shipper was in China
That tends to be a recipe for disaster. You're very likely to get bootlegs.
For newer releases and preorders, one should go for Japan-based online stores, such as HLJ
. Older and/or discontinued items are a bit more of a pain, but you might get lucky searching on Mandarake
(just keep in mind that searching using your item's Japanese name might garner better results).
Generally, one should use ebay as a last resort, but you can find authentic items there. Make sure that the seller says their item is authentic in its description (so you can get your cash back if they lied) and avoid most Chinese sellers or sellers that say that their item is a "Chinese exclusive" or something along those lines. Also, items that were just released tend to not have bootlegs at first.
Edited by LoliConCarne, 07 August 2012 - 01:20 AM.