What's up with those fake English cards on Mercari an yahoo Japan

How come there are so many fake English cards from reputable on Mercari and yahoo.jp?
Almost all of the are from the WOTC era, look very genuine and the sellers usually have 99%-100% positive feedback with a couple of hundred sales.

Here is one example:

In Japan, I have never seen any fake cards in stores and not many English cards In general. This is solely an online phenomenon.

Why is this possible and so popular?

They would cost cents to make, and potentially make you 10-20 bucks every now and then when an uninformed person buys it thinking they got a deal. Selling fake goods, and scams exist everywhere.


I have 2 line of thoughts:

  1. Seller themselves don’t know that this is a fake. Only know these are popular holos and sell it as it is.
  2. Seller is well aware and is targeting non-Japanese buyers who will probably use middleman services, which as you know, cannot leave negative or any kind of feedback. So the reputation wont get affected and the cycle will repeat itself when anyone who goes solely based on the ratings will fall for the scam.



@milhouse @mrbubbles
The thing is these cards usually cost a couple of hundred bucks.

And look quite real.
Or where would you see the flaws in this shining Magikarp?

Sorry I may not do this correctly, but on first glance are you not supposed to see the other floaty boys in the card (4 other Magikarps). I don’t think the holofoil pattern for the English card was as flashy as the one in the picture.



A small portion could be, selling in Japan people are less familiar with western cards… The same as Japanese fakes over here where someone is unfamiliar with the product.

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This is really strange. On the one hand, you can’t see the other Magikarp, which is fishy (pun intended). On the other, the holofoil pattern is as far as I can see absolutely identical to the stock image on TCG Player (Your Trusted Marketplace for Collectible Trading Card Games - TCGplayer). Like, the exact same card!

Aside from the missing Magikarp in the background, it appears real to me.


Wow, is it supposed to be so identical? I thought the holo style aside, holofoil elements (orbs, swirls) were random. So it is a huge co-incidence that it looks exactly like this stock image you posted above. Maybe someone more experienced can clarify.

Also, maybe I should have clarified, what I meant by the holofoil being so flashy is that the image posted by @genchiro has the holo so pronounced that you cant see the fish in the background. Whereas, I always thought that you could always see the other Magikarps very easily even when the card was at an angle where light would be reflected.


I think it’s basically never number 1.
It’s always the same description blablabla bought it abroad blablabla
They know what they’re doing

If it’s too good to be true, it’s either fake or scam.

On a regular magikarp you would be able to see the others in the background. I believe in the “double holo” version they are a bit harder to see though. That magikarp in the picture is pretty obviously fake with the border and color saturation immediately jumping out to me.


Considering whenever I see an obviously fake expensive vintage card on ebay, it has someone or multiple people bidding on it 99% of the time. Someone WILL take the bait. Like it’s obviously so easy to scam people. You take that same magikarp and put it on ebay, I would bet my entire collection multiple people will end up bidding on it. And since mercari doesn’t have the buyer protection ebay has, it’s easy money imo.

The holofoil is identical because the person who produced the fake probably used the TCGPlayer image to print it :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t believe 2 cards will ever have identical holofoil patterns (kinda like fingerprints I guess), so that’s already a clear indication that it’s fake.
Some other indications that it’s fake: Borders are too thin on the front, color of the border on the back is off, blue color on the front is darker than normal

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I agree with the “too good to be true” statement but it is also true that japanese non-tcg are often much cheaper in yahoo japan and mercari than in ebay, hence making me doubt sometimes wether maybe you could indeed get lucky with a real card. And im talking about huge price differences in the non-tcg cards and stickers, things for 0.50 cents on mercari and 25$ on ebay, or bundles of 20-30 stuff like tazos/menko for 10$ and just one of those menko on ebay for 70$.

We have an e4 member who fell for these fakes. To a seasoned collector, these are very obviously fake. But for most, they look convincing.

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Yep that was me lol. Still feeling dumb about this one. Please if anyone is reading this don’t fall for this! It’s not just the “lighting”. If it looks weird, it is. In person these look SUPER fake now that I have received them.