I’m writing to let everyone know about a deceptive seller of transporter parts. This “company” is called Z&S Imports and is based out of Nevada. Their
eBay ID is vanamania. Hope you’re reading this, vanamania, I’m calling you out.
The item in question is a “syncro” decal for the front bonnet of a, well, obviously SYNCRO transporter. The auction states:
“You are looking at a brand new "SYNCRO" self-adhesive decal in black that goes on the front of Volkswagen Vanagon/Westfalia/Transporter Syncros. These are
made of high quality vinyl, and are available in either black or silver colors. At the moment we have plenty of these hard to find jewels in stock. These are a
must-have if yours is all old and cracked, and peeling off due to old age, or if you are restoring your Syncro and want to give it that original factory look.
We carry a huge inventory of new, used and rebuilt parts for VW and Audi, including some real hard to find, NOS and "No longer available" or discontinued
items at competitive prices.”
So if you look at the guy’s feedback, you can see that since being
called out on claiming something was authentic when it wasn’t, it’s obvious he changed his wording to be as vague as possible. OK, so I fell for it, I thought
it was a genuine, new-old-stock decal, and I bought one.
The first thing I noticed was that this is not a VW factory part.
It’s also not “high quality vinyl,” like one might expect from 3M; this stuff is “Kiwalite” brand vinyl.
The second thing I notice is that this decal is not die-cut like an OEM decal (ANY OEM!), it's cut with a plotter or sign-making machine. The difference, in case
you're unaware, is that a plotter drags its blade across the vinyl and whenever it comes to the end of a line and has to make a turn, the blade either makes a little
tiny arc or, more commonly, just steers like a shopping cart wheel and a tiny part of the vinyl doesn't get cut (Yes, I know a Gerber sign machine has a gear-driven
cutting head that mechanically turns the knife at intersections, but if this manufacturer could afford a Gerber, the rest of the decal's details wouldn't suck either
because there would be actual QC checks on the product and it wouldn't get sold until it was right.)
The rest of what I notice is blatant to me, but in order to properly ascertain just how bad this is, I set a ruler on the bottom edge. Uh, that's not right...the
bottom edge isn't even a constant plane, and the top edge isn't much better. The N is the wrong size, it's too high, and it's spaced wrong.
The thing is, this isn't an issue of how it was cut, that's just a
symptom and a tell-tale sign this isn't an OEM, NOS or even OEM-"quality" part. The issue is that it was POORLY drawn in Corel Draw or Illustrator or whatever,
and then it was sent to a plotter that cut it exactly how the drawing said to cut it. Plotters don't make mistakes, they make straight lines unless you tell
them otherwise. Show me one plotter that can't cut a straight line and I'll make you the only Syncro decal on the PLANET that would look worse than this.
In the drawing program that made this, arcs don't line up to
straight lines. The "lines" of the word syncro vary in width (weight), do not always intersect properly, are not parallel when they need to be, don't share the
same angle and make abrupt turns when they shouldn't.
How do I know this? Because mine is still on my VW. If you take this decal and lay it above mine, this one is SMALLER than the shrunken sun-baked decal
on my vehicle. I made a trace with 2 pieces of paper and an HB pencil lead, taped them together and placed it atop mine. If you take the twisted,
perverted "N" in the cheap decal as a central focus point, it will fit INSIDE the N on my truck. From there, the left side of the decal (SY) is comparatively
close to the original decal, but the right side of the decal (CRO) is way the hell farther from the original.
I took the same tracing and compared the details to the original. The "tail" of the R bows inward, whereas mine is a straight line, a continuation of the
bottom leg of the R, and parallel to the right side of the R.
The entire decal is RIDDLED with places where the vinyl was TORN in the weeding process, and there are just as many places where the designer did a
crappy job drawing the thing. I'll tell you what it looks like: it looks like he scanned the word "syncro" from the cover of a water-damaged owner's manual,
blew it up, stuck it into a drawing program and then traced the dark parts, cut out the rest and hit "print" to his Roland Stikka.
Alright. Whatever, so I guess I'm picky because I want a
quality product, OK, well, I'm not going to use this thing, and I think a refund is warranted, so I sent him a short note saying it's poor quality and asking
for a refund. Here's the reply:
"After selling over 2500 of these decals to satisfied Syncro owners all over the world, it's surprising to hear that our decals are not of good quality and
have a dozen plus faults..........HMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!! Our German suppliers that make these for us in Hamburg would tend to vehemently disagree with
you. Anyways, if you are not satisfied, all you have to do is to send it back unused, and we'll gladly refund your money. Thank you for your business."
WHAT? What German supplier, in Hamburg or elsewhere, would let this cheap, crappy, hastily-done product out of their office? Moreover, if someone
has sold 2500 of them (first of all, how many Syncro vans are there?), how is this thing "hard to find?"
OK, fine, 2500 people have been ripped off with cheap crap they don't need at exorbitantly high prices. I could defecate on someone's hood and smear
it around with this guy's toothbrush and it would look better than this. Take a dead chicken, let it rot in a pile of tobacco leaves for three days until maggots
are crawling out of every feather hole, shove it deep into the ****** of a 60-year-old Panamanian hooker and let her sit on the hood and it'll look
more like an OEM Volkswagen part than this POS. I'm betting money that if you plucked your eyebrows out one hair at a time, dumped lemon juice
into your eyes and looked at a naked picture of Bea Arthur, you would STILL be able to see the MAJOR flaws in this decal.
But...okay. He's got 700-someodd feedback, but he's sold 2500 of these fecal impactions to every satisfied prolapsed-anus too blind to see the difference
but not blind enough to lose their license. Okay. Sounds great.
Now, the reason I went to all this trouble is because ANYONE who proudly boasts the quality of their obviously-shoddy crap is, well, QUALITY, deserves to
be called to the mat. You would have to be a spastic retard with a wet finger in a light socket not to see that this is junk. JUNK! In addition, anyone
who tries to pawn off such CRAP as being the product of a German is insulting every German on the planet, and anyone who uses the above email as a
defense insults every potential customer as being unfit, unwilling or unable to see the flaws in this utter turd. It is an affront to every VW enthusiast to
suggest that just because this turdburglar chooses to ignore his products' defects, we should turn a blind eye as well. After all, if it's perfect to the seller,
it must be BETTER than perfect to the buyer, right?
So, OK, maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I'm just missing something, and maybe it's just me. Let's take a look at this decal, shall we? Let me know if my
eyes have too much bleach in them, or if my ruler is warped or my glasses are all fogged up from watching all that hermaphrodite midget albino donkey porn.
Someone...PLEASE...if I'm wrong, tell me:
Here's the original, intact decal
Here's the unmarked left side of the decal, flatbed-scanned
Here's that same scan, marked up with the problems:
Here's the unmarked RIGHT side of the decal, flatbed-scanned
Here's that same scan, marked up with the problems:
So what do you think? Am I nuts?
Modified by zlurg at 9:27 PM 11-8-2007
Modified by zlurg at 9:37 PM 11-8-2007