The Answer Center is your place to ask fellow eBay Community members questions about buying and selling on eBay, and for you to share your best information, tips, and insights to help other members get answers to their own questions.
Meet other eBay Community members who share your interests and passions.
Groups are a great place to connect with other community members who share similar interests. Give support, share information, and connect with fellow members. Create or join a Group today!
The latest news and updates affecting eBay buyers and sellers
The single source of information for new and professional sellers
Our policies are designed to create a safe and fair environment for all eBay members. Learning what’s allowed can help you avoid unintentionally breaking the rules and helps everyone in working with reliable, trustworthy members.
08-08-2015 02:02 PM
01-28-2015 05:08 PM
I recently purchased the Batman complete series DVD set which turned out to be a bootleg. I was able to tell because I had a copy of the legitimate release of the same item. I didn't open the item but could tell from the print quality of the outer box. Mainly the bar code, which when looking at it through a magnifying glass or loop you can see that the edges of the black lines were jagged. Other ways of telling was that the small print (copyright info) was not bright white, but muted and difficut to read, The flat colors of the box were grainy as well. Really difficult to tell at first glance, but when looking really close you can tell. Needless to say i did not open the box.
12-28-2014 02:21 AM
You've been given some good advice here. As a run down, if the the cover is different than its official release or if it claims to be "special edition" but there is no word of a special edition version of the release, it's most likely a bootleg. If the artwork is crummy, probably a bootleg. If a more plain font (bold Arial, bold Calibri... a font that's easily found on Microsoft Word) everywhere, it's most likely a bootleg. Once you get the possible bootleg, take a look at the back cover. If it doesn't have the date it was released at the bottom in all the small text (like, for example, 2006) and all that jazz, it's probably a bootleg. If it doesn't list the region at all, that is a major major sign. Now open it up. If you've got a full series DVD boxset and the printing on the discs looks very low quality and it's the same for every disc, it's probably a bootleg. Read close on what the text says on the discs. If there are ANY grammatical errors and misspellings, that is one of the biggest signs. Now turn it over. Is the disc any color other than silver? Probably a bootleg. If, in the inner ring of the DVD, it says anything like "[show name] Disc [enter number]" instead of a bunch of numbers or bar codes, it's a bootleg.
I just found out last night that I had a bootlegged copy of the complete series of That 70's Show. I picked it up at a thrift store in New Mexico on a roadtrip. The packaging looked very authentic, so of course I was excited. I don't remember what I payed for it but it was pretty cheap. Anyway, I came home from the roadtrip and opened up the box and there were two thin, flimsy black cases which kinda weirded me out but I didn't care. The discs were also kinda falling out of the cases but the item was also "used" so I figured that the person who had it before me wasn't very careful with it. There were very very very light scratches on the back of the DVDs so I thought it was the real deal. I put it in my DVD player, and it didn't play. My DVD player had been acting up generally even before purchasing these bootlegged DVDs so I thought it was just my DVD player.
I pulled out another DVD player, and popped it in. Still didn't work. I tried every DVD in that stupid bootlegged box set. None of them worked, whereas every other DVD I own worked in that DVD player. So I was thinking, hmm, maybe it's a different region? So I looked on the back cover. It said it only plays in the USA and Canada, but didn't directly list it as being Region 1. So I became very skeptical. Then I took a really really good look at the disc. And, well... take a look for yourself.
There's a bunch of problems here. The photo quality of this is terrible. It also titles the show as "THAT 70 SHOW", and then the gibberish going around the disc says "Thisdvd Is For Drivate Home Use Only.it Is Not Licensed For Any Poher Resetive And Horized Dectarmance. Broadastiong Or Coping Is A Vioation Of Applicable Laws". I'm not sure who thought that made clear sense. It says this on all the discs. And on the back, it's certainly a silver disc, but it says nothing but "THAT 70 SHOW DISC 5".
Since it wouldn't play in my DVD player, I put it in my computer. I don't remember exactly what the driver said, but I know it said "NEW" at the end. Then it only had "AUDIO_TS" and "VIDEO_TS" listed. I looked at the video section to see what it had, and it only had three videos listed. One was the main menu, which had the episodes listed oddly although the menu's design looked authentic, and the other was a three hour file of the episodes. I was already completely conviced this was a bootleg, but I was like wow, wonder what kind of quality these episodes are in. So I opened it. Most of them were taken from a VHS recording from a Canadian network, and had the network's logo in the bottom right. Just like how it would look if it were recorded on VHS. The audio quality was very warm, as well.
