Kommentarer • How to spot a fake figure and where to purchase figures online
Thank you for the great advice. I feel a little better about the figure since a couple of you have mentioned that the site sells authentic merchandise. Also, I appreciate the guidance on where to buy figures going forward.
Below are a few pictures of the Itachi figure in the box to give you all a visual to make it easier. The couple of stickers on the back of the box might seem a little off since I started to remove them because I had thought they might have been covering the shiny/holographic sticker.
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When buying new buy from reputable sites from Japan. There are a few in USA but the price is comparable to buying from Japan and shipping, plus you don't have to wait as long for the USA stores to get the preorders in stock as they have to go through boat or some bulk shipping process. I usually buy through amiami or biginjap.
When buying used it gets trickier. You can see some boxes for some figures on this site and if the box has a holographic company logo sticker, check the seller has that too. Fake ones will have a printed sticker without holo. Some stickers are not holo though. Check for the price to be low. If a figure is usually $150-200 but you see it for $50 on ebay, then it's fake. When buying used I usually only go through shops like Mandarake or Amiami. There are some other smaller stores like Jungle or Solaris that work too. Stay with Japan stores that are legitimately recommended on this site. Although Mandarake and Amiami sell legit goods, the preowned items may have defects not described in the listing, which is rare. This is likely because they have so many listings and cannot do a complete description of everything.
If you're buying local like Craigslist, then you need to inspect the figure before hand. Fakes will look fake, bad paintjob and deformities etc. When buying on ebay it's a shot in the dark, check feedback and you are taking a risk. Paypal may reimburse you if you file a claim on fakes, just avoid the really cheap figures. I bought some on MFC sales before, so far good experience, check the user feedback and make sure the user has some history on this site.
Lastly I usually check MFC if there are fakes on the figure. There usually will be one documented. If you don't see any then you have a better chance the Chinese didn't copy it.
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I will answer the second question since I have no idea what to tell you for the first unless I see pics. :p
AmiAmi is the best online shop a collector could hope for, tbh. I've been using them almost exclusively since June last year. I don't know where you're located, but since I am in Asia, shipping costs aren't exorbitant either, plus their packaging is actually quite decent.
TOM (Tokyo Otaku Mode) is also another good one I would highly recommend. I don't use them much though since their markups are pretty high, BUT if you buy over $150 you get free shipping no matter where you're located in the world. Which I've taken advantage of a lot of times, and sometimes my total is less than what I would have paid AmiAmi for the same amount of figures (since AmiAmi tends to oversize their packaging by a lot). Plus, their TOM points scheme is really helpful. I've recently put down an order with them where I paid pretty much $0 for one figure because of all the TOM points I've accumulated. They're pretty generous with giving them too, often doing discount promotions or giveaways, so you can rack them up pretty quick (as opposed to AmiAmi which takes FOREVER to rack up points. I've been shopping from them exclusively for almmost a year and I still have less than 2000 yen in points lol).
Hobby Link Japan and Hobby Search are also pretty good, but I think they'd offer better deals if you're located in the US. They're pretty expensive for me so I don't use them often. Goods Republic is another good one, but they're pretty damn expensive. Even if they have an over $80 (I believe, maybe they changed it to lower?) free shipping scheme, their goods are so marked up in price it wouldn't be difficult to reach that total. They have EXCELLENT customer service though, so much more than any other sites I buy from, but I still only use them as a last resort if I can't find the figure anywhere else. Oh, and you can also request them to get out of stock items, so items that are hard to find they can somehow procure! I've requested from them a couple times and I was only given a negative response (aka they can't find the merch) one time, and it's understandable since I was looking for a pretty rare character.
Of course, if you're a GSC fan, buying directly from their shop is also a good option. They have a flat rate shipping ($18), so the more you order, the more you save on shipping! It's only good to order from them, though, if you need the bonuses that come with some figures OR you're buying a lot. Like, a lot lot. Or if you're buying a super huge figure (e.g. Sakura Stars Bless You) that would cost a fortune in shipping otherwise (and sometimes, they offer free shipping for such figures). It doesn't matter if in your order the items are released on different dates- you only get charged shipping once, and then they ship the other items as they are released, all for essentially free since you paid the shipping once already. The only downside is, you can't combine orders. So better pray that everything you need from them will be up for pre-order all at the same time so you can make it into a huge order. I typically wait til 1-2 days before the pre-order deadline is closed for the figure I want to put up a pre-order, since in that time period other stuff might be announced for pre-order. I recently made a huge order with them, so now I'm just enjoying them being delivered to my door. XD
Hopefully this helped, and hopefully the figure you got isn't a bootleg!
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I have bought from Eknightmedia via their Amazon and Ebay storefronts and had no problems. I was buying merch rather than figures, but everything they sent was legit. If you have any doubts, you can always send a polite email to them. A store selling real stuff will always want to reassure their customers that all their products are legit.
Bootleg figure boxes are often easily spotted as they're made often made of lower quality thin cardboard with dull/faded printing on the box. But I'd say you're probably okay. Sometimes certain figures just don't have authentication stickers.
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Using google to look up a shop is the first thing to do if you're unsure if the shop sells legit figures or not. If a shop sells fakes, I'm sure you'll find posts from MFC or Reddit that tell you to stay away. Also use the forums, clubs and the figure's page on here for spotting fakes.
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If there is a bootleg out of the figure there will be an indication on the MFC webpage for said figure. There doesn't seem to be any bootlegs out of the Itachi figure in question.
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There's some resources here that might help you to start, although I'd love to see more discussion!
has feedback on a bunch of different reputable shops that don't sell bootlegs.
Help identifying a bootleg
I hope everything turned out okay. Also try looking up the figure on MFC itself, because encyclopaedia entries will link to known counterfeits
I won't tell you where is the best place to buy your figures because the best site for your needs depends on where you live, how you spend your money, and what you place value on most in an order, but it's very hard to go wrong with AmiAmi, there is a reason it's held up as such a good site. I recommended it as I shop there myself mainly, along with Mandarake for preowned figures. However there are other legitimate shops that others prefer.
Also any official partners of the people who make the figure you want, for example legitimate Good Smile Company partners should be fine places to order Good Smile Company figures (and figures from their subsidiaries).
'All of our items are authentic, licensed, official US release. We do not sell bootleg or pirated merchandises. Most of our items are brand new and in mint condition unless otherwise noted. We do not provide actual pictures, but we will choose the best condition item available to our customers on first come first serve basis. Below are our general product conditions for each product category.
Brand new from our distributor. We do not get it directly from manufacturer.
Most of them are sealed, but some items like plush dolls or bags may not be sealed, but comes with a tag to indicate they are new.'
This is on their site, since they make a claim to authenticity it is much likelier to be real, since authenticity is something you have to back up in claims, people are somewhat less likely to claim it if it is untrue. However that should be useful information to know. It appears people like their Amazon account. I have no idea about the seal though, so if you want reassurance hopefully someone can give you an answer there.
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