How to Tell if Japanese Pokémon Cards Are Fake
August 04, 2023

How to Tell if Japanese Pokémon Cards Are Fake

Whether you want to participate in Japanese deck tournaments or you are on the hunt for a unique alternate art card, Japanese Pokemon cards can be a wonderful part of your collection. Finding the best Japanese Pokemon sets and singles can be tricky if you live in the West, especially with the prevalence of fake Japanese Pokemon cards on the second-hand market.

Pokemon fake cards can ruin your experience with the Pokemon TCG, so learning how to spot fake Japanese Pokemon cards is critical. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you spot the differences between fake vs real Japanese Pokemon cards.

We’ll be going through everything from where to buy Pokemon cards to avoid fakes to learning how to find the value of Japanese Pokemon cards to spot authentic prices. After going through our article, you’ll know exactly how to tell if Japanese Pokemon cards are fake, allowing you to grow your collection safely, so let’s jump right into it.

The Problem With Buying Fake Japanese Pokémon Cards 

If you're a collector of Japanese Pokemon cards, you know how exciting it is to add new cards to your collection. However, the thrill of finding a rare or valuable card can sometimes cloud our judgment and make us vulnerable to scams.

Learning how to spot fake Japanese Pokemon cards is a crucial skill for new and experienced collectors alike to learn, as it can protect you from financial risk and emotional heartbreak.

Are There Fake Japanese Pokémon Cards?

But wait, you may be thinking, are there fake Japanese Pokemon cards on the market?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The Pokemon TCG has steadily grown in popularity over the years, and as cards become older and harder to find, scammers have grown craftier in their ability to create fake cards.

Learning how to spot fake Japanese Pokemon cards requires you to stay on top of trends and designs across releases, and many of the details can only be spotted by a trained eye.

The Impact on Collectors, Traders, and Resellers

Regarding the market, collectors, traders, and resellers alike are negatively impacted by the presence of fake cards. The differences between fake vs real Japanese Pokemon cards harms traders and resellers, as unknowingly selling a phony card can harm their reputation and even lead to legal action.

Receiving a fake when you expect an authentic card devastates most collectors. Realizing your prized card is fake can put a damper on your enjoyment of the Pokemon TCG and may discourage you from future purchases down the line.

Financial and Emotional Consequences of Fake Cards

Learning the differences between fake vs real Japanese Pokemon cards can save you from heartache and financial loss. Purchasing a phony card means you overpaid significantly compared to what an authentic version would be valued at since fake cards are worthless. This can ruin your ability to resell cards down the road.

In addition to the financial impact, buying fake cards can also have emotional consequences. Collecting Japanese Pokemon cards is a hobby that brings joy and satisfaction; owning authentic cards is an essential part of that experience. Buying fake cards can take away from that joy and lead to feelings of disappointment and regret.

Therefore, you must learn how to tell if Japanese Pokemon cards are fake. We’ll be covering that in detail in the next section.

How to Tell if Japanese Pokémon Cards Are Fake

The most important part of learning how to start collecting Pokemon cards is the ability to spot fakes. Scammers love to prey on vulnerable card buyers, especially since Japanese Pokemon cards have some natural differences from English cards. Knowing how to tell if Japanese Pokemon cards are fake can help protect you from financial and emotional ruin.

Analyzing Printing Quality and Colors

One of the most prominent things you’ll notice when comparing fake vs real Japanese Pokemon cards is the quality of the colors and printing on the card. Authentic Japanese Pokemon cards have sharp, clear printing and vibrant colors that are consistent throughout the card.

On the other hand, fake cards may have blurry or pixelated printing, and the colors may be faded or inconsistent. You may also notice that fake cards feel flimsier than their authentic counterparts.

Checking the Font, Text Size, and Spelling

Font and text size are common avenues for scammers to try to trick you, so it’s crucial that you learn the specifics behind authentic Japanese Pokemon cards. Authentic cards have a consistent font and text size across all cards, which can be cross-referenced against verified cards.

