So my Vostro 1400 power adapter's sheath has a break in it. It sparks. Sometimes it doesn't power up. I suppose it's time for a new one, as we're just out of warranty.

Dell wants $65 + shipping, etc for it. The reviews suggest that I'm not the only person who has had the adapter crud out on them. Not cool.

Somebody on eBay has them for 17.15 shipped, and when you buy, you're given the opportunity to buy thousands of them. Yes, way. I'm using it with my Vostro now.

What's the deal? How do they do it? The case is even made enough like Dell's that there's a brand-less circle badge in the middle of the adapter.

I've read a bit about people being sold underpowered adapters, but the only serious downside reported seems to be the speed of the recharge. With my cruddy < 90 minute battery, I'm not sure I care.

Still, are these grey market? Did we pay our taxes here? Who the heck is producing these for nothing, and why are Dell's so daggum expensive?

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