Pokemon researchers, do you tell first or buy first?

There’s some amazing research that goes on that gets shared on this forum but if you are the one finding out about something new or adding information to something relatively unknown, do you sit on the information until you can buy while its unknown or share the information first and then chance not getting it? Has it changed now that values jumped? Does your social media presence impact your decision?

Knowledge is valuable


In all seriousness though:
I usually have satisfied my collection goals before feeling confident enough to share the information freely. Generally the obscure information comes first from being someone who cares enough to delve into the details to satisfy my own curiosity.
I’m sure many people withhold information to gain time to increase their positions on certain collectables, but this ultimately comes down to the individuals.
But always buying what one needs first for their collection seems pretty logical.

On the other end of the spectrum, incorrect information can be damaging.


Who discloses relevant information to miss a good deal? Would be just dumb

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It depends on the value gained in the exchange. Sometimes the contribution of the information to the community is more valuable at large (not monetarily) as opposed to sitting on information for 10 years for a chance to cash in on it for however much. Also, not all information is equally valued. But it is good to remember that exposure is actually where the value will come from and is what is being delayed in such instances.

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It doesnt necessarily have to be a deal. If you were the first to discover the Neo revelations error holo, would you just buy as many as you could before saying anything or would you point it out? I see people like @pichufan and @quuador putting out amazing information so I just wondered when do some people draw the line in what they say.

I think the majority of people who make discoveries which could be profitable do hold that information back until they amass stock of the item in question. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be seen as a bit shady if done on a large scale.

I personally don’t tend to keep information I’ve uncovered private unless it’s something I’m interested in collecting which would otherwise be difficult to do if lots of people found out. As an example, I made sure to have almost all of the Japanese 2001 barcode pack variants before I started sharing information about them outside of a few small Discord groups: www.elitefourum.com/t/guide-to-early-pokemon-tcg-history-1995-test-card-versions/31779/28. I didn’t withhold this information for profit though, rather because the packs themselves appear very infrequently and I knew if a lot of people were going after them it’d be impossible for me to do so, especially where booster packs aren’t at all a primary collection of mine.


I definitely avoid talking about certain versions until I hit my goal. Isn’t the best way to share info when you have a copy in hand :wink:.

When it comes to super niche stuff, it really only takes one other bidder to 5x a card.

The Pokemon community has been information first and free for a long time. It’s awesome to share new discoveries 20+ years later. Plus it helps you validate any finds. What’s interesting is the 3-4 other people who noticed something too coming out of the woodwork. Some hesitate, some hoard, some validate.

If you’re ever unsure @quuador will know the answer.



Quuador, aka “The Curator” , Curator Quuador, “CQ”. I like it! Sounds like a character from the Matrix or Mission Impossible.


It would be dumb for people with a lot of indepth Knowledge to share it as fast as possible. In the End they used Effort and Time to get the Info.

However , everything thats not superniche is shared very often and that makes me happy =)

Its not like you buy a Book to improve in Pokemon. Some Questions are hard to get an answer without having any Connections or Years of research.

I like it the Most when you get a Hint to find the Answer yourself and thats something you find on a lot. Problem is many expect to get Answers and do nothing ( reaearch digging etc) and thats the shortcut i hope people dont support.

Perfectly put. With low pop items, just finding what you are looking for is hard enough. I’ve had a Yahoo Japan auction on auto extension back and forth for 90 mins cause one of person wanted the Niche card i was after.

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The Pokemon market is still maturing. We’ve known for years some stuff is stupid rare and should not price the way it has been. Without a healthy buyer and seller pool, niche items can still go for great deals. I think we’re still years (if not decades) away from the random, peculiar cards showing true price disparity. We know 1999-2000 base is more rare, yet non holos will price within 10%. We know no stage Blastoise is an available yet rare error, yet it’s within arms reach of stoise. We know gray stamp 1st ed base non holos are ~6-10% of Base, yet a 25% premium is tough to get outside of starters.

These are just a few examples. If the buyers and sellers don’t recognize and appreciate these differences, then they’ll never price to rarity. I believe that’s why so many people are shocked by modern prices until distinguishing it is a completely separate market from vintage. The indicators and comparables are separate for each imo.

Back to the main topic, many collectors are FOMO, quick trigger, impulse buyers. This includes me when it comes to goals. I’m the kid on the playground trying to find the blue rocks because PFM found something that was in front of our face the whole time. When a discovery is made the 5x piece is real. It doesn’t always last, but it’s real. Ex: Black Flame Ninetales are harder to find now. Self-discipline is tough when group think is jump.

The major change I see today is a more educated and deeper collector pool. Someone may not be able to afford that $200 error on facebook, but there’s 10 people to INFORM the seller of what they have and help with stronger price appreciation. If anything, it’s a step in the right direction for more high integrity transactions.

