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General Metal Discussions » Bootleg CDs on ebay
I've noticed a discussion on the 'Recent Purchases' thread, but I didn't want to continue the discussion there (And yes' I'm aware of the 'Bootleg Labels' thread as well).
This being said, I mostly wanted to add a little bit of my own philosophy to the issue - I try to mostly buy vinyl, as well as reissues, but some things are only available on CD, or sound different on CD, so I buy some as well. A few years ago it was all nice and easy, you could easily tell which ones were bootlegs. I usually try to buy only Japanese releases since they have superior sound and production, and even if they were being bootlegged no one bothered making the OBI strips, so all was fine.
Anyway, in recent years I learned a few things (and I'm mostly talking about NWOBHM CD's, I don't care about the rest) - don't buy CD's from Greek sellers, and no offence to our Greek friends on the forum. It's just not worth the risk of paying for an inferior bootleg. they even started making copies of Japanese CD's with OBI strips and the proper inserts.
Don't buy anything from Russian and Baltic sellers ! I'm personally familiar with their bootleg industry, and their products are usually of much higher quality, including exact copies of Japanese Mini-Vinyl style issues. Ebay is overflowing with their releases, and sometimes it's very hard to tell them apart. I get a lot of this stuff for free from the Motherland, so I know exactly what they look like.
Recently I prefer only to buy from well known and experienced Japanese sellers (even for non-Jap releases), since they usually sell the real deal and are very keen about their reputation. The prices are usually not cheap, but you can be sure you're getting exactly what you pay for.
Most of these CD's were issued during the 90's, so 'sealed' and 'mint' copies are usually fake, as well as very limited releases, like the Clientelle album which was only sold by the band on CD for a short while, the original Cloven Hoof albums on FM Revolver which are very expensive, the original Japanese Battleaxe CD's on FEMS Records with OBI strips etc etc.

so ... don't let them fool you !
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Although greek myself i don't feel offended by your warning against greek sellers. It's a matter of facts and "statistics'' that the risk of buying a CD bootleg from a greek seller is, indeed, increased. Everyone does whatever seems fit to protect himself. As far as the greek sellers goes, most of them deserved this fate. It's a situation created by the greed of few and the indifference or tolerance of some more. Nevertheless, the bootleg problem knows no borders and metalheads from many other countries are also involved. There were even sold in Amazon let alone to many "respectful" metal distros around the world. As I said in other topics as well, only by using your common sense, making inquiries and being cautious, you can remain relatively safe.
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of course many other sellers from Europe and the Americas sell bootlegs as well, some of them maybe unknowingly, but as you said, the risk of getting a boot from a Greek seller is increased. same goes for Russians. I only trade vinyl with the Greek guys I know :)
thing is, the proportions of this phenomenon are really large, and here we're talking only about our relatively small metal community. I have a small collection of 80s-90s Hard Rock and some 70s stuff on CD, and it's the same there.
I wonder how it is with people who collect other kinds of music ... I suppose collectors of classical music don't suffer from it that much ;)
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You have to understand that in the case of bootlegs most underground groups don't have the rights to their releases for reissues, so bootlegs are the cheapest way to go as opposed to paying hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars for a 7" single.

I personally don't mind a bootlegged album, as long as it was pressed by a professional label (thus higher sound quality) and is priced at less than $15 (preferably less than $10). Do realize that bootlegs are NOT the same as a pirated copy, and I would NEVER welcome home a pirated copy (ESPECIALLY a CD-R). Most bootlegs I've seen are very professional (hence why they are usually hard to tell from a genuine copy), and it doesn't hurt to own them if you like the music.

Bootlegs may not help the artist much, but neither will buying a genuine secondhand copy -- all that money is going straight to the person that sold it to you, not the band members. If you want to support your favorite bands, send them money. It's as clear as that.

And as Liegelord said, just be very cautious of whom you are dealing with online. A seller living outside of Greece or Russia for that matter will still try to sell you unauthorized copies.
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