Well it had to come and they are here, the J.Flowers knockoffs. But these are even more evil, these are counterfeits as they even use our name.
To set the story let's go back in time a little while to the original "Jay Flowers" cases. Jay Flowers was a Tampa pool player with an idea to make cue cases. He partnered up with Tampa leather worker Nora Van Horn and together they made cases under the J.E.F Q Case brand name. These cases were made until about 1995 and then there were no more. I met Jay one year around 2000 at a show in Las Vegas and he told me I could make a line modeled after his style if I liked. At the time I owned Instroke and we weren't making any cases in his style. Fast forward to 2008 and now I am in the position to follow through on this project. I create the "J.Flowers" tribute brand of cases. The name "J.Flowers" is deliberately chosen because the few people who still remember the cases Jay and Nora built refer to them as Flowers cases rather than by the actual brand name of J.EF Q Cases. I wanted to create a name that forced people to find out who "J.Flowers" was and understand his and Nora's contribution to case making.
Original J.EF Q Cases by Nora Van Horn and Jay Flowers
So, we put these cases out and started doing custom orders through 2008 and in late 2008 we started the production versions. Since then until now we have sold a fair number but still in pretty limited quantities.
The first J.Flowers Brand case to be sold. JF-2008-001
We have worked hard to make each case a high quality piece of equipment by applying some very high standards to the construction and finish work. My goal was that any of our J.Flowers branded cases should be able to stand up next to any case in the world for quality and be as good or better. According to the hundreds of satisfied customers out there we achieved that goal.
So it's not any surprise to me that we would get knocked off. But generally the copies don't also steal our name. This time unfortunately we have seen some cases bearing our name which makes them illegal.
The current perpetrator of this is a member of the AZB forum with the handle of tasaddicts. We have been told his name is Jason Lee and he is from Singapore. That is all we know at this point. As near as I can tell he has sold six cases through the raffle section on the AZ Biliards forum. He has edited all of the auctions to remove the infringing pictures and content but we were able to save some pictures before he erased them.
TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR: These cases have NOTHING to do with us. They were not made by JB Cases or Jiasen, the only two places on Earth that make authentic J.Flowers brand cases. These are not real cases that "fell off the truck" or slipped out the back of the factory, they are not prototypes or seconds or any other nonsense people want to dream up to justify their existence. They are 100% FAKES using a name illegally. It is my opinion that Jason Lee knew that these cases are fakes and sold them as real on purpose in order to get the maximum amount of money for them.
Here are some of Jason's pictures – As you will shortly see there is a very good reason that they are deliberately bad.
These are the pictures that Jason Lee (tasaddicts on AZB) used to defraud consumers into thinking that they were bidding on genuine J.Flowers brand cases. Just from these crappy pictures alone I can spot many things that show me the poor quality of these knockoffs as well as several key points that show me that the cases are not originals.
Now see what happens when an unsuspecting customer gets their fake case. http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=228293
The following pictures were taken from the thread at the link above. The black and tan case on the bottom is a REAL J.Flowers brand case. The red/black one on top is the fake.
To see larger images go here http://jbcases.com/images/fakeflowers/
The bottom line is that when you buy a fake product then you have no guarantee, no warranty. You can't go back to the company whose name is on it and complain when it breaks, when it's crappy and worst of all if it damages your cue. The people making these fakes are interested in one thing only, getting as much of your money as possible through deception. They want your real money for their fake crap. The only people worse than the ones who deliberately make these counterfeits are the ones who knowingly sell them. Jason "tasaddicts" Lee is an experienced seller in the billiard world. He knows full well that he bought and sold fake J.Flowers cases. He is a thief who has committed international fraud. If we are able to then we will bring charges against him for this. Until then all we can do is warn you about it and hope that no one else gets fooled by these crappy knockoffs.
If you are interested in purchasing a REAL J.Flowers Tribute case then here are some well known authorized outlets.
