Ideas for improving the Pokémon TCG experience

What ideas or popular opinions do you have that will improve the overall experience of Pokémon TCG? This is intended for collectors and/or players.

Here are some general topics to start and a quick comment I have on each.
Auction houses
Eliminate buyer’s premium, roll this fee into the seller’s fees.
Grading companies Eliminate half grades, unless doing subgrades on every graded card.
Set releases International releases should be more representative of the Japanese releases.
Ebay
Add a feature on a card listing indicating if the photos uploaded were taken using the ebay app camera.

3 Likes

as a huge fan of the TCG, I think they need to synchronize english and japan standard format. it is stupid that japan has some cards that are legal while international players cannot use these cards.

to be clear, international standard format rotates late august/early september (after worlds), while japan rotates early in the year, giving them at minimum 2 extra sets to include in their formats and sometimes even more since they get more frequent set releases.

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Can you explain what is significant about the eBay app camera?

But yeah I’m in agreement with your other points.

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It shows proof that at the time of listing the card, the seller was in possession of the card. No screen grabs, no using other people’s photos.

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I would like for everyone to realize that these cards are effectively worthless scraps of paper. The only value they hold is the value we collectively make up for them and values should be driven by supply and collector demand, not speculation, social media hype, and demand from people just looking to make a buck.

You didn’t say it had to be realistic right?

This is not too far off of what the dollar or the euro is, right?

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While I understand the sentiment, the eBay camera thing is too limiting. I scan all my cards. Places like pwcc have automated photos. It would also be cumbersome having to take photos while listing each item. I think just sticking to buying from reputable sellers is the solution. Plus so many new people consign now so it makes this even less of an issue.

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Yeah, you just described all paper currencies that aren’t backed by physical commodities lol.

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Lol you mean like money?

EDIT: I see @zorloth and @thymeee already beat me to it. Lol.

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This are my idea :

For The Pokemon Company :

  • printing cards in Europe
  • Improve cards quality as DBS, Digimon, Weiss schwarz.
  • print to order, as they are doing in japan with the 25th anniversary golden box for popular collection box as Ultra premium collection.
  • Eliminate Rainbow secret rare.
  • More Alt Art cards
  • Increase pull ratio
  • Reprint more cards as Yugioh is doing. This is bad for anyone with those unique cards, but major collectors aren’t rich. For example: Imaging if pokemon company reprint all gold stars. For those 1000 collectors who have them it would be terrible news because they are no longer “unique”, but the other 1,000,000 collector would be happy.
    For auction on ebay
    -Let the second highest bid the opportunity to pay, with this method shill bidding would be reduced, if the second didn’t pay within 1 day, give the opportunity to the third etc.

For grading companies :
-scan all the graded cards.
-judge centering using computer and not human eyes, how many BGS for 0.5 point ( usually the centering) change the grade?
-let people know the number of cards in the queue before their cards are evaluated. For example you have a bulk submission, the evaluation company lets you know for the bulk service there are 56,754 cards waiting to be evaluated before yours and there is an update every day, so you may know approximately when the your turn.

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I don’t know if anyone uses Whatnot, but I wish sellers would list the specific cards they are going to auction (rarely someone does this but 99% of the time they do not). That way I can scroll through and see what they have slated to sell and I don’t have to wait around and hope they have something I need. Especially because there are so many sellers now it forces me to hop in and out of a dozen streams in hopes that I do not miss anything!

My problems/improvements with collecting are all coming from the perspective of a Canadian buyer.
Shipping/taxes:

I would love it if more people were willing to ship to Canada without going through eBay and GSP. The upfront import taxes are getting expensive, and I don’t like that I can’t gamble to see if they are even added on before delivery. For example, I pay import tax through GSP on a $200 item, but not when someone ships with USPS at a full 2k declaration.

I would love it if people stop shipping low-value <1k cards through FedEx. Again the guaranteed import charges + $10 service charge for paying the taxes + high shipping cost is a big cut to my card budget.

eBay has been using Intelcom for my GSP packages, and that company has been horrible. They’ve lost a couple of cards I got great deals on at auction and left packages literally tossed into our flower bed covered in water.

Ebay Canada will also begin collecting sales taxes on all listings regardless of whether you’re a business or not. Not that they can stop it, but I can’t wait to pay my 15% on my MP binder cards.

PWCC:

Buyers premium + Fedex (import taxes + high cost) has completely turned me off from buying with them. The vault was nice, but I can’t really find deals on things I want that are much better than buying off eBay (which I prefer).

Grading Companies:

If you offer subgrades for an additional charge, stop it. If you’ve already graded this card, shouldn’t you have this information recorded somewhere? Do you want me to pay extra to be able to scrutinize your decision?

Ebay:
Remove the hidden best offer on recently sold listings. I’m not sure if this feature is behind a paywall, but I think the transparency would be healthy for the market.

1 Like

Great thread idea! Here are some of my suggestions:

Pokemon Company

  • Reduce the number of chase cards/ultra rares in a set. Maybe we don’t need to go back to the EX Era where there were single digits, but the new sets are so bloated. For example, in Time Gazer, if you want to pull a Dialga card, you have: Dialga V, Dialga VStar, Dialga V (Full Art), Dialga V (Alt Art), Dialga VStar (Rainbow), Dialga VStar (Gold). That’s six Dialga cards in one set, four of them are in the full art and above rarities. It makes it so hard to pull a card you really want. I think the BW and XY eras had a great balance here.

