(Or, Why You Can’t Buy a Thermapen® on Amazon)
You may have noticed there is a new header banner on the ThermoWorks website saying something about a “warning” (see above).
We admit that it’s a pretty drastic step to add a banner at the very top of our homepage and wanted to take a moment to explain why we feel compelled to warn you!
The short answer is that we care about our customers and worry that you will fall victim to what we consider to be predatory practices on some very popular reseller websites involving ThermoWorks products. We certainly feel that we have been victimized and we regularly get calls from unsuspecting customers complaining about how they feel they have been mistreated on these sites and asking us why we didn’t warn them.
One of the easiest ways to grasp the scope of the problem is to perform a basic search for a “Thermapen®” on Google.com…
The first ad is from us but note the second ad from Amazon, apparently promising “up to 50%” savings on Thermapens. If you click that ad, here’s what you’ll see…
Amazon Thermapen Imitations
We’ve blurred the images and names of some of the copycat products shown there (numbers 1 and 2 above), but while they are cheaper than Thermapens, they are most decidedly NOT Thermapens. These are only the first two. The page is filled with other cheap imitations.
Not only that, but the only genuine Thermapen on the page (the red Classic Thermapen shown as number 3 above) is selling for more than far MORE than the most you would ever pay for a Classic Thermapen at ThermoWorks.com, where full MSRP is only $79.00, not $179.99. Why is it priced so high? Because someone out to turn a dollar at your expense bought it at retail and marked it up on Amazon, hoping you would automatically believe that Amazon always has the lowest prices. It’s a twisted business model that Amazon facilitates.
The truth is that we love Amazon as consumers just like everyone else. We have shopped there many times in the past for its convenience. But buying Google ads against our trademark protected brand names, promising “up to 50%” off, and then serving up knock-off products and drastically inflated pricing on ThermoWorks products is “bait and switch” dishonesty.
We have seen similar practices at the other sites listed in our warning. None of them are authorized resellers of ThermoWorks product and none of them can offer products that carry our 2-year warranty for technical service, repair, or replacement if something goes wrong.
We have seen prices up to four times our own pricing on a whole range of our products at Amazon, including Thermapens, ThermoPops, ChefAlarms, ThermaQs, and more. We have noticed similar schemes at other reseller sites like Ebay, Sears.com, and Walmart.com.
We have complained to these companies and to Google repeatedly to no avail.
We have even heard multiple reports that unscrupulous resellers on these and other platforms are fulfilling over-priced orders with used, stolen, Open-Box, and counterfeit ThermoWorks products. Remember, just because it has our logo on it does NOT mean it is a new or authentic ThermoWorks product. We cannot vouch for the quality of products sold by unauthorized resellers, therefore, we cannot provide warranty or technical support on any products sold by unauthorized resellers.
We noticed that other respected manufacturers like Rode and Klipsch posted reseller warnings on their websites and we decided to take similar action.
We DO have carefully selected, authorized resellers. But despite what some people may want to think about how you get deals on quality products online, the lowest internet prices for ThermoWorks products really are available right here at ThermoWorks.com and through special offers received by subscribers to ThermoWorks emails.
Not only that, we invest a great deal to provide you with quality customer service and technical support on all of our products. We employ teams of product and customer service experts right here at our headquarters in Utah that answer the phone when you call and reply directly to your emails. Our reputation for customer support is second to none. That is why we care so deeply about the kind of experience you might have buying our product in a less than ideal manner.
We cannot prevent people from trying to resell our quality products at higher prices or from making and offering low quality copy-cat products. But we can do our best to inform the public about their choices. And we will continue to pursue the legal recourses available to us for what we consider to be predatory practices on otherwise upstanding platforms.
If you have any questions, we’d like to hear from you. Please comment below and we will do our best to answer. Or, as always, you can call 801-756-7705 during regular business hours. You can ask for Chris J., Tom F., or Tim.
