Death Of A Dummy Camera Manufacturer

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Apr 25, 2018

5 years ago, IPVM gathered insights from a dummy camera manufacturer, who was then the top selling dummy camera provider on Amazon and 3rd in all of surveillance cameras, real or dummy.

Now, that company has exited the dummy camera business. In this note, we share feedback from the company's founder on what happened as well as looking at the impact the race to the bottom has had on dummy cameras.

Update: ** ****** ******* ***** *******

** ********* ****************'* *** Shoemaker ** *** **** has ******* ***** ****. He ******* ********* ** is ** ****** ******* dummy ******* *** ****** he *** ****** *** UniquExceptional ***** *** ****** store *******, ** ****, 'Chinese *****-**** **** ****** my *********'.

Claims '******* ************ ********* *** ********'

********* ********* ** ** that ***** ~****, *** dummy ****** ****** *** good *** **** *** company **** '*** ** the **** ***** ******* on *** ******' *** **** 'it *** * ********** business'.

******, ** ** ***** in ****, *** **************** brand *** *** ******* #3 ****** ************ ****** on ******. *******, *** ****** his ******** *** ****** by ******* ******* *********** products **** **** *** suppliers, *****, *** **** sported *** ****. 

** **** ***** *********** ****** were **** ******* *** priced ***** **** *** own ******. *** ****** was ** *********** **** during **** ** ******* to ***** ** *** Amazon *****, **** **** his *******, *** *********** operations ** ****************.

Amazon '*** *** ****'

********* ** *********, ****** 'did ******' ** **** counterfeit *******, *** **** even *** *** ***** camera ******* ***** **** there ** '****************' ******* is ****. 

*** ***** ** ******* complicated ******* ****** *** consolidated ******** ** ******* dummy ******* ************* ****** *** ************* *** ******* ******** group ******** ** **** authentic *** *********** ***** cameras.

** ****, ******'* **** of ******** ** *** to *** **** ** Shoemaker's ***** ***** *********** for ****************, **** ** trademarked ***** ** ******** names (******** ******* * ***** version ********) .  ** *******, Don ****** ***** ********* to ***** *** ***** or ***** ****** ******** were ******* ***, *********** his ********.

*************, *** ********* ***** the '****************' ***** **** grown ****** **** ***** cameras, *** ************** *********, ***** ****** repellers, *** **** **** safes:

********* ***** ** **** none ** ***** ******** are **** ** *** or *** **** *** now-shuttered ******* *** ****** are '*********' **** ***** the ***** *** ****** ratings ** ******* ***** confidence.

Broader **** ** ***** ******* **** * *****

**** *******, ** ******** that ***** *** **** a *********** **** ** the '****** *****' ** dummy ******* ******** ** 'real' *******. *** *******, the *** *** ******* Amazon *** ************ ******* currently *** **** **** $40:

********, **** ********* ********, *** ** **-*********, selling ************ ******* *** just $**, *** ******* *** low-cost **** ************ ******* have ****** **** **** significant. ******, * ***** ago, *********'* *** ***** camera **** $**.

****** * ***** *** when *********'* ******* *** #3 ******* ** ************ cameras, ** ***** ****** models *** *** ** Amazon's *** **. **** 2 ***** ******* **** the *** **, **** are * ***** ******* ***, effectively, $* ** $* per ***** ******:

*** **** ***** ***** as ** *** *** in ** *** ***** real (****** *** *******) surveillance ******* *** ***** sold *** ****** ** low, ****** ***** ******* a ***** ****.

******, ** ********, ***** cameras ****** **** ****** cybersecurity.

Comments (17)

Though, in fairness, dummy cameras likely have better cybersecurity.

Classic!

Interesting report by the way. Give insight into the continued problem of trademark and copyright protection.

Tarriff on Dummy cams?

It wouldn't surprise me if Chinese vendors included a "dummy" Ethernet port in the case an end user would mistakenly plug it in and make it a live feed...

And that makes sense as we are now in an era where real (albeit low quality) surveillance cameras are being sold for nearly as low, making dummy cameras a tough sell.

Call me old school, but quality should still count for something, right?

