I am new to the site and forum.
Welcome Mike! You have asked a lot of questions here.....
I had no idea the extent of availability of Mini LP CDs.
There are a lot and more released (and re-released) each week. Unfortunately we do not list everything. That said, we probably have well over 50% of what's available especially in Rock (and the various fussions and progressions). Progressive Rock seems to be very popular in Japan.
The site has a link for "Fakes". How concerned should I be about this? How prevelant is this problem?
Mildly concerned and it is prevelant with a handful of artists. In the "Fakes" section you mentioned (left hand menu has a link) there are some tips on buying from eBay sellers. Fakes from "real" shops have never surfaced to my knowledge.
One of the major eBay sellers is compiling a list (you know who you are if you're reading!!) but none of the contributors to this site are "independently wealthy" as they say so we are all too busy to give it the time we would like.
Should I be focusing purchases on certain sources to ensure credibility of the product? What sources could you recommend to help prevent purchasing fakes?
If you're buying new releases then any Japanese based shop is the safest bet. There are two main Japanese sellers for English speaking consumers and some US based sellers too. The best price is usually from Japanese but some times remaindered stock are dumped on US or UK shops. There is a list shops that sell new releases here
in the FAQs.
If you're buying second hand Mini LPs
there are also some tips in the FAQs.
(There is also a link on that page to the Yahoo Group that has been around much longer than this site. The group started as "Japanese" but has pretty much become a "mini LPs" group now (which is why this forum is so quiet - also - I want to do more work on the forum so do not push it much.)
When purchasing Mini LP CDs are they newly remastered or simply a repackage of an existing version?
They are rarely specially re-mastered for mini LP release but sometimes (rarely) it coincides (the current Genesis releases are a good example and perhaps no coincidence the first batch of Peter Gabriels did too I think).
The Yahoo Group exists because a bunch of audiophiles got together who bought Japanese CDs. They are still considered the best quality in the world and mini LPs are no exception.
Some of the pricing is quite a bit less than I have seen from Japanese imports of Mini LP CDs. Might the low price be a trigger to identify potential fakes?
Yes - but price on its own is not the only indicator. If it's cheap on eBay and the seller (or the CD) is located in Russia, Belarus, Finland and those areas of the world then it is pretty well certainly a fake - but not always!!
Cheap Chinese based sales on eBay are not usually fakes.
Check the seller's rating and how long they've been around. Also, if they have good feedback from high volume buyers then you're pretty safe. You get to know people's user IDs (buyers and sellers).
We have thought about creating a register of known good sellers but none of us have the time.
Mini LPs are not cheap and most of us work hard for the money we need to buy them
so, alas, we do not have the time to put into this site as much as we would like.