Wondering if you’ve got a fake Elf Bar or Lost Mary? For the UK’s most popular disposables, counterfeits are running amok. Let’s take a look at how you can easily spot a fake Lost Mary or Elf Bar vape.
Elf Bar and Lost Mary disposables are two of the most popular disposable vape brands in the UK—and with this popularity comes an influx of counterfeit products.
Fake Elf Bars and fake Lost Mary disposables can be found across the UK, whether you’re at an off-license or you’re shopping online—but if you’re buying from a trusted UK vape store (like us), you can rest assured that you’re buying 100% genuine vape products.
In this article, we’re going to be breaking down how you can spot a fake Elf Bar or Lost Mary disposable.
How to Spot a Fake Elf Bar
First and foremost, if you regularly vape disposables, don’t throw the packaging away before you’re 100% sure your vape is genuine.
A majority of the disposable vape manufacturers in China—Elf Bar, Lost Mary, and counterfeit manufacturers included—use the same moulds for their devices, meaning it can be nearly impossible to tell a fake disposable from a real one without seeing the box it came in.
Verify Your Elf Bar
If you have the packaging available, you can easily tell if your Elf Bar is fake using the security code. For genuine Elf Bars, you’ll find a QR code and a string of numbers below that (the security code) on the side of the packaging.
Scan the QR code with your smartphone camera and follow the link to the manufacturer’s website, and the website will tell you if the security code is valid and how many times it has been entered.
For more info on how the authentication process works, check out our other article: Vape Authenticity Checklist: Don’t Vape a Fake!
If you’re following the QR code, always make sure that you’re directed to the correct URL, which is elfbar.com.
Many counterfeit products have begun to include fake QR codes on their packaging which will direct you to a website that looks identical to the official one but uses a different URL, as shown here.
Check the Packaging
If for any reason you’re unable to verify your Elf Bar, there are still ways to spot a fake Elf Bar disposable—but verification is the only way to be 100% certain.
No two counterfeit products are the same, but there are a few top tips you can use to tell a fake device simply by looking at the packaging. Beware: fake Elf Bars are getting more and more like the real thing. And once you’ve discarded the packaging, it’ll be really difficult to tell if your ElfBar is fake.
Let’s take a look at some packaging for the Elf Bar 600.
First off, you’ll want to check that the product is actually called an “Elf Bar” and isn’t an obvious knock-off (otherwise known as a clone). You’ll find plenty of devices out there named something like Leaf Bar, Stag Bar, Trulybar, and beyond. Anything with a name other than Elf Bar should be a dead giveaway. While these vapes aren’t technically fake Elf Bars (they’re not claiming to be Elf Bar) they are clones and are not made by the same people.
To tell if you have a fake Elf Bar disposable, compare the box to the genuine Elf Bar 600 packaging we’ve provided. Fake Elf Bar boxes may have different sized lettering, misplaced logos, and shoddy barcodes, and the box itself may also be made of a lesser-quality material.
The box should have a semi-gloss finish, meaning it’s not quite matte but not shiny. On top, you’ll find the Elf Bar logo (facing the front). Ensure all logos and text are correctly centred, as poor positioning is a giveaway for fake Elf Bars. On the bottom of the real packaging, you’ll find the company’s social media handles.
Fake ElfBars will often have the logo printed on the bottom of the box instead.
Sometimes, the giveaway will be on the packaging’s nicotine warning. In this photo, the fake Elf Bar packaging looks very real, but you can see that the kerning (the space between the letters) is wrong on the nicotine warning. Look at the words “which is” and “a highly” if you’re having trouble spotting it.
On the right side of the packaging, you’ll find information about the factory the device came from (the exporter), the importer, the batch number, and the expiration date. The “imported by” information may vary on genuine devices, but the address of the exporter should be the same as the one shown below.
On the left side of the genuine packaging, you’ll find the all-important anti-counterfeit sticker with the security code, and you’ll also find a large yellow speech bubble that says “ATTENTION – SCAN QR CODE TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY.” Beside this is the device’s EAN barcode, which should look like the photo below.
The information on the back of a genuine box should follow a set outline. Newer Elf Bars will have the name of the flavour roughly halfway into the text, with a specific list of flavouring ingredients which may cause an allergic reaction. And while the absence of this information doesn’t automatically mean your ElfBar is fake, if it is there, this is a good indication that you have a genuine device.
You should also be able to feel a raised triangle over the skull and crossbones icon above the nicotine warning on the back. This symbol is a legal requirement for all nicotine-containing E-Liquids here in the UK, so if your box is missing this, you’ve probably bought a fake (or a device not meant for the UK market).
How to Spot a Fake Lost Mary
As is the case with Elf Bars, if you’re a regular disposable user, you shouldn’t throw away the packaging before verifying the product. Without the box, it’s really hard to tell a fake Lost Mary vape as counterfeits become more and more prevalent.
Verify Your Lost Mary
You can easily scan the QR code on the side of the box to verify your device’s authenticity. On a real Lost Mary vape, you’ll find a scratch-off area atop the QR code on the side of the box. Once you’ve scratched this off, a full QR code will be revealed with a string of numbers along the bottom, which is your security code.
If you take your smartphone camera and hover over the QR code, your phone will direct you to the manufacturer’s website via your mobile browser to complete the verification.
The page should then tell you if the vape is genuine, and it’ll also state how many times the code has been scanned. If it’s been scanned more than once (and not by yourself), then the vape is likely a fake.
