Adjust Your Expectations: Pokemon TCG Shortages Will Continue Into 2021

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I mean, I can find a decent amount of product...on eBay for double retail price. So I don’t think it’s “debatable” whether or not scalpers are part of the problem, they clearly are. Obviously production shortages are a big factor, but when what little available product is all snatched up but scalpers and resold for absurd prices, and even the indie card shops on eBay are also raising their prices to match, and product is totally unavailable anywhere at retail price, it’s an issue, yeah.
Yeah, but it's unavoidable. Nobody has came up with a truly good solution to scalping, the only "real" one is undermining your own product's "investability" by acting wildly and overprinting. This is obviously something that can't currently be done, so we can just hope that - once the printers heat up again - there will be waves of old product swelling the distributors and crashing the scalper's margins.
The good news is, Pokemon has already did exactly that in the past. The bad news is, Pokemon has truly realized most people care more about collecting than playing. While reprinting Shaymin EX was reasonable, because it was a hard card to get with a crappy design that made it viable in a ton of decks, reprinting "collectibles" isn't really the same thing. The only reason collectibles sell is because they're scarce. The only thing they can win here is players' good will.
 

The Binder Guy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Yeah, but it's unavoidable. Nobody has came up with a truly good solution to scalping, the only "real" one is undermining your own product's "investability" by acting wildly and overprinting. This is obviously something that can't currently be done, so we can just hope that - once the printers heat up again - there will be waves of old product swelling the distributors and crashing the scalper's margins.
The good news is, Pokemon has already did exactly that in the past. The bad news is, Pokemon has truly realized most people care more about collecting than playing. While reprinting Shaymin EX was reasonable, because it was a hard card to get with a crappy design that made it viable in a ton of decks, reprinting "collectibles" isn't really the same thing. The only reason collectibles sell is because they're scarce. The only thing they can win here is players' good will.
Whenever I hear people say that there are no good ways to counteract scalping I always remind people that ticket scalping is pretty much dead thanks to changes made by retailers and, at least here in the US, the federal government stepping in and criminalizing the usage of ticket-buying bots via the BOTS Act of 2016.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Whenever I hear people say that there are no good ways to counteract scalping I always remind people that ticket scalping is pretty much dead
...these aren't remotely comparable. There is a limited (and generally known) amount of tickets every time, you only need one for a single person, they're generally bought exclusively online, and they need to be checked in, at which point you can verify the buyer. There is no way to verify if someone's buying 300 boxes because they genuinely want to open them, or scalp them.
 

The Binder Guy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
...these aren't remotely comparable. There is a limited (and generally known) amount of tickets every time, you only need one for a single person, they're generally bought exclusively online, and they need to be checked in, at which point you can verify the buyer. There is no way to verify if someone's buying 300 boxes because they genuinely want to open them, or scalp them.
It’s comparable to the point where various congressmen threw around the idea and introduced a bill criminalizing consumer level scalper bots back in 2018. Why it never actually got any traction is honestly puzzling and, if you ask me, a bit disgraceful.

Also, buying up 300 boxes of a product at the consumer level should already make any vendor suspicious of that individual’s intentions.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
It’s comparable to the point where various congressmen threw around the idea and introduced a bill criminalizing consumer level scalper bots back in 2018.
No, it's not. Someone walking into a store and buying the entire stock isn't a "bot". Neither is someone with connections to a distributor, or a distributor itself trying to withhold product as investment. And someone trying to supply their Local Game Store by buying in bulk isn't (necessarily) a scalper. Combating bots isn't even skimming the surface of the issue. A Trading Card Game is not a good that's like other goods, even other collectible goods. And definitely not like tickets, that's just ridiculous.
Also, buying up 300 boxes of a product at the consumer level should already make any vendor suspicious of that individual’s intentions.
The only intention that buyer has is buying 300 boxes of product. The retailer/distributor shouldn't act as Product Police because, again, all of the "solutions" to this issue are pretty terrible and exploitable.
 

The Binder Guy

Aspiring Trainer
Member
No, it's not. Neither is someone with connections to a distributor, or a distributor itself trying to withhold product as investment. And someone trying to supply their Local Game Store by buying in bulk isn't (necessarily) a scalper. Combating bots isn't even skimming the surface of the issue. A Trading Card Game is not a good that's like other goods, even other collectible goods. And definitely not like tickets, that's just ridiculous.

