Skip to Content

How to tell if the Pokémon cards are fake

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Have you ever wondered if your Pokemon cards are real or fake? From rare cards to brand new cards, buying and selling Pokemon cards is a thriving marketplace with a high demand.

In this regard, the number of people willing to buy Pokémon cards continues to increase globally. 

As a result, there is an increased number of retail scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers with little information about the Pokémon cards or even the packs in a booster box. These scammers have found their way to exploit buyers and make a quick buck out of it.

How do you tell if Pokemon cards are fake? The easiest way to tell if Pokemon cards are fake is by low print quality with slightly blurry text compared to the real one which have a clean and crisp writing on the front. 

There are two simple tests to identify counterfeit Pokemon cards: the light and rip test. Additionally, fake Pokemon cards often have exaggerated HP, grammatical errors and low quality printing and card stock.

The light test is by shining a LED light source at a Pokemon card and see if the light passes through. If the card is real, then the light should pass through the center. With counterfeit Pokemon cards, there would be inconsistencies of light that passes through them. 

The rip test is simply ripping the card in the middle, which ultimately damages the integrity so it is ill-advised. Real Pokemon cards are designed where you can see a black line of ink which follows the path of the rip. 

In contrary, the fake cards do not have this in-between black ink layer when ripped. 

This article will guide you on how to quickly spot a fake card to protect any buyer who is at risk of being exploited by Pokémon scammers. This article teaches you how to scan an individual Pokemon card to avoid buying counterfeits, either if the person buys them as an enthusiast or the intentions are to round out the latest custom deck.  

Are there fake Pokémon cards?

Yes, there are fake Pokemon cards. The rapid increase in Pokémon demand led to the rise of scammers in the Pokémon cards market. 

However, telling whether a Pokemon card is fake is not really that easy. It requires reading through the game guide and consider anything the guide talks about. 

In the end, a buyer must look at different aspects including the colors and the card text. 

For instance, if the card’s color looks contrary to what the guide says it looks like, or the text looks blurry, then there is a likelihood the card is a counterfeit, though it’s not 100% guaranteed.

Can you sell fake Pokémon cards?

No, you cannot sell fake Pokemon cards. In fact, it is illegal if a person knowingly sells counterfeit Pokémon cards since the seller can’t own any copyright of those Pokémon cards.

If a seller sells fake cards as legitimate cards, assuming that the buyer purchases those cards thinking they are actual cards, and a person can comfortably sell counterfeit Pokémon cards. 

Any person who sells fake Pokémon cards can get in big trouble if caught. Remember, the person will be using the internet, where a buyer can easily trace addresses, email, and money transfer platforms such as PayPal if the scammed person decides to go to the police.

Before considering to sell fake Pokémon cards, note the game company owns the intellectual property of the characters, even the game mechanics of any art, such as symbols, design style, expansion symbol, or anything in a position to identify a card. 

Therefore, it’s illegal for any person to sell Pokémon cards or their likeness without consent from the company.

Are fake Pokémon cards worth anything?

No, fake Pokemon cards are worth nothing. In fact, fake cards are not even worth the paper they are printed on. 

Most of the time, the fake card makers make mistakes with HP and spelling, and sometimes they don’t. Nonetheless, the quality, especially their deck, is always low. 

If a person wants to make a tournament deck without necessarily spending much cash, fake cards are not an option since they are not allowed in tournament play. 

However, fakes cards can be worth their value if the person bought them for their enjoyment without minding the massive bluff of purchasing hundreds of boosters together to build their deck.

Are Pokémon cards from China fake?

Yes, potentially all Pokémon from China are fake. In general, Pokémon cards have never been made in China, and if there is any card purchased from the country, then the card may be fake. 

Most fake Pokémon cards in the entire world come from China. In addition, most English cards are sold in China market, but the bad news is that they are fake, all of them because the only place the English Pokémon cards are printed is in Europe and the United States.

Are there a lot of fake Pokémon cards on eBay?

Yes, there are a lot of fake Pokemon cards on eBay as well. Because they almost look identical to the real cards, it’s hard for buyers to differentiate when purchasing online. 

Scammers know of this, and they take advantage of it on the eBay site. Many of the listed Pokémon cards are fake, with others having good or poor quality. 

Many look like “almost real fake cards” when examining the ratio of counterfeit Pokémon cards on the eBay site with authentic ones. A person can get a pretty good idea that there exist more fake cards on the site than real ones.

What to do with fake Pokémon cards?

Hope you don’t end up with fake Pokemon cards. However, if you end up owning one yourself because you accidentally bought it unknowingly, then rip it up and throw it away.

The card has zero intrinsic value, and you will not be able to use it in tournament style gameplay. You will always know that it is a fake, therefore it is not worth sacrificing your integrity to play with a phony.

How to spot fake Pokémon cards

There are couple of things you need to look for to spot fake Pokemon cards by appearance. The easiest one to identify is the artwork, writing and printing quality.

However, some of the cards are really hard to identify even though the artwork is legit and spelling is accurate. 

In order to spot fake Pokemon cards, check the card, read it, and check whether there are simple errors and mistakes made on the card. The following are some aspects to check to determine whether the card is fake or not.

  • Check whether the Pokémon card has spelling and grammatical mistakes, such as missing punctuation marks and misspelled names.
  • Confirm whether the year of printing the card is indicated on the card. If not, then the card is fake.
  • The card is fake if it doesn’t have a card number and elemental symbol placed in the correct part of the card.
  • If a card doesn’t have a reasonable amount of HP value, then the card is fake. For instance, for any Eevee card with over 1000HP, then the card is fake.
  • If a bright light does not pass through the card evenly, the card is counterfeit.
  • When the card is ripped, there is a black line in-between the top and bottom thin paper layer, the card is real.
How to tell is Pokemon cards are fake

Fake Pokemon Cards: Conclusion

Telling whether a Pokémon card is fake or not is pretty difficult to do. Therefore, if the card passes the above tests, then compare the card with a real one and see any spot differences between the two cards. 

There are loads of fake Pokemon cards out in the market including online platforms such as eBay. It is illegal to sell fake Pokemon cards due to copyright issues, therefore it is a business to stay far away from. 

Counterfeit Pokemon cards are not worth anything. Ensure the cards are made and printed in Europe or the United States, most China printed cards are fake.

Always double check the spelling and year printed on the card to determine if the card is phony. Additionally, each card must contain HP, collector numbers and rarity symbols in the correct position.

Simple test can help you to spot fake Pokemon cards, these includes light and rip test. The a bright light passes evenly through the text of real cards, but the fake one tends to not shine through nor evenly let the light go through. 

Furthermore, the ripping can be another test to tell if the card is real or not. With the real cards, there are black line between each thin sheet when the card is ripped, but with fake cards there is no layered sheet.

There you have it! Identifying fake Pokemon cards can be challenging. Use these pro tips to find out if you have any fake cards in your deck and to prevent this from happening when making your next purchase.