FAQ - Why You Shouldn't Buy Chinese Alternatives

FAQ - Why You Shouldn't Buy Chinese Alternatives

Greg James |

It is no secret that with any product available to purchase, there are alternatives with varying prices, features, quality - the list is endless. For example, you can purchase an iPhone replica from China for $8, but I think we can all agree it would not be the same as a genuine one.

To this end, we often get asked why our machines are more expensive than alternatives available on the Chinese market, as our machines do share similar characteristics to what is already available. So we thought we would answer the question once and for all...

Are you buying one for a business?

If you are thinking of buying a packing machine for personal use then you will not be governed by the same regulations that are applicable for commercial use.

So, if you are packing ingredients to sell commercially then it is important that the machine you purchase adheres to all the relevant regulations and safety standards. So if this is you, read on...

They look the same right?!

Here at Scayl, we are very aware of the packing machines available in the market that are similar in appearance to the machines we have developed and are a fraction of the price. But looks can be deceiving and what you see is not always what you get. Imitation, after all, is the greatest form of flattery. 

If you dig into the specifications you will find our machines...

  Pack a wider range of ingredients.
  Have more powerful motors, so you can pack more bags per minute.
  Have larger capacity hoppers, so you can put more product in them.
✓  Are CE certified and A+ rated*
  Use food-grade stainless (304) steel.
  Are more accurate at dispensing and filling your ingredients.
  Five star UK Food Standards Agency rating*
  Come with a 12-month warranty and ongoing UK support.
  Use 200w+ motors, compared to 50w making them faster.
  Made using better components so they are more reliable.
  Free delivery to the UK.

To use it in Europe you need a CE certificate

The Chinese machines do not have the CE European pass which is how products comply with EU safety, health and environmental requirements. Under the New Approach Directivesin the UK it is mandatory that "machinery" has CE approval. If you are dealing with food, then this should be a huge concern for you especially if your aim is to sell your product to retailers.

With Brexit happening it is uncertain whether CE approval will be as important, but regardless of future regulations any product that has the CE mark is a further guarantee that the product conforms to greater quality and safety. In fact, one of our customers told us how an imitation machine nearly set fire to her premises as it overheated and nearly caught fire, the very thing CE checks help to eliminate.

Many of the sellers listing similar items for sale claim to have CE Certification, however, it is your responsibility and legal obligation to verify this. CE Testing is very expensive and should be done in a UKAS accredited test lab. At Scayl, all of our machines come with a CE Certificate but also a 135 report from the UKAS accredited test lab confirming that our machines were independently tested and conform with CE standards.

Reply from eBay seller offering one of the cheaper imitation machines.

Steel is steel, right?

No, our machines are all made using expensive food grade (304) stainless steel. Looking at The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013  (see article 4, annex 2, chapter 1+2) it is mandatory that the correct equipment is used in any food preparation and handling. 

If you run a business that handles food then it is a legal requirement that you register your business with your local council. They will then visit your premises to discuss how your ingredients are handled and if your machine does not use the correct food grade stainless steel then it cannot be used.

Our machines adhere to this regulation and if your food products are being sold commercially then you must adhere to it too. 

Food grade stainless steel is famous for being able to resist corrosion and is less porous, ideal if you want to prevent bacteria growth and offer easier cleaning between use. So, if the machine purchased is not food grade stainless steel you are risking your product and your ability to sell to retail. Stainless steel that is not food grade could allow contaminants to enter the food chain.

More power means faster packing

If you look at the specs you will see that our machines are more powerful than the imitation machines. Yes, it is more energy efficient but having just a 1/4 of the power means it does not shift your products as quickly which slows the whole process. The whole point of a machine is to make it faster than doing it by hand right?! 

Having a bigger motor also means we can utilise greater vibrational frequencies which means more ingredients are compatible and accuracy is generally better. 

However, the greatest advantage of a better motor is reliability. Our machines are not having to work as hard so we can guarantee them for over 1,000,000+ dispenses. This seemingly small detail is also why our machines have CE Certification, as a smaller motor working harder could lead to overheating and become a fire hazard.

Aftersale support and warranty

Where we really win though is supporting you after the sale. If you need help setting the machine up with your ingredients then we are here for you. The companies selling the imitation machines do not offer the same level of support and in some cases charge you restocking fees, customs fees plus your delivery to and from China is non-refundable in the event that you need to send it back. If the unexpected happens to a Scayl machine, someone is at the end of the phone ready to help and in most cases, we can get spare parts sent out for next day delivery. We believe in our machines so much that you also get a 12 month UK manufacturer's warranty as standard!

We asked an eBay seller a list of questions & 2 weeks later this was the reply

* Terms & Conditions
  1. Range and speed are dependent on the type of ingredients used.
  2. Our machines are sold as Packing Machines.
  3. The scales on our machines are not Trade Approved so if you are selling to consumers based on the weight you would need to check the weight on a Trade Approved Scale. More information can be found on the GOV website.
  4. Scayl is owned by YOLO INC Ltd which attained a 5-star Food Hygiene Rating based on using our machines to pack loose tea into consumer bags.
  5. Our machines carry the CE mark and conform to the EMC Directive 2014/30/EU (Reference: LCS170518038E May 2017), The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EU and LVD Directive 2014/35/EU (Reference: LCS170518002CS June 2017) under EN 61000-6-4:2007+A1: 2011, EN 61000-6-2: 2005, EN 61000-3-2: 2014, EN61000-3-3: 2013, EN 60204-1: 2006+A1: 2009+A2: 2010; EN ISO 12100: 2010; EN 14121: 2008
  6. Packing claims are based on comparison tests with our machines and packing loose tea by hand using a scoop, funnel and scale.