Originally Posted by ChicagoNewport27
Not to pick a fight, but...
Why do you trust the ones that cost more, but not the ones on eBay? Have you personally tested the name brand ones vs the ebay ones? Have you personally seen the results of the load tests? Have you ever seen a report of cheap eBay knock-offs failing and resulting in personal injury? Maybe there's an issue of practical sailor that I missed that showed the scientific studies comparing name brand and off-brand tethering equipment?
Sounds like the same reason people wont buy the plastic-body Tohatsu outboards they see on eBay, but they'll buy the exact same outboard if it has Mercury or some other brand name sticker on it.
Not looking to argue... My only point is "buyer beware" when it comes to eBay -- People buy brands they trust for a good reason, the company needs to stand behind their product and can't cheap out on components to reduce costs and increase their margin by, for instance, using non-marine grade materials. All jokes aside, marine grade does not necessarily mean just 3x the cost of the non-marine version -- the difference is (sometimes) more than that
. eBay tethers may very well be a terrific bargain. I'm not aware of any tests or comparisons done by Practical Sailor or anyone else -- doesn't mean they're not good, only that PS chose not to test them. What kind of steel do they use in the fittings? Load tested to...? Stitching details? Some of it may be marketing hype but that sort of info is provided by folks like Wichard and others because it conveys the professionalism in manufacturing and testing that comes with a name brand. As you've done a comparison against a name brand, you may have found a really good deal.
My wallet is hardly bottomless (far from it) and sailing certainly does not have to be an expensive activity. I would and do happily buy winch covers, drink holders, bino cases, etc off eBay -- just not safety equipment. Some people will jump at a "bargain" without doing the comparison - that's where it gets a little shakey. No doubt there are some sailors whose vanity relies on having the latest gizmo, device or gadget and, worse, those who gain false security by spending big $$$ on safety gear as if it were kryponite (yet don't bother to check the weather, don't know how/when to reef...).
Like most on this board, I'm on a budget and admittedly enjoy the "thrill of the hunt" when I find a good deal or a diy solution. Safety is an area where I wont compromise (sounds as though you dont either, given that you did a comparison with a name brand).