A well-crafted dummy cam from a reputable dummy manufacturer has numerous advantages over “real” but junky cameras, for instance 

1. MTBF - upwards of 300,000 hours* (continuous duty) 

2. Installation - Prefocused/greatly reduced cable reqs.

3. Maintenance - Minimal  “if it looks ok, it is ok”

4. Compatibility - 100% with all other manufacturer’s devices

5. Cybersecurity - Unblemished record 

*depends how you define failure and duty

;)

at what point do we need to start installing a real camera to watch for the damage to the dummy camera?

I saw Professional-High-End-Audipohile dummy cameras with an MTBF of 3.000.000 hours/week.

That was awesome.

These counterfeits MTBF are much more less.

I remember the original post from 5 years ago you linked to in the beginning of this post.

And I remember it primarily because John H. had stated in the comments that Amazon reviews couldn't be 'gamed' - and I remember spending many hours wasting time proving (at least imo) that Mr. Shoemaker was most probably gaming Amazon reviews in the heyday of UniqueExceptional's reign of dominance on Amazon.

So, sorry if I have no sympathy for the demise of Don's temporary success based on China gaming his ass.  

If you are going to sell your own private label brand on Amazon, you would be very wise to get it trademarked and registered with Amazon Brand Registry. It only costs about $350 to get a trademark from one of the companies that will handle all the trademark filings. The doozy is that it takes 6-8 months. 

You can be rest assured that someone will come in and hijack your listing and sell for a little cheaper than you if you have a popular selling product.

You can be rest assured that someone will come in and hijack your listing and sell for a little cheaper than you if you have a popular selling product.

That's interesting.  Has this happened with your brands?

I have an amazon business that sells a bunch of non security related stuff. Luckily I learned this lesson on a low cost product. It was some fishing weights we private labeled. Some lame ass came in and was piggy backing on our listing with the same product. Fishing weights are easy to duplicate, but nonetheless I paid alot of money to bring it to market and was advertising the amazon listings on FB and elsewhere. I emailed the seller to ask him to remove his name and the lame ass knew the rules better than I. He was like "Thanks for your email, I do not see that your brand is a registered trademark, therefore I will continue to sell my products on your listing"


Not only do you have to trademark your brand. Your products packaging needs to have the brand on it along with the trademark symbol. In some cases, you need to buy the product from the offending seller. take a picture and email it to amazon showing that its not authentic. Applying to Amazons Brand Registry will save you alot of time and headache. We have another successful product that is selling on Amazon right now and are 3 months into waiting for our trademark, luckily no copycats have screwed us yet.

What is the best way for the buyer to determine the product is the legit/authentic/original ? I know I often check buyers on some items I buy, as in the reviews you can see which items people are getting duped with a clone and they have no idea, giving product bad rating instead of realizing it's a counterfit. 

I guess if the buyer really cared they can simply contact the company who owns the brand to verify if the seller is authorized. But for most cases, i assume the buyer really doesnt care unless you are talking about a premium brand that regularly gets counterfeited like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc. 

I have an amazon business that sells a bunch of non security related stuff...

Look for Sean on this months cover of Hik n’ Fish ;)

Hiks n Hooks

Naturally you carry the new Hik AquaVu line:

Although I don't believe it was a problem on Amazon, it was a problem on eBay. My favorite iPhone case was from Lunatik. I used to use Otterbox and they broke very fast with normal use. I've only had two Lunatik cases and I've had my iPhone 5s for about 4 years or so. I could upgrade, but I'm seeing how long I can carry it along. Because the cell phone companies have changed their model on subsidizing, I didn't feel obligated to upgrade because I am now saving money on my phone bill where I would be wasting money in the past by not upgrading and still paying the subsidized price.

When I was at the fastener store getting supplies, the guy in front of me had my case but his looked like it used to be black but now was all shiny. I asked him about his Lunatik case which was stamped on it. He didn't even know the brand. He simply got it off eBay for under $20.00. Obviously, I knew it wasn't real because the Lunatik cases from plastic and his was metal. It was a nice build though.

A few years after that, Lunatik is no longer a company. This is pretty unfortunate because it does take design time to come up with a case model and then have it be popular when all it takes is someone to duplicate it and sell it for less than 1/3 the price. 

I guess I will eventually have to research and find an alternative durable case. That is unless I purchase a used iPhone SE which will fit in the same case. I like that form factor/size and don't really wish to change.

And that makes sense as we are now in an era where real (albeit low quality) surveillance cameras are being sold for nearly as low, making dummy cameras a tough sell.

Perhaps moving to the latest 2D printing tech will allow for paper thin margins:

 

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