Ebay has a lot of cool stuff. Ebay also has a lot of fake stuff, notably Linkin Park CD's, since this is a Linkin Park blog after all.
I will not spit out my thoughts about the RIAA or pirated music here, but I think there is something pretty much both sides would agree on: You wouldn't actually BUY pirated music, would you? Sadly, that's exactly what happens. Getting suckered into putting your hard earned money for something you could have just downloaded is not fun. So it is important to be able to tell between the real CD's and the fake ones.
If what you're trying to buy is a common, commercially available Linkin Park CD, like Hybrid Theory, Reanimation, Live In Texas and so fourth, the first thing I would recommend is to not use Ebay. It's not worth the extra shipping and the risk when you can try your local record store instead and pick up a used copy.
The part that is most concerning is the realm of hard to find, rare CD's, like old Linkin Park Underground CD's, and the elusive Hybrid Theory EP (not to be confused with the common, well known Hybrid Theory CD).
For a non-serious fan who wants these rare songs, the best thing to do is download these songs. They're not commercially available so there's not much choice in how to obtain these songs (so downloading isn't a bad thing at all). Their hard copies can sell from dozens to hundreds of dollars in an auction, so a simple downloaded copy will do if you just want the tracks.
There used to be a good website, run by the legendary "LP Collectors" who had every piece of Linkin Park merchandise. It had pictures and details of every single legitimate Linkin Park CD. They've died and come back since I first recommended, and their website and group information is here now: LP-Collection
The following are not real Linkin Park CD's (partial list):
1. "The Document"
2. "Maximum Linkin Park"
3. "Under Attack"
4. anything claiming to be a Greatest Hits compilation.
5. LPU 2.5 (All LPU CD's are integer sequels)
6. anything with an absurd amount of tracks (eg, a double disc with 40 songs)
7. Any LPU CD that has more than 6 tracks (with the exception of 7.0, which has 10 tracks)
8. "Erection" (do not look at the album cover. The wise xkcd once said that you can never unsee something)
9. A special edition created for a small country (eg, Hybrid Theory Ukraine edition... this excludes "Tour Editions," which can be real and sometimes Japan has special exceptions).
10. A CD that's hasn't been released yet.
11. Some cases of the Hybrid Theory EP. see below:
Now, the Hybrid Theory is a well sought after CD, and it has many fakes and varieties. I will do my best to describe the CD.
Firstly, the Hybrid Theory EP has this tracklisting:
2. Technique (Short)
3. Step Up
4. And One
5. High Voltage
6. Part of Me
The Hybrid Theory EP is characterized by a picture of a baby on the front cover. It was written by Linkin Park while the name of the band was still "Hybrid Theory." Two flavors of this CD exist, the original pressing and the LPU rerelease. The original pressing is difficult to come by, only 1,000 of them were made, (there's a max of 999 left, because one was sat on, and a few more have died like that) and the band sent them to street team members and to labels in hopes of getting signed onto a record label. In 2001, Linkin Park rereleased them to their fan club members in the LPU.
There are differences between the two. The rerelease claims that the producer is "Mike Shinoda" while the original cites "Hybrid Theory" as the producer. You can find this information on the back cover. The inside of the original says the following: "After eight months, she was sure of one thing: that the baby's future would be determined by the convergence of its divided past." The rerelease is missing that message and instead the cover insert folds out to reveal a letter from Linkin Park, addressed to their fan club. Being able to distinguish the two is important, because the original is much more valuable than the reissue.
Common fakes include the misspelling of "Josepph Hahn" (supposed to be Joseph Hahn). on the back cover under "Graphic Design." The letter from Linkin Park on the insert can also have many typos, a definite sign of a fake. Receiving a CD from Russia when the auction you bid on was not in Russia is a bad sign. And lastly, Any CD that does not have the above tracklist is fake.
By no means was this an inclusive list. I can't possibly try to cover all the possibilities of fakes, but I listed the very common ones.