As news of it’s recent demise, the DS Lite’s are certainly becoming obsolete faster than anyone had expected. Some retailers, like Target here in the U.S., have started to put these on clearance sometime last month. It is clear to collector’s that when a system is discontinued it becomes a collectible shortly after especially if the said system is by Nintendo. Through these examples though however, is exactly what Chinese bootleggers are hoping to see.
While the many places are putting the DS Lite on sale or on clearance, Chinese bootleggers are busy selling counterfeit DS Lites on eBay. A great example of this is a recent article published on 1UP who described the counterfeit DS Lite in great detail (he mentions the lime green ds lite which is a rare/sought after color). I’m not going to state the obvious as the article went into great lengths to inform everyone on how to spot a fake. If you remember the post I made about the Limited Edition Seattle Mariners DS Lite awhile back, I think they also counterfeit it as well. I noticed it a few months after I wrote that when I stated getting emails from eBay that someone had listed them.
I watch a lot of listings on eBay, so the LE Seattle Mariners was on my watch list until I found out there it’s not just one person selling it, pretty much the whole world is. It’s pretty easy to spot that they’re selling a fake or counterfeit product when the country of origin is either in Canada, China or Singapore. Some of the listings were also listed in various states in the U.S. like Ohio and New Jersey. The Seattle Mariners are from Seattle, Washington where these DS Lite’s would have been sold in one place: Safeco Field where the Mariners play. So I guess it’s safe to say that they’re probably using some sort of script to mask their actual location. I think the problem actually came earlier when Nintendo released the holiday bundles for the DS Lite that included a Limited Edition Nintendogs and the gold Zelda ds. The Nintendogs DS was the first to go up in value but shortly after a lot of them are being sold from Hong Kong (this seller on ebay sells more than 10 of these).
As a seller on both eBay and Amazon, it’s hard not to get upset about this. One of the reasons why the value of some of the first party Nintendo titles, like Tetris, that was published in the early days of the original DS is almost laughable because of eBay and their lack of knowledge when it comes to pirated games. The sellers actually went as far as to eliminate the “report this listing” link by using a script embedded on their listings. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that some of these sellers have gone into selling on Amazon.com’s U.S. site clearly taking advantage of the fact that there are no actual images needed to prove one’s item’s legitimacy (see this guy’s video) sometimes even calling it U.K versions. So far I don’t think they’ve counterfeited the DSi. Not yet anyways..
Sadly, there’s really nothing we can do to prevent this. Apple, the creators of the iPod and iPhone, did what no company would even thought of when it comes to fakes. In 2006. “they began notifying its service partners that some companies are illegally manufacturing digital music players that look very similar to its various Apple iPod models in an attempt to pawn them off to unsuspecting buyers“. Maybe they can set an example. But China has become the world’s factory making anything from jewelry, to the mobile phones you and I use everyday. Maybe even that screw you used on your wall is made in China. There’s absolutely nothing they can’t produce and nothing they can’t mimic. eBay will certainly not take your word that the listing you reported is a pirated copy of the game. Same goes for Amazon since they absolutely did nothing to the listings I reported to them. On Amazon, they don’t even have a separate email where to contact them about a suspicious listing (I ended up calling them and asking them in which they gave me an specific email address but there was no reply at all). Believe it or not, eBay and Amazon is the primary source of these bootlegs. I know that we posted a few bootlegs here on gameSniped that we thought are cool enough to mention. But not these types of bootlegs.. These can actually hurt the value of the actual item over time. Knowledge is power and I believe that if we educate some if not everyone about these pirated software and hardware that we can somehow give some awareness as to how serious this problem really is.