How To Tell Fake Pokemon Cards

How to Avoid Buying Fake Pokemon Cards: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you a die-hard Pokémon fan or collector looking to add some rare cards to your collection?

With the popularity of Pokémon cards at an all-time high, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to spot fake Pokémon cards. These counterfeit cards can be hard to detect, but with some knowledge, you can protect yourself from wasting money on fake cards.

Imagine confidently identifying authentic Pokémon cards and adding valuable and rare cards to your collection without the risk of getting scammed. With the right tools and know-how, you can become an expert in spotting fake cards and avoid getting ripped off.

In this article, we’ll show you some tips and tricks to help you identify fake Pokémon cards, so you can confidently buy and build your collection with pride. Get ready to become a Pokémon card pro and add some real gems to your collection!

The Risks of Fake Pokémon Cards

The risks of fake Pokémon cards are more significant than you might think. Not only can they leave you feeling scammed and disappointed, but they can also significantly impact your collection.

A fake card will be of lower quality, with poor print and material, making them less durable and valuable over time.

Possible consequences of purchasing fake cards

Purchasing a fake Pokémon card can have several negative consequences. First and foremost, it means you have spent your hard-earned money on a fake product, which can be a disappointing experience. A fake card may also be of lower quality and durability than authentic cards, which can easily become damaged or worn over time.

Also, if you are a collector or player, fake Pokémon cards can greatly devalue the rest of your collection and ruin the balance of your deck. In some cases, fake cards can even be detected by official tournament judges, resulting in disqualification or even a ban from competitive play.

Ultimately, the consequences of purchasing a fake Pokémon card can range from disappointment to financial loss, which is why it’s so important to spot counterfeit cards and avoid them at all costs.

How fake cards can harm the Pokémon card community

Fake Pokémon cards can hurt the Pokémon community in a few different ways. For one, they can erode trust and confidence in the authenticity of the entire Pokémon card market, leading to skepticism and suspicion among collectors and players. This can make it harder for legitimate sellers to make a living and discourage new players from entering the hobby.

Additionally, fake Pokémon cards can greatly devalue the worth of authentic cards, as people become more hesitant to pay high prices for rare cards when they fear they might be fake. This can cause a ripple effect throughout the community, with the overall value of collections and decks decreasing.

Furthermore, fake cards can disrupt competitive play, as players unknowingly using counterfeit cards can be disqualified or banned from events.

The importance of supporting authentic cards and businesses

To combat the negative impact of fake Pokémon cards, supporting the sale of authentic cards and the businesses that sell them is essential. By buying from reputable sellers and resellers, you can be sure that the cards you are buying are genuine, which helps to build trust within the community and support the overall value of the cards.

Additionally, by supporting legitimate businesses, you can help ensure the longevity of the Pokémon card market, benefiting collectors and players alike. The sale of authentic cards supports not only the manufacturers and distributors of the cards but also local game stores and other small businesses.

By buying authentic Pokémon cards, you are protecting your collection and contributing to the strength and success of the Pokémon community.

Key Indicators of Fake Pokémon Cards

If you’re a collector or player, it’s important to recognize the signs of a fake Pokémon card. With so many counterfeit cards on the market, it’s not always easy to distinguish genuine Pokémon cards.

However, there are a few key indicators to look for that can help you identify whether a card is authentic or not. In the following section, we’ll explore some of the most common signs of fake Pokémon cards, including differences in color, texture, printing, card information, and logo discrepancies.

By spotting these indicators, you can avoid the disappointment and financial loss of purchasing fake Pokémon cards.

Texture differences between a real and fake card

The texture is a critical indicator for identifying fake Pokemon cards. Authentic Full-Art cards, such as Trainers, Vs, Ex’s, and others, have a specific texture that can be felt by running your fingers over them.

If you come across a Full-Art card lacking texture, it is undoubtedly fake. For instance, a fake GX card looks and feels smoother than a legitimate one.

However, it’s essential to note that some Full-Art cards don’t have a texture, particularly the new Trainer Gallery cards. You must look for other red flags to distinguish real ones from fakes, such as printing quality, logos, and card information.

