I’ve been collecting Pokemon cards right from when the show was a major hit back in the early 2000’s and not once did I think I would ever get ripped off while buying online.
Well, I must say that my wishes were short lived as recently I purchased a booster box from AliExpress only to find out that all the cards in the box were fake.
After doing some digging, I was stunned at how many fake Pokemon cards and products were listed on the website.
There were so many fake cards on AliExpress that many of the sellers didn’t care if the cards looked bad, had no texturing or if they were simply stickers.
But, are AliExpress Pokemon cards original or are all of them fake?
See, the thing about Pokemon cards is that the original English cards are printed in the US with only the Japanese variants being printed in Japan.
The Pokemon Company does not print their cards in China, and since AliExpress is a Chinese platform with many Chinese sellers, most of the English Pokemon cards on the site have been mass printed in China, so they are all fake.
Let me expand on this topic a bit so you will know what to look for when buying Pokemon cards from AliExpress.
Are AliExpress Pokemon Cards Original – All You Need to Know!
Can You Buy Pokemon Cards on AliExpress?
In short, yes you can buy Pokemon cards on AliExpress. However, you will not be able to find original English cards on AliExpress.
The closest to original cards you can find will be Chinese Pokemon cards which are printed in Traditional Chinese.
If you’re looking for original English Pokemon cards on AliExpress then i’ll give it in writing that none of the English cards available are original and this is primarily because The Pokemon Company restricts their printing capabilities to within the US for their English cards.
For those who consider Pokemon to be an investment, AliExpress is a place to steer clear from.
This is because authentic English Pokemon cards carry a specific value in the open market and the cost of these individual cards can exceed even $100,000 per card.
So, buying from AliExpress will prove to be a total waste of time and money.
You can always check out Amazon or The Pokemon Center for original and authentic products which are way more expensive than those sold on AliExpress.
How to Find out If My AliExpress Pokemon Cards are Fake?
There are a number of ways you can find out whether your Pokemon cards are real or fake.
But the best solution in my opinion is to compare an original card against one that you believe to be fake.
Here are some tips i’d like to share with you on how to figure out if your AliExpress Pokemon cards are fake.
The first thing you should do is look at the color of the AliExpress Pokemon card and compare it against an original.
Normally with fake cards the color will be different and it will not look authentic.
The print will fade from the card and sometimes the color of the character on the card will not match the character’s actual color scheme.
Next, the centering of a Pokemon card is crucial especially if you’re planning on keeping them as an investment.
Original Pokemon cards are centered perfectly with a few rare situations where you might get a miscut card in a pack or a couple of miscut cards in a single booster box.
However, this is a rare occurrence as The Pokemon Company is pretty strict about their quality check parameters.
Pokemon cards on AliExpress are not always centered and a majority of the cards will either have off-centered artwork or the Pokemon logo at the back of the card will not be aligned.
Some cards will even have straight cut edges as opposed to the rounded edges on original cards.
Font and Text
You can also compare the text and font on the card to see whether the card is original or not.
Sites like TCGPlayer upload digital copies of original Pokemon cards, so you can hold up your AliExpress card next to the digital copy and see if things like the font and size of the letters are on point.
If you’re buying Pokemon cards, it’s important that you check the grammar and spelling of the attacks and moves of the Pokemon.
Some cards are faked so badly that the name of the Pokemon will be incorrect and won’t match the character on the card.
One of the most famous examples is the Caterpie EX (Charizard EX).
Booster Box Artwork and Pack Quality Test
For those buying booster boxes and booster packs, check the print on the boxes to see whether the item is original or not.
Fake Pokemon booster boxes and packs will feature characters and text that’s not present on the original box and this is a dead giveaway that the booster box is fake.
Another thing you can keep a check on is the crimp of Pokemon booster packs on AliExpress.
Original Pokemon booster packs are cut smooth or have an even cut on the top and bottom unlike fake packs that have a zig-zag crimp.
The material of the pack, the amount of air within the pack as well as the way the pack is sealed, will differ from the original.
A word to you all, if the booster box is fake then all the cards within the box will also be fake.
Check the Price
One more way to figure out whether the Pokemon cards on AliExpress are real or fake is to check the price of the Pokemon packs that are on sale.
On AliExpress a full Pokemon booster box which consists of 36 packs costs hardly $15 whereas an original booster box from the Pokemon center will set you back at a minimum of $90.
Card Texture and Holographic Design
Keep a close check on the texturing and holographic design of the Pokemon cards on AliExpress.
Authentic Pokemon cards have a unique texture and they are not smooth to the touch.
Fake Pokemon cards do not have a texture and are glossy which is another dead giveaway that the card is fake.
Touch any original V-Max card or an Ultra Rare Rainbow card and you will be able to feel the texturing on the card.
Once you learn this, then you will be able to determine whether the Pokemon card is original or not simply by touching the card.
Finally, if you’re unable to find out whether the Pokemon card you bought from AliExpress is fake or not, rip the card in half.
You don’t have to do this to all the cards, just one of the Energy or Trainers from the pack and if the card doesn’t have a black ink strip in between the cardboard then the card is fake and doesn’t carry any value.
Are AliExpress Pokemon Cards Worth Anything?
Pokemon is a very lucrative hobby and the value of their cards range from a couple of cents to a couple of million dollars such as the Illustrator Pikachu, First Edition Charizard and the Neo Genesis Lugia.
Unfortunately, fake Pokemon cards bought from AliExpress are not worth anything and will not hold ground if you’re trying to sell them or take part in their Pokemon Tournaments.
These cards are a blatant waste of money and should not be made available to the general public.
In fact it’s become such a problem that for every single authentic Pokemon card in existence, there are over 10 fake versions available.
So there are bound to be sellers online that want to make a quick buck from unsuspecting collectors.
How do you know if your Pokemon card is real?
The simplest way to check if your Pokemon card is legit is to rip the card in half and check if there’s a black ink strip in between the layers of cardboard.
This is a failsafe The Pokemon Company has implemented for buyers to check the legitimacy of their cards.
What do fake Pokemon cards feel like?
Fake Pokemon cards have a glossy finish.
Ultra rare cards do not have the appropriate texturing and will be extra smooth whereas regular common and uncommon cards will feel grainy to the touch.
Are the Pokemon cards available on AliExpress with hand symbols fake?
Yes, any Pokemon card that has either a hand symbol or a food symbol is considered fake.
Pokemon has never used hand symbols like rock paper scissors on their cards and neither have they printed slurpees or milkshake symbols on their cards.
Are Pokemon cards from China real?
This depends on whether you’re buying English Pokemon cards or Traditional Chinese Pokemon cards.
Any English Pokemon cards manufactured and sold in China are fake and will not hold any value.
Only the traditional Chinese Pokemon cards are authentic, but you’d have to visit an authorized retailer to get your hands on them or order them from an online store that deals in genuine products.
Where are genuine Pokemon cards made?
Authentic Pokemon cards are printed and packaged in South Dakota in the US.
Apart from this, the other one is in Japan and this hub caters specifically to the Japanese market.
While there is a small chance that some of the Pokemon cards on AliExpress may be real, the vast majority of them are not and rather than taking a chance buying from AliExpress, it’s better to purchase Pokemon cards from a reliable source like the Pokemon Center or Amazon.
Just remember that if you do end up buying from AliExpress and the cards turn out to be fake, then you’re not going to be able to use those cards to take part in any Pokemon tournament and you will not be able to resell the card or make any money.