Yes, like many quality brands, Epson has had to deal with counterfeit products, including their printheads being sold to resellers and particularly direct to consumers. Counterfeit printheads, produced by unscrupulous manufacturers, can result in poor print quality, damage to the printer, and other issues. Counterfeit products lack the reliability and performance standards of genuine Epson products.
To avoid buying counterfeit Epson printheads, we'd recommend you:
buy from authorised dealers or reputable (well-known) retailers.
check packaging and labels: Genuine Epson products typically come with specific packaging and labels. Check for a holographic label and serial number (Some genuine Epson products come with unique serial numbers that can be verified on Epson's website)
be wary of unusually low prices: Counterfeit products are often sold at significantly lower prices than genuine ones, especially on platforms like gumtree or ebay
buy from reputable retailers: Stick to well-known and reputable retailers when purchasing Epson products
A quick note on buying a printer: a lot of the less expensive commercial printers being sold in the Australian market have refurbished (genuine) printheads. These are clearly not the same as new (genuine) printheads. Check before you buy your printer that the printhead will be new and not refurbished. We'd recommend you get that in writing. The same advice applies if you are buying a printhead. Check before you buy that it is genuine and not refurbished.
Always use caution and diligence when purchasing consumables for your printer to ensure optimal performance and longevity. If something seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.