I'm still mad about this since this is the first time I've ever been bootlegged, so I'm not getting up to take a photo of the cover art. It had Kelso and Hyde's heads on it and it said "So authentic, it'll give you the munchies." It looked very authentic. I was stupid and had never researched it previously. If I do remember correctly, though, there WERE other DVDs that had no insert at all in that store. I would say that this one was just a rotten apple in a bunch, but I feel like there was some serious bootleg work going on there. I don't know. I looked for this bootleg everywhere on the internet and it was no where.
I don't understand why people have to bootleg. It is so rude and illegal and disgusting. I can't believe I got duped like that. It also mentioned "new and improved DVD-9 technology" and I honestly was so clueless that I was like, hey, okay! I wish I knew about this before so I would have asked them if it were indeed a That 70's Show bootleg. Like, I know now, but I wish I knew then. I guess now I've learned from my mistakes.
I hope you got something out of this. You just need to be very, very observant. Ask the seller for photos, and generally stay away from sellers who use stock photos as the item's photo.
12-09-2014 09:18 AM
12-09-2014 09:16 AM
Maybe they are getting better at this, it's easy enough to title a disc before it is being burned. I have had recent experience with two sets of DVDs, one of which I actually already had the original copies of. Both were identified correctly in my computer.
Another bootleg tip off is that I have never seen a bootleg DVD that has any metadata. Metadata is the embedded information that IDs the disc on your computer. Every bootleg I have seen states "unknown disc" is you try to play it in WMP.
07-04-2014 09:47 PM
Also if u ever see in the item description (Disc only) is a huge red flag....unless your looking under the used or prior owned section then id say if u get it home & the artwork looks fuzzy on the disc or it has the obvious rainbow coloring on the under side..i see the tell tale "disc only" from numerous sellers....it makes me sick that i have to sift thru all the fake garbage just to get a genuine "Real" article these days (I wish Ebay would get its act together and when these people are reported because of bootlegs they should be banned for life via thier (identification) & brought up on federal charges....
06-16-2014 12:59 PM
Sad that FBI doesn't care. Despite how many movie studios knew about bootlegs and do nothing.
In fact, I think that all movie studios should sell them themselves not through middlemens or whatever. Cut down the bottlegs that way.
I bought lots of Walt Disney DVDs a few years ago only to find out they are knockoffs. My niece is a jounalist and knew how to detect which are bootlegs, knockoffs, etc. Mostly she said it is easy as knockoffs tend to have some smells and also she check technology on DVD and notice it is not the same as the originals.
Since then I no longer buy DVDs on eBay. Sad that the criminals continue to find ways to dupe many of us and eBay is NOT helping alot! eBay is ALL about getting $$$, never mind if breaking laws, is what it seems to me.
06-06-2014 01:08 PM
I bought a dvd once and the movie itself played fine. Went to hit special features and it did nothing. Click click nothing. So I was about to go send a message to the seller that my dvd was messed up. But then I looked real close at the case itself. The artwork was printed on plain copy paper.
I don't really remember what I did as this was years ago. But I got my money back and got to keep the counterfeit movie. Honestly I think the seller just returned my money and ebay didn't get involved.
05-17-2014 01:39 AM
03-04-2014 01:52 PM
I recently ordered what turned out to be a bootleg copy of the Sopranos Complete Series box set on eBay. It was $64 + free shipping (which should have given it away immediately). Unfortunately, I only did my research on bootlegs *after* ordering. I was disappointed and frustrated enough to immediately go out to Best Buy and purchase an authentic copy for $200. Unfortunately, the outside packaging of the bootleg set is nearly identical to that of the real; the biggest differences are noticable only once the set has been opened. If you are considering buying a set on eBay, you should insist that the seller post pictures of the DVDs themselves, including close-ups of the undersides of the discs, for reasons that I will explain below.
Since I had both the fake and the real sets (before returning the bootleg), I decided to take some comparison pictures and post them here in order to help others avoid making the same mistake I did, and to aid people in identifying bootlegs that they may already have purchased. The following photos illustrate the differences between the two sets; the fake/bootleg copy is on the left or on the bottom in all pictures.
A summary of the major differences:
1) The dead giveaway is that the bootleg DVDs come individually wrapped in thin plastic sleeves. The authentic DVDs do not.
2) The undersides of the bootleg DVDs have the season and disc number spelled out around the holographic center. The authentic DVDs have bar codes and numbers in the same place.
3) The bootleg DVDs are all primarily shades of green or grey, and are different colors than their authentic counterparts, which come in a wider variety of colors (one color per season).
Hope this helps.
11-20-2013 12:08 AM
The markup on New or recent Dvds is so small that if you see an inexpensive box-set, it is probably a bootleg.
