How to share critical, negative or controversial opinions

For those of you who don’t know I started a YouTube channel about 3 months ago where I have been talking about my love for pokemon and both my bullish and bearish opinions on the financial aspects of the pokemon market.

Although the vast majority of the feedback I have received has been positive which I am very appreciative of, cause I am a sensitive fellow:) I have gotten a few very angry nonsense responses and one or two very thoughtful angry responses regarding a concern that my bearishness or negativity could have a negative effect on the market. Although one small channel sharing their opinions can only have so much effect, I would love to hear everyones thoughts on this. How do we talk about potential market manipulation, speculative spending on credit cards, tensions between buyers and sellers and teach people financial skills, without being overly preachy, arrogant or worst of all hurting the joy people have in this hobby! It is tough because for some this is a business, for some this is an investment and for some this is about pure collecting joy, ( for a number of us it’s all three)! how do we all coexist and hear each others perspectives respectfully and all help to create a hobby that continues to grow and attract new people and then teach those people so they can have the best experience possible.

This forum is filled with smart, thoughtful and far more experienced collectors, investors and sellers than myself, so I would love to hear what people have to say about this, so I can learn to be a better channel for my watchers.




Keep doing what you are doing Jake. I, for one, am a huge fan of your videos and it is one of the few places where you can get actual insight, especially related to the financial aspects of the hobby that people are usually very ignorant about (sorry). If a YouTube channel with 1200 followers can take down Pokemon, then our hobby is more fragile than we believe it is :blush:


Honestly, just keep doing what you are doing, because no matter what you do, you can’t please everyone. Someone is always going to be mad or wants to ruin your day, and I know it sucks to get negative comments, but you can however, ignore them!


I appreciate that, and I would never let a negative voice stop me from doing what I enjoy or believe in, I am more coming from a place of asking for feedback so I can improve. If anyone has seen my videos and doesn’t like them or think that I have been overly preachy or negative I would like to hear from them on how I could improve. I am asking for the hate lol! But hopefully respectful constructive hate:P

But more than that I think it is an interesting discussion on how we can go about educating newer people in the hobby in a way that isn’t preachy or doesn’t discourage their buying.


Big fan of your videos as well. You could not be more respectful, tactful, or thoughtful than you have been while stating your thoughts/opinions. Great insights. I like that I can hear what you honestly think without being wish washy or talking like a sponsored politician. Please dismiss any few negatives as noise. It would be a bummer to see the relaxed, even dialogue get sidetracked and start taking on a different tone as I’ve seen happen to many other you tubers—even if only for a few episodes. Just keep re-centering as necessary. I think the balance of your videos has been great and I wouldn’t change a thing except maybe let some natural light in for a while if it films ok. Basement videos are kinda depressing for me in these times of Covid!

Edit: I know you aren’t filming in a basement but that room is kinda dark. I think a disco ball would be awesome.


@jacobm9, I feel that it’ll be good to substantiate why you feel this way. Surely you must’ve noticed a couple of signs to determine that the market is too hot right now, so share them! Do you look at particular price indicators? Or track a certain basket of goods? (: that is also why I just focus on 1 card i.e. the base set blastoise, in all its variants and errors, to gauge the health of the market. Popular species, yet still affordable compared to charizard to the everyday consumer.

Also, I would consider video format. I like your long rants and rambles, but I am sure there’s also room to experiment with shorter in-depth videos where you’re sure about the points and facts you want to present. Check out ZandG’s video about historic price crashes in the TCG. He sort of prepped what he wanted to show and delivered it.

On your point, I agree with @nuttun, you can’t please everyone. So focus on the objective truth, or at least your perspective of it (:

Lastly, take note of your audience. It would then allow you to better determine how you can present your points in a tactful manner. In your most recent video, you gave recommendations about card investments. However, if I were a new collector starting out, I can basically only afford #5 on your list. Do you see what I mean? Without that additional bit of information with regards to budgeting, I might overexpose myself in order to invest in categories 1 through 4. Thus, additional information about budget versus target investment might help you to slide in the point above that you shouldn’t overspend and use/borrow money you don’t have

Keep it up!(:


So smart about your comments on my latest video! I will keep those points in mind in the future.

