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bootleg dvds - how can you tell

bootleg dvds - how can you tell

 
Old 05-13-04, 01:23 PM
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bootleg dvds - how can you tell

Hey guys,

How can you tell bootleg from original dvds? Big diff in picture and sound quality? How about art on dvd itself? Are they good enough to copy that too? Just got into dvds and am starting a collection (mainly used). Don't want to get stuck with a bunch of bootlegs.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:03 PM
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A major sign is poor quality.

Don't want to get stuck with a bunch of bootlegs.
Sometimes a boot is the only way to get a film.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:08 PM
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If you don't want bootlegs, dont buy from Ebay. 90% of the stuff there is bootleg.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Leechboy
If you don't want bootlegs, dont buy from Ebay. 90% of the stuff there is bootleg.
That's not true. it depends on the seller and the inventory.

Check out their feedback. Make sure no one has posted that they received a bootleg.

Check the other movies they have for sale and make sure they're legit (no star wars/ed woods).

Look and see if they have a unique picture of the disc and not just the standard ebay picture.

Make sure they don't say DVD9 in big letters on the cover anywhere.

These are all things I do when I'm selling my DVD's. I assure people that they're not going to receive a DVD-r and I will photograph the front, back, insert and the disc itself.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by Leechboy
If you don't want bootlegs, dont buy from Ebay. 90% of the stuff there is bootleg.
I'm not sure where you came up with that figure, but I disagree completely. I'd say more like 10% to 25% might be bootlegged, and a savvy shopper can most often avoid bootlegs.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by Leechboy
If you don't want bootlegs, dont buy from Ebay. 90% of the stuff there is bootleg.
Like others have refuted, I'd only agree if you were talking about anime specifically. Otherwise your percentage is way too high.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by Leechboy
If you don't want bootlegs, dont buy from Ebay. 90% of the stuff there is bootleg.


Simply ...... not ...... true.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:36 PM
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http://members.ebay.com/ws2/eBayISAP...rid=waskydiver

This link is for a user guide to bootleg DVDs.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:43 PM
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I would say there are a lot of bootlegs on E-bay. I would say that it's possible that if a disc is *only* available on E-bay, 90% of them will be bootlegs. But that would only be true of specific titles like "Salo" (Criterion) (and, even then, I've never seen a bootleg of a flipper disc like 'Little Shop' or the Criterion 'Spinal Tap').

Digitalfreaks' tips are all good, except I disagree on the picture one; I buy indiscriminate of the picture (provided it's the proper picture; obviously, if it's an Asian cover of a movie, it's a bootleg). I mean, it's an extra rule that would definitely work, but I don't think it's a neccessary one.

I would also add that, when in doubt, send an E-mail. If they're a bootlegger, they won't respond. I won a great price on a Criterion Kurosawa disc, but then got suspicious because he had an auction up for "Ran (Criterion)" (which, if you don't realize, doesn't exist), so I E-mailed the guy and said, "Look, if this is a bootleg I just won, I don't want it, and there're gonna be problems between us when I'm trying to get my money back, and negative feedback, and all that stuff. So, tell me flat out if this is a bootleg and we can just negate the auction, rather than going through all of those problems."

He didn't E-mail me back, but he also didn't send me a non-payer or negative feedback or anything.

Check the other movies they have for sale and make sure they're legit (no star wars/ed woods).
I would generalize this a bit more ... if they're selling a bunch of copies of the same OOP movie, it's a bootleg.

Check out their feedback. Make sure no one has posted that they received a bootleg.
Also make sure they're not a new user. Some bootleggers just hop to new accounts to ditch bad feedback.

A major (if obvious) one is: if they're selling from Asia (other than Japan), and they have covers with Asian characters on them, they're probably bootlegs. You can take your chances, but nobody seems to reccommend it. Thankfully, they're upfront and obvious about it.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:44 PM
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I learned my lesson about buying DVD's on Ebay. Do your research! Or if it sounds too good Öit is!

I bought the boxed set of "The Earth to the Moon" series. If I had read the reviews closely I would have noticed this was originally a 3-disc set and the special edition included a bonus DVD rom disc (4 discs total). The auction advertised this version as the retail Chinese version which the seller said was exactly the same as the US version except for the box lettering.

The price of $35 sucked me in. Retail price was around $85. When I got the set and opened the box, I immediately knew it wasn't the retail version. The DVD labels while authentic looking didn't match all the pictures I had seen in the reviews at the digital bits site. Next clue was the number of discs (6). These were obviously single density duped DVR discs so each original discs was split into 2 discs each (hence 3 discs turn into 6 discs) To top it off the DVD rom wasn't included even though the box was labeled "Special Edition."

