There are a lot of different cooler brands like Yeti, but are there any fake counterfeit Yeti coolers that are actually being sold as genuine Yeti products with the Yeti branding, but aren’t made by Yeti?
There aren’t any fake or counterfeit Yeti coolers that I have ever seen or heard about. However, there are fake and counterfeit Yeti tumbler cups that you need to be careful of. Always by your Yeti products through Yeti, Amazon or an authorized Yeti dealer.
Are There Fake Counterfeit Yeti Coolers?
The answer to this one is simple, no there isn’t really any fake Yeti coolers.
There are a lot of coolers like Yeti but cheaper and there are a lot of cooler brands like Orca and RTIC that are clearly inspired by Yeti’s design and are extremely close to Yeti in how they design their coolers, but they aren’t trying to pretend to sell actual Yeti coolers.
In fact, RTIC were successfully sued by Yeti in 2017 and forced to redesign some of their products because the products looked too similar to Yeti.
But despite there being a lot of “me-too” coolers out there who offer something similar to Yeti but for cheaper, or with different specs I am yet to find a single person mention they bought a Yeti cooler they thought was real and it ended up being fake.
In doing my research for the article on how much do Yeti coolers cost to make I came across a lot of roto-molded coolers that you can white label (have your own brand put on it). But these coolers look obviously different to Yeti coolers and putting a Yeti logo on it wouldn’t make it look anything like a Yeti cooler.
Yeti did sue Alibaba for selling knockoff products that were in violation of federal import laws. But I am yet to see any stories of reports of people receiving Yeti coolers that turned out to be complete fakes.
Why Aren’t There Any Yeti Cooler Counterfeits?
In a world where millions of dollars of Nike counterfeits get seized at the border, why are there not millions of dollars of counterfeit Yeti coolers getting sold?
I can only speculate but I believe there are a few reasons for this:
Manufacturing is expensive
Yeti coolers are roto-molded which requires a large upfront investment in order to create the molds to make the coolers.
However, this upfront investment isn’t huge so alone it wouldn’t stop counterfeits being made.
The coolers themselves aren’t extremely cheap to make. Sure Yeti make a good margin on what they are selling, but the manufacturing costs are still decent. This means there is less money for fake manufacturers to make as the upfront investment in manufacturing is higher.
Shipping isn’t cheap
Yeti coolers are big and bulky. The smallest hard-sided cooler The Yeti Roadie weighs in at 15 lbs and they only get heavier from there.
Shipping the coolers internationally or shipping across the country would be expensive and eat into a lot of the profits of the counterfeiter.
It’s much easier to sell counterfeit shoes, which are smaller and lighter and easy to smuggle into the country.
Second hand cooler sales isn’t really a thing
There is a huge market for old Nike shoes, with some rare versions costing thousands of dollars.
Yeti coolers are mostly unchanged since their invention back in 2006 and as far as I can tell there isn’t really a big market for used or special edition Yeti coolers. The exception to this may be the rare Yeti cooler colors, but the demand for these would be tiny.
Yeti has a big legal team
Yeti has sued many different companies for making coolers too similar to Yeti and they have proven that they have a large and successful legal team. If someone was selling fake Yeti coolers in any large quantity I imagine the legal team would be onto it.
Are There Fake Counterfeit Yeti Cups/Tumblers?
There are however quite a few counterfeit Yeti tumbler cups, so this is an area you need to be much more careful.
Some websites do sell fake Yeti cups, sometimes offering a discount on them in order to get you to buy. A man name San Antonio was sued in 2017 for allegedly selling counterfeit Yeti products.
I remember when I bought my first Yeti Tumbler about 4 years ago Yeti as a company weren’t selling many of their products on Amazon. This meant that a lot of Yeti products on Amazon, the tumblers especially were fakes and it was impossible to tell which was real and which wasn’t.
That has changed a bit now because Yeti sells their products directly on Amazon, so where you’re buying a Yeti product on Amazon you’re actually getting a product from Yeti, not some middleman or wholesaler.
This has fixed a lot of the issues with fake Yeti Tumblers on Amazon but there are still a lot of fakes on places like Ebay as well as other wholesale or discount websites.
How To Make Sure You’re Buying a Genuine Yeti Product
When spending good money on a product it’s important to know that you’re getting a genuine Yeti product. But what can you do to make sure the cooler or tumbler or other product your buying is a genuine Yeti product?
Buy From Authorized Yeti Dealers
This is the easiest way to make sure you’re buying a genuine Yeti product.
Authorized dealers have a relationship with Yeti and source their products directly from them. These are your local specialty stores that stock Yeti products.
You can use Yeti’s store finder to find an authorized dealer.
Buy From Yeti Directly
You can buy products directly from Yeti’s website as a great way to ensure they are 100% genuine.
On Amazon Buy From Yeti Authorized
Yeti now sell direct to consumer through Amazon. Rather than relying on third party wholesalers or companies to sell their products on Amazon they do it themselves.
When buying on Amazon make sure you check that your Yeti product is coming from “Yeti Authorized” or if it’s coming from a different company then look up that seller.
Business Insider has this great article on how to buy items safely through Amazon and avoid the fakes.
If It’s Heavily Discounted, It’s Probably Fake
If you’re buying through an unknown discount website or off Ebay and the product is heavily discounted (eg. $20 compared to the regular $40) then it’s highly likely a fake.
As my grandfather used to say “If it seems too good to be true, it usually is”
How To Spot a Fake Yeti Tumbler
Companies are very good at making counterfeits that closely resemble the original Yeti product, but there are some ways you can spot the real ones vs the fakes.
The counterfeit report helps to identify which sites are selling fake products and also has some helpful tips on how to spot a fake.
The Label Has Misspellings or No Barcode
The label of genuine Yeti tumblers has a cork like texture to it and is stuck onto the tumbler with glue and have a barcode.
Fake Yeti tumblers tend to have misspellings, or the font for the branding is slightly off. They also tend to be stuck on with sticky tape and don’t have a barcode.
Sometimes there are also misprints on the label too so look out for those.
The lid of Yeti tumbler cups now have the mag-slider which is harder to counterfeit. The older Yeti mugs had just a plain plastic lid which was much easier to counterfeit.
The below video shows you some things to look for in a fake Yeti cup lid
Fake Yeti’s tend to have a blueish tinge to the lid and on the real Yeti lid the YETI logo is clearly frosted.
Fake Yeti tumblers do have a different weight to real Yeti tumblers too.
Honestly, They Are Very Close in Appearance
Honestly, both the real and fake Yeti tumblers are now very close in appearance.
Metal vacuum sealed cups have been around since the 1950’s and this product is cheap and easy to manufacture so it makes sense that there would be a lot of counterfeits for these and less for the Yeti coolers.
Be careful when buying and buy directly from Yeti, buy from Yeti Authorized on Amazon or buy through an Authorized Yeti dealer.
Below are affiliate links to genuine Yeti products on Amazon if you’re interested