You might be just getting started on the beautiful hobby of card-collecting; you might be a veteran in this whole thing; but even experienced people can get scammed. There’s a reason why they call them scam artists, it’s because they take it to such a next level that it is very difficult to avoid. However, there are things you can try to notice and pay extra attention to in order to make sure you buy a quality and legitimate card.
· If a seller on an online auction has too many finite cards, chances are that he same a couple (if not all!) of fake ones. Sadly is very easy for them to commit forgery and for us to pay the price.
· If you see someone at the store touching the packages too much, it means that they’re trying to “get a feel” and find those that have the most valuable cards. We all want to get those cards, we do, but we don’t cheat in the process. A good way to avoid this is to buy boxes instead of packages, that way you get better chances to get a good one without someone trying to guess what was inside and beat you to it. Also, the store’s reputation will help; how many people walk out with good cards? Word gets around…
· It is also very common for the seller to pass as inexperienced and try to misrepresent the card he’s selling. For example, trying to get you to think that a “re-print” is the real card. They may (there’s the slightest, and I mean slightest chance) be honestly mistaken, but that’s not usually the case. Good news is that card companies know that this is something that can happen, so when they decide to re-print, they make sure to set some differences between them, either the photo or the material.
· Another problem that may occur is when you are at an online auction and the sketchy salesman, once discovered in his scams, threatens you to give you bad rep around the site. Make sure you don’t fall for this and report them. The sites usually have policies to take care of you and if you have proof, share it!
Other things that can happen in online auctions is that the sketchy seller will make up fake profiles in order to place high bid on his cards to get other collector’s attention.
· You know when you see a gipsy camp around town and then you don’t see them the next month? It’s because they move around. You need to make sure to get to know the people that sell their items in card shows, if there’s an unfamiliar face around, be careful. Some scam artists travel from town to town, like gypsies, trying to pretend that they own a store when in reality they’re collectors like you and me. They will try to sell fakes and will not give you any type of guarantee.
Far from making you want to just give up the hobby, or even worse get involved in their low ethic games, these tips will help you keep your hobby alive and well.