Any tell-tale signs you bought a bootleg?

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Showing 1-25 of 107 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2009 2:26:48 PM PST
Besides of course buying directly from China/Asia, are there any signs you unknowingly bought a bootleg? I bought a set off eBay from a seller with great feedback that sells other media items. I see there are international sellers and new sellers selling this as well that offer EMS shipping (bootleg). The set I have I see says on the back that the DVD is Region 0 and has subtitles in German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese. I know eBay and Paypal said I'm covered if I bought a bootleg. And advice is appreciated, thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2009 8:24:16 PM PST
Jadomo says:
I pre-ordered my set in July and received it right on 09/09/09. I know it is an origional. My set says the same thing on the back, about the DVD.

Posted on Dec 21, 2009 9:05:32 AM PST
I opened the package today and it has red cheap pull tabs. I assume this is a bootleg? So much for buying off ebay from a top-rated seller who swears he doesn't sell bootlegs.

Posted on Dec 22, 2009 8:39:25 AM PST
Other clues: look for printing errors on the CD digipaks. For example, on the back of REVOLVER, the Beatles names are misspelled (!), the track listings on the back of the WHITE ALBUM and PAST PASTERS have errors. The dead giveaway is on the DVD mini documentaries, the opening logo is in Asian.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2009 5:56:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2009 12:52:32 AM PST
Kathryn M. says:
Hi There! Just opened my box set and has the red pull tags and the misspelled Beatles names - bought through ebay & paypal. Hope I get my money back!

Posted on Dec 23, 2009 10:28:47 PM PST
A. Zon says:
There are very cheap stereo sets on eBay too - from China. Certain to be fake.

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 4:50:48 PM PST
R. Speaks says:
I fell for a fake set listing on eBay too...just received it and I knew something wasn't right immediately as the celophane used to wrap the box and the indivdual CD's had that "repackaged" "cheap" "heat gun" look to it. The outer box was damaged. It had two copies of "With The Beatles" and was missing the "Past Masters" two-disc set. Names are incorrectly spelled on the back of the "Revolver" package. I sent a well-worded email to the eBay seller asking for a full refund and copied myself. I hope I get my money back! These fake sets are ALL OVER eBay...if the price is too good to be is. I learned my lesson.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2010 5:01:02 PM PST
Don't worry, you WILL get your money back. Open up a not as described claim/dispute with ebay and say its a fake. If the seller gets defensive, ebay may ask you to include proof that its a fake. You could include this link if you can send it by email. But the seller may just say to return it for a refund to not draw too much attention to their selling practices. Make sure you have a tracking number when its returned, which BTW ebay provides the UPS shipping label so you don't have to pay to mail it back. Again, make sure to ask about this. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2010 5:11:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 4, 2010 5:11:27 PM PST
R. Speaks says:
Thank you for that information, I went ahead an opened a case with eBay. The seller offered to refund my money and pay for return shipping but she gave me a return address that is different from the one on the package and I can't locate the street address on Google I'm concerned. Hopefully eBay will help me out! Thanks again. I've learned my lesson.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2010 5:35:04 PM PST
I believe ebay only allows you to return it to the address it came from or one they have on file. When you call them, make sure you talk to a supervisor. I wasted at least 2 hours talking to their reps. And don't worry, you're not the only one. At least you found out its a fake, there's a whole bunch of buyers who think they're getting the real thing.

Posted on Jan 7, 2010 3:22:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2010 3:30:06 AM PST
After buying a stereo box on Ebay I also got landed with a Chinese Bootleg! After reading the comments here investigated further and sure enough the same errors were there on Revolver & White Album as well as the Chinese logo on the DVD. The Past Masters CD should have two slots for the discs, mine had 1 as the centre slot was sealed and not diecut like the real one & both discs were jammed into one slot. The box actually fell apart and the dividing card was crushed.Thankfully my seller agreed to a full refund..I think she's been caught out too by her "supplier".. and I've returned it to her. The price was cheaper but there's a good reason why it was!
Go straight to Paypal if you've been caught out here. They resolve things a lot quicker. Mine was resolved within 24 hours of making a claim after I gave them 7 or so reasons why it was a fake. I got a full refund.

Buyer this set only from a regular seller like an Amazon or your local store.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 11:07:09 AM PST
Ray Vann says:
my bootleg box set had spelling errors everywhere. a red apple on the back of let it be instead of green like all the other apples. no anti-piracy seal. and black ribbons in the package.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 3:45:04 PM PST
BCE says:
The apple on the back of Let It Be is supposed to be red, just like the original LP, which I have. However, the fine print is NOT supposed to say things like "Place of monufocnsm us stated on label", like this ridiculous counterfiet! BTW, the box I got also has black ribbons; I guess the Chinese folks that made it ran out of red...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2010 3:47:00 PM PST
R. Speaks says:
I purchased a real set from and it has black ribbons. Also, it is interesting comparing the fake to the real thing...the quality of the real thing is evident!

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 1:10:24 PM PST
A. Martin says:
I'd buy this set from Amazon or another recognized dealer like Best Buy, etc. I got scammed, too, and now will have to send back my set and wait for a refund. The seller has promised me a refund, if I return the set unopened. I can tell from the back that the set is counterfeit.

There will be a FBI seal on the real set just to the left of the bar code. Also, on the box for the real set, all the logos, including the apple are in a straight line. On the fake set, the apple is below the other logos. The quality of the printing is bad as well. It looks fuzzy and/or pixelized, even on the front of the package through the plastic.