We recommend either bringing an authentic card with you to compare to a card you will potentially purchase or asking for detailed photos if buying online.

The Importance of Correct Card Weight and Texture

Another easy method of how to tell if Japanese Pokemon cards are fake is to compare the weight and texture of the card. Like font size and text, authentic cards maintain a consistent weight and texture across rarities.

Rarity Symbols and Set Numbers: Are They Correct?

Japanese Pokemon cards have different rarity symbols than English cards, and scammers may try to take advantage of this discrepancy to pass off fakes as authentic. However, the rarity symbols for Japanese cards are consistent across releases, so you must learn what each symbol means to verify their accuracy.

For example, the English “Secret Rare” rarity is released in Japan as “Hyper Rare,” with different symbols. Before hunting for a specific card, be sure to research the authentic rarity and set numbers to cross-verify.

The Devil's in the Details: Holographs and Other Features

Fake card creators rely on you not understanding the details behind authentic cards. For example, Japanese cards have a specific holographic pattern for cards rated at least “Rare,” which fake cards fail to copy accurately.

Additionally, many of the best alt art Pokemon cards have distinctive features that make them a ripe candidate for scammers. If you are hunting for these rare cards, it’s critical that you buy from a trusted supplier that isn’t afraid to show their verification process.

You should now have a basic idea of how to tell if Japanese Pokemon cards are fake, but there are a few more tips to consider, so let’s switch gears to discuss how to navigate the market.

Tips for Avoiding Getting Burned With Fake Japanese Pokémon Cards

You now know how to spot fake Japanese Pokemon cards, but that is only half the battle. You can protect yourself from encountering these fake cards by shopping from reputable merchants and doing ample research, especially when searching for single cards.

Understand the Market: Know the Common Prices for Cards

Remember, fake card sellers try to prey on your ignorance. Doing your research into the price differences in fake vs real Japanese Pokemon cards can help you avoid overpaying for cards and assist you in spotting inaccurately priced deals.

We recommend joining a community of collectors and speaking with trusted retailers to get an accurate picture of market prices for each card.

Seller Reputation: Choosing Trusted Retailers

When it comes to avoiding fake cards, one of the best ways to do so is by finding trusted retailers with a strong track record. Secondhand marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are rife with shady resellers and scams, whereas trusted merchants have ample reviews you can read before purchasing.

By looking into a supplier’s reputation, you can spot any red flags long before you commit to buying a card.

Reviewing Seller Policies: Returns and Refunds

In addition to a storied track record, the best places to buy Japanese Pokemon cards offer layers of protection to ensure a safe shopping experience. Look for sellers with comprehensive return and refund policies to protect you in case of an unexpected fake or damaged card.

You’ll also want to look for sellers with compassionate and experienced customer service teams, especially those with a history of identifying fake cards.

The Importance of Clear, Detailed Photos

If you noticed a trend in our list of tips on how to spot fake Japanese Pokemon cards, it’s that many of the suggestions require detailed inspections. Thus, clear photos are essential to have when shopping, especially if purchasing online.

Clear, detailed photos should show the front and back of the card, as well as any relevant details such as rarity symbols, set numbers, and holographs. By examining these details closely, you can often spot differences indicating whether the card is authentic.

Additionally, it's essential to look for well-lit photos that show the card from different angles. This can help you better understand the card's condition and any potential flaws or damage.

Ask Questions: Engaging With the Seller Before Purchase

Reputable sellers have nothing to hide and should be able to answer all your questions to help you verify a card’s authenticity. You’ll want to inquire about the card’s condition, whether it is a resale or opened from a pack, and any details of the card that are unique to the card’s set.

By engaging with the seller before making a purchase, you can better understand their credibility and trustworthiness. These questions can help you make informed purchasing decisions and reduce the risk of getting scammed with fake cards or cards that are not in the condition you expected.

