i bought this fake rick for $300. it looks alright but the sound isn't very impressive. i've heard a lot of different opinions on aftermarket pickups. are the originals worth it?

this is a bad recording but its a good example of the best sound i can get out of it:
Hard to say. I do not know if an aftermarket set of pickups will get you much closer to a true Rickenbacker sound. I have always believed that if you want the Rickenbacker sound, then your only real choice is to get a Rickenbacker. That is a neat looking knock-off, though!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
If your idea of a Rickenbacker is something like Chris Squire or Geddy Lee then just lower your action right down, add a bit of grit and hammer the strings.

In effect, a Rickenbacker 4003 is just an underpowered jazz bass.