A Magical Huffalump Resides Here: January 2013

A Magical Huffalump Resides Here

My name is Ed, I am a programmer. Just another dude with another blog. I like MTG, Open Source (more towards FREE software). I like sports, and eventually I hope to do business and do good for the world in general. This blog is gonna be about Magic The Gathering. Decklists and snippets will be posted here. It may lead somewhere or nowhere, as with all things arcane, that was bloody obvious =)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Magic the Gathering GP Singapore 2013

On a happier note, here is some loot from GP Singapore 2013!!!

in no particular order I guess I just dumped all the photos up =)

Avacyn!!!! my poor poor conditioned Avacyn (which I bought from the same vendor than sold me the fake lotus - different seller tho --- i did'nt send it back as ... well I believe it was an honest problem and the seller would have been screwed, besides who could turn away an angel right? =P) 

Jason Chan!!!!!!! I love his work!!! But he is not my favouritest artist but definitely one of my favourites!!! I am actually not sure who is my favourite (in case you are reading this Jason and you feel bad =P) I like Terese Nielsen alot, but I think my first love must have been Scott M. Fisher... his style is very distinctive. Then again I like Quinten Hoover too!! Choices choices!!!

The biggest prize (debatable) of the day. 120 SGD. I think it is comparable to Ebay pricing (that is a very big guess) But I wanted to support Jason Chan too (I already have one), so I bought it. Besides, he made it look all cool with the gold siggy =) I can't bear to take it out of the overloader. it was from him too afterall as well no? lol hmmm ..... But I am not sure what to do if I leave it in the overloader(the plastic casing). It is foil, so it will bend and the overloader is not exactly tight fitting, and i can't play with it like this.... decisions decisions

JACE!!!!! Oh it just so happens Jason Chan's initials are JC lol . He only had black at that time, silver was stiall available but gold was running out. I did'nt want to trouble him too much... So black was fine. It did'nt look too bad really. I do have another set of JTMS if I really want gold or silver... hmmm but there is the problem of no more Jason to sign it of course. details details!!

The Pricelist!! No Alters!!! Sighz... I'm not really and alter person tho... I'm nt very imaginative. Cookie Monster does it for me =P

I forgot to take more pictures, but for what its worth I saw Martin Juza, and two Japanese Pros. i think one went to the toilet... *ahem* Anyways this scene is actually day 3, so the actual even (day 2) was more packed 891 players!

My favourite art from Jason, Wilt-Leaf Liege i chose black ink, i think it looks nice on white, this was today, so He had refilled the silver and gold ink =) So the black was an active choice.

Yep, now you know I went 2 days, I am such a fanboi.

I did'nt even play lol.

Props: Jason Chan!!!

Slops: the organisers, dang I would have been player 892!!!

Slops: sigh.. the same dude who did'nt let me register did'nt let me queue the queue as it was lunch time which is fair, but then they took numbers, told us to come back at 2pm!! This was at 11am. Fine. I went home and then rushed down, I only managed to reach at 3pm and .... dammit, the queue was cut off AGAIN. And I went home with my Vampire Nighthawks and Mayael unsigned. Pity that. What I am pissed off with is they tried to pander us off by taking our handphone number but DID NOT CALL. I would have missed the queue anyway, but the fact that they did not call meant it was a lie from the start. That disgusts me. It was a bald headed guy who took the numbers by the way.

Slops: Bald headed guy.

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Fake Lotus

It is with great sorrow that I present a fake lotus

This is a lotus with time vault, notice the different print grain

Just to make it more obvious, other cards from the same set. It should now be obvious that the print grain is different

I just realised those are rather low res, so I uploaded some super hi res ones on google drive. Just download from this link

okay "super" was hyperbole. But it is definitely more conclusive =)

The ditters should be extremely obvious. Do note that Google will say it cannot be scanned as it is too big, but it is downloadable. 148 MB.

I have also up loaded another high res with the fake Black Lotus, but now with current card (an Overgrown Tomb!)

I'll try to get a hash up, let me know if it is an issue.

Below are the jpg versions which are still pretty huge.

ahh... but are apparently huge enough to view some difference. You need to right click and open the images in another tab or window. These are already smaller, to download the actual jpg (trust me the actual files are bigger, 20-30 MB - you can see the difference even in the overgrown tomb then) use the links below:

Link 1
Link 2

An extremely good site for telling fakes

Specifically this page is where the Lotus failed!

You might say maybe the OTHER old cards are the ones that are fake (really unlikely from modus operandi point of view) hence I included the spanking new Overgrown Tomb for reference. Old and new.

Case closed I hope =)


I realised the whole download thing may not appeal to people with low bandwidth, but just so you down miss out this is what you should be looking out for :

real overgrown tomb versus real mox ruby on hi res (1200 dpi):

real mox ruby versus fake black lotus on hi res (1200 dpi):

I really hope this is enough evidence, because I am really disappointed, and short of a full refund, I will be really pissed.

I have placed my money on the line for this (oh by the way the real moxes are from same platform/source so its not impossible to get actual, proper transactions done, but this case will be the acid test of whether sellers on the platform can abuse the system - since these are the cases that decide if the business model is tenable, at least from a customer safety point of view).

Hence if the vendor cannot resolve this in a satisfactory way, then really the vendor has zero confidence from me (or anyone else for that matter). I will pursue all avenues possible to get my money back. I wrote this just so we know how unhappy I am with this situation.