Important: Always check that the QR code directs you to the correct website, because some counterfeit vape manufacturers have begun implementing fake verification systems which always return a “genuine” result. To ensure you’re on the correct page, check that the URL is lost-mary.com/verify. If the QR code directs you to any other URL, you’ve got a fake Lost Mary.
Check the Packaging
If you cannot verify your Lost Mary vape using the methods outlined above, fear not—there are still some tricks to tell whether you’ve got a fake Lost Mary. But, again, the only fool-proof method is via official verification.
Just like the Elf Bar, you’ll find a few knock-offs (clones) in the wild with some very obvious names. Brands like Bloody Mary and Love Mary are knock-offs of the standard Lost Mary disposable. And while these vapes aren’t technically “fake,” as they’re not claiming to be real Lost Mary vapes, they have different liquids inside and are not made by the same manufacturer.
Despite popular belief, Bloody Mary vapes are NOT made by Elf Bar or Lost Mary.
It’s true that Bloody Mary vapes feature a mesh coil and Lost Mary vapes do not. Still, Bloody Mary is not an “upgraded” version of Lost Mary, but rather an altogether different product modelled to look and sound like a Lost Mary vape.
Some vapers prefer the flavour in Bloody Mary vapes. We’re not knocking the product. This is just to clarify that they are NOT made by Elf Bar or Lost Mary.
A fake Lost Mary vape may have a few giveaways like different fonts and font sizes, misplaced logos, off-centre text, and incorrect barcode formats.
On the front of a genuine Lost Mary BM600 box, you’ll find the holographic Lost Mary logo followed by the words “Disposable Pod” underneath along with the model number (BM600), the over-18 graphic, and the flavour name.
Pay close attention to the wording and kerning (the space between the letters) on the box’s nicotine warnings, as they should say: “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance.”
On top, you’ll see the same holographic logo facing the front of the box, and on the bottom, you’ll find the company’s social media handles beside the name and address of the “UK Responsible Entity.” Fake Lost Marys may only have the logo reprinted on the bottom of the box.
On the right side of the genuine Lost Mary packaging, you’ll see the barcode (which should look like the photo below), plus the scratch-off QR code with the holographic sticker for verifying your product. There should be a yellow speech bubble that says “ATTENTION – SCAN QR CODE TO VERIFY AUTHENTICITY.”
On the left side of the box, there should be information printed which includes the date of manufacture, the expiry date, the batch number, and the name of the importer. The name of the importer may vary depending on where you purchased the device, but the information should be printed there regardless.
On the back of the box, you’ll find all of the safety information, specs, and ingredients.
Never versions will include information about the specific flavourings, including the name and flavour of the device roughly halfway down the back of the box.
Under this heading, you’ll find the ingredients used which may cause an allergic reaction. Older versions of the packaging may not have this (genuine or not).
You should also note the raised triangle symbol over the skull and crossbones icon above the nicotine warning on the back of the box.
This is a legal requirement for all nicotine products in the UK, so if your box is missing this, you’ve probably bought a fake Lost Mary (or one that’s not legal for sale in the UK).
How to Tell if a Vape is Fake Without the Box
Without the box, it can be incredibly difficult to tell if your vape is genuine. Not only are you missing the serial number and the security code—you’re also missing all of the clues that the box can provide.
Unfortunately, counterfeit vape manufacturers generally use the exact same moulds for their devices as the official Elf Bar and Lost Mary manufacturers do. This means that the shape and feel of the device will exactly match the genuine product. The only differences will usually be found inside the device—which you, of course, can’t see.
However—and this is much easier if you have a vape at hand that you know is genuine—you can look at the printed lettering on the vape for clues.
Is the text positioned weirdly? Are there strange spaces between the letters? If so, your vape may be fake. Is the flavour you purchased available at major official retailers? If not, you may have bought a fake vape or one that’s not legal for sale in the UK.
Also, you should consider the size and positioning of the fan-shaped airflow hole on the bottom. If you have a genuine vape to compare it to, it should be easy to spot the differences—but if not, it’ll be hard to tell.
Legal vs. Illegal Disposable Vapes
Because of TPD regulations, disposable vapes in the UK are bound by certain rules. Namely:
If the vape you’ve purchased goes against any of the rules listed above, then it’s not legal for sale in the UK—but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s fake. Still, we recommend against using these vapes.
Of course, both Elf Bar and Lost Mary manufacture devices that break these rules, but they’re not meant to be sold in the UK. And while these devices may be legal for sale elsewhere, the fact that they’re illegal here means that they haven’t been tested by the UK’s governing bodies (TPD and MHRA)—thus, you can’t be sure of the quality or safety of the disposable you’re vaping.
So, next time you go to buy Elf Bars at your local off-license, don’t opt for the 1200 puff version that they keep behind the counter (away from prying eyes).
You can’t be sure that it’s genuine, and you can’t be sure what’s in it since it hasn’t been tested and approved for sale.
Summary: Don’t Vape a Fake Elf Bar/Lost Mary!
Hopefully now you should be more comfortable in knowing how to spot a fake Lost Mary or ElfBar vape. As always, keep hold of the packaging or it’ll be incredibly difficult to tell whether or not your vape is a fake.
The only 100% guaranteed way to tell if you’ve got a fake vape is to run it through the manufacturer’s official verification process. Barring this, you can analyse the packaging to see if any details don’t quite fit.
And if you’ve bought your vapes from us here at Vape Green, good news! You can rest assured that your Elf Bar or Lost Mary vape is 100% genuine, guaranteed. We source our products either directly from the manufacturers or from reputable UK distributors, so all of our products are completely genuine.
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