Differences in text and font

Another critical indicator of fake Pokémon cards to look out for is the text and font. The text on a genuine Pokémon card should have a distinct font, which is difficult to replicate accurately.

This is because The Pokémon Company uses a specific font unique to its brand. While many fake cards will try to imitate the Pokémon font, there are usually subtle differences that can give them away.

For instance, the “TM” symbol on a fake card may appear slightly different from the authentic version, or the spacing between words might not be consistent. These differences can be hard to spot, but they can help you identify fake Pokémon cards.

Holo Foiling

Holo-foiling is another essential element to look for when identifying fake Pokémon cards. The holo pattern on a genuine Pokémon card is designed to go in a specific direction and should not intersect or overlap.

The texture on the cards helps with this, but the card’s design also plays a crucial role. Reverse holos, in particular, have a holographic pattern in the background, which is challenging to replicate. Additionally, the holo pattern should only cover certain parts of the card, most notably the “EX” next to the Pokémon’s name.

If you come across a card where the holo pattern goes vertically from the top to the bottom of the card without stopping, it’s most likely fake.

It’s important to note that certain cards, such as non-full art Megas, have distinct holo patterns in which the Pokémon itself is not holo, but the eyes are. Only specific parts of the card should be holo, and nothing around it.

Backs Of The Card

The back of a Pokémon card can also indicate whether a card is fake or genuine. The swirl pattern surrounding the Pokeball on the back of the card is an especially telling detail. Many fake cards are missing this spot, or the blue on the back may look faded or less vibrant than on authentic cards.

Additionally, the borders on fake cards can also give away their authenticity. Sometimes, the borders may appear blurry, pixelated, or less defined than on genuine cards. These differences are easily noticeable and can help you identify counterfeit Pokémon cards.

Identifying Fake Pokemon Card Packs

Paying attention to the packs can also help identify fake Pokémon cards. Every pack of Pokémon cards is guaranteed a reverse holo rare and a rare, and these rarities have specific properties.

The rare can sometimes become a holo rare, but it can also be an ultra-rare, such as a GX, EX, V, VMax, or some Full-Arts/Alt-Arts, or even a secret rare. If you happen to pull multiple ultra-rare or secret rare cards from a single pack, it’s a clear sign that the pack is fake.

Genuine Pokémon card packs are carefully weighed to prevent this, ensuring each pack contains the appropriate amount of rare and ultra-rare cards.

Furthermore, the texture and design of the card pack wrappers can be different between authentic and fake packs, although this can be challenging to spot.

In recent experience, legitimate packs are also difficult to open, while counterfeit packs are generally pretty easy to open.

Layering Between The Card

Layering is another key detail that can help identify fake Pokémon cards. English Pokémon cards are printed with multiple layers of paper, creating a unique white-gray-white layer pattern when viewed from the side.

This pattern is a consistent feature of genuine English Pokémon cards and is an easy way to verify their authenticity. If all other indicators didn’t provide a clear answer, simply looking at the side of the card can help determine if they are genuine.

It’s worth noting that some people resort to a “rip test” to see if their cards are real, which is not recommended as it will destroy the card. Instead, by examining the card’s side, you can easily determine if it’s genuine without resorting to extreme measures.

Testing the Authenticity of Pokémon Cards

If you’re a serious collector or flipper of Pokémon cards, you want to be sure that the cards you have are genuine and in good condition. Luckily, there are both professional and DIY methods for testing cards to ensure their authenticity and quality.

One of the most trusted professional methods is to use a grading service like PSA, which has a clear and consistent grading process.

However, there are also DIY methods, such as the light test and checking for misspellings, incorrect symbols, and coloring.

Additionally, if you’re purchasing cards online, there are strategies to minimize the risk of fraud, such as being cautious, using secure payment methods, and sourcing cards from various places.

By using professional and DIY methods and exercising caution, you can ensure that your Pokémon card collection is genuine and valuable.

Professional methods for testing cards

PSA would be the recommended grading service if you want the best professional method of testing Pokémon cards.

While BGS can also get you a higher value, a BGS black label is harder to achieve than a PSA 10, and is not offered at standard rates.

CGC is also becoming increasingly popular, especially for modern cards and 10 grades, but it still lags behind PSA regarding overall value.

