Let's be honest: we've all been interested in purchasing products for less than we normally should. We are a culture that has been raised on the prospect that wealth is good thus why pay for something for more than we should?
Many seem to think this is the case with GBA Advance game cartridges which are the most imitated video game accessory around. Typically, these cartridges originate from the Far East in the type of atmosphere one might find at Dongtai Road in Beijing.
Often, people buy the games knowing they are fake but doing so is not wise. The only way to stop the spread of counterfeit merchandise is through education and turning a blind eye to those who are providing illegal merchandise.
So how can you spot a fake GBA Advance game? There's no 100% way of knowing unless you have the game in your possession. That's not the case here on eBay but you can ask yourself the following questions in order to gauge if your money is going towards a replica game cartridge rather than an authentic one.
1. Where is the seller located?
Typically, bootlegged or counterfeit merchandise often comes from countries where such items are more universally accepted. Items from Taiwan or China must be looked at closely as these unauthorized items are available almost everywhere overseas. If you are viewing an item and the seller's location is a country where fakes are in demand, please look deeper into the listing in order not to get squeezed on buying something that is not authentic.
It's important to note that a fake video game can come from anywhere. As such, anyone could be in possession of one and trying to sell it regardless of their location.
2. How much is the game?
Typically, new games will fetch about £20 retail. If a seller lists a brand new game for £5 with £3 shipping, chances are it's a reproduction. There's simply no way a seller (even one with a warehouse) could sell such an item for profit when that £10 has eBay fees and shipping associated to it.
3. Does the seller make suspicious statements?
There's tons of qualifiers that could potentially lead one to believe a game is not authentic:
"Bought at estate sale/flea market", "99% new", "new and tested", "no original box/manual", "please ask all questions before bidding", "tested and resealed", etc.
Why would someone open a brand new product and 'test' it? It's brand new, it should work fine. I would advise anyone to shy away from any product where it has to be opened and tested.
eBay is the best place for gaming on earth. Every single video game imaginable on every single platform is available here. Just make sure you safeguard yourself and educate yourself and your peers to understand what could be potentially violating so you don't end up with a product you didn't want and a counterfeiter with more cash in his pocket.
Be sure to report any suspicious items to eBay for review. Whatever you do, make sure you do your homework first and know what you are purchasing before you hit the button.