Splitting the discs royally messed up the menus because some of the parts were only accessible if you had the right disc in. It was very confusing because for example disc 4 would still say disc 2 in the menu and so on.

By now Iím really pissed but not all is lost if I still get to watch all the great episodes on my widescreen TV. I sit down over the next 4 days and start to watch them. Then I get to disc 2 and the damn soundtrack is out of sync. Grrrrr!!! After going through all the discs I found disc 5ís soundtrack was also out of sync. This was just not worth saving a few bucks on. I am now going to the store and putting my hands on a real copy and buying it.

This might very well have been a ďretailĒ Chinese version. We all know how strict the Chinese are on copyright protection. ;-)

Ebay is great for some stuff but Iíll get my DVDs somewhere else.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:49 PM
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I've never once had a bad DVD buying experience on eBay.

Sorting out bootleggers v. legitimate sellers is so easy its scary. Just don't buy hard to find titles on there without some correspondence before the auction.

But eBay is a great place to pick up cheap catalog titles or cheap new titles that people watched once with the bonus of feedback. That's all I buy there.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:51 PM
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Ebay is great for some stuff but Iíll get my DVDs somewhere else.
Why not just not buy obvious bootlegs instead?

I mean, there's a *great* used DVD store near me in NYC ... should I *stop* going to them just because they sell bootlegs of 'Salo' and a few other specific titles? Or should I just buy educatedly from them?

It's a great way to build your collection up on the cheap if you know how to shop on E-bay. If the bootleggers were smart and hid it from buyers well, I wouldn't buy off there either. But I've never been fooled, and you yourself said you should've known (and you were right, you should've; "legitimate Asian release" means bootleg).

Just don't buy hard to find titles on there without some correspondence before the auction.
I've never even needed to do that ... but it's not a bad rule of thumb. They're just as easy to spot from what they write and their feedback as anything else (plus if they have no morality about bootlegging, they'd probably be willing to lie to you via E-mail also; that said, there are plenty who know it would just be easier to ignore you, then you won't bid on them and, thus, you won't care). I may start E-mailing but, actually, I've gotten pretty much all of the rare titles I want now. I still buy off E-bay, but it's as you said, mostly easy to find stuff that winds up being really cheap on there ("Election" for $3! You can't beat prices like that.).

Last edited by ThatGuamGuy; 05-13-04 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 05-13-04, 02:54 PM
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Oh, and I addressed this in a Duel thread...if you pay with PayPal and the DVD ends up being bootlegged, check to see if the seller used a tracking number. Most don't. Log in to PayPal and open a dispute against the seller.

If he is smart, he'll mail you a postcard with a tracking number on it. Otherwise, you'll automatically win after about two weeks and you get the bootleg and the money.
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Old 05-13-04, 03:25 PM
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Ok, I screwed up with my "90% of ebay is bootlegs" quote. If you are searching for anything rare on ebay then 90% of them are bootlegs. Just look at Criterion Salo, Criterion The Killer and so on. A lot of boxed sets on ebay are also bootlegs, Ive seen Alias, X Files and Sopranos bootlegs. Other than anything rare or "low priced Asian collectors editions" you should be safe on buying.
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Old 05-13-04, 03:37 PM
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If it says "Import" or "region free" or "region 0" or conveiently doesn't list important information relevant to that release (basic stuff, like region number, or studio, or other things your average DVD store lists) I would avoid it. Also, if it doesn't have an actual picture of the item, forget it.

Bottom line I've learned about DVDs on Ebay is if the seller is selling multiple copies of the same item or has hundreds of DVD auctions up at once, something is not right. Either there are no physical DVDs he is selling, and will take hundreds of Pay Pal payments and split and nobody will get anything, or they are selling stolen items and I refuse to support people who steal, or they are selling bootlegs. As much as you want to believe in the good nature of mankind, NOBODY is going to buy DVDs in bulk at cost or MSRP and sell them far below cost just because they like you. They are up to no good one way or another. And just because they have feed back doesn't automatically guarntee those sellers flooding Ebay with hundreds of DVDs a day are good. They can get their friends to "buy" DVDs from them and create false feedback, or they can be using other IDs on Ebay and putting up false feedback.

