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Magic: The Gathering» Forums » General

Subject: Warning for those who buy singles online - New ring of high quality bootlegs appearing rss

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Pete Lane
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Looks like a company out of China has started producing the best quality bootleg MTG cards we've ever seen. Already people have encountered them on American shores, and I'd expect that with the recent push of opportunist MTG Finance price fluxuations... there will be folks willing to take advantage of those who can't recognize the difference. If you shop online, where you can't see what you're buying... BE WARNED.

I provided the links below to learn to identify.


http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/1532783589/wholesale_Gathe...

http://imgur.com/a/hLuw2

EDIT - Update - Looks like there was a store in NC that had a bunch of these cards in stock. There is a police investigation going on, and it's hard to say wether they got the product my accident or whatever... but that's where we first got wind of these high quality bootlegs.

EDIT - Update #2 - Looks like the "police raid" emails are fake. The company is still selling other bootleg products, but is trying to take some attention off of themselves to avoid REAL problems.
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Spare Tire
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I wish that Wizards would go ahead and re-publish the old, long out of print, cards and put a stake through the heart of the crazy price-zombie that is running amok today.

I would like to have a set of power nine and dual lands to be able to play some of the older formats -- and not pay $10K plus.
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Pete Lane
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I get the Reserved List, and they are doing a ton lately to make sure that newer formats are supported, like Modern. Sure I'd love a full set of duals and power in my cube, but I'm fine without too.

I think the bigger issue is Modern era cards. There was such a small supply of those cards, and a growing population of new players that want to get into Modern. All it takes is some random deck to do well, and BAM a junk rare becomes a $10 rare overnight. I'm getting REALLY sick of the MTGfinance community hunting for the slightest jump in demand so they can buy out all the copies and resell for massive profit. It's become less about a game and more about the money, and it wasn't like than a year ago.
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Joakim Björklund
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I agree that the problem is Modern cards. The format's popularity grew at lot with Modern Masters. Modern Masters was a set that was made to put out more Modern cards, to raise interest in the format, and hopefully lower the prices somewhat. It was a failure in the last regard. Prices of top cards went nowhere, in some cases they even got a boost because of the increase in popularity. They really need to release a Modern Masters 2 with a higher print run, that reprints the highest valued cards again, together with new commons/uncommons, and stuff like fetchlands. As much as I dislike the reserved list, it's not going away. WotC consider Modern the new Legacy (although Legacy is so much better as a format), so they will continue to support it.
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Stephen
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I remember asking a Magic player why forgery wasn't rife, but I can't remember his answer. It's got to be easier to forge Magic cards than modern currency, especially since old cards can't have security features added. My guess is that if you sell to a store it's going to be scrutinized by someone who's familiar with forgeries, whereas people generally don't examine bills as closely.

As far as reprinting old cards, it would severely piss off a lot of collectors for their stuff to crash in price. It would be difficult for people to trust that current rares will remain rare, and the loss of the lottery ticket element of boosters would only hurt WotC.
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Joakim Björklund
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JockiB wrote:
They really need to release a Modern Masters 2 with a higher print run, that reprints the highest valued cards again, together with new commons/uncommons, and stuff like fetchlands.

Well...today they released this news item: http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/dai...

A good thing, but OMG at that MSRP price! While a price like that will certainly mean that expensive cards will be included, it's still a lot.
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Todd Pytel
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If anything, I'm surprised it's taken so long for serious bootlegs to threaten MtG. I know there are security features and all, but still... you can get just about anything manufactured in China to fairly precise specifications with enough time and money invested. And the aftermarket value of the cards is certainly high enough to warrant considerable investment. Furthermore, unlike pure collectibles like baseball cards, there will be a market for forgeries that are just convincing enough to pass muster in a more casual setting (e.g. a local shop's Legacy night). Cranking out high-quality forgeries of Underground Seas that might be caught by highly knowledgeable collectors would still be a huge profit if they're good enough for general tourney players to bring to the table.

