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Bootleg alert! 
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:18 am
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
Today I went to the exhibition hall and came across a "Good Smile" Madoka PVC and the vendor was selling it at 45$ which I thought was an incredible deal, the original price for this is around 65$ without shipping in Amiami. Since it was in a box, there was very little to examine before purchasing it. So when I purchased this PVC I thought I had the greatest deal, when I got home a lot seemed very off.

For starters the PVC had an extra part for the figure to stand properly (normally there's no extra part in the real PVC, I checked on it and confirmed it myself), then the shoes were discolored and then when I touched the figure itself, I felt the paint melting on my fingerips, then I noticed the head was divided in two parts and had discoloration and the arm that's supposed to hold Kyubey had inversed slots so the character is a whole lot closer to Madoka than it's supposed to be. I don't have a proper camera right now, I'll borrow from my neighbor as soon as I can, but for now I only got this: http://puu.sh/44nFt.jpg
The vendor is currently located in front of a guy selling t-shirts to the right of the entrance.

Thank you.

Sorry if this was posted in the wrong forums.


Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:12 pm
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Demand a refund if you're back tomorrow.

Great deals on figures are almost always too good to be true. Importing is expensive so unless the figure is of a very unpopular character, you'll rarely see prices lowered at a convention. Madoka is so popular that you wouldn't see someone selling one for that cheap unless it was fake. I know it's too late in this case but try to inspect before you buy and many of the good dealers even prompt you to do so. Look for shiny, reflective, dull, skin (cheap plastic), and if the box printing looks faded and if it has the proper stickers for the figurine company. Also, look around the booth and if they have a lot of cheap plush or unlicensed looking things it's best to avoid them entirely.

It's too bad you had to be let down like that :(

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:21 am
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So you're telling me that Otakuthon is letting these people sell counterfeit products?
I thought it was trustable, I paid 45$ to get into a convention, yet a whole lot of things are not organized properly. This is was first year and may be my last. This is such a huge let down.
I have no idea if this vendor will give me a refund, chances are that I won't be getting one.


Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:22 am
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There's tons of counterfeit products all the time and I remember the previous years, people made threads and argued a lot about this and staff kept assuring that the sellers are told not to sell bootlegs, but I guess they do it anyway or something =/


Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:43 pm
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I'm not in the sales department, but I feel the same about bootlegs. I've been in other conventions, and all of them had their amount of bootlegs. It's not just a problem here at Otakuthon...

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:19 am
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It'd be impossible for any con to inspect every single item on sale. While I understand this is upsetting, maybe it would help if there was information about which booth you got this item from?

There are a lot of items that a glance of an eye I know it's a fake. However, the counterfakers are getting better and better at it. Sometimes I have to double check the entire packaging just to make sure. I also do research on the item ( Current market value to see if its a good deal or not and if it is indeed, too good to be true )

I know Goodsmile has documentations about how to spot bootlegs, perhaps there could be a link somewhere or someone can start a thread or do a panel about this issue.


Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:17 am
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I actually hosted a panel about this in 2012. Though bootleggers are getting sneakier and better at their craft making it more difficult for conventions, buyers, and of course all the decent dealers who have real products and can't compete with the dirt cheap prices of fakes.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:46 pm
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Yuyu wrote:
I actually hosted a panel about this in 2012. Though bootleggers are getting sneakier and better at their craft making it more difficult for conventions, buyers, and of course all the decent dealers who have real products and can't compete with the dirt cheap prices of fakes.


I remember passing by in Hong Kong Sham Shui Po district and ALL the action figures there were fake. They reproduced packaging and labels. They are pretty badly printed and if you know your figures and merchandising, you can easily find out it's fake. It is probably so easy for a dealer to get a ton of cheap knock off from alibaba or AsiaGate instead of going through the official merchandiser like Bandai or Toei etc etc ( Especially all those plushies )

I usually avoid all the booths that have loose figures. Some might be legit, unless they come with their original Gashapon wrapper, I don't buy them. Then again I haven't purchased anything from cons for a long time.


Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:57 pm
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I don't know much about figures, but I do know things about CD bootlegs... I saw a booth that was selling a lot of different cds and of course, they were bootlegs. What I don't understand is how they aren't spotted. I know that it's impossible to inspect every item, but it's pretty obvious when the label on the side of the packages is Miya Records (for those who don't know, here's the wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miya_Records).


Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:48 pm
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Miracle-Lotus wrote:
So you're telling me that Otakuthon is letting these people sell counterfeit products?
I thought it was trustable, I paid 45$ to get into a convention, yet a whole lot of things are not organized properly. This is was first year and may be my last. This is such a huge let down.
I have no idea if this vendor will give me a refund, chances are that I won't be getting one.


You're cute.
No convetions "lets" merchants sell bootlegs produtcs, in fats they are illegal but policying it is extremely difficult because they sneak in they counterfeits among their real goods.
Sellers know they are not allowed to sell bootlegs. Truth is, if they had sold that figurine to a staff member, they wouldn't be able to come back the following year to sell. As a buyer at a convention, it's also you're responsibility to be careful of what you are buying.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:41 pm
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Wasn't able to return it, but Chen, the dealers director, said he'll deal with it.
Luckily a friend of mine was able to take a picture of one of the bootlegged merchandise: http://puu.sh/46dl2.jpg
I guess it can't be helped, I'm truly disappointed.


Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:32 am
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We apologize if you found any bootlegs in the Exhibition Hall this year. While you might not see it, our Exhibition Hall team has been taking larger measures to try to eliminate bootleg from the Exhibition Hall. Please forward any information about the store (booth #, company name, product, pictures if you have any) to us and we'll be investigating and reviewing that dealers' status for next year.

As mentioned earlier, Otakuthon has a strict no-bootleg policy. In the past, we've had issues with certain dealers and bootlegs. Last year, we were able to get a team from the outside that specializes in identification of bootlegs to go around and check all the dealers for bootlegs. Each dealer selling bootlegs was given a warning that bootlegs were found and they'd be banned if they were to come back next year with bootlegs. There were also a number of dealers were refused outright this year on the basis that they had been mostly selling bootleg goods last year. In some cases, dealers didn't know they had bootlegs, so our Exhibition Hall team has been hard at work this year coming up with a rather extensive guide to help dealers identify bootlegs themselves.

Now, while we did have people checking this year (and some dealers had their (bootleg) stock pulled), as mentioned earlier, it is impossible to get 100% coverage on all the merchandise that dealers bring in (we have A LOT of dealers and they each have a LOT of merchandise). It also doesn't help that counterfeits are getting better and better (fewer, more subtle errors).

So, we would appreciate any help from the public to minimize the number of bootlegs (ie: if you have any ideas, any suggestions, any identification schemes we might've missed, if you're willing to volunteer to check or have past info about such dealers, etc., let us know). If you find any bootlegs during the convention, please report it to the Exhibition Hall staff right away (preferably before the end of the convention while the dealer is still around) so that we can immediately investigate and take action. Dealers caught bringing in and selling bootleg will have their bootleg stock confiscated (first offence only) and/or even their entire table pulled without refund + ban from future years.

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please forward the information and we'll get right on it.

(ASIDE: as staff, I have been personally ripped off a few years ago, so yes, we do take bootlegs quite seriously... :evil:)


Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:52 am
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Starting next year, I will go around and check for bootlegs as I pass =D I've seen a seller that was selling some J-Pop bootleg cds, but I don't remember where it was or what store it was ;-;


Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:21 am
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I know it's a little late for this, but I wish I've have known that you could report vendors selling bootlegged items. Of all the vendors selling Pokemon plush and toys this year, I could only find four booths where the merchandise was legitimate. While I'm sure most booth employees don't know their stock is bootlegged, I definitely heard one vendor at a booth with bootlegs refer to non-bootlegged items as "licensed merchandise," so they clearly know the difference, even if they don't use the word "bootleg."

