$92,100 Etsy Scam: Exposing Fake Magic the Gathering Cards

$92,100 Etsy Scam: Exposing Fake Magic the Gathering Cards

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rise of Counterfeit Sellers
  3. The Success Story on Etsy
  4. Expanding to Other Platforms
  5. The Profitability of Selling Fake Proxies
  6. The Unethical Practices of Counterfeit Sellers
  7. The Impact on the Magic Card Economy
  8. The Difficulty in Stopping International Sellers
  9. The Hunt for Authentic Vintage Cards
  10. Conclusion

Selling Counterfeit Magic Cards: A Lucrative Business

Counterfeit sellers have been gaining significant profits by selling fake Magic cards online. While this article focuses on the success story of a particular seller on Etsy, it sheds light on the broader issue of counterfeiting in the Magic card market. This seller, who goes by the name "Level Up Proxy," has managed to generate impressive sales and build a large customer base. However, this success comes at the cost of the game's integrity and the potential harm it inflicts on the economy.

The rise of counterfeit sellers in recent years has been alarming. These sellers have found various platforms to market their fake Magic cards, attracting unsuspecting buyers who are looking for affordable alternatives. One of the most popular platforms for these sellers is Etsy, known for its handmade and unique products. The case of "Level Up Proxy" demonstrates the profitability of this illicit business.

The Success Story on Etsy

"Level Up Proxy" began selling counterfeit proxies on Etsy in January 30th, and within two months, they sold a staggering 1,280 proxies, earning an average of $4 per proxy. This translates to a total revenue of approximately $5,000 in just two months. Their success continues to grow as they have been operating for three years, making an estimated $2,500 per month. So far, this seller has accumulated a remarkable $92,100 in sales from selling fake proxies on Etsy.

This seller's strategy involves flooding the market with their products. They have multiple shops on Etsy, each offering various fake Magic cards. The sheer volume of their listings, accompanied by seemingly genuine customer reviews, creates an illusion of credibility. Despite openly admitting that their cards are proxies, buyers continue to purchase from them, fueling their business further.

Expanding to Other Platforms

"Level Up Proxy" is not limited to Etsy; they have also taken advantage of other online platforms like TCGplayer and eBay. However, their tactics and pricing strategies vary on these platforms. By targeting different customer segments and adjusting prices accordingly, they maximize their sales potential. This seller has even ventured into offline methods, using Craigslist to expand their customer base. Their fraudulent activities on PicoTrade, an online trading platform, further illustrate the extent of their operation.

The Profitability of Selling Fake Proxies

The profit margins in the counterfeit business are incredibly enticing. Sellers like "Level Up Proxy" can source their cards from Chinese counterfeiters at a minimal cost of around five cents per card. They then resell these cards in the US market for prices ranging from $2 to $50, depending on the demand for each specific card. The markups are significant, allowing these sellers to make substantial profits and operate with high impunity.

However, it is essential to highlight the ethical concerns surrounding this practice. Counterfeit sellers undermine the integrity of the game, devalue genuine cards, and take advantage of unsuspecting players. Moreover, the impact on local economies, such as the Houston Magic market mentioned in this case, can be detrimental.

The Unethical Practices of Counterfeit Sellers

The methods employed by counterfeit sellers, like "Level Up Proxy," can be described as deceptive and manipulative. They rely on fake customer reviews, often accompanied by real names and Facebook profiles, to create an illusion of legitimacy. This tactic convinces buyers that the cards they are purchasing are of good quality, despite being counterfeit. Additionally, this particular seller has even involved others, such as proxies acting as ex-girlfriends, in their fraudulent activities on Craigslist.

The Impact on the Magic Card Economy

The widespread presence of counterfeit cards in the market has cascading effects on the Magic card economy. Genuine collectors and players face challenges in distinguishing between real and fake cards, potentially leading to financial losses. The thriving business of counterfeit sellers also disrupts local economies, causing instability in card prices and discouraging genuine players from participating in the market.

The Difficulty in Stopping International Sellers

One of the challenges in combating counterfeit sellers is their international nature. They can easily evade detection and continue their operations across different platforms, exploiting various loopholes in the process. Authorities struggle to enforce regulations and prevent these sellers from targeting unsuspecting buyers worldwide. This issue raises concerns about the efficacy of current measures and the need for stronger international cooperation to address this escalating problem.

The Hunt for Authentic Vintage Cards

Given the prevalence of counterfeit cards, collectors and players face a difficult task in verifying the authenticity of vintage cards. The fear of purchasing fakes has driven some individuals away from investing in these valuable cards. The intricacies of identifying counterfeit cards and the potential risks associated with acquiring them have deterred many from engaging in vintage card transactions.


Counterfeit sellers, like "Level Up Proxy," have managed to build thriving businesses by selling fake Magic cards online. Their success highlights the need for stronger regulations, international cooperation, and more robust consumer education to combat this problem effectively. The existence of counterfeit cards not only undermines the integrity of the game but also poses risks to economies and unsuspecting buyers. It is imperative for players, collectors, and authorities to remain vigilant and actively address this growing issue.


  • The rise of counterfeit sellers in the Magic card market has raised concerns about integrity and economic impact.
  • "Level Up Proxy" achieved remarkable success on Etsy, selling over 1,200 proxies within two months.
  • Counterfeit sellers maximize profits by operating on various platforms, including TCGplayer, eBay, and Craigslist.
  • The profitability of selling fake proxies arises from sourcing cards at a low cost and reselling them at high markups.
  • Counterfeit sellers employ deceptive tactics, such as fake customer reviews and involvement of proxies in their operations.
  • The presence of counterfeit cards disrupts the Magic card economy and poses challenges in identifying genuine vintage cards.
  • Combating international counterfeit sellers proves to be complicated, requiring stronger regulations and international cooperation.
Are you spending too much time looking for products?
App rating
Trending Product
Trusted Customers

Etsyshop has the world's largest selection of ETSY store to choose from, and each product has a large number of ETSY products, so you can choose ETSY store & product for your Ecommerce and dropshipping business without any hassle.

Browse More Content