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I remember as a kid growing up when Pokemon cards first came out, you would see kids everywhere whipping out their cards, hunting for trades and battles…….ahhhhhh nostalgia! Like all things, whenever there is a new trending item there are always a lot of people trying to make a quick buck selling counterfeits. Some people end up paying big bucks believing that they are buying authentic items, while others are purposely seeking just a knock-off for the smaller price tag. I must admit that growing up my family didn’t have a lot of money but I wanted to fit in so badly with all my friends and wanted to collect my favorite characters, that I began collecting fake cards. They looked identical to the originals, but I could actually afford them. That being said, I have tons of experience collecting both real and fake Pokemon cards. I’ll share with you a couple of ways you can tell the difference. P.S thank God today I can afford an authentic collection of cards 🙂

Color: Not 50 Shades






If you have a collection of cards and notice that one of your cards seems really dark and muggy or one of your cards is much paler in comparison to the rest of your collection, that is a red flag! Unless that card has been exposed to A LOT of sunlight or you accidentally soaked it in the wash, more than likely it’s a fake.

Size: It Does Matter






If you come across a card that seems significantly smaller than the rest, that’s also a red flag. Pokemon cards come in the standard size of 6.3 cm x 8.8 cm. Of course, there are jumbo cards now that are legitimate but your card should not be smaller than standard size.

Text: Pay Close Attention

Pokemon cards tend to be uniform, which means that they have a set mold they follow. The “name” and the “attacks” of the Pokemon on the card are always BOLD, while the rest of the text is standard. If the text on the entire card is BOLD, that’s more than likely a fake. The text should also be easy to read; If there is smudged or blurry text, it’s probably counterfeit.

Density and Texture: The Feels







Pokemon cards are also printed in layers of cardstock. That means that they are not on the thin and flimsy side. If a card you own feels very thin, that’s a red flag! Also, when you bend a card, there should be a sturdy sound to it- remember there are layers and that should reflect. Also, if you happen to have a rare holographic card, it shouldn’t feel like the card has a layer of plastic glued onto it. Pokemon cards should feel like cardstock not plastic!


Let there be LIGHT!

If it all looks good but you still have doubts, there is one surefire way to spot a fake. Place it up against light! As mentioned, authentic Pokemon cards are printed in layers, whereas fakes are not. When you place a fake Pokemon card against a light bulb, the torch app on your phone, or even sunlight, you will be able to see the entire Pokemon logo that’s on the backside of the card. A real Pokemon card has a black or blue layer of cardstock in between the front and back image to avoid that from happening.

Final Verdict

Most people end up with a fake Pokemon card or two in their collection, but be aware of online scammers who will try to sell you fake cards for the price of authentic ones. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Seek to buy from reputable sources and stores. When possible, touch the rare cards you are trying to buy or trade and put them up to the light.

Hope this post helps a bit! If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to comment below. Or, if you know of any other tips or tricks on how to spot a fake that I forgot to add to this list, drop them below! Until then, happy hunting!

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