Quoted from Thermionic:
Maybe, but I trust Marco a lot more than some random overseas eBay merchant to not only sell genuine parts, but also to actually ship them to me, so the price premium is probably worth it for the peace of mind alone.
I completely understand, and don't blame you at all. I automatically assume all parts from China are counterfeit, but if they work I don't care anymore than the company that can legally manufacture them and chooses not to; for all I know the same part I'm getting from China is coming of the exact same assembly line as the "official" ST part did.
I buy parts for a different reason than the average pin owner as I don't buy parts specifically to fix a single failure on a machine, but to repair boards in the long term so I often bulk buy parts. I've had fairly good luck with the parts coming from China and so far I've had only had one bad lot of 10 CPUs that came in with a 100% fail rate and these were rejected and a full refunded was received. In the past, I've purchased lots of CPUs, ASICs, NVRAM, and IR EPROMS that all tested 100% operable when received; I did purchase a lot of ten VN02N that I linked above and will install 2 of them into a 100% operational board for testing when I receive them, if they both work I will assume all 10 are good; if not, I'll reject the whole lot and get a refund.
Side note: I've purchased 1 WPC CPU from Marco and it was DOA, they did ship me a new one for free right away so that was a win...but the cost of the one part with shipping was the same as buying 10 shipped from China.