In a constantly-improving digital age, eBay, Amazon, and other card collecting marketplaces have made it significantly easier for buyers and sellers to openly communicate with each other.
However, as the ease of buying has improved, so has the dark and mysterious side of the hobby which continues to frustrate passionate card collectors – the problem of reprints and counterfeit cards.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at four of the most effective methods you can use to find out whether a basketball card is a reprint or not. We’ll also look to answer a few of the frequently asked questions.
1) Thoroughly Research The Seller
The first thing you can do is research the seller. You should do this before you purchase any basketball cards online.
It’s important to make sure the seller is legitimate because you don’t want to buy from someone who has a history of selling reprints that are passed off as originals.
There are some online sites such as eBay which require sellers to list cards as reprints if they’re unable to fully authenticate them. Therefore, it’s essential that you make sure the seller has the sufficient proof you need.
One of the best ways to research the legitimacy and trustworthiness of the seller is to check their feedback and see if they have a minimum of 9.5% positive ratings.
Scroll through all their feedback comments, especially the negative ones. If they have their feedback hidden, this isn’t a good sign.
It’s also a good idea to check the seller’s other sold items. For example, if they’ve sold more than one of the cards that you’re interested in, there’s every chance that it’s a reprint or counterfeit card.
2) Carefully Examine The Card
It’s imperative that you carefully examine the card and compare it to a genuine original. This is because reprints are a reprint of the original card, but released at a later date.
While they might look incredibly similar to the original, there are often certain features added.
For example, some cards might have the word “reprint” printed on the card somewhere, while several basketball companies reproduce cards to sell in a package later – which is often a telling sign.
It’s worth keeping in mind that a counterfeit card can often be more difficult to spot than a reprint.
Unlike reprints, counterfeit cards are made to look identical to the original, so you’ll need to study it closely to make sure the typeface, the font, and the color are all the same.
3) Don’t Trust Cards In Screwdown Holders
If a card is being sold in a screwdown holder case and is listed as authentic, there’s a good chance that the seller isn’t telling the truth.
This is because some sellers believe that this makes the card look more authentic, however it’s an immediate red flag, and gives you more reason to research them further.
This isn’t to say that you can’t find some legitimate cards presented in a screwdown holder. It’s just the majority of them are fake, so it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution.
4) Beware Of Deliberate Aging
Another thing to look out for are “aged” reprints. This is when scammers deliberately soak a reprint in tea or coffee to make it look stained and older.
Once the card dries, it tends to have a wrinkled appearance and a sort of crackling on the surface.
This is a deliberate attempt from sellers to accelerate the aging of a card to make it look like an original.
Therefore, don’t always be fooled by an old-looking card and immediately assume it must be authentic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Professionals Identify A Reprint?
Yes, if you ever have any doubts or concerns about a card, you can always take it to a professional who should be able authenticate it and tell you whether it’s a reprint or not.
These professionals are experts in the field, so they know all the tricks of the trade that agers and counterfeits tend to use.
If you’re shopping online and have doubts about the legitimacy of a card, these experts can still help you.
Simply take a screenshot of the card in question and then post it onto a website or forum with professionals who’ll be able to let you know whether it’s a reprint or not.
How To Spot A Fake Fleer Jordan Rookie Card?
There are few sports cards more iconic than a Michael Jordan Fleer 1986-87 rookie card. However, it’s also one of the most counterfeited cards in the industry, so it’s important to make sure you get a genuine one.
Listed below are some of the tips to keep in mind when identifying a fake Jordan card:
- Check the back of the card for the number “JORDAN”
- Look for the copyright symbol
- Compare the numbers to those found on the actual card
- If the card has been altered, check the corners for the signature
- Look for the logo of the company that produced the card
- Check the printing quality
- Check the condition of the card
How To Tell If A Baseball Card Is A Reprint?
First, it’s a good idea to check the back of the card. The first two digits should match the year of the card’s release. For example, a 1987 Topps card would start with 87.
It’s also worth comparing the card to other cards in the set. You’ll notice that most cards in the set have the same design.
Moreover, compare the card to other cards from the same series. If the card looks different, then it’s likely a reprint.
If you really want to be sure, take a look at the edges of the card. Some cards feature a border around the edge.
These borders may vary slightly between cards, but they usually follow a consistent pattern. A reprint won’t have these borders.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, if you’re looking to spend a considerable amount of money on a basketball card, it’s important that it’s original and legitimate.
While there’s nothing wrong with buying a reprint if you’re not into collecting authentic cards, you still need to make sure that you pay reprint pricing and don’t get ripped off.
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