Judging by his username, I would think the cryptobro / NFTbro story that you mentioned is probably true.
I’m going to give the flip side answer to pokerd, because it literally describes me.
As someone who came into this market recently, and just wanted a sealed copy for my shelf, I totally get the appeal of lower grades to collectors, especially new ones. They still look great on a shelf, and the appeal of a sealed game is the fact that they’re sealed and never opened, imo. You can feel the nostalgia of getting the game new from the store when you were a kid, the condition isn’t as important.
As a card collector, I like to collect high grade’s because there are thousands upon thousands of 99.9% of cards, so to own something special it feels like owning a high grade is important. These sealed vintage Pokémon games TOTAL pop is anywhere from 50-250, that’s trophy card level of quantity. Obviously the pops aren’t fully fleshed out, and we don’t even have vga pops yet, but the total pop doesn’t even feel close to cards. Not to mention that there only 9 of the mainline games, and tens of thousands of cards.
I agree with that there is definitely demand and interest for the lower grades by end collectors.
My comments above were specific to last weeks sales, and how it felt like they were impulsively bought.
It very well could be an end collector who just wanted to add the games to their collection, and was less sensitive on price!
I do believe that there will come a time when the high grade (say 9.2 and up) sealed games dry up, and there will be an incentive to start submitting any sealed copy. After these dry up, eventually there will be very little sealed games to submit / collect, and prices will force the average people to collect CIB.
For a game like Pokémon red, if there are currently 200 copies on the wata pop reports, there is possibly another 200 VGA copies already graded. We are only adding 2-3 graded copies of Red to the pops per month. Even if we triple it and say 10 copies per month (which is crazy), that is only +1200 copies in the next 10 years.
If the market catches on, and the there is a spike in demand, there is literally not enough sealed Pokémon red (or likely any gen 1-3) to go around!
Ok I get what you were trying to say now, it would be cool to know if they were all purchased by the same buyer. Prices of the low end have been creeping up the last few months, so it’ll be interesting to see what they continue to do, especially in this economy.
You explained it perfectly, and it’s the exact reason why I’m so confident in this market! I truly think there will be enough to go around once game collecting become more mainstream in the Pokémon hobby.
There isn’t really a good analogy to compare a sealed game to other collectibles.
The better comparison really is comparing them to CIB (Complete in Box) games, where there were potentially millions of games produced. You can still grade a card after it has been opened from a pack, similar to a CIB.
It would be somewhere between a sealed booster box (that has no incentive to box break), and a sealed pack (that doesn’t have the gambling element).
It really is like CIB collecting, but on steroids. The games were meant to be opened, so finding them: A) Still sealed and B) In mint condition is not common.
The flip side, is that in todays market, there is enough market awareness that the sealed copies aren’t being opened, so you don’t have the same attrition that you would have in booster boxes and packs.
It really is an interesting concept and dynamic, and I truly do feel that as the years go on, there will be a greater acceptance as a collectible.
I do want to encourage any of you guys to ask me questions about the market, or the games, or if you have any questions at all. I’d love to break down barriers where I can.
I’ve appreciated and owned sealed games since at least 2016, and I bought my first graded Pokémon games in 2018, so my goal is bring a wider awareness to the games, so even more people can share the appreciation I have for these awesome collectibles.
If this seal is a B+ I can’t imagine what a C would look like…
The seller states “Has major rips in seal as well as minor water damage. See pictures. Seals are still intact.”
I sent in a GBA game that was missing 15% of the seal, it was torn off when I bought it. I thought they might just remove the seal and grade it CIB. Nope. B. I think you might have to tear off the seal entirely and send it in a little crumpled up ball to get lower than that
Sorry I was away at a conference so I couldn’t respond sooner.
I do not currently have great pics of everything. Only some pieces here and there. I also have not graded any games myself, only bought graded already.
I am very happy with the price points I bought at. For the most part I bought before the extreme boom (everything was bought under $1k with the exception of the Fire Red and Emerald) and these are not items I really plan on having multiples of so I was more comfortable buying them at the prices they were.
I buy what is in my price range, which is lower grade but as I have stated in the past, I will never touch below an A seal so in your example, I will buy 6.5 A but pass on 8.5 B+.
