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Perishable Press

Fake Slifer Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards on Ebay

Believe it or not, one of my most popular posts here at Perishable Press is an article I wrote about a counterfeit Slifer Yu-Gi-Oh! card. Since its publication, I have received some very interesting information regarding the apparently extensive market for fake Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Recently, reader Deana wrote to share her experience with an eBay purchase of a “very good counterfeit” Slifer card on eBay.

As a savvy Yu-Gi-Oh! collector, Deana has purchased “some really great cards” on eBay. For example, she once scored an authentic, 70-dollar DDS-001 Blue-Eyes White Dragon card for about 35 bucks. She says that obtaining legitimate high-value cards through eBay is “really and truly a luck of the draw.” Even worse, many eBay shoppers may have purchased counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards without even realizing it. As Deana explains, the subtle differences between “real” and “fake” cards are not “something you would notice unless you are a collector.”

Fortunately, after receiving a Yu-Gi-Oh! Slifer card that she had purchased on eBay, Deana’s experience as a collector paid off: the Slifer card was a fake! After being contacted from Deana about the fake Slifer card, the vendor acted surprised, responding that, upon closer investigation, he had realized that another one of his cards — Obelisk the Tormentor — was also a counterfeit. On another occasion, Deana received a refund for a $21 “counterfeit Red-Eyes Black Dragon card” that she had also purchased on eBay.

As for the fake Slifer, the vendor allowed Deana to keep the card, which she dutifully scanned and posted for this article. Here are the front and back scans of the counterfeit Slifer card, followed by a list of carefully observed “flaws” in the cards design.

[ Front/back scans of counterfeit Slifer Yu-Gi-Oh! card ]

Observed counterfeit mistakes

  • Displays the word “GOLD” (in both English and Kanji) instead of “DIVINE”
  • Foil logo in bottom-right corner reads “top-to-bottom” instead of “right-to-left”
  • Totally missing the Kanji characters at the bottom-left corner on the front of the card
  • Totally missing the trademark Konami and Yu-Gi-Oh! logos on the back of the card ( apparently, authentic god cards display neither trademark nor logos on the back of the card. )
  • Artificial holographic properties resulting from waxy gloss finish
  • Displays “© 1996 KAZUKI TAKAHASHI” on the bottom-right corner
    ( Thanks to George Hazard for the correction. )

Also worth mentioning is that the vendor shipped this supposedly “rare” Slifer card in a “simple white letter envelope.” Further, “the card itself was in one of those flimsy card protectors, even though [the vendor] promised in the auction that it was going to be in a ‘rigid plastic sleeve.’” If you have purchased valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! cards through eBay (or anywhere else, for that matter), you should take a few moments and investigate the authenticity of your cards.

Hopefully, this article will help others understand the subtle differences between counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh cards and those that are legitimate. Yes, it’s pretty sad that there are subhuman garbage bags out there that feel the need to rip off kids (and adults) with fake collector cards. I guess that’s what happens when you lack the skills needed to counterfeit the Benjamins. Thanks to amateur trash like yourselves, I enjoy the distinct pleasure of exposing and mocking your feeble skillz! Maybe if the Yu-Gi-Oh! market takes a dive, you pathetic losers can counterfeit Garbage Pail Kids instead! :) </rant>

Many thanks to Deanna for bringing this story to my attention. It does help! ;) If you have an interesting “counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh” experience to share, please drop me a line or leave a comment on this post. Thanks!

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Creative thinker. Passionate about free and open Web.
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72 responses
  1. Thanks, i understand now. June 18, 2008 @ 11:14 am

    Forgot to mention…it was actually EBAY i got the 79 cards from, and that was only 4days ago…lucky it wasnt more than 7…i examined rest very closely to see if there were more..but luckily not…..Thanks again…*note to self: Dont ever buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards from ebay..go argos or somewhere* :P

  2. @Jai

    A store such as Kmart dealing in counterfeit cards? I know it sounds like a strech, but I actually have a friend who bought some “rare” cards in a pack at Wal*mart that turned out to be counterfeits. Granted, she doesn’t have them anymore, but the thought is still there. BUYER BEWARE! O_O

    @Perishable

    I totally forgot about the god cards not having the Konami symbol and such. xD *shot*

  3. Jeff Starr

    @Jai: That’s an awful lot of faith to have in a department store! Although I don’t know about Kmart’s business ethics, I do know that they are in direct competition with Wal*Mart and will do just about anything to stay competitive. Even if they are aren’t intentionally buying bogus Yu-Gi-Oh cards, they certainly are looking for the best available dealz. Assuming that the counterfeit market is as prevalent and as lucrative as it seems to be, I would be surprised if Kmart didn’t find themselves occasionally (and perhaps inadvertently) doing business with some corrupt distribution networks.