PSA has the most experience and a clear grading process that can give you an idea of the grade, and their grading is pretty consistent even if it results in a relatively high 10 population.

DIY methods for testing cards

To identify fake cards, there are several DIY methods one can use. One common method is the light test, which involves holding the card to a light source and looking for any light that shines through. However, there is some confusion about the validity of this test, and it may not always be reliable.

Other methods include checking for misspellings, incorrect set symbols, incorrect coloring, and incorrect energy symbols. It is also helpful to compare the card with a scan from a reputable source and to check the print for a dotted pattern using a magnifying glass or loupe.

Additionally, new Pokémon cards are more flimsy than older ones, and non-holo cards made by The Pokémon Company will let through some light. It is essential to be thorough when checking for fakes, as some fake cards look 100% legit.

Strategies for minimizing risks when purchasing Pokémon cards online

Purchasing Pokémon cards online can be risky, but there are strategies to minimize the risk. First and foremost, it is essential to exercise caution and not rush into a purchase.

Being familiar with common online payment scams and understanding buyer protection policies is important. Even though it may seem inconvenient, it is crucial to stick to the systems designed to protect you from fraud.

Additionally, using cash-sending apps such as PayPal Friends and Family, Venmo, and CashApp should be avoided as scammers often use them to defraud prospective buyers.

To further minimize risk, it is recommended to source cards from various places, such as in-person sales, estate sales, Facebook marketplace, niche Facebook groups, and classifieds.

eBay Authentication

eBay has recently launched an authentication guarantee for sales of Pokémon Trading Cards in a move aimed at protecting both buyers and sellers. The authentication service is already provided for sneakers, watches, and handbags and will now include trading cards.

This will help combat unsavory activity in the market, especially with the surge in trading card sales that eBay reported for 2021. Single ungraded trading cards sold for more than $750 in the U.S. will be authenticated, while graded, autographed, and patch cards sold for over $250 will be authenticated by mid-2022.

The third-party responsible for the authentication process will inspect the card’s condition, provide proof of authentication via an e-tag with a unique QR code, and verify the card’s condition if it is returned to the seller.

These new measures will provide a safer environment for those buying rare and valuable Pokémon cards from eBay.

What to Do if You Suspect a Pokémon Card is Fake

If you suspect a store (online or in-person) is selling counterfeit Pokémon cards, it is important to take action to protect the integrity of the game and the players.

How to report suspected counterfeit cards

The first step is to speak with the store’s manager or owner, as they may be unaware they are selling fake products. If the store continues selling fake cards, reporting them to the proper authorities is important. It would be the FBI in the US, as interstate commerce is involved.

When reporting, use the keyword “counterfeit goods” to ensure your report is properly handled. Taking pictures and bringing a sample of the counterfeit product along with your receipt is also helpful if possible.

If you purchase suspected counterfeit Pokémon cards on eBay, the first step is to contact the seller and request a refund. If they refuse, eBay has a resolution center where you can open a dispute and escalate the issue. Be sure to document the transaction with screenshots and provide any evidence you have that the cards are fake.

If you believe the seller is intentionally selling fake cards, you can also report them to eBay by selecting the “Report Item” option on the listing page.

Additionally, you can report the incident to the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center).

Providing as much information as possible, such as the seller’s username, the date of purchase, and the item number can help these organizations take action against counterfeiters.

To Wrap Things Up

As the popularity of Pokémon cards reaches new heights, it’s essential to identify counterfeit cards to protect yourself from financial loss and disappointment.

Counterfeit cards can also negatively impact the entire Pokémon card market, erode trust, and devalue collections and decks. By supporting authentic cards and businesses, you can help the community flourish and ensure that the cards you buy are genuine.

I’ve outlined several key indicators for identifying fake Pokémon cards, including texture, text and font, holo foiling, backs of the cards, and layering. Professional and DIY methods for testing cards can also help you ensure your collection is authentic and valuable.

Lastly, if you suspect a Pokémon card is fake, it’s important to take action to report the issue and protect the integrity of the game and the players. With the right tools and know-how, you can confidently buy and build your collection with pride and avoid getting scammed by fake cards.

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