I saw these imitations when I was shopping for my Thermapen. According to AmericasTest Kitchen Thermapen is the best, so I wanted to make sure I ordered the correct one.
Thank you so much for this information. It was very helpful to me.
I almost fell for this also. It’s a good thing ATK had the proper price!
I just reported this matter to Amazon. I copied your message along with an introduction paragraph explaining why I thought they needed to address this issue. I received a grammatically flawed response letter from someone in India who answers their emails. I am still awaiting a genuine reply that addresses the issue, not just an acknowledgement of my email. I will send another, or I will phone Amazon to make sure they understand what you have explained so clearly.
Thank you so much for your efforts on our behalf! ThermoWorks is what it is today because of customers like you.
Can someone explain the relation between thermoworks and eti ltd?
Both saying they are making the meters, and both selling the same?
Please read about the relationship between the two companies in our blog post, “ThermoWorks and ETI Ltd.“.
We hope this will answer the questions you have.
Thomas C. Hurd says
I can vouch for the ThermoWorks folks taking care of their customers. It is saddening that sites like amazon allow this to happen, but the “anything for a buck” mentality seems to be everywhere.
We really do value our customers here at ThermoWorks!
Timothy R. Tyson says
I stand and applaud you for standing up and disclosing what is going on. Its hard for a consumer to know about this kind of deceit, the internet is so vast.
Thank you for the info. A great help. Get those crooks out of AMERICA…..
This is the way a company should be run.I don’t have a thermometer yet but I’m saving for one. And I will buy it here.
kudos to you. great product. bought my second one just to get auto rotate and back-lighting. First one still working great after years of service except I had to replace the batteries once….what – no lifetime power source?
We’ll see if we can develop an infinite wireless power source. 😉 The battery life of the Mk4 is double that of the Classic Thermapen. So glad to hear you’re enjoying both of them! They really are amazing devices, and keep on ticking!
Jack Hoctor says
I read the reviews about the ChefAlarm and checked the internet. I was surprised at the number of sites that offered a discount on your products. When I got to your site and read the WARNING, I realized they were knock-offs. I order a Chef Alarm from your special open box/ refeb. Thanks
I’m so glad you were able to take advantage of our open box sale. I’m sure you’re going to LOVE your new ChefAlarm!
I’m glad I checked your website after seeing it on A TV cooking show review. Then I wanted one for my new hobby of bbq’n and cooking for large gatherings. I didn’t know why the prices fluctuated so much till I read your banner. I’m glad I did. I’ll be buying direct.
I bought a thermapen from King Arthur. I hope they are an authorized dealer!
Yes! King Arthur Flour is most certainly an authorized reseller.
Philip B says
Wow. Such a shame that folks would practice such tactics even on Amazon. Ebay I can understand, but Amazon? I’m not surprised. I usually stay away from their Marketplace and it’s a good idea to only buy something that says on the product page either Fulfilled by Amazon or Ships and Sold by Amazon. It can be hard to validate sometimes, and I know Amazon and Google are constantly playing catch-up but they are aware. It’s nice to read a letter from a company warning it’s customers to these practices; You don’t see that from a lot of companies. I’ll be sure to tell anyone who is interested in thermometers for the kitchen or around the home to buy straight from Thermoworks and nowhere else.
Dan Moffett says
I followed a reference from a cooking site to you. Always checkout Amazon for stuff as do others. I saw what you refer to in your website banner. You should make it louder. I had hit your site from original link, quickly perused, went to Amazon. Saw the unscrupulous resellers on Amazon you refer to. Read a bad review which was enough to return to you site. Then I noticed your banner and heeded your warning. Not sure many home shoppers would have done the above. I plan to purchase from you in the future. Great effort to make sure your customers get what they expect. You should get Amazon to offer your banner warning link from their site along with “authorized reseller” certification for your clients. Amazon reputation has been diminished for me by this experience.
Jeff may need to get his head out of the heavens and back to earth.
