You should always buy Ty Beanie Babies from reputable dealers or from sellers who you know how to contact. These dealers and sellers should also have many references and/or feedback from other people they have done business with.
Most counterfeit Beanie Babies are easy to spot if you know what to look for. If you don't know what to look for then you will probably have a hard time telling most counterfeit Beanie Babies from authentic Ty Beanie Babies.
Beanie Baby shows are a good place to check out expensive Beanie Babies. Try to handle them if you can. Get to know the feel of the fabric and their overall appearance.
Some counterfeits are excellent reproductions, but regardless of how good the counterfeits look, they usually have many mistakes. It is never just one mistake.
If you are buying expensive Beanie Babies, then you should educate yourself on the counterfeits or at least know where to find the information when you need it.
Here are two websites that have information on counterfeit Beanie Babies along with photographs of many of them:
About Beanies Counterfeit Information http://www.aboutbeanies.com/fakes/index.html
Ms. Janie's Beanies Counterfeit Page http://www.msjanie.com/fakes/fake_page.html
Your other option is to have the Beanie Baby authenticated which is inexpensive to do. You can get your Beanie Babies authenticated at these websites:
Most of the mistakes on the counterfeits can be found on the tags. Become familiar with the different generation hang tags and tush tags or know where to look to find this information.
You can find information and photographs of all the different generation hang tags Ty has produced here: http://www.aboutbeanies.com/tags.html
Below are 17 ways to determine if a Beanie Baby is counterfeit:
- Many of the counterfeits have spelling errors on the tags, but keep in mind that so do some of the authentic Ty Beanie Babies. So you usually have to look for other mistakes beside just this.
- Check the tag dates and the addresses to make sure they are correct. Many of the counterfeits have the wrong date on the tush tag.
- Compare the tags of the suspect Beanie Baby with the tags of another Ty Beanie Baby that you know to be authentic.
- Is the type on the tags too light or too dark? Is it the right typeface?
- Compare the tags to an authentic Ty Beanie Baby's tags and determine if the tags are smaller or larger than the authentic tags.
- Compare the stock color inside the hang tag to another hang tag. Is it too white? Authentic tags have an off-white color.
- Are the color of the hang tags identical? Or does the red and yellow on the hang tag look muted or too light or too dark? The hang tag should be blue red and not orange red.
- The yellow star on the hang tag should be a bright sunshine yellow, not a mustard color.
- Some of the counterfeit Beanie Babies have a yellow star on their hang tag that have points that are too "pointy." The points of authentic hang tag stars are slightly rounded.
- Check the gold edge on the hang tag. It should have a nice clean line and be a light bright gold color. It shouldn't be brassy.
- Check the overall size and shape of the Beanie. Some of the counterfeit Ty teddy bears have ears that are either too small or too large or perhaps the legs or arms are too short or are shaped strangely.
- Is the teddy bear's head too large or overstuffed?
- Check the eyes to see if they are too close together or too big or too small.
- Are the eyes a solid color? Some Beanie Baby eyes are a solid color and some are not. Humphrey the camel has solid black eyes but most of the counterfeit Humphrey have eyes that are two-tone.
- Check the fabric and see if it is rough or if the color is too dark or too light.
- Does the fabric nap look right? Is the fabric rough, stiff or the wrong color?
- Most authentic Beanies have nice plush fabric that "flows" in all directions and doesn't get "wrinkly."
One place you should avoid buying expensive Beanie Babies that are not authenticated, is online auctions like eBay. Odds are that if you buy enough of these expensive Beanie Babies that are not authenticated, that you will eventually end up buying some that are counterfeit.
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About The Author
Barry Stein has been a Beanie Baby dealer since 1997. You can visit his website at http://BarrysBeanies.com/, where he sells Beanie Babies retail and wholesale.