I think you’re doing an amazing job. I personally love the long form videos of just thoughts and whatever is on your mind.

Opinions won’t please everyone and if you have a few haters so be it :blush: it makes the debates that much more interesting. Sharing a strong opinion will always garner a negative response from someone. You are very articulate in your delivery and good at welcoming criticism by stating the counter arguments.

Something that I think would be cool is making a video, or section of one, trying to advocate for the opposite views that you hold. I think it would be a good way to find your groove and practice how to deliver the info. It would expand on more objective thinking, cause more discussion and ultimately make you better at presenting info that may seem controversial.

No matter what you decide to do I’ll be tuning in! Keep up the great work.


I’ve told you before that I really enjoy your videos. I appreciate that you *mostly remember to preface your opinions by first adding a disclaimer that it is an opinion, or you bring up the relevant counterarguments afterwards. While I personally enjoy hearing your train-of-thought style rants, I do think eventually you might run the risk of becoming repetitive with your talking points and ideas. Since you tend to go off on tangents about a certain topic or concept whenever it comes up, I’m already starting to be able to anticipate what your opinions or talking points might be when you do so. Maybe you can consider coming up with a rough timed outline along with your chosen theme for each video, and try to be more deliberate that way with your discussions. That way your videos will be a little shorter and they may also be more sustainable for you in terms of coming up with interesting content in the long run.

I think you’re doing all you can with respect to bringing up “controversial” opinions. You’re never going to please everyone. I call myself an eternal optimist, but unfortunately these days even I don’t think there’s a way you can present an opinion without ruffling some feathers. I think this is mainly because Pokemon collectors are extremely diverse in socioeconomic background, purpose for collecting/investing, risk tolerance, exposure, etc, and there will always be people in every camp who ignore the presentation and delivery, no matter how tactfully it is done, and are offended by the actual differing opinion itself. Instead of letting these people dictate your discussions, it’s probably best just to mostly ignore them and instead focus on the overwhelmingly positive feedback you’ve also gotten.

Kudos to you for making this post. To me, it really shows where you’re coming from and helps build trust in your intentions.


As others have said if you’re on YouTube as a creator the worst thing you can do is concern yourself with negativity/hatred/noise (unless it’s 90% of the feedback, in which case maybe time to re-evaluate! Though that’s not the case). I can imagine it’s difficult to filter it out given that you want to engage with your watchers, but try to focus on the positive or constructive messages.

You need to be more confident in yourself and your good ability to present on YouTube, which already surpasses most people’s. Though I know manufacturing confidence in your own abilities isn’t easy. Don’t forget you’ve only just got started; the worst thing you can do at this point is worry about the nuances of your content. Just keep creating and the nuances will iron themselves out over time. I’m sure you’ve already done this, but it might help if you have a good think and remind yourself about what exactly you want from the channel, exactly what messages you want to convey, your target audience, and think about what you personally enjoy or relate to the most in terms of watching others’ videos - are there any qualities to those videos you feel you can comfortably replicate? Everyone has their own style; Scott, TCA, Z&G, PokeRev, they’re all different but each have their own style and following.

@newcollector , gave some good practical advice too. Perhaps having a pre-defined structure to each of your videos may help keep them more concise or help you deliver your key messages more efficiently. As you’ll be well aware via your job, people in your audience will have different personalities; less agreeable personalities tend to prefer conciseness and direct messages whereas more agreeable personalities may enjoy a more thoughtful, longer discussion video. However in the scheme of things this shouldn’t matter, the main thing is that you find what format you enjoy the most and stick to your convictions. I think you mentioned in one of your previous videos (?) that your channel intent is not necessarily to become an income stream, and more of a way for you guys to engage with the hobby. If that’s the case then the moment it stops becoming a fun/meaningful/engaging thing for you to do is the moment you need to re-evaluate your approach.

