Decepticon Pirates

Created: Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Last Saturday, 3 November 2007, I went to S&M to buy Initial-D Stage 4 anime. The first shop I went is Megatop. Just to save time, I asked the sales person for it. Initially, she told me no but later she found it. It is one dvd and it costs RM15. Then, I went to three other big shop to compare price. After searching and comparing different version and price, I realize that the average price for VCD version is RM36 and DVD version is RM65. This made me wonder a few things. Firstly is why most of the shops' version are common with one another and do not have that one DVD version? Secondly is how can the DVD version even cheaper than the VCD version? I felt dilemma and tempted to buy that one DVD which costs only RM15. At the end, I went back to Megatop to take a look of it again. It looks like original. There is two stickers (front and back) in it. (When you purchase an original VCD, there will be these two stickers sticks on front and back of the VCD) This is one of the way I see it as original. So, at the end, I brought it.

Then, I went to another big shop, HKV Video, to buy another anime because I couldn't seem to see it in Megatop. During my purchase of another anime in HKV Video, I intentionally try to seek for the info or the truth behind of the Initial D DVD I just brought. Then he (one of the sales person in HKV) told me that that DVD could be an imitation. He also shared his experience in the past. After my purchase in HKV, I quickly take a look of the Initial D DVD again. When I thoroughly look at it, I realize that there is no company printed in it! When I open it up, the color quality of the picture on the surface of the DVD look like imitation one. Only then, I concluded that I have brought a pirated DVD. I felt struggle to go back, afraid. Then, I went anyway. I requested for a change because that DVD is a pirated version. Sure enough, it was because they said ask to find another one.

So, I hope that my experience can help you to distinguish between an original and a pirated version. Indeed that the price of the original VCD and DVD has come down. But, beware and don't get cheated. In summary, here are some tips to get a cheaper but original VCD or DVD:
  • Don't rely on that two stickers! This is something new I have learnt.
  • Make sure there is a company name printed on its cover.
  • Compare, compare and compare. Put some time to search and compare. My tips is first to a well-known shop like Speedy. Then, go to S&M to buy that same version. I believe S&M's price will be much cheaper because of some reasons like cheaper rental in S&M. But, the price differences should not be too extreme. If that happens, start to suspect its originality.
  • If you have brought it and then only you suspect it, quickly open it up to see it color quality of what is printed on the surface of the VCD or DVD. If you suspect it, return it quickly. Don't worry. I believe the shop owner will you return it because you just brought it not longer ago. But, if you went home and come back the next day, most likely they won't let you return or exchange.

Again, beware of the Decepticon Pirates out there!