Discussion Best place to buy cards.

Discussion in 'Pokémon Trading Card Game' started by Mega Mewthree..., Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Mega Mewthree... A new threat has appeared.
    Mega Mewthree...


    Hey guys. Just wondering what everyone thinks is the least expensive way to get cards. Would it be better to use only certain websites? Should I just buy packs?

  2. PrimePokeDaddy Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    This became way longer than intended but here goes:

    I’ve been trying to figure this out too. And recently did a calculation that I'll outline below. My family just started really getting into Pokemon a little over a year ago. My problem is I want cards to play with, but I also like to collect complete sets from my baseball card collecting days.

    So far what I know is packs are not the answer. My kids and I like opening packs but I’ve decided to treat them like table games in Vegas. Spend what you are willing to lose and think of it as a sunk cost for entertainment. Then if you get a good pull all the better! But don’t count on it.

    On the play side, my biggest concern is making sure I have the cards I need to fill in a deck when I need them. I've found myself having ideas that are working on PTCGO but then I don't have the physical cards I need, and I can't order them to get them in time for the next event we're playing in. So I end up running around town looking for cards or pestering people right before the events to see if they have extras of that card, and typically the answer is "Oh, I have that at home." And they end up costing me more than I could get them for online.

    Another issue is that it's pretty clear that you can't always predict when a card that is cheap now will become a hot item later. For example, I bought 1 Dawn Wings Necrozma GX for my son's deck when it was about $3.50. Then Malamar came out and DWN GX doubled in price, and that was when I wanted 3 more.

    The current solution I'm trying is based on the following calculation: My family and I spent about $145 on about 45 packs of Celestial Storm from pre-releases, the buy one get on 50% off deal at Gamestop, and randomly at shops as rewards for the kids. Out of that we got 2 Electrode GX, 2 Alolan Raticate GX, 1 Banette GX, 2 Latios Prism Star, and about half a playset of the uncommon and rare cards (an average of 2 of each). We already have at least 4 of nearly every common from naturally opening packs, and can find them easily in bulk at the game shops we go to if I absolutely have to have one we are missing.

    I decided to see what it would cost me to buy the cards online so that I have at least 1 of each prism star, 4 of every uncommon, rare, and normal art GX in Celestial Storm (I don't need bling in my deck, and I excluded Rayquaza GX at this point, because I'm just not willing to spend $25 per card). Without the Rays, but including every other prism star, GX, rare, and uncommon that I needed to fill out a playset, the total came to 160 cards I needed to buy 27 of which were GXs. The total was $128.81, with no shipping costs. After seeing that I went ahead and bought them. I still didn't buy 4 Rays, but that would have brought the total to $240.18.

    I had to do a little work to make sure I bought enough from each seller that had the cards I wanted, but TCGplayer actually shows you if you are already using a seller in your cart so it wasn't too hard to make sure I was buying at least $2.00 worth of cards from each.

    In the end, my thinking is that you get an average of about 6 GX/full art/secret rares from a booster box that you can find for about $90 if you order online. Great if they are Rayquazas or a full art that you can sell or trade! But it is nearly as likely to be one of those 27 GX's that I bought.

    Long story short, if you just want a play-set of everything, and don't need "bling" you could easily get a playset of every normal card in Celestial Storm online for less than the cost of 3 booster boxes in which you are guaranteed not to get a full playset.

    This doesn't take care of my problem of wanting to collect complete sets (I have 4 reverse holos to go on completing Shining Legends). However, on that front, I think of it more as a fun and social thing. I don't buy the secret rares, full arts, or reverse holos online, instead I try to trade for them, or support my local game shops by buying something I need if they got one, or buying a few packs for the fun of seeing what we pull.
    FourteenAlmonds likes this.
  3. Mega Mewthree... A new threat has appeared.
    Mega Mewthree...


    Thank you so much for the answer. However, it still really doesn't answer my question. What do you consider to be the best place to buy cards? Ebay? Tcgplayer? TrollandToad?
  4. littlermac Aspiring Trainer


    It depends on if you're collecting or batting. If you want all of the cards, a booster box may be the way to go. dacardworld and potomac distribution are pretty good for that. I'm not as familiar with the battling aspect, but professor-oak.com i hear has a decent price for mint condition singles.
  5. RyanTekBox Aspiring Trainer


    I will be honest, if you really need to get cards cheaply and in a good condition, but from ebay. A lot of the times the prices are equal to tcgplayer, but some sellers will accept offers, so you can save some money here and there.
  6. PrimePokeDaddy Aspiring Trainer

    Advanced Member Member

    For singles, I prefer TCGplayer mainly for the interface. You can sometimes find cards cheaper on eBay or troll and toad, and I would shop them for the more expensive cards. But i typically prefer to save 5 minutes over a couple bucks. For booster boxes you can usually find the same low prices on TCGplayer and troll and toad. But if you are pre-ordering i would go direct to sites like @littlermac mentioned, because they sometimes give a discount on direct preorders that they don’t give when selling through TCGplayer.
  7. littlermac Aspiring Trainer


    CoolStuffInc also gives you lifetime discounts on the entire store depending on how much you buy from them. Haven't used them yet, but prices seem average.

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