Not enough honest sellers/buyers / demand too high? agree ?

Hi guys,

Sorry I have been away from the website for a while, I moved from Hong Kong, back to Sydney, Australia again.
Just thought I would raise a thread with the above question, and hear peoples thoughts…

The demand for pokemon cards is becoming increasingly ridiculous as of late. It is becoming terribly hard to find good honest deals in 2014, and prices are becoming almost nonsensical.

There has been an increase in buyers for 2014, now that gen 2 / 3 / 4 users are ‘growing up’, and generally starting to earn money. I as a gen 1 starter, find that this is bringing a ton more corrupt young naïve buyers into the mix, as well as making it immensely harder to find honest deals online. I.E people born 1991 - 1995 are becoming more active in purchasing pokemon cards.

There is also an increase in blogging / youtube break video popularity, hence causing a more-so rapid purchase of booster boxes / price inflation. Plus many sets are non existent now, like a lot of old Japanese boxes or decks / foreign card sets / boxes.

Apart from that, ebay / paypal provide such trouble as always for sellers, granting these younger buyers more power, and higher fees…

Anyways, just wanted to see if people feel that the following is occurring:

1.Awareness is building more rapidly, hence demand becoming increasingly detrimental.
2.Later pokemon users are coming of age and causing a higher demand for cards.
3. Society in general has an obsession with a intrinsic form of escapism, one way that people sustain that need is through reminiscing on old memories, childhoods, and an aspect of that can very well be specifically ‘pokemon cartoons’, I.E pokemon which they enjoyed, hence look to re-collect / kindle these memories. I am scared to see where things will be at in 10 years time, given inflation / demand / and how pokemon just seems to be growing in popularity slowly still. I.E It is the most sold 3ds game again…: Pokémon X and Y 12.26 million sold…

It would be nice to hear peoples thoughts on current pricing / demand, and the reasons for this.

Is anyone else scared right now?? I am.


You should read this discussion. A lot of what you are worried about was discussed there.

The condition issue is definitely real, which is why grading has increased, and why a lot of serious collectors buy already graded cards. Certain set cards do not matter as much, but the rarer ones people want in actual mint condition. Collectors who value condition are tired of buying cards falsely described as mint. It is something that has been increasing for the past few years.

The only other worry, the main worry, are fast money sellers who pop up during the boom. They are temporary and have no connection to the hobby. Also, those are typically the ones who will deal unscrupulously as they do not have any value outside of monetary gain. When dealing in hobbies, understanding is everything, not just knowledge. Knowing which cards are popular is easy, everyone can search ebay competed listings. Being able to provide sound advice only comes from being engaged beyond, “what is this worth (so I can list it on ebay)”.

The easiest way to find out if people are actually engaged, check their collection. If they actually collect cards, that is a good sign. If they use the term “collection” as a replacement for “inventory” then they are the problem. The irony is that people who are trying to make a quick buck and constantly sell are failing on both fronts; they are neither a collector or an actual business. First, they are obviously using communities knowledge, literally like parasites. Second, if everyone constantly bought and sold, the market would disappear. In this hobby, actual businesses need collectors, and vice versa. However, businesses could not exist without collectors providing a consistent demand, more specifically, holding cards.

People who have an actual inventory, pay taxes, understand supply & demand, have an understanding of a hobby, oh and again, pay taxes are an actual business. If you don’t pay taxes, you aren’t a business. The fast money guys are not business men, they are typically young people who have ambition, and are primarily driven by greed. Businesses require proper capital, and patience. Usually the quick money guys can’t afford to properly hold cards, and in turn, they saturate the market. If no one holds their items, the market deteriorates.

I wouldn’t worry about people being nostalgic, that is nothing new. It has been around probably as long as humans had the cognitive ability to reflect on the past.

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It seems so weird to me that the old cards are booming right now. People seem to talking about Pokemon less than ever on the sites I frequent. Social media sites’s fault, I guess?

What do you mean by “good honest deal”?

I think people are trying to sell their cards with low grades for too much money. I also agree that it is getting harder to find mint raw cards. Anyway it is getting really difficult to get those really good cards in gem mint condition :confused:

Overpriced based on whose opinion? It’s all a game and often guesswork. Plus what someone sells something for is often based on need.
As far as haggling…there’s a make an offer option. If the seller wants to haggle he’ll activate that option. If he doesn’t want to haggle then he won’t and I wouldn’t bug him. Nothing backhanded or dishonest about that I’d say.


I agree with zelda.

Also The prices have been going up consistently over last few years from what I and many other collectors have told me. There are also spikes that have happened every few years. I feel there is a small spike right now where the prices have been going up.

This is simply a state of any collectible. There are always older rarer items in any collectible. They are bound to increase I’m value. I think the things Kthxbi aren’t affecting it that much.