Goldin Auction : November 18, 2023
Blue (sandshrew) 9.2A+ $11K - this was a crazy sale, seeing as there was live BIN on eBay for a 9.2A+ for $5K and a 9.4A+ for $8K. Maybe the buyer thought it was a first print (red text error). Although there was a recent 85+ that sold on HA for $10K+ that wasn’t in great condition.
Red (black esrb) 8.5A+ $2.6K - we just saw the 8.5A++ sell on eBay for $2.6K, so maybe we are starting to see the mid grade late prints trend around this price.
Blue (rattata) 7.5A $1.2K - seems about right, floor price on a mid print blue of around $1K seems reasonable.
Leaf green (PC) 9.4A+ $1.1K - feels high given it’s a players choice, although it’s in pretty good condition. Last week we saw a non-PC 9.2A+ sell for $1.6K and a couple months ago 8.0A+ PC did $650, so maybe this isn’t a crazy price for the condition.
EBay Sales - Nov 13-19, 2033
Leaf green 8.5A+ - $1.3K - right in between the last eBay sales for a 8.0A+ and 9.2A+, a little higher than I would have expected
Fire Red (PC) 5.5A - $1K - another crazy sale for a player choice fire red. This was actually a game I graded myself, and sold on eBay at auction for $450 in Sep 2023, so great flip by the buyer
This is exactly why I personally refuse to accept grading video games as legit - Glad some people are having fun with it, but the price manipulation news about WATA/Heritage, and the other news about the guy in italy who was faking all of the old games made it really clear that graded games are a scam.
Sauce on the guy from italy thing:
If it helps legitimize the cause, collectors universe (the parent company that owns PSA) now owns wata.
If you are going to continue to not trust graded games because of wata, you may as well throw out graded cards as a legitimate collectable, because they are very much sharing resources now.
Also a lot of the accusations in the article sound pretty familiar to all grading companies during the Covid boom. Replace “wata” with “PSA”, and I’d imagine at least half the article is still relevant.
What was PSA’s advertised submission times vs actual?
Does PSA also not benefit if the card values are inflated?
You’re not wrong on any of those counts at all. I don’t trust graded cards either for the same reason.
I don’t think the accusations are equivalent across brands (PSA vs WATA/Heritage). I just think that WATA/heritage were very blatant and clumsy about what they did, which made it obvious to outsiders. And made it clear where they stand, i.e, money over integrity.
Submission times have nothing to do with it.
PSA does benefit from the upcharge if a card receives a good grade - no disagreement from that on my part, I think they are all non-objective/rottten.
Oh, absolutely. I don’t trust graded cards as well for the same reasons. I think PSA is a little more respectable, but not by much. I’ll never defend PSA, I have no skin the the game. I have 1 (one) graded card, and that’s it. I have no skin the the game but I’m happy to be a part of this community when it comes to collecting.
Can someone shed some light on the idea that the seal grade is more important than the box grade? This makes no sense to me. It seems to me that the box is almost entirely what anyone would be interested in. You’re looking THROUGH the seal AT the box. Unless there are major tears in the seal that detract from the visibility of the box, then it’s only important in that there is a seal, proving that it’s never been opened.
Once you get into B+ (and even A) it can start to affect how it looks quite significantly.
Of course, they’re going to be correlated. Generally the worse the box, the worse the seal will be/vice versa).
One argument would be that since the difference between a sealed and non sealed game is so large, that the value of the seal is even more important.
Yes there is a large portion that is attributable to just having a seal, but having a perfect seal is definitely worth more than an non-perfect seal.
B+ and below; at least one major issue, dramatically reduces the demand and value
A ; many people will avoid, sometimes major scuffing or a little hole
A+ ; majority of “good” condition seals will fall in this category
A++ ; typically case fresh, very difficult to get
The difference between an A+ and an A++ could be anywhere from 1.5X to 3X (sometimes even more depending on title).
A 9.6A+ worth $3K could* see a 9.6A++ sell for $4.5K to $9K. Where the 9.6B+ may sell for $1K. I’ll see if I can find some good real examples to share.
I also think to get japanese games just for how nice they look.