Think you may've bought a fake Pokemon GBA Game? Read!

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There are plenty of guides on eBay about how to spot fake Pokemon GBA games at the point of sale. But what if you've already been convinced and have bought a game, and are concerned that it might be a counterfeit product, I have a few tips that will help you identify the good from the ugly. I hope you paid with PayPal! PayPal offer great protection services from sellers selling fraudulent items.

I have recently fallen victim to purchasing a counterfeit Pokemon GBA Game, and I thought all was well and good; the game was working fine, saving my progress properly, no real signs that it might be fake. That is until my friend purchased one too which turned out to be VERY fake, and when I started comparing them, I realised they looked frighteningly similar. I had to investigate, and here are the results!

My friends copy was clearly a fake because it came with a game booklet that was 6 pages long and a box that beared strange colouring. My copy came with what I believe is a genuine box, but no booklet at all so this was not an instant giveaway for me. But Genuine Game Booklets are usually in excess of 30 pages, definitely not 6 or 7.

I took my new purchase to a game store where they were selling brand new genuine copies (which I should have just purchased!) and asked to compare the cartridges. The colours of the actual cartridge were different, and although some older counterfeiters were using plain black cartridges with the game title sticker slapped on (very obviously fakes), these days they are move savvy than that, using coloured cartridges that are very similarly coloured to the genuine product, and this is what I unwittingly received. My copy (FireRed) was a transparent ruby-red colour, whereas the genuine article was less transparent and closer to an orange-red. Genuine GBA Pokemon Cartridges are NOT overly transparent in colour, and you can BARELY see the circuit board through the back of the cartridge. This is true of RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD, FIRERED and LEAFGREEN versions.

If you look inside the bottom of the cartridge, you will see the gold pins that connect to the Gameboy so the game can run. Genuine Pokemon Cartridges (in fact all GBA cartridges) have the word Nintendo printed above these pins along with a serial number. Don't worry, you can see these insignia without opening the cartridge. Neither mine or my friend's games bear these markings. On the front of the cartridge too, in the top right hand corner of the sticker, there should be some lettering indented over the top. Our copies do not possess these indentations. These two indicators are sure-fire ways to be 100% CERTAIN as to whether or not you have the genuine article or a clever fake!

If all else fails or you're still not convinced of your copy's authenticity, there is a final test you can perform. You'll need to own a Nintendo DS and a copy of Pokemon Diamond or Pearl.
- Play your counterfeit GBA game for a few minutes (if you can), enough to save your progress.
- Save and switch off your DS
- Switch your DS back on and load your Diamond/Pearl game with the GBA cartridge still inserted.
- Walk around a bit and save your game, and turn off the DS
- Turn it back on again and attempt to play your GBA game. Your save file will have been deleted.

I hope my guide can lend some assistance to those who may have already fallen victim to fraudelent eBayers selling counterfeit Pokemon Games. There is still a huge market out there for Pokemon, and as long it remains that way, there will always be despicable people doing whatever they can to make a quick buck off the poor saps who fall for their products. If you have purchased such a counterfeit game , file a dispute and report the seller to eBay! Its the only way to help protect the rest of the eBay community.

And if you've found this guide at all helpful, please rate it so others may find it just as helpful!
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