  • Make more alt art cards. Alt arts in my opinion are the greatest part of modern Pokemon and I really think they should lean more into this. With reference to the last point, I think several rarity tiers (plz get rid of rainbows) could be cut to make room for this. Every ultra rare Pokemon in a set should get an alt art. Doesn’t make sense why we get an alt art Beedrill but not Luxray or Jirachi or the Hisuian Starters.

Grading Companies

  • Get more in touch with the actual on-the-ground collectors which you’re trying to get buy-in from. Something like the PSA Set Registry is a great example of this, very few of their sets reflect the ways that collectors actually collect. You can see this when they add strange cards to species master sets or include promo cards in things like the “full ex holofoils” set. Not to say those sets aren’t necessarily “correct,” but they just don’t reflect the sets which collectors have determined are important on their own.

Pokemon Youtubers - For the love of God please stop posting investing videos especially when you’ve been in the hobby for 6 months and consider buying modern product at MSRP an “investment”

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Fusion Arts (not Fusion Strike) proved to me that I’m still able to be somewhat excited about new sets. I almostgot a little taste of that old feeling, the feeling required for me to actually go for it. The feeling of “oh boy I can’t wait to buy some of this on eBay and do my whole box opening ritual.” Sitting by the table, sleeves and toploaders at hand, mostly removed from any stonking and just plunge head first into the experience.

There are things that could’ve been better. Many, many things. I hate human character rares, I dislike many of the alt arts (the deck Intelleon was completely epic though), not a fan of the V concepts, Rainbow rares etc etc. The cards are too flimsy and too plastic. I prefer english cards to japanese, but I can live with having to go with japanese for quality modern.

Realistically, I think better foil is all it would take to push it over to that other side. It would’ve been enough. If they need to bump the retail price to make cosmos (or any sort of cool holofoil) happen again, I really wish they would do that.

I think another reason why I vibed with this set is because it became clear quite early that it was considered a “bad” set by many. Seeing something that to me was almost desirable being cheap and readily available on eBay without the elongated $tonk fanfare woke something in me, that in itself was a nostalgic experience.

For the Pokemon company in general
Sets are too big. There is no reason they cant remove normal holos which everyone already feels like are a letdown of a hit, and make rares Full art or better only. Leave the holos to promos. Reverses can stay as well if they are worried about completing sets too easily and missing out money from the gambling collector.
There is also no reason to have Rainbow or Secrets in the exact same style as the Full arts, just recolored. They could make really amazing cards (like the alt arts) for those spots, cut down the set amount, and it would still be massively popular.

They also need to stop taking tips from the counterfeit market. First metal cards and now a Pokemon Go set, next will be the Alpha XY Omega Go Plus set. Pretty sure it even goes as back further as Reverse holos were copied from vending machine foil stickers. Maybe this one goes in the unpopular opinion thread

Product
V Battle decks need to have a booster pack in them. There is currently no reason to buy a V battle deck unless you are naive, a collector of decks, or like the Pokemon featured. League battle decks, trainer toolkits, even battle stadium boxes all have what anyone needs to play and the cards are better selections for playing. Including a pack with them would allow them to still have a bit of mystery to whats inside and actually be worth the $15 they cost at retail. 2 packs for the combined ones.

Selling sites
Maybe some quality of life help for the listings, especially since everyone is trying to flip them now. Guided upload unless you toggle it off in settings. You are uploading a single card, here is the rectangle the card should fit in for your photo, all single/graded card listings require 2 photos (front and back). It’ll help all the new sellers make decent listings.

1 Like

Correct.

I am aware.

It’d be cool to have them focus more on the commons/uncommons when alt arts and chase cards are made. It makes sense to do Charizard, Mewtwo, Rayquaza, and any other final evolution/legendary pokemon, but I’d love to see a Shroomish alt art, a Metang alt art, a rainbow Cleffa. Something random like that would be awesome and out of the norm! The Tag Team cards were a step towards this direction with some very unique combinations, but Pokemon hasn’t really done anything since that or before. Japanese promos have a bit more to offer here, but English…

There are a ton of pokemon that have well under 10 unique pokemon cards total in the entire tcg.

Smaller set sizes, better pull rates, fewer rarity types, or some combination thereof would be nice.

More parity with Japan would be amazing. It doesn’t have to be 1-1, nor should it be, but more unique promos and releases for English would be greatly appreciated.

2 Likes
  1. Bring back cosmos or star (base set) holo patterns. None of the other patterns are even close to being as good.

  2. Similar to what @thsigma said, give some less popular pokemon some love when it comes to art/chase cards. Bring back Pichu and Bonsly.

2.5. Charizard moratorium for the next 5 sets or so.

  1. Ban 5Ban. Kidding…but I do wish we saw less digital-looking artwork. Too many of the illustrations look too “clean” - back in the vintage sets many artists worked digitally but still managed to create art that felt handmade. I’d like to see more of that. Which, for starters, means less razor-sharp contours and ultra-smooth rendering in the art.

  2. Higher pull rate for the rarest cards. Base Charizards were at least 1/box, right? Didn’t make it any less fun to pull back in the day.

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biggest thing is cut down on the amount of cards in new sets for english at least. I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point but it’s not even fun to open english modern anymore. The rarity of some of these alt arts may rival gold stars in a bad way. That rarity was healthy and still possible to complete a set but now its garbage. Alt arts, amazing rares, and even the new shiny things are cool af and they need to branch out more.

Second, more competitions to get personal art on official cards that are rare. Art acadmey, snap promo ( a new snap game and no snap competition?), zorua, etc… MORE! it generates interactions with the community and is healthy in my opinion.

Third, idk but more unique arts for commons

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