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Will a Generic Cable Damage my Device?

 After receiving the following message from one of our supporters: “So, they told me at my local Verizon store that using a generic cord (such as the one I bought from you) could permanently damage my Moto Z play.?!” I decided it was time to address the issue of upselling. Unless you have worked as a sales associate, you may be unfamiliar with this word. In this piece, I will be informing you of why this is such an important word for you to know as a shopper and the difference between the brand name, and aftermarket cables.

We’ve all done it. You get a new Phone, Camera, Tablet, or other device and if it doesn’t come with all the components necessary to operate it. So, you buy those accessories right there while they’re at your fingertips in the store. Whether it be a case, charging cable, mount, etc. you add those on to your purchase at the front counter, so you don’t have to worry about it later. Or, you get these other pieces to go along with your shiny new device because you are scared into doing so by the charming sales associate standing in front of you with all this information you never knew. They tell you that getting anything other than the cable you are holding to charge your device will probably damage your shiny new toy beyond repair and it’s better not to take that risk.

You shouldn’t blame them for lying to your face; it’s their job. The associate might not even know they are telling you a fact that isn’t true. They, (just like myself at one point) are taught by their team leaders and managers to throw these unchecked and unproven facts at you to intimidate you into buying another product, or in their terms, an Add-On. Small items (add-ons) are considered upselling, which is a result of the store’s goal to increase their average order value. Why does this matter? It matters because the higher the average sale a store is getting, the “better” they are doing. The better a store is doing, the more people they can hire, the more inventory they can get, and the more money the managers and leaders and sales associates make. How can you blame anyone for wanting to make more money in this capitalist world? You can’t, because you do it on the daily at your job in some form or another.

Now that you know this retail secret, be informed when you go buy your new device, so you don’t get charmed into buying unnecessary, or overpriced items. To address the question above, directly from one of our wonderful supporters: Using an aftermarket or generic cable, will not make your new device burst into flames. That is the sales associate upselling you using your fear against you. You should be aware that there is always the possibility of getting a generic (or even a brand name) cable that will not charge as quickly, or will give out sooner. 

The main difference between Aftermarket Cables and Name Brand cables is just that, the name. You could be looking at Micro-USB Cables online and the say “that cable looks the same as the cable I saw in the store, ” and you’d be correct. The only difference between a lot of cables on the market, whether it be in store or online, is that they are bought by, and stamped with that brand’s logo and information. There are only so many manufacturers of cables and not all big companies think it’s worth manufacturing and patenting their cables. So, like many big companies, they buy cables in bulk and slap their name on it and charge $29.99 for the same $9.99 cable you are looking at online.

Long story short, aftermarket or generic cables will not hurt your device unless you truly are buying something that you shouldn’t be. If you’ve ever bought medication in the grocery store, you’ve probably picked up a box of name brand medicine and then the generic version right next to it. If you flipped both boxes over, you would see the exact same % of the same medicine in the ingredients section and gone with the generic version because it is a 3rd of the cost as the name brand and you are getting the same thing. The store brand name example above is the same with cables, and you should be confident in purchasing a generic version.

Source: Drug Discovery

Being that purchasing online already requires you to put your trust in someone you've never met or spoken to, make sure you check their reviews and look at the specs for the charging rates against the cables you were looking at in stores. If they are mainly all positive and the charging rates are the same, get the cheaper of the two and save yourself the cash. If for some reason, you are still unsure of buying from a generic seller, send them a message and see how they respond. What they say back to you (or don't say), will tell you all you need to know. You might be surprised to find that some generic cables even have a faster or better charging rate than the “original” name branded cable.


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Courtney Nicole Duskin |

COO & tektribe Chief 

Courtney is an avid bookworm, cat lady, and Tahoe adventurer. Acting COO and student at UNR with no shortage of Harry Potter references.


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