Delores Gress says
I have a Thermapen Classic which I’ve owned for many years. A friend of mine recently visited, observed me using it, and when she returned home decided to order one for herself. She just sent me an email asking if I really paid $149 for my Thermapen as that was the price on Amazon. I immediately checked it out on Amazon and she was right about the price. Then I went to the ThermoWorks website and saw the warning about Amazon, etal. I will be contacting Amazon to complain. Maybe if enough people protest Amazon will cooperate in policing these unauthorized resellers.
Chuck Leitner says
Thank you so much for the posted warning. I was shopping for timers, and doing the research on Amazon. The best one in my opinion was your big and loud timer, based on evals on Amazon. But the price seemed pretty outrageous…..well over double what you charge on your web site. So, I waited to see if the price would fall. It didn’t. Then stumbled across an internet ad from King Arthur, with a lower price about $5 over yours. Then I got concerned about trusting anyone, and finally went to your website, where I not only got a lower price, but a discount coupon that made it even lower. Lesson learned. Never again buy any of your products from anyone except you directly.
King Arthur is a authorized reseller as stated above
S Morgan says
My Thermapen Classic arrived yesterday. I can’t wait to use it. I learned about it from the number one rated smoking meat site: http://www.smoking-meat.com/. I’m new to smoking meat so having a tool I know is calibrated and accurate is very important to keeping my family safe.
Our smoker is a simple device with a door-mounted thermometer but we had no way to test the internal temperature of the meat. We bought a digital, wireless, dual-probe thermometer (from a different manufacturer) so we could monitor the smoker’s air temperature as well as the temperature of the meat. (Both are critical when smoking food which is cooked at low temperatures.)
The smoker’s door-mounted themometer’s readings were 40 – 50 degrees lower than the digital wireless therometer. Because of the discrepancy, I searched for calibration information on the digital, wireless thermometer. I was dismayed to learn that their device claims to be accurate to plus/minus 4 degrees. Being 4 degrees low when smoking poultry could make us very sick!
My Thermapen gives me peace of mind as I smoke meat because I can accurately and quickly test its internal temperature . I wrote this narrative because Amazon, Walmart and others have not considered the ramifications of selling cheap knock-offs.
Thank you for letting us know.
JOEL Zimmerman says
I never buy from Amazon. I would rather buy directly from the manufacturer, even if it would cost more.
Gerell Lagerloef says
We used Thermapens at our catering kitchen, with our on-site grilling and hog roasting business and as gifts for many friends, relatives and employees. They are the best. They also have the best customer support. I recently bought the signals BBQ alarm thermometer and billows for my personal Green Egg and the combo is perfect. It all works as it should and when I had a question these guys answered the phone immediately (on a holiday!, which is when you smoke and grill big time) and the customer support gentleman had all the answers – right now! A good American company!
David Buben says
Thanks for the warning. And I just ordered the Mk4 to upgrade my Classic, that I’ve had for years. Nothing wrong with it, use it every day, several times a day.
Can’t wait to use the new one with all the new features.
I was writing down a couple of America’s test kitchens recipes and decided to pull the trigger on the new bling. I used their link, as I’ve done many times, and it sent me to Amazon as usual. When I got there, and saw no Thermoworks products, I remembered that when I ordered the Classic, I ordered it from you for the same reason. Nothing but nock offs on Amazon.
Why don’t you just be an amazon vendor and actually sell your products on amazon yourself? Plenty of other manufacturers do this.
We have lots of reasons, but mostly we want to know our customers (inasmuch as a company can) and have them know us. It’s about customer service. We want to build trust, not just hock product.
Neil Kadlec says
I see my local Scheels has Thermoworks products. Are they retailers and come with the same warranty?
What about your wireless thermometer …. I bought that through a link to Amazon and what I thought was you guys????
We don’t sell anything on Amazon, and we don’t have a wireless thermometer on the market.