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09-18 How to Avoid Purchasing the Dreaded Bootleg DVD

How to Avoid Purchasing the Dreaded Bootleg DVD

With recent purchases of bootlegged versions of Stranger Things Season 2 and The Crown Season 2 from Amazon, this month's tip is all about spotting the dreaded bootlegged item before it makes its way into your cart…or worse, your library's shelves.

Amazon is a great resource for looking for upcoming DVD and even book releases, as well as for purchasing cheaper replacement copies. However, Amazon is also a marketplace that allows outside vendors to sell their products through them.



Before adding an item to your cart, ask yourself:

  • Are the items sold and fulfilled by Amazon?
    • Be wary of using outside vendors that sell through Amazon; make sure to double check that they are original, and not used.
  • If the item is new, do other web resources such as Midwest Tapes, Moviefone, DVDsReleaseDates.com, and even other vendors such as Walmart, Target, etc. have the item available?
  • If NO ONE else has the item available for shipment yet or if it's on pre-order, chances are the item you're looking to buy is not legitimate.
  • Check other BCCLS Libraries! If no one else is adding the newest hot item in the DVD world into their collection, maybe there's a reason why…

Below is the bootleg version of Stranger Things Season 2. Note that this product is sold by an outside company and fulfilled by Amazon. There is no descriptive product information, and with a little Googling, one can see that the show aired in 2017, but the DVD will not be released until 2019.


 Below is an example of The Crown Season 1 currently available on Amazon for sale. Note that this product is shipped from and sold by Amazon.

Here we have an Amazon record for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, which is to be released on October 23, 2018. Note how there is only the option to pre-order this item.

Finally, below is an Amazon record for the original Mamma Mia DVD. Note how this item is not sold by Amazon, but is from the Amazon Marketplace. If this item were new, it would be a red flag. Because the item is older, be sure to check that it is not a used copy and that it is in fact a new one.

And whatever you choose to do, please DO NOT buy new DVDs from unmarked vans down the street.

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