A seller from Japan is selling "repackaged" BD-R DL media for around $7.00 per disc on eBay. This is $5.00 cheaper than Amazon's price of around $12.00 per disc. Being able to save $50.00 on 10 discs is pretty significant.
This is ink jet printable media. It's Verbatim media (id VERBATIMb) sold as Mitsubishi media in Japan. It is supposed to be made in Japan.
It looks like he is getting large 100+ disc spindles, then breaking them apart and putting each disc into a sleeve, and letting people order them in small lots.
I bought a batch of 30 of them at the beginning of January and they worked great.
I bought another batch in February and they are failing at about a 50% rate. The failure errors are identical to the kinds of errors you would get if you obstructed the disc surface (i.e., attach a small sticker, deep scratch, or a dot with a black permanent marker).
The discs have some sort of physical defect along the edge. This appears to be where the burn failures are happening. I can't figure out what this defect is. Glue? A burn mark? Some kind of scratching, marring, or acid etching the disc? Did these defects happen at the manufacturing facility, or after they were opened and "repackaged?"
Whatever these defects are, they cannot be rubbed, buffed, or scraped off with any kind of cleaner or polish I have tried.
Here's the best pictures I was able to take of the defect:
(Green channel calculation)
The "speckles" look like areas where the laser has not changed the media dye. I'm guessing the drive attempts to "write around" the surface defects, but is not able to successfully do it every time depending on how bad the defect is.
I e-mailed the seller and asked if he would replace the discs. He replied saying not to worry and that he would, but he believes that these kinds of defects are not uncommon and that most of his customers don't have any problems, despite these defects. He said he preferred me to go through all of the discs I bought from him, then send him all failed burns, and he would replace them.
I would be interested to hear anyone else's experience with anything like this.
The seller does sell factory sealed Verbatim (Mitsubishi) BD-R DL's for $8.00 per disc, still $4.00 less per disc than Amazon. I haven't had a chance to try those yet.