What would be really interesting if this puts pressure on the Reserve List policy. On one hand, WotC has a commitment to protect collectors (which I'm not sure I believe in, but whatever...). On the other hand, sitting back and doing nothing could eventually result in better and better bootlegs becoming available. While some could be identified by highly knowledgeable collectors, high enough quality bootlegs would still provide playable cards to tournament players and ultimately depress prices. WotC could conceivably conclude that reprinting previously reserved cards (with updated security features - holos, etc.) is no more damaging to the collector market than sitting back and doing nothing. And, of course, any such reprint would be an enormous cash cow for WotC at the same time.
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Pete Lane
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The issue of why it's taken so long for bootleg cards to be an issue is twofold... one is that the forgeries that existed were so bad in quality and obvious in fakery (like 2 mana Akromas in black), that it wasn't a threat.

Second was that it really wasn't worth the forger's time or money to mass produce fakes. The dramatic increase in player base as well as the price gain in more recent cards makes it much for worth the effort for those willing to do it.
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Samuel Hinz
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My brother just bought a set of power 9. It has more than pretty sure he said it was about 6,500 pounds. He considers it an investment.

I thought it was pretty crazy.
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Vincent Perry
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Great news that people are going to be able to pick up some of those ridiculously expensive cards at reasonable prices!

If WotC doesn't want to supply people with what they want, then good on this Chinese company for doing it!
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Samuel Hinz
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Except usually the goal is for someone to try and sell you these at the same price as a legit card and then leave you holding a worthless piece of paper.

at least if you buy a legit card at a high price you should be able to sell it again for same or similar amount.

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Pete Lane
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If these were advertised as proxies, intended for casual play, and made flawed enough with the intentions of both... I'd be all for it. However, these are almost identical to the real thing, and are sold in bulk at high enough prices to discourage people from wanting to get them for "fun"... unless they were planning 100% to resell at major profit to some poor sap willing to believe they are real.

Reserve List or no, this is something that anyone who buys singles needs to be worried about.
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Vincent Perry
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My goal is to play with the cards, not to make money. So that is why I am excited about these high quality fakes.
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Pete Lane
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theodorelogan wrote:
My goal is to play with the cards, not to make money. So that is why I am excited about these high quality fakes.

That's just it though... someone like you and me will not be ordering these fakes in the way that these are designed. It's not like we can walk into the shop and say "give me that playset of JTMS for $20" and have a nice day.

The company that is selling these, is selling a sealed box of 55 cards, and will only sell them by the case (of 100 sets). This means that in order for someone like you or me to get them, we're forking over $600+ dollars for 25 playsets of each card.

The only person doing that is the person who wants to sell them to you at retail price and scam people.
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Todd Pytel
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stagger lee wrote:
The only person doing that is the person who wants to sell them to you at retail price and scam people.
Not necessarily. I agree that these are clearly for resale, but that's typical of Chinese suppliers that don't deal directly with individual consumers. But if you resell someone a fake "mint" Beta Underground Sea for $1000, you've got to expect they're going to check it out carefully - potentially leading to CC/Paypal issues and/or fraud charges. If you sell that same card as "a lovely Underground Sea" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) for $20, you might find enough buyers who know exactly what they're getting that you can still turn a healthy profit without getting yourself in trouble.

Of course, there will be scammers too. I just don't think that's the only possibility.
 
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Nico
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tppytel wrote:

If you sell that same card as "a lovely Underground Sea" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) for $20, you might find enough buyers who know exactly what they're getting that you can still turn a healthy profit without getting yourself in trouble.

Still you're making money with copied cards wether you get 1000$ or 20$. And there will be people who think they had big luck and found an unusual cheap rare card.
 
