Tips to Spotting Fake & Counterfeit Beanie Babies
There are several warning signs for identifying fake and counterfeit Beanie Babies, keep the following in mind when looking into buying a Beanie Baby:
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH! - Make sure you have spent some time studying the different tag generations on Beanie Babies, at least have a print out hand to compare with when looking to buy a Beanie Baby. Knowledge is the key! The more you know about what you are buying the better chance you have of picking one that is not only in perfect condition but is real!
Use the aboutBeanies Tags Section and Search Engine to research Beanies!
2. Check the foil around the hang tags! - This is the biggest error in counterfeit Beanies. The gold foil should be smooth and even all the way around the tag. Counterfeits tend to have an uneven, un-smooth look to them. Also the gold on counterfeit tags often rubs off when moved in between your fingers. The holes for the connectors are often rough and do not appear to be perfectly cut!
3. DO NOT buy from online auctions that are marked private! - eBay lets sellers make their auctions private which means buyers can not see the sellers feedback comments and buyers can not see who else has bid on the auction. Most often only people who have something to hide make auctions private! Private auctions keep educated collectors from e-mailing the auctions high bidders and warning them that they most likely are bidding on a counterfeit.
4. DO NOT buy from online auctions where the seller makes any of the following types of statements: "Bought from Secondary Market." "Do not know the history of this Beanie" "All sales final, ask any Questions Prior to Bidding." These most often are counterfeit Beanies.
5. ASK QUESTIONS - If you are ever unsure about a Beanies authenticity, especially on an auction, e-mail the seller and ask them questions such as: "Will you have this Beanie authenticated at buyers expense?" "Where did you acquire this Beanie?" Often if the seller is selling a counterfeit, they will not e-mail you back an answer, they will write you back stating something to the effect of "I am to busy to have it authenticated," "I need to make money fast, child is sick, no time to authenticate."
6. Too Good To Be True - If the offer is "Too good to be true" listen to your gut, it is probably fake. This goes back to DO YOUR RESEARCH, research the Beanie you are planning to buy, how much does it typically sell for? For example the #1 Beanie Baby sells for $4,000+, and you see one online auction for $100 about to end, not authenticated, it is FAKE! Remember: Why would someone sell something for $100 un-athenticated when the same beanie authenticated would sell for $4,000 or more?
The following images are taken from eBay on two different auctions for the same Beanie both ending near each other, notice the price difference!
7. Check lettering/color and size of hang tags - If you have the chance to hold the Beanie and or examine pictures of the tags, check and make sure the fonts match those you have researched, examine the inks, and sizes.
8. Check the tag generations - Use the site here to look up possible tag combination a certain Beanie can have, so when you go to buy one you can verify the tag generation and examine what it looks likes. A lot of fake often appear to have the correct tags, however with closer examination you can typically see errors or differences in the tags that should not be there!
9. Research the Seller! - Always make sure someone has many references and that they are posted in public places. Good places with feedback are eBay and other auction sites. Remember it is easy for anyone to fake up a few references to send you these days! A good place to look for Bad sellers is the following website: http://www.traderlist.com/ , it's a collection of reported good and bad traders!
10. Examine the Beanie's characteristics! - A lot of early fakes in particular are easy to identify simply by examining how poorly made they are, often they are even the wrong size and color!
11. AUTHENTICATION - I personally do not buy Beanies that are priced over $100 if they are not authenticated! Read more about authentication here!
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