The only intention that buyer has is buying 300 boxes of product. The retailer/distributor shouldn't act as Product Police because, again, all of the "solutions" to this issue are pretty terrible and exploitable.
And here were go...

Did you even check out the link and see the kinds of products that were mentioned in it? I’m 99.9999999% sure that Pokémon TCG merch is considered a form of toy to many consumers and retailers (remember that Target’s recent deal on toys also applied to TCG products) REGARDLESS of collectability.

For someone who said that they hope that TPCi introduces waves older products into the market (despite previous CHP waves only consisting staggered releases of the ETB and ZERO sightings of past products like the various pin collections) when printing companies are allowed to return to full working order you seem awfully defensive of collectors and TCG investors, people who I have honestly lost a lot of respect for in recent months.
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Did you even check out the link and see the kinds of products that were mentioned in it? I’m 99.9999999% sure that Pokémon TCG merch is considered a form of toy to many consumers and retailers (remember that Target’s recent deal on toys also applied to TCG products) REGARDLESS of collectability.
What does "consumer perception" has with the actual reality of the product? There is no consumer case for buying 300 toy trucks, but there are legitimate customers that open 300 boxes of TCG products. Again, bots are a small sub-section of the scalper system. Actually today I saw the preorders for Shining Fates ETB drop and disappear within one hour (possibly less, I haven't refreshed the site). I don't think that has anything to do with bots.
For someone who said that they hope that TPCi introduces waves older products into the market (despite previous CHP waves only consisting staggered releases of the ETB and ZERO sightings of past products like the various pin collections) when printing companies are allowed to return to full working order you seem awfully defensive of collectors and TCG investors, people who I have honestly lost a lot of respect for in recent months.
No, I guess you're projecting your own anger and assuming I'm equally emotionally invested, while I've simply stated some facts. This isn't about "respect", but the reality of printing (and underprinting) a TCG. Scalping will happen. Distributors will act like douchebags. If the distributors are skipped with a direct-to-consumer approach, then the company will be incentivized to act like douchebags. Again, there isn't a great deal of good solutions to these issues.
 

MegaSnorlax

Card Eater
Member
$95 preorders on Shining Fates ETBs. I blame Logan Paul far more than I do Covid considering all the streamers I see making crazy purchases now...Think I'll just buy a few singles rather than attempt to like, camp outside Target.

As for this article, most MtG products except for collector boxes are (usually) printed in waves unless I've been out of the loop. Magic certainly isn't selling for almost 200% of MSRP, this is the biggest boom since the game's inception.
 

LexGoyle

Aspiring Trainer
Member
$95 preorders on Shining Fates ETBs. I blame Logan Paul far more than I do Covid considering all the streamers I see making crazy purchases now...Think I'll just buy a few singles rather than attempt to like, camp outside Target.

As for this article, most MtG products except for collector boxes are (usually) printed in waves unless I've been out of the loop. Magic certainly isn't selling for almost 200% of MSRP, this is the biggest boom since the game's inception.

To be frank these youtubers have put so much focus on the dollar value of choice cards (even Leonhart's vids almost always mention dollar amounts in the titles alone) which I think it's more reasonable to assume that the uptick in 'investors' is more of a gambling thing. People cracking open packs hoping to score one of the back to back to back releases of Charizard (and shockingly 1 Pikachu Vmax card) that they can resell for hundreds of dollars.

If it was all about COVID and an uptick in people playing Rebel Clash would have met a similar fate of being cleaned out given we were already over 3 months into lockdowns by that point. Didn't have any trouble ordering or even hitting up the stores for Rebel Clash stuff. Card shops didn't scalp the build and battle boxes at twice the MSRP of that set in spite of league play already being shut down by then but they sure the heck did the moment a Charizard card was included as one of the 4 promos...boom... $40 a box. Had one card shop owner tell me it's cuz costs at distribution went up which is a plausible reasoning since shipping in general has gone up due to the pandemic. But the fact these shops are matching the prices of scalpers only on specific skus tells me it's really not a costs issue but them just getting on the bandwagon of scalping using the pandemic as an excuse.

