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How would you distinguish a Genuine Product from a Bootleg?
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Posted 5/9/13 , edited 5/9/13
Also, if u guys notice that a seller is a bootlegger, don't be afraid to "report them," as they certainly aren't doing any favors for the anime industry. There's generally a link on the auction page that allows u to report them. In this case, there's a "Report Item" link on the auction page of the item. In any case, I've already reported this particular seller already.

Edit:

Also, I did want to mention to not trust a seller to be legit just because he says he's selling a legit copy. In this particular case, I noticed under the "Sales Format" heading of this auction it says: "Manufacturer Import, not a bootleg or copy." - This is obviously a lie, whether the seller knows it or not. Anyway, u can't trust some of these sellers nowadays, so a little investigation is always a good idea to make sure.
Posted 5/9/13 , edited 5/9/13
I have a bootleg of Evangelion 1.11 which copied off the Malay release.

Difference is packaging and the fact that the bootleg doesn't work very well.
The Wise Wizard
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Posted 5/9/13

Shiek2005 wrote:

So, is a region coded dvd a sure indicator that it's a genuine product?

I don't think there is such a thing as a "sure indicator", as there will always be exceptions to any rule.

I know Japanese companies will sometimes release region-unrestricted blu-ray discs (to allow for a wide market), so it is possible they may have done so with some DVDs.

Likewise, Japanese discs typically only have 1-4 episodes per disc (2-3 seems to be the most common), but that doesn't mean there isn't some disc out there with 5-6 episodes.

That said, if you have a disc which is both region free (especially if DVD and not BD) and has a half dozen or more episodes per disc, I would be good money on it being a bootleg.

There is also the pricing issue. Japanese discs are rarely bargains, while bootlegs rarely aren't.


When I looked into purchasing Nanoha StrikerS DVDs from YesAsia.com, I noted they offered a Taiwanese version that was less than 1/3 the price of the Japanese discs. At first I was concerned these might be bootlegs, except that:

1. The discs were region 3.

2. The discs had only 2-3 episodes each (two for disc 9, 3 for disc 8).

3. The price was around $20 per disc, which while a bargain compared to the price of around $70 each for the Japanese discs, is still pricier than any bootlegs I've encountered (especially on a cost per episode basis).

4. They listed the publisher, which was a legitimate company. (I have since found out that it is also listed by ANN as a licensed publisher for the series).

5. They didn't have English subtitles (much like applying region coding, leaving off English subtitles is something a bootlegger is unlikely to do, although it isn't impossible).

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Posted 5/10/13
Bootlegs are usually obvious, they have the wrong box art, they have too many episodes for too few discs, they are usually region free and include Chinese and/or Malay subtitles and most of them have large ''seals of quality'' and many descriptions stating it is a genuine copy.

No genuine copy feels the need to stress the fact it is a genuine copy or even mention it.

For some reason though lots of sellers on Ebay sell nothing but Anime Bootleg DVDs and have lots of sales with near 100% feedback.
Ebay clearly does not care about these people selling these items otherwise they would remove them when somebody reports the seller.

It does not help in matters that most people who buy from them either do not care that it is bootleg or do not know it is bootleg and end up giving these sellers positive feedback which makes it harder for Ebay to remove them since they are a top rated seller.
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Posted 5/10/13

hickey1992 wrote:For some reason though lots of sellers on Ebay sell nothing but Anime Bootleg DVDs and have lots of sales with near 100% feedback.
Ebay clearly does not care about these people selling these items otherwise they would remove them when somebody reports the seller.


Yeah, that's a little depressing, you would expect to have a better shopping experience when buying from known retailers/websites. In other words, i wouldn't have expected eBay and Amazon to do nothing about people pretty much selling fake products, true i don't expect them to be perfects, but i would at least expect them to do SOMETHING about it

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Posted 5/10/13

HeadofEraser wrote:

I learnt this lesson the hard way I'm embarrassed to say.