Us, of course, http://jbcases.com/jflowers.html
CueSight - http://www,cuesight.com
IndyQShop - http://www,indyq,com
In China: http://www.jiasencase.com/index_en.asp
And any dealer of Sterling Gaming's products. Sterling Gaming and Jiasen cue case factory are the owners of the J.Flowers brand.
And remember, ain't nothing like the real thing baby…………
Finally tasaddicts responds with a super lame excuse. BIG picture here http://jbcases.com/images/fakeflowers/tasaddicts-explanation.jpg
Here is the link to the actual post: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=2967788&postcount=58
This is the text:
It is my fault as well since i didn't state that the cases are not made by JB case. I will make sure i do this in my future raffles.
to make things right, i will be setting up a free raffle or giving some tips or accessories to those who have supported my J flower raffles. i will be sending pm soon.
So my questions are as follows?
Number one how is it possible that this guy doesn't understand a BRAND NAME? This logo is stamped on the case
So how is it that he figures out that the cases are not "JB" made J.Flowers cases? I didn't get an email from him asking for verification. But fine, so he knows when he gets the cases that they are not "JB" made. Does he somehow have the idea that "J.Flowers" is some sort of generic name and it happens to be in this form so that anyone can put it on their cases and sell them?
I guess he conveniently skipped over ALL the for sale threads and raffle threads where authorized sellers in the past two years have correctly described the cases as J.Flowers Tribute Cases.
He finds ONE thread where someone incorrectly attached "JB" to the description and thinks that this exonerates him.
He knew full well that he bought counterfeit cases. He also knew full well that he could not sell these cases locally as there are many owners of real J.Flowers cases in his area who would spot the fakes immediately.
So he has effectively defrauded well over 100 AZB members out of more than $2000 by selling them raffle tickets, in an illegal raffle, with the promise of getting an authentic J.Flowers case. And the nonsense about making a distinction between a "JB" J.Flowers and what he has is complete crap.
Ask him about the Predator cases he has sold. Tell him to provide the invoices so that Predator can track them back to the dealer. I will bet a million dollars that those cases did NOT come from an authorized dealer and that they are counterfeits.
And there is a good likelihood that the Joss cues he has sold are fake as well.
But he wants us to believe that the Richard Black he is selling is real. At this point he is not sorry that he ripped off so many people, not sorry in the least that he ripped me off, that he has ripped off the Jiasen factory and not sorry that he has ripped off Sterling Gaming.
Just another thief.
4-19-2011 – UPDATE:
Well I have been contacted by PayPal to verify that the brand is mine and comment on the situation. I pointed them to this blog post, my website showing sales of these cases all the way back to 2008, Sterling Gaming's website, etc…..
The thief's real name is Lee Deng Min. He is now trying to pacify the raffle ticket buyers with the promise of sending them trinkets such as joint protectors, chalk holders or a towel. And this is ONLY open to those who bought three or more tickets according to this post by him, http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=228430
So now he thinks that he can pacify those who spent $30 or more buying into his bogus raffle with items that cost about $1 to buy? And he expects everyone to believe that he is going to go through the trouble of gathering all the addresses of dozens of people and mailing out these trinkets at a cost of $5-10 each package?
Don't know, sounds very dubious to me.
From my side I am looking at our options. I plan to contact the police in Singapore and file a complaint if possible. PayPal has already been alerted and has a case open. And if I can press charges against him in any way possible in the USA then we will do so. As far as I know he has committed international wire fraud, theft, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and running illegal gambling with the raffles. It's impossible to figure out how much he has made on all the Predator case sales but on the J.Flowers sales it's been over $2000 stolen from victims all over the world.
Not much money but it's still a crime. And I won't take it laying down and poo-poo it. Rip me off like this and I will exhaust every means available to me to bring you down. I am just a little guy and I can't really do anything if someone wants to steal my designs. But when they steal my name and trade on it then we have a major problem.
Because no one wants to spend the same amount of money on an unknown no-name product that just looks like our case. Only by stealing the name can a thief trick you into paying the premium price.
So I aim to make him pay the price for using my name.