Game store accused of opening collectible card games and resealing them

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I’ve heard of people doing this on eBay and other sites. They’ll open blind bags, card packs, etc and reseal them as neatly as they can and sell them as new. I don’t know how common these scams are but i try to be careful on the few times i decide to buy from a 3rd party. It’s shocking that someone is doing this directly at a store though, and i hope whoever it is gets nailed for the fraud.


I wonder if it’s an employee, instead of the whole store. That would be a real kick in the teeth for the store management.


Its not impossible the store is in on it but i would guess that its a scam being done by one or two employees. Seems more likely to me.


Did they steal the gum too?


Little surprising anything shrink wrapped doesn’t have some print on it. They did that way back in the 90s with collectors cards.


Having thought about it a moment I think it’s OK for them to not bother with “retail kit” security such as marked shrinkwrap – it’s the booster pack that matters. But they don’t seem to have any there at all.


So the pack they’ve identified as fake was manufactured in Belgium, while the one he’s identified as authentic is manufactured in the US. It stands to reason that the packaging would be different in a range of ways, since it was packaged in different factories with different regulations and supply chains in different parts of the world.


With that said, I’ve known people who work in Loss Prevention. One of the tenets of LP is that “At least 60% of your shrinkage is employee theft, bare minimum, often much more”. If the employees have unmonitored access to the decks and packs and have been able to pull this off for long enough that they got caught, it’s the store’s fault regardless of whether or not they were “in on it”.

No small degree of fault lies with the manufacturers as well, obviously. This is a well-known scam that can be defeated with just a few cheap security measures - even just some cellophane that opens more like a pack of cigarettes (has a small pull-tab for unwrapping) drastically increases the complexity of rewrapping, and if you add a tiny hologram imprint or some form of print to the material, it’s even better.

This was absolutely going to happen because the difficulty bar was set so low for this kind of fraud, both in terms of store security and materials security.


Well if you buy in bulk branded shrink wrap, may as well use it on everything you shrink wrap.

Remember the old school packaging that had sort of a plastic for the booster packs? I bet those are harder to reseal if not impossible.

I dunno man, everything this guy seems to be looking at is generally consistent with what I’ve seen out of Magic and other game products like it. Plastic shrink wrap can vary occasionally, and the seals are always slightly different (and theres no “consumer product” for sealing food that will shrink wrap a box like that). I’ve opened plently of booster packs that shred like that or feel slightly different than they should when they open. Some times there’s just a little extra glue. And the whole point of the thing is theres no guarentee of good cards in any given package. So 6 boosters its not odd not to see whatever you consider a good card.

And as I recall there are security measures on these things, I think that’s what the red dot is. Little marks on the package that perminantly seperated when opened, changing color so they can’t be glued back, seals on boxes. Serial numbers etc.

And I highly doubt anyone could perfectly seal up the packs that consistently. You’re gluing mylar bags that have been torn open back together. By hand. The shrink wrapping could just be done with a standard shrink wrapping machine though.

That said the markings on the box and boosters seem to differ from the “fake” to the real one. It’s entirely possible these are just knock offs rather than some one poaching valuable cards from sealed packages.


contains six booster decks and a D20.

Just to be nitpicky- an MtG life counter is not a d20, it’s not balanced to roll fairly.


I’ve bought open box blind boxes, so i knew what i was getting ahead of time, and i’ve had sellers do a damn good job sealing everything back up (including the mylar bag). It wasn’t perfect but really convincing to give you the impression of opening a fresh blind box. Thankfully the sellers were honest and were selling them as open box figures. But with some motivation and extra effort i could see how it’d be possible to seal everything up better to where you couldn’t tell something fishy was going on unless you were specifically looking for tampering.


I loved MTG back in the day (early 90s) but yeah no never again will I play CCG. It’s gambling for children, the gameplay even if fun is broken by design to favor those who spend the most cash. In short no thank you.


Yeah I dont buy much of this stuff personally. But I’ve helped friends dig through booster boxes they’ve bought. And will occasionally toss in on a draft with them. Bought a ton of the cards when I was younger.

So I’m not entirely up on how package has changed and grown more consistent with time. But I’ve certainly seen the colored dots he calls out as odd. Though I’ve not seen any of the boosters to the release in question. I’ve assumed they’re a security feature based on the way I’ve seen them break when opened. But they might just be an artifact of the printing. Calibration marks or markings on the mylar roll. You see similar colored dots at the edges of most mylar packaging. And I’ve seen some pretty jacked up booster wrappers, misprints and mis-seals. Even in products friends order direct from Wizards.

Shrink wrap just varies. Its common to replace damaged wrap (we do it in the beer/beverage business frequently), some retialers just remove it. And in the past not all of the boxed packages from MTG seemed to ship with shrink wrap. So any shribk wrap was coming from retailers or distributors.

And the “fake” package has a long white box printed on the back, while the “real” one just has a small white square. Which the guy in the video doesnt seem to notice or comment on. Is that to be expected or is it something he didnt notice while shooting?

So I wonder just how familiar with these packages he really is. Or if that sort of variation is to be expected. And as to “good cards” the video is from a place with “investment” in the name. I don’t know what the good cards for play are these days, but clearly these guys are looking for cards with high cash value. I’d be curious if any of the cards in there are “good” for play, but just aren’t money makers.

Like I said I’ve seen knock off packages, and heard about resealed packages. But I wonder how much of this is some one whose looking for flaws because some one shouted fake. You could find a lot of that stuff in totally legit packaging if you wanted to in my experience.

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Totes, there is always a degree of variability. A friend of mine collects pokemon cards and i’ve seen how something legit can look fake because of mistakes in printing or when the card was cut. And depending on the where it was manufactured lesser QC is taken, i know Japan made cards are as perfect as they come and stuff made elsewhere tends to have a high degree of variability on the quality.

Collectible card games are the old-school version of loot boxes, except for practical purposes you are forced to gamble rather than it being optional. As far as I’m concerned they should have been regulated as gambling from day 1.


Bad move if the store really did this. If there is one customer base you don’t want to piss off it’s gamer nerds.


Collectibles in general. A wiff of fakes or products that have been messed with can kill your business.

The whole ediface floats on the impression that these things are both rare and valuable. The sudden realisation that something isnt rare, or doesnt have the value you expect. Can crater the whole business. Just look at what happened to comics after the speculator bubble. Or Star Wars toys in the 90’s.

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I’m sure there are still kids out there who crack packs to see what they get (Lord knows I loved it when I was a kid), but most Magic players don’t. Boosters are too damned expensive not to wring every last cent of value out of them.

A lot of the value of the pack is tied up in the play value of its randomness. Usually, you buy boosters for a limited pool draft (everybody takes a pack, opens it, takes a card and passes, repeat until three your three packs are gone, then play with the pool you’ve drafted for yourself). You can horse trade with friends for the good cards after the games are done. The 10 commons you can usually throw away when you’re done: not worth the trouble to mail to a buyer.

If you actually want a particular card, you go to StarCityGames or TCGtrader or even eBay and buy it as a single… which is why constructed formats like Standard are so pricey to break into and stay in.

The guy in the video is from a much smaller store than, say, Star City Games, but still big enough data buying a thousand cards at a time seems like a good use of his capital. The letter is from a small-time amateur investor. $350 is a lot to spend on Core Set, and suggests an expectation of 7 mythic rares, but those better be some particularly impressive mythics. Most investors at that scale are a bit more selective: they use their play experience and the internet to speculate on cards that are cheap now by are poised to become staples in the environment, sometimes but not always the thing that’s splashy in isolation.