakistan i heard that Ihsan had just secured the contract from Spartan to make their bats in pakistan ( at a cheaper rate than the Indian company that was previously charging them ). ( a fact that has since been proven to be false ).
At this point i would like to make a note. This is a similar situation that happened with Essentials 99. the company that owns boom boom cricket. Ihsan ( to my knowledge ) were making all the boom boom bats but lost the contract for their high end bats and boom boom moved it to india and a few names that have been thrown around are SS and SM Pintu. I understand Ihsan still has the contract to make the low end Boom boom bats.
So, when i was told Ihsan were given the contract i didn’t have any reason to think this was a false claim and as most major cricket companies are moving their operations to india / pakistan to save costs ( GN and Kookaburra, the latest two ) i believed what i was being told. As spartan didn’t seem like the company to return my email ( silly me ) i didn’t bother asking them. I felt Ihsan are a reputable company and i could trust my source. ( silly me again ) I believe those were the mistakes i made on this venture and i sure have learned my lesson.
So i got hold of Ihsan, they sent me a few pics of bats ( which were posted to facebook etc ) and i dropped $2290 USD into western union across to pakistan. Yes thats $381 ea for 6 bats. 3 CG bats and 3 MC bats…. now you may think, ” jason, thats really stupid. why didnt you use a credit card or paypal….well unfortunately working with Pakistan is not that easy and we can get into that in another post one day. anyway the money was gone and the bats were on the way. what come next is my video review on the spartan CG and the spartan MC cricket bats.
So as you can see from the video i was just utterly disgusted with the quality of bats of got from Ihsan. surprisingly about 3 days after that video went viral guess who gave me a call? Yip spartan finally came back to me and explained the situation to me. And the situation is this. They did in fact contract Ihsan to make bats BUT were only contracted to make the very low end kashmir willow cricket bats. So what ihsan were doing was putting the low end stickers onto their top grade english willow, probably the Ihsan 950 inferno and selling them to people around the world as if they were the top grade spartan cricket bats.
Now, also i think i had a couple choices to make when i got those cricket bats in the mail, and no, sending them back was not an option as i did in fact ask for my money back and i was told NO. not an option. I then had the option of selling these cricket bats at RRP / MSRP ( $600 ) which as you all now know i never did as you can see in the video. I said right off the bat that i would not rip anybody off and try and sell them for $600 a piece. I believe i did the right thing, sold them at a loss to try and recover the money or some of the money i had lost in the transaction. The option i chose is to do what i do best. be honest and tell people via video review what i honestly feel about the product. I believed these had come Via Ihsan but under contract from spartan therefore my anger was directed at Spartan. i thought the bats were crap for the price and thats what i said in my video.
Since being contacted by spartan we have started negotiations on me stocking their product for the North american market. I am also eagerly awaiting 4 new bats from them to do a new and in depth video review of their products. The bats should be here later this week or early next week.
So you can decide whether cricket store online was the victim in this or i was the villain. I think whilst i made some mistakes people will ultimately realise i am an honest retailer. i tell people the truth about gear rather than just trying to sell bats no matter how shit the stuff is. whilst some people will say im hot headed and stubborn ( and they are probably correct ) i am in fact eager to learn and am still new in this industry. But i am kicking ass and taking names in the process. In my view its ihsan who are the villains here and people should stay away from buying their gear. You probably find Ihsan are behind the majority of the worlds fake cricket gear. I think i am more informed now and a little smarter than i was before this debacle. I do once again apologise to spartan for bad mouthing them when in fact i should of directed my anger at Ihsan for selling Fake cricket bats. shame on them.
I am however happy how this has turned out. Spartan are aware ( early on ) who are selling fake spartan gear and are in the process of sorting that out.
So if you want to find out what i really think of some of the cricket gear out there just head to youtube and type in your search for ( well whatever you want to see ) eg. GM player edition cricket bat etc and remember to search for spartan cricket bats probably early next week when i give a full honest review of what i think of the official genuine spartan cricket bats. thanks for reading.