A reader emailed in, asking for my opinion on a self-centering drill bit set they were looking to buy. I took a quick look at the website and it set off all kinds of red flags.
This website doesn’t appear to be a scam, but you should also think twice about ordering from them.
Unless I’m mistaken, this company has taken a popular tool accessory, crafted a snazzy-looking marketing page, and jacked up the price.
There are “user reviews” with images, almost as if they were made to resemble social media testimonials, and they all look fake. There are mostly 5 star reviews, and even some 4 star reviews with nothing but praise and positivity.
A nearly identical “QWork” set of self-centering drill bit set is selling for $13 on Amazon with free shipping.
One might argue that they’re not the same drill bits, the ones above have physical size markings vs. surface markings.
Here are “Afunta” self-centering drill bits, for $16 on Amazon.
Do you believe these other no-name drill bits are any different? The “limited time only” 40% off sale puts the price at $29.95, from $49.95.
This company might be advertising on Facebook or elsewhere, and they do it because it works. Some people might start shopping around for comparisons, but enough will impulse-buy it on the spot.
I have seen this pattern a couple of times. I say it’s a pattern because this seems to be an extension of retail arbitrage, which has been around for a very long time. Here, this just seems to be a much more aggressive approach.
Even with the no-name brands on Amazon, you can buy the same 7-piece set via AliExpress for a little over $11 shipped. Another listing has a similar set for less than $11 but with a couple dollars in shipping fees, and there are other supplies to sort through.
I don’t know what to call this high pressure sales tactic. I’m assuming the reader found the standalone online store via Facebook ads or similar, and to unsuspecting customers it appears to be a real brand that’s holding a limited time discount on a product the customer might not have come across before.
Avoid stores like that, and as bad as it sounds, head to Amazon and other online marketplaces if you’re unsure.
As for self-centering drill bits, these would be my recommendations today.
To try them out, I would go with a Milescraft 3pc set ($11.49 via Amazon). Milescraft is an established tool accessory brand and presumably one that cares about their reputation. Bosch also offers a 3-piece set for ~$23 via Amazon, but I don’t know what to think about their quality.
Snappy’s made in the USA bits, priced at ~$24 for the 3pc set, is usually the defacto higher quality offering.
There’s also Montana, which has an interesting combo self-centering drilling and driving accessory. Each size is $13 on their website.
When I came across a pack of Craftsman self-centering drill bits, someone recommended Vix, although I haven’t checked them out yet. Lee Valley has the 3pc set for $40.
Have you seen other types of power tool accessories advertised in such a manner where they’re at inflated prices even after purportedly steep limited time discounts?