Updates. The portal vendor (which I think you should be able to guess) just sent me an email saying that I need to get an expert appraisal. I was a little dumbfounded. Getting expert appraisal means dumping more money into this fiasco where i was the one who put money on the line. IS IT NOT EXPECTED that goods sold are REAL and NOT FAKES else the portal is facilitating FRAUD. Hence the onus is on the SELLER to prove his goods are REAL.The site does a PROXY of this TRUST, by having a rating system. This SELLER had 99.someworthlessdecimal% I had bought the item in GOOD FAITH with TRUST that the system of trust works. And now that the system of TRUST is BROKEN. They want me to appraise it???

The sad thing is this. I will GLADLY sent the damn card over to the portal vendor for them to verify. Heck I will even throw in a Magic the Gathering card for them to compare with. You just need to SCAN the card at 1200 dpi and view it with Microsoft Paint and VOILA! There is a very OBVIOUS difference. This is NOT a good FAKE at all. In fact, the guyi might as well just print on a piece of paper and at the moment it looks like he can actually get away with it.

I cannot express how disappointed I am with the system. I will contact my bank to see how a case of fraud is handled and what are my recourses. At any rate bank would be more wary of the payment system. As will everyone I know. I will contact my bank once the case closes (unfavourably) and will also list the details of this case to the community so that we can be safe from at least one more of this scourge.

--------------------------------- 17 Jan 2013

more updates, the time for the evidence submission has passed, now it just waitng for the verdict from Ebay.

Yep its Ebay. So this will the acid test. This post will either be an example that online shopping is safe (you my dear shopper are greatly protected), or everything they say about protecting you is hogwash =)

I'm not sure how it will go, I am just sure what I will do depending on how it goes.

In summary, the good people at Games Haven agreed to do an appraisal. They were initially not keen as it takes alot to say something is fake, but after seeing the card they were extremely confident that it was fake and agreed to give me an appraisal of the card.

They did the bend test, light test, weight, and size/thickness.

Results in summary, light test failed as no light went through, weight was slightly off (heavier), it actually did not crease with the bend test. And we found out why, it was a sticker on a real card (not Black lotus obviously), we know this because, perhaps due to age, its edge popped. Side by side with a beta card, its thickness was off as well.

I will put up their appraisal later today using google docs, Games Haven knows who the seller is already. I will also PM the name to Annorax on MTGSalvation.com later today. I am actually rushing off to work. I actually had to take a half day to find a shop to get the appraisal done. This event has caused me quite a bit of time and anguish. I really hope justice is served. One of the dealer actually recommended pushing for a police case. We'll see if this can be settled amicably, I just want my money back right now.

The appraisal can be downloaded here

----------------- Update: 20130122

It looks like anyone can just take a piece of cardboard, paste a sticker and sell it as a Lotus now.

Dispite efforts to do a scan, get third party appraisal and community appraisal of the scans available. It looks like I will lose 1435 USD or 1800 SGD

This is an extremely painful way to leave Ebay. I had disputes before but for small amounts, but apparently for big amounts, the evidence is not even being seen.

How do I know it is not seen? The customer service guy keeps asking me to fax data that I have already sent by email. And he initially asked me to send by email.

I have also posted the info publicly online. So access is definitely there.

EBAY CUSTOMER SERVICE has NO EXCUSE not to have seen the information. Yet that is apparently how it seems to be going.

The customer service rep, has emailed saying he has not received my fax, and by tomorrow if there is no response from me he will close the case with no refund.

This was his first email since i faxed last FRIDAY.

I feel a severe lack of sincerity here. Keep in mind that this response is 1 week after first contact, during the week there was NO CONTACT from the customer service, he claim he was sick.

This same fella also initially thought Games Haven was a place near him.... HELLO??? He is customer service, I am customer, should'nt he know I am from Singapore???? More evidence that he did not look at the data and evidence presented.

I don't really have much hope, but I will definitely reevaluate the way I see Ebay. For the longest time I believed it gave buyer protection. Apparently it works for small money but not the large purchases.

The Ebay Seller is A-1 Comics, if you need more details let me know by commenting.

Meanwhile, buyer beware.

----------------- Update: 20140606

I am doing this update because i noticed a different link coming to this post (aside from the usual, link to show an example of how a high res scan can be used to tell a fake).

In that post it was implied that this case was not resolved. I would like to clarify that it was resolved, albeit with much frustration ;) ya I can smile about it now.

And how to get the card certified?

You can't really get a cert I think. But you can get it graded. But that really only covers the condition of the cards. I think there were cases where fakes were graded highly. So its not fool proof.

And to doubly clarify, in this post, I was'nt getting a card certified real. Rather I was getting it appraised, to determine if it is indeed a fake or is real. I think somewhere above I mention getting a local shop to assess the card. In this case it was done by Games Haven. Kudos to them for being confident enough to vouch for it =) Its not easy to say something is fake, since its makes or breaks 1K for someone. But they have some experience in the matter so you can consult the friendly store owners there!

I actually "closed the case" on mtgsalvation (since that was where I originally linked the post to). But to make things clear, the case was closed. I got my refund. But boy it took a while and was a terrible hassle. Thanks to Games Haven for making things work! Not many LGS have the ABILITY and willingness to help BTW. So Games Haven definitely gets top marks there =)

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