As the creation of scaled PVC figures has advanced over the years, eBay has become a haven for retailers selling cheap knock-offs of the real deal. Many of these figures look OK, and even great from the photos, but trust me, once you open the product, you'll see just how horrid these fakes really are!
The defects seen with inauthentics are typically numerous, and the quality is nothing
like what you would find in an authentic! If you own quite a few
authentics, then a fake will stand out to you like a sore thumb!
Don't let the statement "US Seller" bring your guard down:
The last two fakes I recieved were direct from sellers here in the USA!
In my opinion, many retailers in the US are simply 100% ignorant of the advancement of the black market, and others are
simply greedy, and willing to sell fakes to unsavvy fans.
In many cases they've acquired these fakes cheap via wholesale, and then raise the price to cut a large profit.
Which brings us to another note...
Even if the price is very high, you can still be purchasing a fake!
Do NOT let pricing fool you!!!! When in doubt, ask the seller questions about the listing and even for
A price that's too good to be true should also set off red flags.
Speaking of product photos...
I've noticed many sellers using product photos taken from Yahoo JP
auctions, HobbySearch, collector photo pages, and other sources. This
isnt an indication that the item won't be real, but it's not very
Stock photos are often used as well, and those are fine, but...
You have no way of knowing if the photos are of what you are actually getting!
A diamond in the rough:
There are honest people that do sell their rare authentics on auction, but...
If the figure has been sold out for months-years in Japan, yet you see tons (not just a few) of cheap versions all over ebay: Red flag!
Fake packaging is looking much more like authentic packaging.
I've had a retailer argue that a fake HK version will be in a plain box, with no copyright or company info.
This is WRONG! Times have changed!
Bootleggers are now more shameless, and are using the same retail boxes, complete with company info, phone numbers etc.
Japan has it's figures and packaging produced in China, so for black market producers, acquiring this info is pretty easy.
The one item that does tend to be missing on fakes however, is the seal or official authenticity sticker(s).
A close friend and retailer, (living in Japan) informed me that these are applied by hand once the products reach Japan.
Samples of fakes:
Here are a few (and only a few) examples of inauthentic products commonly listed on eBay:
Authentic photos can be found on HobbySearch.
It's best to use sites such as these to help compare photos.
Kotobukiya -Pia Carrot 3- Hasegawa Akemi Floral Mint type & Fuyuki Miharu Floral Mint Type:
Fakes of these two often spotted on eBay as a set for very cheap.
Both fakes look horrid. Both sold out in 2004, and are out of production!
At this point and time, there are NO authentics of these on ebay!
Kotobukiya -Trista of the Deep Blue Sea- Nanoca Flanka (or Nanoka Franka) :
I had the misfortune to acquire this fake.
Her necktie is not attached at her blouse properly, her hair covers one eye, colors are off and
overall quality is poor!
Kotobukiya -Mai Hime- Tokiha Mai:
Colors are darker, paint job is awful, sculpt is poor.
Max Factory -DOA- Kasumi C2 Version and all other variants:
Colors are off, sculpt is thicker, end hair is not split like it should be.
This fake made it's way to Japan, and there are now warnings posted!
eb craft -Fate Stay Night- Saber
Fakes on ebay look different, and lack the official seal, the manufacture has a warning page regarding the
-Girls Bravo- Miharu by Chara-ani:
fake is rampant on eBay, and I can't begin to tell you how truly
horrible she really looks compared to the original >_<!!
I got this fake myself.
If you see the box without the seal, there's a 100% chance that it is FAKE!
Recap Tips for spotting fake PVC figures:
*Poor Paint quality
*Poor sculpt & craftsmanship
*Colors that differ from original product
*Box colors and print quality that differ
*Offical seals, and stickers missing
*Prices that are too good to be true (sometimes this can be a factor, sometimes not)
*Figure completely sold out in Japan, yet all over eBay!
A message to sellers:
I think keeping the customer's trust should be the utmost important part running a good bussiness.
When you sell fakes of any kind, you run the risk of losing that trust! If you get an authenticity complaint, please do look into it before making rash assumptions! Make certain you are getting your products from trusted sources.
After having a few bad experiences with fakes, I personally will no longer trust a seller with even ONE fake!
If you know you've purchased a fake, it's best to kindly inform the seller, return the item, and get your money
back! Letting the issue go is why so many fakes stay on eBay!
Consumers have to do their part as well =D
I hope this guide is helpful for all serious figure collectors!