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Pinta77 August 19th, 2012 1:12 AM

How To Spot Fakes Guide
Hello. I notice a lot of people around here posting threads to ask if their card is fake or bot. Maybe this will help out.

There are lots of fake pokemon cards out there. They vary in quality as well as content. I have seen everything from simple copies of real cards, to completely unique fakemon trying to be passed off as legitimate cards. So how do you know if your card is fake?

Best Ways to spot fakes:

Look at the back: Check the back first. The blue border line should be a deep, defined blue color. On many fake cards, the blue border line will be a lot lighter then it should be. Sometimes you may not even be able to tell it's a border.
The card on the left is real, and the card on the right is fake. (Picture from pokegym)

Energy icons: Do the energy icons look normal? In many fakes, the energy icon almost doesn't fit in the circle. Look carefully at the energy icons, this is one of the easiest ways to tell if it's real or not.

Should it be shiny:Many fakes are simply copies of real cards. Because of this, some fakes are not shiny. So if you have, for example, a Deoxys/Rayquaza legend card that is not shiny, it is a fake because there is no non-holo version of this card.

On the other hand, some fakes go the extra mile and add foil. If you have a common card or uncommon card with Gold writing, it is probably fake.

Texture: Most fakes are made from different, and likely cheaper material. Sometimes, you'll be able to feel a difference right away. Same goes for foil. If the card has foil on it and it feels or looks different, it may be fake.

Misprints: It would be nice to believe you have a rare misprint, but it's more likely that it is fake. Many fakes make simple spelling mistakes, sometimes even in the pokemon's name. Look out for those.

Size: If it is a different size then a normal pokemon card (with the exception of jumbo promos) it is most definately fake.

droomph posted some great examples, take a look at those.

Where do fake cards come from?
These are some places that fake cards may come from.

-flea market: Almost definitely will always be fake
-small, family run stores: As donavannj said, this may not apply to small hobby shops.
-ice cream trucks: Places that normally wouldn't sell Pokemon cards, but are, probably aren't selling legitimate ones.
-Trading: Keep an eye on cards when you are trading with people, especially the younger folk. Younger kids may not pay as much attention to detail. Fake cards can easily slip into their collection.

What do I do if I got a fake card?

If you have any fake cards, I suggest you just hang onto them. They still display artwork just like other cards, albeit with low quality. Just don't circulate them and don't use them to rip people off.

Hope this helps :) I anyone wants to post a card they suspect may be fake here, Ill be glad to tell you if it' real or not.

donavannj August 19th, 2012 1:23 AM

You may want to clarify that small, family run stores one by explaining that this does not include family run hobby shops.

And Wal-Mart being a hot spot for fakes is debatable, as I've never gotten a fake from there before. Could be more of a regional matter, though, since I'm aware that Wal-Mart stores in my part of the country don't quite sell the same stuff as they do down south. All of the re-packaged after-market cards that get sold to Wal-Mart that I've encountered turned out to be legitimate cards.

As for those other places, you certainly must be wary of those, seeing as they're hardly normal venues for selling Pokemon cards.

droomph August 19th, 2012 1:00 PM

I have a couple extra tips.

- Cards that have a ridiculously high HP (more than 200 on an common or an uncommon) are definitely fake. Of course, there might be people who are smart enough to leave the HP as is, so make sure to check the other signs too.
- Cards with different fonts than usual are fake. Check out the Fake Card guide to see what the font should look like.
-Normal fake cards will be really soft (like paper, but a tad bit harder), and a holo fake card will be incredibly hard, almost like corrugated cardboard, and feel like Mylar. Real cards will have the consistency of cardstock. Basically, if it looks like little thought was put into decorating the holo, it's most likely fake.
-By the same note, if a stress mark appears after a light bending, it's fake. I only say this because don't want to damage it in case it's actually real, but that's an alternative to the rip test.
-Holos will be incredibly shiny. If you can vaguely see yourself inside the holo, the card is fake. In a real card you should see smudges of light, and the normal holo (not the reverse) gives you a sense of depth, given that you look at the right angle. If it simply looks shiny it's not a real card.
- The back of the card looks light. This tip requires you to have at least one real card, any card. Doesn't have to be rare, just verified as legitimate in every way possible. Take the real card and place it next to the suspicious card. If the suspicious card is lighter than the real card, it is definitely fake.

So yeah, these are my extra tips. I'm sorry if I repeated you, but that's what I thought are the most important tips imo that I didn't find on your guide.

Also pics

Legitimate card:
Fake card:

Legitimate holo:Fake holo:

donavannj October 6th, 2012 9:27 PM

Stickying this in the short term.

Pinta77 November 22nd, 2012 11:27 PM

Oh stickies =o i will clarify a few things

javimix007 January 9th, 2013 5:50 PM

thank you very much ^^
Very good

DarthBane53 May 13th, 2013 6:56 PM

Thank you very much for all the advice!

Hawkeye2390 June 18th, 2013 10:27 AM

I know if hold a card to a light and if you can see the back design through the front that also means they are fake.

@mpharock November 1st, 2013 8:29 AM

Having a collection of both Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards dating back to base set release for both brands and buying them for well over a decade i can spot a fake a mile off this guide is great but doesn't give advice on what to do if you bought fake cards over the internet.

With Ebay one the best places to pick up a Pokemon deal the power is ever more with the buyer now and only 2 weeks ago some seller tried flogging me fakes. Just the texture enough gave them away not to mention there was no online code and the packs were resealed by hand haha

If you buy fake cards could check and triple check the listing if you bought them Ebay and if some other place like Amazon do the same read the description carefully before pointing the finger.

Once you are sure your cards are fake then raise a claim. If this happens to you on Ebay (like it did with me) most sellers will refund the money it cost and will tell you to just keep the cards. Should the seller stand his ground or refuse to budge then Ebay will have your back with recent changes to their terms and conditions they are making it ever harder for bad sellers to trade on there and it has become safer then ever but remember to read the product description first because when Ebay do look into a case it will be the first thing they do too i hope this helps you all out with the new release due out on the 6th of November good luck !

Krazzikk November 29th, 2013 12:23 PM

When the back border is lighter than normal as shown I'm the example, is that a definite fake, or are are some cards just made like that?

donavannj November 29th, 2013 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by krazzikk (Post 7960971)
When the back border is lighter than normal as shown I'm the example, is that a definite fake, or are are some cards just made like that?

It's not so much the faded color as it is the details of the swirling pattern spots on the back. Notice how detailed the one on the left is? Then look at the one on the right. See how much detail is missing in the one on the right?

Krazzikk November 29th, 2013 12:56 PM

Ah OK I see. I thought the differenc was just the border color. I recently bought a few X&Y starter decks which came with decks along with some booster packs, and the cards from the decks had darker borders than the booster pack cards. Because they came sealed and they were from the same box, and I bought them from a reliable place I didn't think it would be likely that they were fake.

donavannj November 29th, 2013 3:20 PM

Well, I'd say they're not fake based on comparing them to my own cards from those starter decks that I bought at Target.

Pinta77 December 30th, 2013 1:07 AM

Havent seen any fake cards at walmart for a looooong time. I bought a repackaged set recently and they were all real. But other then that they got the x & y promo boxes and all that good stuff.

I take back saying walmart has fake cards. Might have been a one time fluke or something.

donavannj January 6th, 2014 1:38 PM

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