Buyer beware. If I had known about any of this, I would have purchase through Amazon straight away and not jerked around with this garbage.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2010 9:06:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 22, 2010 9:15:26 PM PST
Yeah R. Speaks I agree. I received my "real" Beatles Stereo Box from Amazon yesterday. I bought a US version because it was considerably cheaper than buying locally within Sydney Australia. I noticed the difference in quality straight away though I did double check Past Masters, White Album & Revolver as well as the DVD. The box stayed together for a start (lol), the black ribbons are twice as long, the CD's were stacked properly and in order (not haphazardly as in the bootleg), the centre divider is strong and wider and the CD covers appear bigger & roomier as the discs & booklets slot into their spaces easily. They also DIDN'T HAVE "Apple remastered" stickers on the shrinkwarp of each CD though I have seen those stickers on the individual discs here in the shops. So far I've compared the 1987 versions of Pepper, Abbey Road & Revolver with the remasters and the differences are obvious. The '87 versions sound flat with no "oomph" by comparison. I even noticed extra stuff on Pepper that I'd not heard before. The CD packages are nice and expansive. The only gripe I have is the style of the box. Like others I feel it should have been fashioned similarly to the Mono Box instead of the discs being stacked..that's ok if there are 2 or 3 CD's in a stack but not 8 in each will become a bit of a pain after a while! However both new sets sit proudly alongside the 1987 CD's in their Wooden Roll Top Box set which I am keeping as well as both volumes of the Capitol Albums.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2010 1:48:42 PM PST
BJP says:
Absolutely, my first set was a bootleg, and a bad one. Everything about it was wrong and extremely poor quality. I returned it as defective, got a refund, and paid a few dollars more buying it direct from Amazon. This set was real, and I'm very pleased.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 6:30:26 AM PST
Bob says:
I see a lot of posts referring to Stereo box set bootlegs, but has anybody heard of any Mono box set bootlegs being out there? Thanks!

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 7:33:48 AM PST
A. Martin says:

An eBay guide written by another used who was duped. Excellent guide!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 8:26:22 AM PST
Well this is the Beatles Stereo box set forum ;)

But no I have not heard of any. I would stay away from any seller that is not from the US, who states shipping comes international (via EMS) and supplies a stock photo. To play it safe, buy from Amazon, Best Buy, etc. I wouldn't risk buying off ebay, I learned my lesson. But the thing is I bought from a top-rated seller who had buyers that posted pos. feedback for the set, so I thought it was legit. And to think they are satisfied with a counterfeit.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 8:31:22 AM PST
A. Martin says:
My Seller on Amazon (ShopItAtUSA) has a ton of negative feedback, but it's about late shipping and cancellation of orders. There are only 2 review out of probably 100 (one of them being mine) that reference the set being counterfeit (I used the term "not authentic", another buyer blasted them for selling "bootlegs").

I chalk some of this up to frustration/relief on the part of the buyer. After experiencing problems with the seller, I started reading their feedback religiously. Most people probably aren't doing that. I also used feedback as my "ace in the hole" and only left it AFTER all other problems were resolved. I think a lot of people are leaving positive feedback and then possibly having problems with the product. Then all they can do is delete their positive feedback. They can't leave negative feedback.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 4:04:28 PM PST
Bob says:
Thanks for the help!

Yes I realize this is the Beatles Stereo box set forum. My apologies if I posted in the wrong place. But I did a quick search and couldn't find any discussion of bootlegs in the Mono box set discussions. So I thought I would post here where people have experienced bootleg problems.

I did buy a Mono box set from an Amazon seller, but I haven't opened it yet. I'm leery of opening it without first trying to make sure I have an authentic box set. Up to this point, I have no reason to think that I don't.

I was thinking of buying the Stereo box set from Best Buy, but in the Best Buy closest to me, they have some kind of "security banding" wrapped around each box set. The banding is squeezed around the box set so tightly, that it actually is crushing the CD case a little bit. If I'm going to pay so much for one of these sets, I want it to be in A-1 condition.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 9:47:34 AM PST
W. Combest says:
I bought mine from Ebay and had no problems. I bought it from Buy.Com's store and for $200 i got the special edition Help! box set with my Beatles Stereo Box Set. It is 100% the real deal. I only deal with places like Buy.Com, Amazon, or Stores on ebay that have no less than 90% positive feedback. Don't take down ebay when its your own fault for not using common sense and using a well trusted store or person.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2010 10:56:59 AM PST
A. Martin says:
W. Combest - The problem is that eBay has refused to deal with the fact that there are tons of fake products on their site - from cell phones to jewelry to Ugg boots to music.

The seller I bought my set was from the Amazon Marketplace and had 100% positive feedback. Feedback is not the only indicator of a good or bad seller. There have been accounts of sellers banding together to buy items from each other on eBay in order to get positive feedback.

I understand that with internet sales, it's buyer beware, but even if sellers on eBay have thousands of positive feedback scores, they still can be passing off fraudulent products. I recently ran into a seller that is selling fake fragrances on eBay. Of his all feedback scores, which number in the hundreds, if not thousands, there were (2) negative feedback scores and only one referenced fake product.

The seller I used on Amazon has tons of negative feedback, but its all for shipping delays. One other person than myself wrote that the items he was selling were fake. Everyone else thought they got the real deal.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2010 10:34:19 AM PST
Yes, the MONO box has also be widely counterfeited. Do not buy a mono (or stereo) box from anyone but a seller you can absolutely trust (e.g. Amazon).
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