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Though I disagree with you mostly Bags I’m very curious what side our other members here come down on.

Do you all agree with Bags here or why not?

First of all it is interesting to hear every bodies opinions, I am quite surprised to see a lot of responses and people who think quite similarly about the pokemon card collecting scene. I guess we are all in the same boat as collectors at the end of the day, and face the same struggles as time goes on to find gem cards, at fair prices, while saturation occurs.

By “good honest deal” I mean exactly what you we’re all discussing, but also just from a selling perspective as well. I went through a phase of 6 sour transactions in a row, selling off excess as we all do. But the knockbacks, and pay-pal supervision of these buyers was quite frustrating when I started receiving back items damaged, or in a changed state. The amount of people who don’t read descriptions is quite funny, and then pay-pal allows a full refund. More resellers appearing from different industries, who want to screw over anyone and everyone through the powers that be paypal / ebay.

At the end of the day, thanks so much to everyone for sharing their opinions. I think we should probably raise some more positive threads on this site again, like that spot the card guessing thread, or a pokemon meme thread. Oh and is that thread laughing at the terrible stuff/prices on ebay still around? I liked that one.

I totally agree with some of the things you say, and as @smpratte said we all had a really good discussion about some of these things recently in the topic he linked, so if you haven’t had a perusal of that yet then do so.

However after looking at your eBay page you seem to be perpetuating some of these points you bring up, whether intentionally or not. A few of your listings claim to be Gem Mint condition and I can either see small wear on corner(s), or I can’t even examine the card properly because the way you take your photos makes it extremely hard to do so. Some of these cards may well be what you call Gem Mint, but it’s impossible to tell for sure. You say you can’t find any ‘good, honest deals’ but you aren’t offering any on your eBay page either, some of your prices are Graded level prices for ungraded cards and are pretty outrageous. You are totally free to list your cards for whatever price you want but in the context of your complaints I think it’s worth noting.

Another problem which you are perpetuating is making claims like ‘I believe this will get a PSA 10’, it is not something you should put on your listings at all. Sure anybody experienced in grading cards can look at a card and say to themselves ‘Hmmm I am confident that this could get a 10’ but the bottom line is you don’t know for sure, and you are not a grader, so I don’t think you should be saying things like that on your listings, it’s misleading.

I am not trying to call you out or anything, and I don’t mean anything sinister with this post at all. You just may be unaware that some of the points you bring up are things that you seem to be doing on your eBay page.


Yeah, I saw this coming. I am anti psa. I don’t believe they are any more professional than myself at looking at a card, and granting a grade. Have you even seen how they deal with cards… they don’t even use gloves when handling objects. Graders like PSA have ruined the card industry, and the same goes for comics, and for VGA with video games. Just my opinion and why I refuse to grade my collection as of yet. Collecting for more than 24 years, I feel I take more pride in grading my own collection, rather than people at a paid pyramid scheme of sorts like VGA, PSA, beckett…

As far as the listings on my page, those cards are packet pulled, and in Australia… Do you realize how hard it is for us to import cards down here… We have to pay immense shipping costs generally always from America and my prices are extremely fair given that there are currently no other Australian sellers with some of these sets, and that my pricing is 30% cheaper than other Australian sold prices and sellers current listings. It is a different market and hemisphere to the states.

Exemplifying the cards as ‘I believe this will get a PSA 10’, is just a method to market towards collectors and they can trust this inference as I still retain 100% positive feedback. The only reason I have to stipulate that the cards may range in condition upon a set, and may fall lower, is because too many people are ‘scamming’, receiving items, saying it isn’t as listed, and getting full refunds, then sending the wrong cards back. What classes a PSA 10 card is immensely broad, and their are countless stories of people who know in their own right that the card may not of broke a Beckett 10, or has minor flaws still.

I don’t know how much clearer photographs or scans you want my to post up… i take intricate photo’s of all singular sold pieces, at different lighting phases, and yes i keep sets more broad as there is an increased quantity, and i am always open to offer more close ups or more pictures for buyers.

It’s fine for you to dislike PSA, I know there are a lot of collectors who do dislike them and would agree with you about ‘ruining the industry’ I personally don’t agree with that at all, as it sets a grading standard that anybody can gauge from. I have had quite a few cards graded (About 500 total) and I too notice variations in my PSA 10s, some you would call low end and others high end. It’s still an infinitely better standard than anybody on eBay throwing around the terms Gem Mint/Mint/Near Mint or whatever, the way people use those is so broad and differed, it’s one of the reasons PSA exists, not just for Pokemon cards but for any card collecting hobby.

If you are anti-PSA don’t you think it’s quite hypocritical to use them as a reference for the condition of your cards? Saying you think a card would get a PSA 10 whilst having a disdain for them and holding an opinion that they are ruining the hobby is weird when you find your own judgement so much better than theirs.