Recognize Too-Good-To-Be-True Deals

Seeing a rare card you’ve been hunting for at a fraction of the price can be an exciting rush, but before you run off to purchase that card, you need to take a step back. As the saying goes: if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Remember, fake Pokemon cards are worthless, so even if a scammer takes a “loss,” they still profit from ripping you off. Be sure to stay on top of market trends and never be afraid to walk away from a “good” deal if they lack the proof to back it up.

The Safe Bet: Choosing Established Platforms

Okay, we’ve discussed many ways to help you determine real cards from fake ones. However, there’s one last tip that is vital to keep in mind.

Purchasing from an established platform with a strong track record is the best way to ensure you only receive authentic cards. Be sure to look for merchants with a healthy list of reviews and satisfied community members.

So, where can you find a trusted seller, anyways? The answer is right under your nose…

Say Goodbye to the Stress and Anxiety of Buying Fake Cards When You Shop With Danireon!

Danireon is the best place to buy Pokemon cards Canada has to offer. We are a team of Pokemon fans and TCG enthusiasts that created Danireon as a homage to the wonders of the TCG world.

We carry a diverse inventory of Japanese Pokémon cards and Japanese Pokémon booster boxes, backed by the expertise of our team and a stringent authentication process. Plus, cultivating a friendly community of Pokemon TCG fans is a crucial part of our mission, and we offer a free discord server for beginners and seasoned collectors alike.

In addition to a bustling community of collectors and TCG battlers, we have a formidable history of satisfied customers, which can be seen in our reviews.

Our Approach to Ensuring Authenticity

Since we are a trusted seller and a reliable choice for where to sell Pokemon cards, our track record relies on going above and beyond to deliver precisely the product you expect when you order with us.

Every card we receive, whether singles or booster boxes, goes through a comprehensive verification process. We can also confirm a card’s authenticity through PSA, the premier rating agency in the world of trading cards.

We also offer “Rip & Ship” services to allow you to receive authentic booster sets backed by our authentic guarantee.

We Have More Than Just Japanese Cards, Too!

Japanese cards are just half of the fun when it comes to collecting Pokemon cards. We carry a constantly revolving inventory of ultra rare Pokémon cards, including VMAX Pokémon cards that can turn the tide of any battle.

For collectors, we also offer Charizard cards featuring one of the most iconic Pokemon existence and vintage Pokémon cards that are guaranteed to be in near-mint or better condition.

Additionally, we offer pre-orders on upcoming sets to allow you to get your hands on the newest releases as soon as they are ready.

Closing Thoughts on How to Tell If Japanese Pokémon Cards Are Fake

Let’s recap our discussion. Are there fake Japanese Pokemon cards, and if so, how can you tell which ones are authentic?

Unfortunately, fake cards are prevalent on secondhand marketplaces like eBay, Wish, and Amazon, luring unsuspecting buyers with too-good-to-be-true prices and design quirks. These fake card scammers prey on your lack of knowledge, so you must do your research.

You can avoid these scams by analyzing everything from the font and text size to the design of holographic features. Your best chance of avoiding fake cards is to work with a trusted dealer with a strong track record of delivering authentic cards.

If you’re in Canada or North America and looking for a merchant, Danireon has your back. We carry a diverse inventory of English and Japanese Pokemon cards alike, all backed by our formidable reputation and stringent verification process.

We also offer the best customer support in the industry, including detailed insights into the authentic features of each card we sell, comprehensive photos, and accurate prices. We also love building our community of Pokemon TCG collectors, providing helpful tips like how to ship booster packs for resale or where to begin when creating a Japanese deck.

Our inventory also features several rare cards, along with accessories like the best binders for Pokemon cards and even some Pokemon toys. If you are ready to invest in Japanese Pokemon cards from a reliable supplier you can trust, browse our inventory or join our Discord community to get started today!