Discount Marine Electronics, ripping off Panbo?!?


Well, ain’t that a bitch!  Thanks to the vigilance of Steve Roberts I now know that an online “store” called Discount Marine Electronics is posting Panbo entries as though “it” created them. Actually all they’re doing is putting up the same first picture and paragraph anyone can get via XML feed or email (see Subscribe button top right). But Discount Marine Electronics is cutting out the “read more” link, so readers really don’t get the whole jist of the entry but may be fooled into thinking that the diligent staff of Discount Marine Electronics is testing gear and writing about it on a regular basis.

Here’s the irony: I’ve spent the last two days surveying and test running the still maybe future Gizmo, and am so besotted that I don’t care if these rip off artists suffer consequences immediately, or just rot in hell at a later date.  But I will be pleased if Discount Marine Electronics has automated the posting of my posts, and hence we might see this post go up on their site.  If so, grab that screen!  And don’t forget to buy all your marine electronics at Discount Marine Electronics.

PS (six hours later):  Ah, God is good. And so are you guys. Thanks to everyone who sent in delicious screen shots like the one below.  And especially to the various Panbots trying to sleuth out the perpetrators or alerting eBay about how Discount-Marine-Electronics is abusing its Partner Network by presenting itself as something it’s not in order to attract Google hits and skim affiliate commissions.  But Web shoppers (and Google) are getting smarter all the time.  Many have learned to Google the shopping site itself, and if they do that to they just may end up here 😉


PPS (eighteen hours later): Discount Marine Electronics did the right thing, taking down all the Panbo content they were presenting without credit (and even claiming copyright to). Cased closed hopefully; thanks all!

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

22 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    There should be a law…
    I had a customer call me today to report that when his company name is searched, it redirects to a competitor’s site. Ahhh the magic of the internet.

  2. Jeff McLaren says:

    Ben- It looks like it’s some sort of aggregator for eBay, none of the products come from the same person if you try to order something. I think you are being plagiarized by a robot. Maybe congrats on the maybe new boat!

  3. Jay Sellers says:

    Too funny. Sure enough, this post hit their site already! Idiots.

  4. Visions says:

    unFreakinbelievable…well I guess not…only too believable in todays world. This is flattery in the lowest sense of the word. Carry on the good work, Ben, and good luck with Giztwo.

  5. Billlentz says:

    Ben this is crazy. I truly love reading your test results about new products. I am a communications guy and love playing with cellular modems, and WiFi systems for boats and marine Hot-Spots. Why don’t they just purchase space here if they want to be legitimate? I guess that is never going to happen now! Shame on them there was a time when a man’s word and reputation meant something.
    Good luck with the new boat I am envious!

  6. Tom Risinger says:

    Good job! You got them. Love your “new” boat.

  7. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    I counted three places on their web-site that “Discount Marine Electronics, Ripping Off Panbo?!?” now shows up 🙂

  8. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Make that 4, if you count leaving your cursor over the picture.

  9. Tim Flanagan says:

    Wow…this is really not OK. And unfortunately, a little WhoIs’ing reveals that there’s really no “there” there. There isn’t an office to picket, no phone number to call, etc. It’s registered privately, near as I can tell, possibly through Dotster.

  10. Carl says:

    I think Jeff got it right. It’s not a store at all, just an aggregator. My guess is a cybersquatter.

  11. An anonymous Panbot says:

    OK, if Ben can’t mail a genuine cease and desist letter to these bastards, then at least his hoards of loyal minions can harass the hell out of whoever this is.
    Just go to and try to login. “admin” is probably a real username, since there’s an author named “admin”.
    Once you’ve tried some passwords, assuming you didn’t succeed in logging in somehow, why not click the “Lost your password” link, give it a username of “admin”, and we can fill up their inbox with password resets.
    Go forth and hack, brothers and sisters!

  12. Kurt says:

    I would suggest removing all of the http links and write them out as text. Otherwise you are helping their search engine ranking.

  13. Bremer Speck says:

    As of 0900 hours this morning it is all gone. Who would buy from an outfit that has no address and no other contact details, anyway?

  14. Preston Calvert says:

    The captured screenshot of this post on the DME site is comedy gold. I will keep that one in my archive. Goes in the “stupid criminals” file.

  15. Mike Hervey says:

    Looks like today they have some sort if half finished site that now does not include the Panbo information. I guess there was a human somewhere behind the scenes.

  16. David says:

    What a bummer. I see this happen all the time on the Internet. Just the other day I read a story at and then went searching around for more information on the subject. I found 3 different sites that had reprinted their article as their own!
    By the way one of the sites that often reprints these types of articles without permission is Mad Mariner who I see you are associated with. Might want to check into that.
    I would take these guys to court if I were you. Someone should stand up to these guys. They shouldn’t get away with it.

  17. Matt says:

    That site is nothing but a keyword farm… they just list as many “search terms” as possible for electronics and then link to ebay to earn a commission on a sale.
    Don’t take it too personally – they’re ripping everyone off – not just you.
    As others pointed out, you’re helping them by linking to them – remove the links.

  18. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    David, I’d be surprised if you could produce one paragraph that’s been published by MadMariner without permission. The owner/founder has more professional journalism experience than most folks in the boating magazine world, online or in print, and he’s earned an excellent reputation for treating content, and the people who produce it, ethically and respectfully. I wonder why you made that accusation.
    Matt, Until this morning almost all the actual content on Discount-Marine-Electronics, aside from a few press releases, was from Panbo.

  19. Marc says:

    Live by the web, die by the web.
    I think laughter is the best response, too. It’s like tricking a rat by using poison cheese in a trap: He’s dead six ways before he gets his taste.

  20. John says:

    Not too much different from my battle with, except they steal everyone’s content and only removed mine after a journalist friend called. This was 2 years ago and they haven’t changed their practices. Good thing they get little to no traffic!

  21. Houseboats says:

    The is a lot more of this going on than we think. Just recently, I had a few articles straight copied from our Houseboat website and used as if it was their own content.
    It’s frustrating, yet, a cease and desist email usually takes care of it right away.
    Way to go Ben, to have put an end to this incident 🙂

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