Ugh, really convincing Fire Emblem fakes on eBay

Discussion in 'GBA - Console and Game Discussions, Help and Tips' started by solid278, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. solid278
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    solid278 Member

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    I'm no stranger to watching out for fake GBA games on eBay, and I was familiar with the look of the fake Fire Emblem cartridges (with the three characters on front, slightly faded) so I thought I was okay. Found one for 23$ and jumped on it (figured it was someone who found it in a drawer and didn't care about getting full price for it, undercutting the competition's price, or something? I dunno). Had the right code on the front so I assumed it was fine.

    It arrives, looks PERFECT, shiny label etc, and plays fine. I look under the cartridge on the board, and I see (c) Nintendo AGB-E05-01, so can't be a fake, right? I open it up just to check... and it's a almost bare board, and that telling glob of black stuff is in the center (likely covering the cheap battery). On closer inspection, the label doesn't have a two digit code stamped into it, the label doesn't have pictures of mountains in the background (took me a while to notice this was on real carts) and the "Game Boy Advance" on top is most certainly different than my other GBA games (thinner GAME BOY letters, etc).

    So, darn! Messaged the seller asking for my money back, and bought another (legit, obviously, though I'll certainly check closer when it gets here) cartridge (32$, so not THAT bad, but a more reasonable price). I can start a dispute with Paypal if the seller doesn't respond back to me though, right?

    Anyways for those curious, I'm pretty sure from googling that that white stamped code on the board is for a Pokemon game, not fire Emblem (though maybe those codes can be reused?). Oh, and the seller put up another copy for the same price in the last couple days since I bought it. Anyways on closer inspection, pretty much every copy of FE under 30$ is one of these fakes, so watch out if you're in the market. Are there any other GBA games with such convincing fakes? I'm assuming these specifically are newer, probably to capitalize on the series' new found popularity thanks to FE:A.

    Argh, frustrating!
     
  2. jefffisher

    jefffisher GBAtemp Maniac

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    almost every gba game has a convincing fake now, even a lot of cheaper ones, but certainly every game worth over $20 and it's much harder to tell with games that aren't pokemon because the sticker isn't shiny and the case isn't clear.
    i open every gba game i get now to look inside to make sure it's real before selling it, or if buying it to ask for my money back.
     
  3. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    The best way to protect yourself from fakes is to as for high quality pics and closly examine the cart looming for very minor errors
     
  4. solid278
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    solid278 Member

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    Well that's a bummer. I went back through my entire collection just now (a bunch accrued from eBay, Amazon, and flea markets) of GBA and even GB/C games, and found that two digit stamp on the label of them all. The few that had worn labels I opened and they looked find inside. No black goo, etc. And no odd GAME BOY ADVANCE font on top either. But at least I know going forward that I have to be really careful.
     
  5. solid278
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    solid278 Member

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    Somewhat related: Does anyone know if the presence of that two digit code stamped on the label *ensures* that the game is legit? Cause that same seller had a couple other GBA games with the digits plainly visible on front (and a Zelda without), and I'd be a bit surprised if they were selling some legit games along with the bootlegs.

    Also, the seller was very quick to give me a refund, and pulled the listing off eBay. Anyone want a bootleg FE7 :P?
     
  6. solid278
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    solid278 Member

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    Sorry to triple post, but I've just noticed that the seller of that Fire Emblem cartridge, after pulling all GBA listings, put them back up, and there is now a stamped production code clearly visible on each one. They are certainly still bootlegs, though, as the "GAMEBOY" part of the log on the top is visibly different than a retail cart. The numbers are also sort of angled on the cart, and look a bit different than legit ones.

    Anyways, I feel partly responsible for this, as when I contacted the seller to demand a refund, I mentioned how the lack of code tipped me off that it was a bootleg. So, to answer my previous question, yes those codes can be faked, and I guess I now have to open my entire collection to double check, as well as any other GBA games I get in the future. Sigh.