Me too. I wanted to buy Code Geass several years ago and I was like why'd this ship from Malaysia? Then I got it and I was like ohhh.
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Posted 5/10/13 , edited 5/10/13

Shiek2005 wrote:

Yeah, that's a little depressing, you would expect to have a better shopping experience when buying from known retailers/websites. In other words, i wouldn't have expected eBay and Amazon to do nothing about people pretty much selling fake products, true i don't expect them to be perfects, but i would at least expect them to do SOMETHING about it


Actually, I know I've seen some in the past get taken down. Generally, it's only the real obvious ones. So I still report them anyway if I see them. However, even if some of them get taken down, there will always be more that keep popping up. Also, I think Ebay & Amazon may have a hard time telling the difference between a legit product and a bootleg since sellers put things into their auctions like "100% Authentic and approved by Malaysian Censorship Board." Not to mention, some are now using holographic stickers (like official licensing stickers) and much higher print quality on their packaging - and all this just makes their products more seemingly "authentic." And as hickey1992 had mentioned, I think too many people are leaving positive feedback for these sellers which isn't helping. And as result, those sellers are left alone, since Ebay/Amazon may or may not 100% know for sure. Perhaps more complaining could help, but I don't know though.
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Posted 5/10/13
how do you guys feel about the company hong feng entertainment? they are a malaysian company but do you think they are genuine or bootleg?
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Posted 5/11/13 , edited 5/11/13
As a rule, if I'm in doubt of something, I always double check legitimate sites. For example, CD Japan (the English site for Neowing Japan) will list the catalog code and publisher so if I'm buying from an Amazon seller, I pretty much ask them to tell me who the publisher of whatever the product listed is. A legit seller will have no problem telling you who it is or if they are completely clueless you'll be able to figure it out. For example, for music CDs, I know for a fact that ANYTHING by SonMay is a bootleg. Legitimate Japanese companies would be like Aniplex, Pony Canyon, and SME (Sony Music Entertainment) to name a few. If you do research on legitimate Japanese companies you can start to notice which ones are not-so-legit, but you have to do your own research to find this kind of stuff out.

Another rule to follow is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A CD selling for $10 (a full soundtrack, not a single) should set off red flags. A CD goes for at least $30 depending on the exchange rate, add AT LEAST $10 to the price if it's got some type of limited edition like a bonus DVD (which will ALWAYS be Region 2 if it's a Japanese release). Japanese CDs sometimes have bonus Blu Rays that are USUALLY region free (Japan and the US are Region A), BUT they will NOT have subtitles included. And in all honesty, buying a music CD with a bonus Blu Ray REALLY jumps the price up and isn't worth the extra cost, IMHO.

You can also check out Anime News Network's encyclopedia. If a show has a region 1 release, they will provide links to legitimate sellers of the product such as Right Stuf, Amazon.com and Anime Nation to name a few.

If you see an Anime that's 25 or 26 episodes on 3 DVDs, region 0, and has Chinese subtitles, 9 times out of 10, it's a bootleg.

Also, if the seller is listed in Japan, I'm not worried about being ripped off (I know there's been cases of Japanese selling bootlegs, but I haven't heard of that happening on Amazon--yet). I'm a bit more cautious from places like Hong Kong and China and I'm less likely to buy from sellers located in that region.

In all honesty, if you educate yourself by familiarizing yourself with who the legitimate publishers are and ask questions of sellers whenever you have any doubts, you should be fine. Personally I avoid EBay as much as possible, but if I did use them, I would make sure to do my homework first to protect myself. If you know what the cover art should look like, know who the legitimate publishers are, and buy from legitimate e-tailers, you'll be fine and won't get burned. It may sound like a lot of work, but once you get familiar with legitimate companies, it'll become second nature in spotting bootlegs.

May I also suggest the Fandom Post Forums? Go here: http://www.fandompost.com/oldforums/forumdisplay.php?14-Anime-amp-Manga-Discussions . They are an excellent source for Anime news like new releases, they have an entire forum just dedicated to cover art for DVD and Blu Ray releases, and they also list have a forum thread that lists legitimate import DVDs and Blu Rays that have English subtitles. I haven't posted on their forums myself, but the people there are very friendly and will help if you have questions. I lurk mainly on the Retail forum to get the best deals.

I hope this helps!
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Posted 5/11/13

GoldTStar wrote:

how do you guys feel about the company hong feng entertainment? they are a malaysian company but do you think they are genuine or bootleg?

I looked on their site and all the DVDs that I looked at seemed to have 8+ eps on each DVD, have English & Chinese subtitles & are region free. They also do not seem to be on ANN's list of licensing companies: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/company.php?list=licensing So, I'd stay away from them.
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Keeping the forums tidy by clearing out threads that have been inactive for six months or more.

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