But every set since has had a Charizard card and thus... scalpers galore with card shops pricing like the scalpers all while you can easily find the product for sale through them no problem. So it's not even a supply issue in the end. It's all this scalping going on.

It's just an opinion but I really don't think this has anything to do with more people playing the game unlike MTG which I have no problem finding in the store to this day. I really do think it's people with a gambling itch thanks in large part to youtubers that put so much focus on card value hoping to score a valuable card they can sell off and like anything that's based on a lottery they buy up everything to increase their odds of getting multiples. They end up with bulk stock they can sell off plus whatever they make on however many chase cards they pull.
 

Number51x

Blasting off at the speed of light!
Member
"the same release method for Champion’s Path"

Yeah, that worked out so well. All it did was make it so scalpers could sell all they bought initially just in time to buy up subsequent waves.
 

Stalltar

Aspiring Trainer
Member
$95 preorders on Shining Fates ETBs. I blame Logan Paul far more than I do Covid considering all the streamers I see making crazy purchases now...Think I'll just buy a few singles rather than attempt to like, camp outside Target.

As for this article, most MtG products except for collector boxes are (usually) printed in waves unless I've been out of the loop. Magic certainly isn't selling for almost 200% of MSRP, this is the biggest boom since the game's inception.
At the point we’re at, I doubt Logan is having any effect on what’s happening to vivid voltage, shining fates, champions path, and hell every modern set. It’s moreso the advent of scalpers, flippers, and “””””investors””””” causing these stock problems and price hikes at the moment. Truly blows my mind how ruthless these people are that they try to get their hands on literally any set or facet of the collectors market (FA trainers for example). I dread the day when these investors say they are “””””””wrong”””””” about battle styles and make the set impossible to collect/find.
 

Pacifico

Aspiring Trainer
Member
All a scalper is, is a representation of a fan who's time is more valuable than standing in line when the door opens, and is willing to pay for someone to go acquire the item for them. It is definitely all supply/demand... if you need an example of a company who shut down scalpers successfully this year, look at what Nintendo did to scalpers with the re-release of the "special edition" Animal Crossing Switch, which they built about 2 for every household in America this Christmas... however, during the first release, it was swallowed entirely by resellers and was $600 in a matter of minutes.
 

JayMankey

Optimistic Trainer/Collector
Member
This is admirable on TPCI's part. They may not be able to control the scalper market, but they damn sure can control their production and do their best to combat the scalpers! Cheers to them!
 

Yaginku

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Good sign. Hopefully the plan is to reprint a bunch of sets going back, Shining Fates being a top priority. It might also be useful to delay the announcement of the reprints as much as possible, to shorten the time that scalpers have to dump the product as the new wave hits the shelves. They should absolutely be left will palettes of MSRP-valued products they've overpaid for.
 

Kumaquat

Collecting Birbs
Member
This is welcome news after having to see the slapfights over the McDonalds set over the past few days
 

Chris_the_hammer

Aspiring Trainer
Member
The problem with announcements like this is I think most of them react to them emotionally and don’t think long term big picture. What would be the point of someone spending money to get into playing this game (especially in standard) if they know the cards they have will never retain any kind of value because they can be reprinted at any time? We will have to wait and see how far back they truly go, if they start printing Team Up forward again then I would say the game is officially dead to collectors and a lot of people will not waste money starting to play it in the masters devision
 

itsPokeTree

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Really not sure if this is good news or bad news to be honest.

I don’t think printing more of the sets will make any difference to the shortage, won’t it just give the scalpers more stock?

Hopefully I’m wrong and this will fix the stock issues but I do worry that the sets I’ve worked painfully hard to acquire over the last 6 months are about to become worthless...
 

Number51x

Blasting off at the speed of light!
Member
Charizard and Pikachu taking a vacation from the sets would also help loads.
 

Hongo

Aspiring Trainer
Member
“We will improve—”
“Sir, we’re making record profits right now.”
“We plan to improve. However, for the time being...”

But really, I can’t wait for the bubble to pop. I actually miss seeing old GX boxes no one wanted on the bottom shelves in droves.
 
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