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Todd Pytel
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ZdadrDeM wrote:
Still you're making money with copied cards whether you get 1000$ or 20$.
Yes, you are. That's my point - that a seller could be profitable without necessarily deceiving the buyer. People pay much more than $20 for Power 9 and Duals from Collector's Edition (which aren't tournament legal), often just to have quality black-bordered proxies to use in Cubes or EDH. Many of those people would be happy to pay $20 for what is, essentially, a really, really nice proxy. Ethical issues aside, I would pay that.

I'm not making any statement at all about the ethical or legal issues for the manufacturer, reseller, or buyer here. I just don't see that conversation going anywhere productive.
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Pete Lane
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There are already a few of these cards on ebay. One seller in particular is charging $40-50 for playsets of staples. That's still too rich for my blood, even if clearly labeled as proxies in the sale.
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Thane BenAngelo
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SpareTire wrote:
I wish that Wizards would go ahead and re-publish the old, long out of print, cards and put a stake through the heart of the crazy price-zombie that is running amok today.

I would like to have a set of power nine and dual lands to be able to play some of the older formats -- and not pay $10K plus.

This.

And if Magic were to treat itself as any other collectable card company, it wouldn't sink prices too drastically.

People who just want to play with the cards are not the same market as card speculators. A Mox Ruby reprint is not the same card as an Alpha Mox Ruby - somebody buying to complete their Alpha collection wouldn't pay a penny for a Vintage Masters (if they made them in hardcopy) Ruby, because it wouldn't complete their set. Likewise, for somebody interested in actually playing the game, they wouldn't be competing for that Alpha, because it would be essentially unplayable due to the value.

When I was eight, my father bought me a 'Most Valuable Baseball Cards in History' set - it included reprints of Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and 10 other historic cards whose prices are in the stratosphere.

Amazingly, it didn't affect the price of the genuine cards.
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Matt Shinners
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tppytel wrote:
That's my point - that a seller could be profitable without necessarily deceiving the buyer.

Doesn't change the fact that these are forgeries, and anyone who knowingly sells or buys them is doing something wrong.
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Pete Lane
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Something that people may or may not realise is that it's HASBRO, not WOTC that put in place the reserved list. For a while they were more than happy printing promotional reprints and judges rewards of items on this list, but Hasbro put a stop to this as well.

WOTC R&D has said multiple times that they would get rid of the reprint policy in a heartbeat if they could, but legally thanks to lawsuits by collectors early in the game's history, we have to be happy with what we're given.

Besides, it's not the Power 9 that's getting reprinted here. These are Modern legal cards for the most part, some of which were reprinted this past year.
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Well not quite, the reserve list was in effect before hasbro bought them out in 1999, BUT I think they are the reason for it staying in effect.
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Pete Lane
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Syvanis wrote:
Well not quite, the reserve list was in effect before hasbro bought them out in 1999, BUT I think they are the reason for it staying in effect.

Yes, sorry. But still, people are using the Power 9 as a reason to celebrate the bootlegs. These fakes are not P9 cards, but cards from the last 10 years that hold value but are found in shops and binders and not always hundred dollar cards that you'd think would be worthy of bootlegging like Sun Titan or Goblion Guide.

My crusade here is to protect any of us who shop for singles online and in shops, and the shop owners who might buy a collection from someone that contain a high number of playable staples.
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Pete Lane
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An update posted on Reddit and Twitter:

The following was sent to someone asking about samples of the cards from the bootlegger I listed above:

Dear customer,

I am Sorry, our company was stopped by the police, so we can't do MTG cards business no!

pls don't response here to make the e-mail box full.

Thanks


So hope this means it'll be a while before we see more of these creep over to the US.
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Jerbear
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Yes, I agree with you high quality proxies are a problem. I bought a mox emerald on eBay about fifteen years ago and I had the local shop compare it to some they had. Turns out mine was a fake. I thnk I had spent 150 on it at the time. Thankfully the guy I bought it from allowed a return, but fakes have been a part of the game for a long time.

Take for the heads up glad to see they are stopping production on these. It would be interesting to know how many fakes I have in my collection I imagine there are a few.


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