The worst part is that the Pokemon bootlegs only started showing up en masse as of last year - Otakuthon never had so many of them before that. :<

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Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:42 pm
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they're becoming more clever every time to sneak in bootlegs :C

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Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:04 pm
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Good Smile has really good articles on how to spot bootlegs: https://partner.goodsmile.info/support/eng/fake/

Although they use mostly examples, reading a lot of them will make you able to spot bootlegs easier.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:31 am
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If I may make a notice about a bootleg:
Any Fairy Tail fan here? You know the boxset of Lucy's keys? Well, that's bootleg material. The box has several spelling English mistakes, the Libra and Pieces keys might be unaccurate, the Ophiuchus key is black instead of golden, the artwork is half original and half Chinese fanart.

Be on the look out.


Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:17 am
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I hope you were able to get a refund. Just a tip though: if you want original non-bootleg products, buy from Japan. I've always bought all my stuff either from Yahoo! Auctions Japan, Mbok (and other similar japanese auction sites) through a deputy service, through stores located in Japan that ship to Canada, or through online stores that are known for selling legit products. If there are some, read the reviews of the products. I don't buy figures myself so I don't know which particular variety you're looking for, but among others, CDJapan is a pretty good site for buying stuff from Japan. They had one result for a figure but probably not the one you're looking for, and it was about $68. If you're interested, their site is at:

http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/

Basically, don't buy the important stuff locally. The stuff that you don't mind being non-legit like possibly little accessories (keychains, pens, badges, etc.), posters, localized DVD releases, you can buy those here. For stuff like figures, CDs, and quality wall scrolls (cloth ones, not the ones that are essentially a poster attached to two poles) among others, buy them from the above-mentioned trusted sources. In the case of CDs, some companies are infamous bootleggers. To name a few and the beginning parts of their catalog numbers, there's SonMay (SM), Miya Records (MICA), EverAnime (GM, A8 and AnG, there may be more) and Alion (ALCA). There are other less well-known ones as well, so for a full list and a more detailed guide on bootlegs in general, go here:

http://www.otakunews.com/piratefaq.php

Hope this helps.

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Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:05 pm
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I'm pretty sure that kiosk that had those League of Legends figures were bootleg too =/


Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:40 pm
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That really blows... Bootlegs are the bane of my existence and I'm a die-hard figure collector. Kind of felt bad of letting my first print of Godoka at only 240 (when I know I could have fetched more for it... Thing is, I didn't pay that much and as long as I make a small profit, I don't mind... Plus that guy who bought it at our booth was apparently one happy dude after the purchase!)

Luckily for the store I work in, I deal with anything related to PVC, Nendoroids, Figmas, etc... that comes in (unless I'm not in for the day) so bootleg items were avoided. It was their first year at an Anime Convention so I -to prove them wrong- brought some of my older nendoroid collections and PVCs to show them that they actually sell.

And yeah, it's pretty difficult to do a complete bootleg control. With the number of vendors and the stock they bring, it'll take a good while to check everything if we go Bootleg Police full force on everyone.

On the topic of bootlegs are getting better... Yeah. Counterfeiters are getting better at their "art"... pretty annoying.

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Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:59 pm
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Ah yes. Bootlegs.
I'm a big collector and as I brought my brothers for the first time, I told them not to buy anything before asking me first.
Sadly, there are TONS of bootlegs in that room. =_=
And it's true that the bootlegs keep looking better and better. You have to be SO careful nowadays.
I almost never buy anything because I don't want to end up with a fake.
There has been too many times where I owned a legit figure and compared it with what was in there then been disappointed with the whole thing.
Now, I mostly buy my stuff on websites such as Amiami so I can be sure I get an official product.


Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:30 am
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