I am from Australia too, and I know that the cards we have access to is limited in some respects. I have never agreed with people jacking up their prices just because it’s a little more expensive to get stuff delivered to Australia to sell it in the first place, it’s a cop out if you ask me, you pay maybe 40-60 dollars extra to get, for example, an old booster box delivered here with Registered/Tracking. For a box you are paying a few hundred or even thousand dollars for it shouldn’t constitute jacking your prices for that reason.

My suggestion for your cards is to actually scan them instead of taking a photo on top of that coloured light thing you have, it skews the corners/edges and makes it harder to confirm which condition you claim them to be.

I am sorry that you have had a few people trying to scam you, we have all been there and it’s never nice no matter who it is.

Fine we don’t agree upon PSA, that is your opinion, I respect that fair enough.
I don’t believe it is hypocritical to exemplify them in my listings as this is a selling point… its logical… and what a number of collectors want to hear about within a listing, whether a card is able to or can recieve a top professional grade.

Plus I don’t think this is a forum where we can slander each other on pricing of items. I price the way I can price, and at what will sell… if it can sell for absurdly high prices, then so be it. They sell for higher amounts than what I have listed.
Shipping costs is not the sole factor on pricing as well… I do items cheaper than Icollected and gametraders and various other sellers of similar merchandise.

I personally don’t like to scan images as i think it is not aesthetically pleasing… And doesnt make your listings stand out on a search of 12000+ pokemon card results. Just my opinion again. I am aware that recent photographs could of been mildly clearer, but this was never the original point and/or reason for having bad transactions.

I am not trying to get you to agree with me, and it’s all fine. I am not here to start a fight and I have no ill will towards you personally. There are collectors and sellers, and people who are both on these forums and like I already said you are free to list your cards at whatever price you choose, I am only calling you on things that I think conflict with your concerns in your original post.

It’s very clear you and I have very different views on collecting Pokemon cards, and that’s totally fine as well, I think we would both disagree on a lot more things. But I won’t make anymore comments because I am not here to cause drama, I am here to talk about Pokemon cards.


It is difficult to listen to your criticism of PSA when you use their name to increase your sales on eBay.

Also, third party grading companies are not pyramid schemes.


I wouldn’t be too hard on kkth. He’s like most collectors of limited knowledge and we were all there at one point. Some of his points are valid though common knowledge here.
We all learned as will he:)

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Perhaps I’m slandering PSA to harshly. Within the pokemon scene, their effect isn’t as apparent. Yet in comparison to earlier sports cards, baseball etc, 60s-70s, and pre war grading, they have made the card collecting industry almost impossible for the common man to reach some of the high end pieces.

I’m happy to have a friendly debate about psa, vga and cgc. Just want to make sure that, in discussion, anything I say, is not to be taken personally towards anybody, and there is no disrespect intended towards anyone here. I merely am trying to express, ideas / thoughts to generate discussion. What I may write at times could be merely a thought process, and not an inference, and in all honesty, I really admire a lot of the collectors here and sellers on upccc who have created some amazing stores, and seem like quite friendly gentlemen.

My view of the grading situation, which I feel has been overlooked, is that cards/games/comics would not be worth more, if one didn’t buy into the idea that they are being worth more by being graded.

Your paying a premium through a third party, for the concept that putting your card/game in our acrylic case will make your item worth more money. Now it does, it does, but if we never fell into this concept for verification / liquidity / confidence, then we would see a much fairer priced card collecting scene.

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I’m inclined to believe this logic as it applies to most instances, but I’ll have to disagree with it’s application here.

The premium for a nicer, more protected product will always exist. There is no way of seeing past that. The value exists because of this.

PSA grading has standardized condition to the most thorough extent it can reasonably be done. This is inherently valuable. It was not about people being convinced their service is just worth more. The monetary increase is just a byproduct of the inherent value in standardized differentiation between those cards which are nicer kept and those which are not.

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I expect to pay more for graded cards compared to ungraded ones. Why? Because at least I generally know the condition of the card I’m buying. I’m not taking a risk or gambling on the seller’s own opinion and often generous assessment of the card’s condition. Unless you can personally inspect and assess an ungraded card before buying, you are risking your money on the card’s condition and authenticity. 3rd party grading companies like PSA reduces or eliminates these risks for the buyer. This process of grading/authenticating cards cost money and that’s why you pay a certain premium for graded cards. There are other factors that would make a graded card more expensive and the risk factor is just one of them.

Looking from the point of view, I do agree that increasing the price of a card tenfold simply because it was graded PSA10, is totally unwarranted and outright ridiculous. I was referring to a more reasonable premium on graded cards in my previous post. Not the extra $1000+ that get slapped on the price tag simply because the card is encased in a PSA holder. This is particularly true to the ultra rare promo cards.