EDIT: lol, not sure how I managed that, but turns out I misinterpreted the main question in the OP quite a bit… Oops. To address the actual points: I’d just echo everyone else. In order to have a voice and speak from opinion there will always be those who disagree no matter what side of the argument you’re on. Ruffling feathers is a part of life; empathy is good but if we sit at home and concern ourselves too much with how we made others feel it becomes paralysing and prevents progress. Going forthrightly into the world with a solid opinion backed by facts to the best of your ability is also a recipe for building self-respect. The channel is clearly built on delivering holistic information on a foundation of good morals which involves providing the full picture of ‘Pokemon: the Market Place’. Jeopardising anyone else’s agenda is going to evoke a reaction, but the more aggressive the opposing voice, the more you need to defend what you believe to be the right messages.

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The vast majority of Pokémon YouTube channels have an underlying goal to hype up some product so that the creator can ultimately make money. Some accounts are really good at this and are essentially very low-level brainwashing viewers into believing that some thing has a lot more value than it actually does.

A good case in point is the Nintendo Black Star Tropical Wind (026) card which was readily available en-masse a year ago raw for around $2 a piece but are now nowhere to be found and readily sell raw for over $100. It’s a card which had a certain YouTube channel hype it like mad after presumably buying out all the $2 copies for it to now appear to be worth significantly more.

Admittedly I’ve not watched your videos, but if you’re providing counter-arguments to some artificial hype then you’re going to have a backlash from the people who bought into the original idea that these hyped cards have value. But that’s perfectly okay. If you can justify the point you’re making then you have nothing to worry about - keep doing what you do.


This is precisely the stuff I am trying to combat. I am trying to figure out how much I should call out the businesses directly vs. trying to do the longer work of improving people’s ability to spot this type of market manipulation so that they can protect themselves. I am not interested in attacking anyone directly and would much rather help people, particularly new people better defend themselves and make their own opinions on what is valuable to them by educating them on different market manipulation techniques that businesses and individual resellers use.

Great advice and feedback. Thank you for taking the time!

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Try not to become too desensitized to the destinction you made about fair criticism vs noise. It’s easy to push aside or ignore more and more because with time you’ll encounter more of both inevitably, because you don’t have the time for it, etc. Not engaging with someone (I love the interaction you have in the comments right now, but you’ll probably not be able to keep it up at some point) is something else than actually ignoring them.



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Do what I attempt to do. Follow the data. Whether it’s good or bad, I would much prefer that to being ignorant of the facts.

The thing is, the people with the loudest voices in this community tend to have the largest financial reliance on it – plain and simple. The majority receive revenue in some form through the hobby: whether it’s through sales, advertisements or simply pumping the perception of products over time.

To some degree we all have this agenda and hold a bias. It becomes more obvious over time as prices have historically increased. Naturally people are more invested now on average and any changes to the downside would be disheartening. Perhaps even financially devastating for anyone overextending themselves.

But even we as participants in this market love hearing these biased views to some extent. They are comforting, they re-enforce to us that we have made good decisions and are capable of doing so. They can and do provide a level of validation and because of this are often encouraged by many. Everyone loves to hear good news and this can come at the cost of a certain level of ignorance.

On another note, it’s true that there are a lot of psychological triggers being used quite regularly, as I’m sure you of all people would be aware. Particularly those used as part of an arsenal of marketing techniques. Some of which are outlined perfectly in the book ‘The Ad Week Copywriting Handbook’ by Joseph Sugarman.

I think there are some people taking advantage of others and their ignorance (and) or lack of knowledge of the market. But I also think that there are a lot smart people taking some of the many opportunities within this hobby, who are still able to kill it whilst remaining ethically inclined.

I think too many people don’t do their own research though and are all too trusting of questionable gossip or hype trains.


I think your “Avergae Joe” approach is very inviting and draws the more casual collectors/investors. You very clear that it is only your personal opinion, but I believe that’s why your channel is growing. People want to hear opinions to help back their own ideas. Speaking about manipulation in a different way as you have is much less cut throat too.

I am a huge fan of Scott, but the argument that there is no manipulation (IMO) is false. I think their opinion causes a manipulation due to them having so much trust from the community. I don’t think it is intentional for their profit, but I think they have the ability to change many peoples focal point. You worded that in your video with Z&G which helped me articulate what I think many were thinking.

Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re personal route is what is drawing people. I think those who come out aggressively are probably learning something in your videos that they don’t want to hear so they lash out. You have my view every video :grin:

@rainbowgx , I think there is truth in what you say, to some extent at least.

I will draw attention to one little problem though.

It is almost impossible to be a collector or investor in this hobby *AND* be someone who talks about the hobby without coming across as someone who is trying to pump up your own stuff. Let me give you an example.

I have been saying on this forum for some time now that I believe Base Set will very likely continue to see good value growth over time for myriad reasons. But I didn’t wait to buy all my Base Set stuff and then go around saying this once I was ready to sell. I’ve been buying Base Set as I’ve been telling people this. Similarly, I’ve announced to the world that I’m willing to pay top dollar for several trophy cards. If this is potentially against my interest to say before I actually acquire these cards, is it suddenly serve-serving to say they are good investments *after* I acquire these cards? Perhaps you can look at it that way, but it’s also what a genuinely believe.

Yes, all people are self-interested and it is impossible to truly separate our interests from how we talk about Pokemon cards. And it’s something to keep in mind. But we’re doing the best we realistically can here. As you said, the key here is for people to learn how to do their own research and make their own decisions, not just listen to what any one particular seemingly authoritative person says (a mistake far too many people make).

And that’s what I really appreciate about what @jacobm9 is trying to do. It is extremely hard - probably impossible - to be a collector and/or investor in Pokemon cards and not come across as biased and serving your own interests when you talk about Pokemon cards. Jake is very aware of this and goes out of his way in his videos to make clear to his audience that he is trying to give them the tools to make their own decisions, rather than just spitting out his own opinions as if they’re gospel. I really respect this approach.

Jake - you are *never* going to be able to make everyone happy. Keep doing what you’re doing. As others have said, your channel is still so new that I think the most important thing for you is to just continue to try to get content out there. Over time you will develop a sense of what’s working for you and what’s not. For being only 3 months into this endeavor you are doing very well.


So well said!

As to everyone else’s comments, so much great insight.

I think it is such a challenging thing to have a channel which teaches people skills without manipulating the market one way or another, particularly as you become bigger and more respected, I am definitely still trying to find this balance, how do I share my educated researched opinions based on both data and gut instinct, so as to teach others how to form their own opinions, not to hold mine! I think too there are so many new people who have a lot of enthusiasm but little to no understanding of the market and the forces that move it, either because they are new to pokemon, or investing or reselling in general. It scares me how many people ask me what to invest in, or ask Pokerev or Scott, not only is it morally unethical to tell a person directly what they should buy in my view, but it shows how susceptible people are to being swayed, following the hype and that they don’t actually know what they like in the hobby, or what they think is undervalued from a financial perspective. That is completely different from those who want to hear my opinions and have a nuanced discussion about a specific card or set or want to know how difficult something is to grade or rare or scarce the item might be etc… Which shows a knowledge of what makes something investible that they are already bringing. Having lots of people like that is a big piece of what led to the bubble in comic books. Instead of people paying a lot of money for things they wanted, or for things that had good investible traits, they were paying a lot of money for massively overproduced items that they were only buying to flip for profit in the future. The only short term winner in this scenario is the comic book companies who sell a lot more repetitive lower quality comics, and the flippers and resellers who know what they are doing. I believe this time period has shrunk the modern comic book hobby in a big way to this day, because so many people got burned and never developed a love for the comics themselves because they were more focused on the money. I don’t want that to happen to pokemon! I think if we can bring these people into the hobby and teach them how to collect what they love the hobby will be better for everyone the businesses included in the long run.

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This is incorrect. The 026 wind was bought out via discord on pwcc night awhile back. If anything the mention on any channel was after the uptick. The card was grossly underpriced. All worlds cards have disappeared in availability. I used to be able to buy them consistently from stores, now most-all are sold out.

So many people make false inferences from what youtubers say. It’s exactly why this thread exists. There are simply people who have more knowledge and access to market data. The people with less information draw false conclusions. In short you can’t please everyone.