I know what an H-seam is, but that only applies to a small portion of the vintage game market. The part of your comment “people have been resealing games for over a decade by now, yet no one has figured out how to reproduce an H-seam? C'mon” is what I would most agree with. I found plenty of anecdotes with a simple google search. Mostly used game store owners that resealed by hand as a living talking about how they could do it. Some buyers saying they received h-seam sealed games from eBay that turned out to be fake. I’m not opening it, but I actually have one from 15 some years ago exactly in this situation. If someone still had access to a machine that could h-seam, you think they would want to flood the market or advertise that information? Again, if someone can reproduce one of a kind centuries old hand painted artwork and fool life long scholars and experts, I’m sure they could reproduce a plastic wrap seal and cardboard box that could also fool the experts on those.
Here’s a thought, how much of a role has fear of thawing trade relations with China, and then COVID production and shipping concerns had in vintage game prices going up? The supply for fakes and reproduction cardboard boxes on demand drying up?
It’s a fact there are WATA graded fakes out there, you don’t know your WATA grader, their credentials, how many games they graded that day, whether they are fighting off a cold or hangover and just want to punch out for the day. No one is perfect, people can accomplish amazing feats when millions of dollars are on the line, even re-sealing plastic carefully. I remember seeing reports years ago about how 90% of the high end sports card market are likely fakes…those are still on the market, but not much concern about that now either.
Yea WATA and their "experts" are total shit, bunch of coin collectors jumping into the game market ordaining themselves an "authority" with literally no game experience at all to take a piece of the VGA pie while the market is hot.
I've seen them deny 2 blatantly authentic sealed Sega Genesis games as reseals, then VGA graded them no problem.
Basically, if the seal isn't as simple as humanly possible (h-seams & overlap seams), wata will deny it because they're just dumb inexperienced people.
Not to mention the most egregious of all is how they OVERGRADE literally everything they get. Notice how eBay is flooded with 9.4+ EVERYTHING, you never see gold VGA grades flooding the market in that density because they actually mean something lol.
Basically everything wata touches as a 9.4+ is in reality a 7 or 7.5 or less. It's destroying the market, but I look forward to all the wata values tanking in the near future. Even the dummies have to catch on eventually.
I've seen numerous close up photographs of their 9's, and they're beat up or "average" most of the time. The sad thing is that games people send to them that are genuinely nice go by the wayside since everybody gets a participation 9.4+. That's how they keep the sheep coming back.