I think some people go overboard and yes, some content creators have a platform spewing nonsense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll watch a video or a live stream and cringe. When you’re a viewer, the floor is the creators; they have the power. Instinct is to help, but the different opinion gets swarmed by the creator’s loyalists. Remember, it’s okay to think outside of the box and have your own ideas and opinions. Your collecting journey is yours to take. Point is to remain objective. E4 will always remain a humble, based resource available to anyone.

Stay positive, look ahead and share. Share knowledge, share photos, share meals, share stories, share it all. Don’t gatekeep. Open the door.


As far as my collection goes, I buy first before I share it with others. This is just a precaution for me since I’m not able to financially compete with most people.

As for everything that stands outside of my collection, I’ll usually share it publicly. Though sometimes with the more niche stuff I’ll send it first to specific people in mind if I think it meets their collection goals.

A lot of the fun when sharing it with others is sometimes you get to do research together or fill missing holes/gaps in people’s research or collections by sharing that information. Shizzle and I recently just confirmed what the Winner’s Medal that went with the 2015 Gyarados Battle looks like which is a pretty big milestone when you consider it’s been 6 years - granted I only did a little bit of resourcing and he did the majority of the dig. But collaboration efforts are typically fun and worth while for all parties involved.

Edit: To answer more of your questions. I think I’m a bit more private with some of my info than I used to be since the Boom. I recognize that I feel reluctant to share certain aspects of what I’m looking for out of concern that it means someone who has more means to acquire said item will likely be able to acquire it immediately before me. In the past, I wouldn’t have had this concern. I don’t make profit from my collection, so it’s not about the money for me - I just want to complete my goals. XD

And as for if my social media presence impacts this decision, honestly sharing with IG has made a huge positive impact and has made the above concern seem less of a real worry. I’ve found a lot of like-minded people who are into the weird aspects of the non-TCG and we exchange information almost daily. It honestly takes me back to the days on the playground where you would just trade with strangers and friends alike. It doesn’t feel as cutthroat say as, I don’t know, Facebook Marketplace. At least on IG you’re able to get a good read on a number of people. XD


Thanks for the compliments @lyleberr @gemmintpokemon @gengaranimal . :blush:

As for the question of the actual thread: in 99 out of 100 cases I just share it. I could keep things for myself, and in some rare cases I do at first, but eventually I’ll just mention it to some people or just share it in an article or thread here on Efour or reddit, even if I could have better keep things for myself since I’m still missing a certain card in my collection.
But in a lot of cases there are other people discovering the same things eventually anyway, even if I do keep it to myself.

To give an example of something I kept to myself (one of the rare cases where I did), but someone else discovered and shared it later on: the Ivy Pikachu reprint from 1998. It is glossy with Keiji Kinebuchi illustrator, but in pictures you usually can’t see the difference between glossy and non-glossy. You can still see differences by looking at the Energy symbols, though. I had already noticed this earlier while I was trying to find this 1998 reprinted card (and I still am looking as we speak unfortunately :slightly_frowning_face: ), but hayo noticed and shared the same in the Efour thread. (If anyone sees this card for sale, please lmk asap.)

At the same time though, if KEI hadn’t shared the existence of this card in 2018, I wouldn’t even have known about it. It’s a Pikachu variation that was discovered years after I was already collecting Pikachu cards. If I had known from the beginning seven years ago, I might have already found it by now.

So yeah, even though the chances are pretty high I’m shooting my own ass by sharing all kind of info on cards I don’t even have yet, at the same time if more people are aware of them and look for them, the chances are higher one eventually pops up for sale.

Also, I personally love all these minor variations in cards, like most of the things mentioned by Zach for example: grey 1st edition stamps; no stage Blastoise error; black flame Ninetales; etc., even though a lot of people don’t care too much about these kind of variations.
And I personally share them almost immediately if it’s outside of my own collection goals, especially if I know it’s within the collection goals of someone else (i.e. the Fossil Muk with repeated black ink dot I shared with joponnes the other day for example). But even if it’s within my own collection interests, I usually tend to share things like that rather quickly. Could be stupid in most cases, but I personally think ‘sharing is caring’. :person_shrugging: And by sharing info, other people also help me out in return tbh. @pichufan linked me to those unlimited edition E1 Pikachu auctions almost immediately when they started for example, and I’m happy to say I was able to win the second one, which is currently incoming. :blush: Happy to finally have bought this card after collecting Pikachu and searching for it for seven years. And if that auction wasn’t shared with me, I might have missed it (note however that PichuFan wasn’t the only one who shared it; I think I had around ten messages from people who knew I was looking for it :grin: ).



Collecf first
Share second

I’ve learned a few things this last year about some pokemone cards that i had never seen before or know about and that turned a card i had never looked at into one of my favourite cards of all time

Love this hobby and the endless learning it provides