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Watch out for Chinese rip-offs

It has been said that you can consider it flattery when a competitor copies your design.

That it may be, but it’s also frustrating. Stealing one’s intellectual property is very bad business, completely unethical, and it’s upsetting to a company like ours that is always fair and on the up-and-up.

Late in 2007, one of our competitors copied almost to a “t” both our Step-1 pool step and our 8000 ladder. Below is a photograph of our step, which we introduced in 1998.

Here is the step introduced by competitor “The Asia Connection”. Note how blatant of a rip-off it is. The only changes in design versus ours are the spindled uprights (ours are straight) and the connection points where the steps connect to the walls (the only item that was patented in our design). Even their assembly manuals were made similar to ours.

Their steps are produced overseas and do not mirror the rigid quality standards that we use. If your pool step has WHITE treads, it is not a Confer Plastics pool step (and our treads are not compatible as replacements).

So, be careful out in the marketplace if someone tries to pass these steps off as Confer products. They’re not. The competition’s products are made in China, whereas ours are proudly made in the USA.

If you see someone advertising the rip-offs as Confer Plastics steps, please contact Bob Confer at