Also, if you see a DVD that has an identical cover to it's VHS release, it is usually a bootleg. It is often a bootleg of a movie or show that hasn't made it on to DVD yet.
11-18-2013 05:15 PM
I have had this problem with the Series Ripper Street. The first set I got only disc 3 played and it was sold as brand new to me. When I opened it there were marks on it. So the seller sent me a new one and discs 1 & 2 play but freeze and disc 3 does not play so I'm on my 3rd try now with the seller. They just tell me to trow away the copies they sent me.
I just got Man of Steel today and the first thing I notice is the movie rating. It says rated R for Violence an some other stuff but the movie is PG-13 not R. Have not tried to watch it yet but this sucks because I sell too and now I can not sell these items when I get sick of watching them.
These have been the only bad things so far though so guess I have to expect to take a few hits from what I buy on ebay.
11-06-2013 12:43 PM
I recently got Supernatural Season 8 for my birthday from my sister, but I think it might be a bootleg. The moment I saw it I realized it didin't have a shiny glossiness the other seasons did - however, they may have just changed the packaging. Then when I opened it I got more surprises. The first and last discs are on the inside cover, not one of the individual flappy things, and the episode guide goes straight into the episodes; it doesn't have any of the cast or a general cover on it, which all other seasons have. The box also seems a little flimsy.
Another strange thing is that the episode guide is blocking the first disc - also something that hasn't happened on any of the other seasons.
I put it in my computer and it has 4.35gb on it, says 0 gb are free. It's titled as "DVD RW Drive (F supernatural s8-1."
So I'm trying to figure out if they just changed the box to ultimate **bleep**, or if I got a bootleg copy. I tried one of the links someone else posted here but they got shut down.
09-08-2013 06:39 PM
> on the tv series and movies it's almost impossible to tell
See the earlier post, message 12 in this thread. It is relatively easy to test a disc to determine if it is a bootleg.
09-08-2013 12:16 PM
if i ever get a tv series off of ebay and i don't know whether it's a bootleg or not i'll look under the seller's recent feedback. i'll find every person who left feedback for that item...whether it's positive or neutral. then i'll shoot them a message asking if they had any problems with it. not only does the seller have to return yours if the bootleg is **bleep** but he has to return theirs too. thats pretty funny.
most of the dvd's i've gotten off of ebay are nothing like yall's bootlegs. on the tv series and movies it's almost impossible to tell....the dvd's have a mirror finish, the cover art is exactly the same. the menus and footage is exactly the same. there are only 2 thinks that allow me to tell....one is major skipping of the dvd and the other is the lettering on the back of the case.
you can't hide cheap chinese ink no matter how hard you try. when you look at a legit dvd the words are easy to read....the white is actually white....and the edges of the letters are fine. on a cheaply burnt copy the white will have a little yellow and rainbow color in it. the edges of the letter will be fuzzy especially tiny ones. there are fingerprints on the dvd and usually feels like quite a bit of dust inside the case.
09-07-2013 02:50 PM
I just paid $80 for a homemade dvd and I have filed a complaint and reported the item . This seller had 100% good feed back and noted nothing in description that it was a fake.
08-26-2013 08:54 AM
I recently had a problem with THE BEATLES STEREO BOX SET, which has a terrible Chinese counterfeit counterpart. eBay does not allow 'bootleg' items, but if you click on 'music' and 'The Beatles', I found at least 40 items that were definately unofficial. Hell, if you go to Amazon right now and look up THE BEATLES STEREO BOX SET, they actually are displaying a photo of the Chinese Counterfeit Back Cover!
The key to identifying that fake Box Set is, the fake one does not have the FBI PIRACY SEAL ON IT, which should appear to the left of the bar code. It also says 'Printed in EU.' At least, that's how you can tell outwardly, if you have access to see what the back cover looks like. Inwardly, the CD jackets are poorly made, many words are spelled wrong, even the artist's names! The problem with finding an Official Version on the Bay, is compounded by Sellers using a stock front cover display, which tells you nothing about their authenticity. I finally found a Seller who displayed pics of the front & back, as well as the individual CDs. Only then, did I Buy It Now. It's treacherous out there in regards to bootlegs. And a lot of Seller's, who buy and resell, may not even be aware that the item they are offering is counterfeit. So, best to always do your research, or just out right contact The Seller and ask. Look up: STUDIO GHIBLI COLLECTION. Wow! All 16 Disney Released Films in English, for $25! Of course, the name Disney doesn't appear anywhere on the Box , and when each disc has 3 movies crammed onto it. That alone, should send up red flags! If it's too good to be true, chances are it isnt....