  4. Jeff Starr

    @Thanks, i understand now.: Glad to hear that you got everything worked out. I completely understand not wanting to buy Yu-Gi-Oh cards from the eBay folk, but keep in mind there are probably a few legitimate and trustworthy dealers, assuming you can find them. Your best bet? Stick with local, verifiable dealers, triple-check everything (especially for large purchases), and don’t hesitate to cry foul if something smells phony.

  5. Jeff Starr

    @Deana: Don’t sweat it — I did the same thing with more than just the Konami symbols! I am no expert in this game, but certainly enjoy the company ;)

  6. I’m really confused. I bought 3 god cards for my son off ebay. They do not have Konami or Yu Gi Oh symbols on the back. Is that a dead give away for being a fake? His little friends are telling him they aren’t real due to that.

  7. @Laura
    It sounds real so far because the real eygptian god cards don’t have konami or yu-gi-oh on the back. Do the have different colored backs that macth the color of the monsters. Blue for Obelisk, Red for Slifer, and yellow for Ra. It would be easier to tell if I saw the card. Maybe if you described the card in a bit more detail.

  8. James Haley July 25, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

    I had a real experience with a guy selling counterfeit cards on eBay. If I had paid better attention before buying, I would have noticed the ref scams and multiple accounts he was using – despite ripping off his customers, he had a 99% rating, so never rely on those alone. Even after filing with PayPal, this guy tried every possible trick in the book to rip me off. Fortunately, in the end, I got my money back from PayPal, and I got to keep the cards too since he didn’t provide a valid mailing address for the return – they bounced back to me about 2 weeks after sending them.

    You can see a scan of the $20-for-a-set counterfeits at http://www.doomworld.com/eternity/shots/fakegods.jpg – at first glace they look rather convincing and even have authentic security holograms in the corners, but amongst tell-tale signs of forgery are incorrect fonts, weird fake-looking level stars, glossy finish, incorrect aspect ratio (width vs. height), poor color quality, misspelled text, and flecks of missing image (not entirely visible in the scan). The backs of the cards are a perfect copy of the authentic ones, except that due to the cheap card stock used, you can see the imprint of the name of the card through the back.

    Compare to my real $150 set of first-run prismatic secret rare GBI gods: http://eternity.mancubus.net/pics/egyptian_gods.jpg – in general, if you think the deal is too good to be true, it is. Real God cards are going to cost at least $35 to $50 a piece. And anyone claiming to have a sealed set of GBI gods is probably lying – these cards and the game they came with have been out of print since around 2002.

  9. Jeff Starr

    Hi James, thanks for sharing your story; it is full of helpful information. The fake-vs-real card scans are useful as well, enabling others to see the discrepancies for themselves. In general, I agree with the principle of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” however the converse is not always true: just because some dude on eBay is selling Yu-Gi-Oh god cards for $50 bucks each, doesn’t necessarily prove that the cards are are authentic. I would suggest a healthy dose of skepticism for any significant purchase, Yu-Gi-Oh or otherwise. Just my two cents! Thanks again James for sharing this information (and the scanz!) with us :)

  10. @Diez: Thank you for responding. I would love to describe them to you in more detail. Each are a different color on the back with no other markings – blue, yellow and brown.

    On the front – Slifer the sky dragon with a chinese symbol in a circle. Divine-Beast under picture along the very botton there are chinese symbols at the right 1996 kazuki takahashi and a silver square holograph in the left bottom corner.

    The same is true for Obelisk the tormentor and the winged dragon of Ra.

    Thank you for any advise and opinions.

  11. James Haley July 28, 2008 @ 8:58 pm

    One other thing I forgot to mention and didn’t see in the article – No authentic God cards will ever say “1st Edition” beneath the picture – this was added to some earlier forgeries to attempt to make them appear more valuable, so that guys on eBay can say “1st Edition Gods!” – the later forgeries like the ones I have omit this error. Apparently each generation of counterfeits improves slightly over the last.

    And you’re right, be careful no matter how much the cards are being sold for – obviously the more they ask, the more you stand to lose :) I bought my authentic set from a reputable collectables store that also sells online. eBay is very dangerous.

  12. @Laura: They sound a bit more real but I need to know one more thing. What are are the numbers under the picture in the lower right.

    Also if it says 1st edition then its a complete fake.

    P.S. it’s hard not to sound rude on the internet but I should clearify that Japanese Kanji = Chinese.

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