How Do I know if the DVD I bought is fake?

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Unfortunately there are many counterfeit dvd's currently being sold over the net both knowingly and unknowingly. I've written this, my first guide because I recently witnessed a fake 'Friends' DVD boxset go for over $190 despite the picture clearly showing something different from the official release.

As a volume seller of over 6000 units this past year, most of them DVD's I've seen more of them come thru here than you would believe. I buy bulk lots and list them individually and each lot from the start contained various forms of fakes. I'm happy to say I'm a lot more cautious these days and have drastically reduced this happening. Those that I do find go into a box to send to my customers as freebies or as with a number of the fake boxsets like the 'Friends' one mentioned above they just gather dust.

The following are a number of points that will assist you in telling the difference.
  • The great majority of fakes are listed as Region 1, but don't let that put you off because genuine US dvd's usually have better features and there some great collectables. Just refer to the other points.
  • Any dvd released by a major studio that says 'All Regions or Region 0' is a fake. Smaller distributor releases and titles like documentaries and music concerts etc may be all regions but they will also be either PAL or NTSC depending on where they were manufactured.
  • Unless a title is an Asian speaking release there should be no Asian writing on the disc or cover period! Genuine Region 3 dvd's of which I've listed a few recently are produced for the SE Asian market and not China. True R3 discs mostly have little gold stickers in the bottom right corner of the cover and the subtitles will read something like English, Japanese, Thai, Korean. This especially applies to all of you who have bought TV boxsets like 'Friends, Sopranos and the like. The sets are all done to look like quality but look for the Asian writing on the discs. Another way to know is to check a US retailer like DVD Universe or DVD Empire for what the true set looks like.
  • One of the easier tells are the number 9 printed on the cover or a heading across the top saying DTS Digital Surround Sound. These are fakes that have been bought in the markets of Bali or Thailand. There are a small number of Region 1 titles that do have the DTS header but not enough to warrant the counterfeiters running with it.
  • And finally (for now) there are some very good ones on the market that are difficult to tell on first look, but the first thing I look at now if the cover is what it should be and it says Region 1 is the subtitles. All Region 1 dvd's made in the US will have the usual subtitles English Spanish French etc, all made in Canada may have french references even on the covers and canadian rating labels but the fake will have subtitles like English Malay Chinese etc.
My apologies If I've forgotten anything, I might add to it later

Equity Music & Film
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