SKE Crystal Bars are some of the best disposable vapes in the UK. Whenever a particular vaping product becomes too popular, though, there’s always a major drawback in that counterfeit versions of the product begin to appear. That’s exactly what has happened here, as fake Crystal vapes have begun to pop up in high street stores. As we’ll explain in this guide, there are some very real reasons why you don’t want to end up with a fake Crystal Bar. You’re not likely to have a good experience, and fake vapes could even potentially be dangerous. You probably already know those things, though – the real reason why you’re here is because you want to know how to spot a fake Crystal Pro Max or Crystal Bar and avoid buying it.

The best way to ensure that you’re getting authentic Crystal Bars is by buying them from an officially authorised seller. Here’s our preferred source – and in case you’re among the few members of the vaping community who haven’t tried Crystal vapes yet, read our Crystal Bars review to find out what makes these devices so popular.

Here’s how to spot fake Crystal vapes.

Check the Packaging Quality

Authentic Crystal Bars Packaging

One of the problems with fake vapes is that by the time you realise a device might be counterfeit, you’ve already purchased it. If you bought the device from a legitimate vape shop, you might be able to return it. It’s possible that the shop was simply duped by a shady distributor. In that case, the shop should be happy to take the counterfeit device back. If you purchased a fake Crystal vape from a corner shop, though, good luck returning it.

Before you buy any Crystal Bar vape, the first thing that you should do is examine the quality of the packaging. Look for high-quality cardstock and printing that’s sharp and colourful. If the package feels mushy – or the printing is blurry – you probably shouldn’t buy the device. It’s also worth checking the box to confirm that it displays the proper nicotine warning for the UK and that text contains no obvious typos.

Check the Authenticity Code on the Box

Fake Crystal Bar Vapes

Every Crystal Bar vape has an authenticity code on the box, and you should always take a moment to check the code before opening the box and using the device. Instead of scanning the QR code though, you should open a browser window and manually enter the address Scrape away the scratch-off coating under the QR code to reveal the device’s authenticity code. Type the code and quick the “Query” button to confirm that the device is authentic. If the authentication code doesn’t pass the check, you should return the device to the retailer.

The reason why you should always visit the manufacturer’s website manually when checking the authenticity of a Crystal Bar or other disposable vape is because anyone can create a QR code that points to any website. It’s become common for makers of fake vapes to construct lookalike site that will proclaim any device to be authentic.

Listen to the Way the Crystal Vape Sounds

One of the interesting things reported by users is that fake Crystal vapes seem to sound different from authentic ones when they’re used. According to reports received by the manufacturer SKE, people have mentioned that fake Crystal Bars seem to create “popping” or “clicking” sounds, while the authentic devices make more of a gentle “whoosh” sound. This might be because authentic Crystal Bars have mesh coils, which are very quiet in operation compared to the older style of vape coil made from wound resistance wire. Some fake Crystal Bars may contain the traditional wound coils because they’re less expensive to produce.

Watch for Condensed E-Liquid in the Crystal Bar

Fake Crystal Bars

Another common issue with any fake disposable vape is that quality of the device’s construction isn’t quite the same as what you’d get with an authentic device. For example, it’s common to buy a fake disposable vape and find that the device’s logo or outer colouring almost immediately begins to peel off.

The fact that a Crystal Bar vape has a clear outer coating is the thing that makes it stand out on store shelves and has helped to make Crystal vapes extremely popular with consumers. That design element, however, can also be the thing that helps you identify a fake device. In some fake Crystal Bar vapes, the inner and outer sections of the device don’t quite fit together correctly. This causes some of the vapour to escape from the inner section and condense on the inside of the outer section. This causes the device to take on a foggy appearance.

A Fake Crystal Vape Probably Won’t Taste Right

If you’re a major fan of Crystal Bars, you’re extremely familiar with how the devices should taste. SKE produces the e-liquid for all of its devices in the same facilities using the same formulas, and your favourite flavours should taste exactly the same every time. If something about a Crystal Bar tastes off to you, you should stop using the device immediately. A manufacturer of fake devices won’t have access to the same e-liquids used in the official devices. Naturally, they won’t be able to duplicate SKE’s proprietary recipes.

Pay Attention to How Your Body Feels

The fact that a fake Crystal Bar won’t have the same e-liquid as an official device isn’t just problematic if you care about flavour – it also means that there will be serious questions about the quality and safety of the e-liquid. The nicotine strength might not even be correct. If you feel unusual at all when using a Crystal Bar, you shouldn’t use that device.

I Think I’ve Bought a Fake Crystal Bar. What Should I Do?

In this guide, we’ve given you six possible ways to identify a fake Crystal Bar vape. If you have a device that fails any of those six checks, we strongly advise against the device because using a fake vape can potentially have serious ramifications for your health and safety. If you have a Crystal Bar that you suspect is fake, you should return it to the retailer and request a refund. If you’re unable to get your money back, you should recycle the device and avoid buying vaping products from that seller in the future.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Fake Crystal Vapes?

How to Spot a Fake Crystal Bar Vape

When you buy an authentic vaping device, you’re buying a product that the manufacturer has certified to be safe and that has gone through the emissions testing required for a vaping product to be legal for sale in the UK. Fake Crystal vapes don’t have these benefits. When you buy a counterfeit device, you have no idea who produced it. That means you have little legal recourse if the device injures you or makes you sick. You also have no idea what’s in the device because the information on the package may be completely false.

Why are fake vapes a serious safety concern? Here are just a few reasons.

  • The device may not give you a good experience. It might be underfilled and won’t give you anywhere near the number of puffs stated in the package. It won’t taste like an authentic device and may not even taste good at all. The nicotine strength may differ significantly from what’s stated on the box.
  • The device may use a battery cell that was rejected by the original manufacturer or reclaimed from a discarded vape, creating a potential risk of explosion or fire.
  • A fake vape may contain e-liquid made in unsanitary conditions and could be contaminated by microbes. Needless to say, microbial or fungal contamination is a serious potential safety concern in a substance that you’re going to inhale deeply.
  • Since a fake vape hasn’t undergone the emissions testing required for all vaping products legally sold in the UK, you don’t know anything about the presence of harmful compounds such as formaldehyde.

Fake Crystal Bars Simply Aren’t Worth the Risk

Now that you understand how to spot a fake Crystal Bar, we hope that you’ll feel safer and more confident when you stock up on vapes. It’s always wisest to buy Crystal Bars from a specialist vape shop like our preferred vendor and to avoid buying from a corner shop that may obtain its vapes from questionable sources. Remember that if you aren’t completely confident about a device’s authenticity, you shouldn’t use it because the risk simply isn’t worth it.

Greg Williams

Greg Williams

Greg Williams is an electrical engineer who enjoys tinkering with vapes to discover their inner workings. Greg’s informational articles clarify the complex aspects of vaping to help everyone have a better experience.