There are no good deals for DVDs on Ebay. You may find a legit deal from time to time, but I am talking about from one seller. If one seller is selling 30 copies of Firefly at 20.00 each, that's a red flag. And if they don't have an actual picture of the item, that is also a red flag.
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Old 05-13-04, 03:53 PM
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How about the new trend where people "do not ship in a hard casing, but instead ship all DVDs in a plastic sleeve in order to lower shipping costs for you, the consumer!".

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Old 05-13-04, 04:03 PM
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How about the new trend where people "do not ship in a hard casing, but instead ship all DVDs in a plastic sleeve in order to lower shipping costs for you, the consumer!".
Doesn't that fall under "Asian", or has that spread to the rest of the bootleggers as well now?

Bottom line I've learned about DVDs on Ebay is if the seller is selling multiple copies of the same item or has hundreds of DVD auctions up at once, something is not right.
I think you know what you're saying here, but you've slightly misstated it. The *most* dependable people on E-bay are the stores and other massive sellers who specialize in offering hundreds of DVD auctions up. They generally maintain about a 99.7% feedback or so, because they all have the same problem of DVDs slipping through cracks (and an occassional accident, where they offer one for sale wrongly). Now, I personally won't order from most of them because they overcharge for shipping. But they're highly dependable and, in a pinch, I'll use them, and *never* have problems.

There are no good deals for DVDs on Ebay. You may find a legit deal from time to time, but I am talking about from one seller.
That's such nonsense I have to assume to meant to type something else. I literally *can't* respond directly to any of it because it's so far off base. Why not stick to specifics and details? You're good at those, like:
"NOBODY is going to buy DVDs in bulk at cost or MSRP and sell them far below cost just because they like you." or
"Either there are no physical DVDs he is selling, and will take hundreds of Pay Pal payments and split and nobody will get anything, or they are selling stolen items and I refuse to support people who steal, or they are selling bootlegs."

These are good. But when you get into generalizations, like:
"They can get their friends to "buy" DVDs from them and create false feedback, or they can be using other IDs on Ebay and putting up false feedback."
and you get into trouble; nobody is so interested in ripping people off that they'll spend years building up positive feedback by faking sales to their friends (don't forget, E-bay gets a piece of every one of those sales even if your friend doesn't actually give you any money, so this would be an *investment* no less) just to build to that one day when they rip off a hundred people at once. The people who do what you're talking about (selling nonexistent DVDs) don't wait to build up fake feedback; they know that the people who are buying them won't care.

As I said, you should avoid generalizations because, at the risk of generalizing, all of your generalizations were bad, and wrongly phrased. (But I was sincere about your specifics.)

Bottom line is, people who won't buy off of E-bay strictly for fear of bootlegs are (*generally*) just being lazy.
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Old 05-13-04, 04:11 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ThatGuamGuy
Doesn't that fall under "Asian", or has that spread to the rest of the bootleggers as well now?[/quote

I see it on plenty of auctions now that doesn't mention anything about them being Asian DVDs, etc... Just go check it out, it's so funny. Well, not really, because I just know that many people have been burned by it. The present the auction like anyone would, looks perfectly normal, then in tiny writing down the page somewhere in all of the writing they say that about the packaging.

As for no good deals on eBay, you must not know how to use the site. There are plenty of great, legit deals, to be had on there. Just use your head when you search for stuff. One great things is when people list a Criterion for sale but they do not write the word Criterion anywhere in the auction title or description, and you can only tell by the picture that they posted. My cousin found a few great deals on Criterion DVDs, legit Criterion DVDs. Even I have done so, I got SotL CC for only $20 because someone didn't list it as they should've.

Just search, and you will find.
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Old 05-13-04, 04:43 PM
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if you bought The Last Samurai from a questionable source and it plays next summer's Star Wars Episode III...chances are it is a bootleg!
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Old 05-13-04, 05:01 PM
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The fears of eBay here are so unfounded. Sure, if you are buying Salo or something like that, be weary. The only way to get stung is by not doing your homework. However, I've often found myself finding an item at the last minute and almost bidding on it before realizing the seller is in Asia or South America.

I sell all the time on eBay and I buy fairly often. Its a great venue. I've NEVER been swindled and I don't swindle others. There are millions of people like me on eBay and it isn't too hard to figure out who they are.

Also, there are remedies for getting stung. The PayPal remedy I discussed above is one.

