Has there ever been a documented case of a counterfeit razor blade?
I've seen a lot of speculation, but never anything definite. I'll be interested to see if others have, and how such a case has been "documented."
Are you implying that a change in the wrapper/box, smudged ink on the blade, or an unsatisfactory shave don't constitute documentation?
Thecounterfeitreport.com has a lengthy and detailed write-up, with pictures, of fake vs real Fusion cartridges. Google "fake razor blades". There are also many accounts of fake Mach3 cartridges. ICE.gov has a story of a Florida man, Jeffrey Telsey, whose company DBA JCA enterprises sold counterfeit Chinese-made replacement cartridges to Meijer. The fakes appeared in the stores, and that started the trail of investigation in 2008. Telsey was sentenced to 30 months and more than $400,000 in restitution and fines.
My most educated guess is that given the much higher markup on cartridges, particularly Fusion and Mach3, those are magnets for counterfeiters. Duplicating the mass-produced DE blades and wrappers for such low selling prices would not seem to attract counterfeiters, but the growing popularity of DE, along with the hard-to-follow Internet distrubution chain, is making that happen. Google "counterfeit double edge blades" and there are examples of real and fake, side by side.
...the packaging looks completely identical to a 10-blade packet I got from a completely reputable seller, other than they come in 5-packs vs. the 10-pack.
That could be a red flag, since the five-blade packaging is completely different from that of the ten-blade. But since you already have the genuine article, at least you've got a basis for testing the other blades to see how they compare.
I'm sorry if you got burned. I did a little checking before posting, and every account I've seen is that the ten-blade packs come in yellow, and the five-blade packs are in grey/black. I haven't seen any mention that five-blade packs come in yellow, as well (and in my personal experience, they don't), but I'll stand corrected if someone knows of an exception.
This is nuts. Here I said I've never seen any clear cases of counterfeiting, and it looks as though it's rampant. And for such an inexpensive product (excepting cartridges). I guess I've been lucky. Or, I've been duped and didn't even know it.
I have seen fake Super Iridiums. They have spelling errors on the boxes.