I did buy four Ali G videotapes (yes, VHS) so I could watch a bunch of his European interviews, and all four were bootlegs. I paid $10 each while originals were going for double. Felt like they were bootlegs. Enjoyed them thoroughly. Recorded them, and resold them on eBay as bootlegs, advertising them as bootlegs and I got $10 for all four of them. I didn't care, because I enjoyed them and didn't buy them to keep...just to watch, run a copy off, and resell them. I hate VHS.
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Old 05-13-04, 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by ukywyldcat
The fears of eBay here are so unfounded. Sure, if you are buying Salo or something like that, be weary. The only way to get stung is by not doing your homework. However, I've often found myself finding an item at the last minute and almost bidding on it before realizing the seller is in Asia or South America.

I sell all the time on eBay and I buy fairly often. Its a great venue. I've NEVER been swindled and I don't swindle others. There are millions of people like me on eBay and it isn't too hard to figure out who they are.

Also, there are remedies for getting stung. The PayPal remedy I discussed above is one.

I did buy four Ali G videotapes (yes, VHS) so I could watch a bunch of his European interviews, and all four were bootlegs. I paid $10 each while originals were going for double. Felt like they were bootlegs. Enjoyed them thoroughly. Recorded them, and resold them on eBay as bootlegs, advertising them as bootlegs and I got $10 for all four of them. I didn't care, because I enjoyed them and didn't buy them to keep...just to watch, run a copy off, and resell them. I hate VHS.
said by a true bootlegger!!! Wakka Wakka
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Old 05-13-04, 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by scott1598
said by a true bootlegger!!! Wakka Wakka

yeah right. i didn't create bootlegs. i bought bootlegs for my own enjoyment, and i resold bootlegs i bought to someone else for their enjoyment who got a great deal...4 for $10 and had the requisite info to make an informed decision, which i wasn't provided but assumed.

i wasn't selling them to someone interested in originals. and i wouldn't create copies for sale.

thanks for the accusation, though.

I reread my post. Almost sounds like I sold the recording that I made. I sold what I bought, not what I recorded for myself. He got what someone else recorded, and he was informed of that.

But by a strict definition of bootlegging, I suppose that is what I did, simply by selling what I knew what not authentic. But my conscience is clean as I've only done it that once, and provided the necessary info so someone didn't feel screwed.

Perhaps armed men will bust through my windows tonight.

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Old 05-13-04, 05:59 PM
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The best advice is whenever you have a doubt about an auction don't bid. The bootlegs are very obvious to me. You can just tell. I've been buying off of ebay for about 5 years and have never had a problem.

I've bought about 3 bootlegs over the years and all 3 were very clear they weren't the real deal. Even some of the bootleggers seem to be honest.
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Old 05-13-04, 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by ThatGuamGuy
I would also add that, when in doubt, send an E-mail. If they're a bootlegger, they won't respond. I won a great price on a Criterion Kurosawa disc, but then got suspicious because he had an auction up for "Ran (Criterion)" (which, if you don't realize, doesn't exist), so I E-mailed the guy and said, "Look, if this is a bootleg I just won, I don't want it, and there're gonna be problems between us when I'm trying to get my money back, and negative feedback, and all that stuff. So, tell me flat out if this is a bootleg and we can just negate the auction, rather than going through all of those problems."

He didn't E-mail me back, but he also didn't send me a non-payer or negative feedback or anything.
Same thing happened to me a while back (Hidden Fortress CC w/ DTS ) for $8.99. I just ignored it and never paid, and he never contacted me. Then strangely, about 2 months later, he gave me positive feedback. I was ssurprised, to say the least!

Also I think the word bootleg is being used a bit too loosely. For instance, with all those "The Killer" boots. Generally there are just as many legit The Killer discs (or close to) as there are fake discs advertising that they are CC. Sure there are lots of Asian discs and region 0/ALL discs, but they advertise this, don't advertise that they're CC, and are many times legit discs, just for HongKong or wherever. Even the bootlegs don't advertise that they are CC usually, they just call it a Special Edition and it has the same cover as The Killer CC.

Last edited by drjay; 05-13-04 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-13-04, 06:33 PM
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Can someone tell me if this is a bootleg?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN%3AIT&rd=1


I bought this and got it today and it sure as hell looks authentic. However, the shrinkwrap was not typical of factory sealed DVDs (it seemed more brittle...if you know what I mean). Also, no security stickers. The insert and DVD look legit and the quality is good, but this just strikes me as wrong. I can usually sniff out the boots, but I admit I took a chance on this one...

Can anyone compare the real deal to this??
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