There is a huge market for Pokémon Cards on eBay and other auction sites. With all of this attention, comes a lot scammers and con artists. If you’re not careful in this realm you’ll eventually lose money. For me, this started right away. I started bidding on tons of Pokémon card related auctions and won about few. Out of these few, not a single pack that I opened had a rare card in it. This could have been just bad luck as I only opened about 12 packs from eBay, but it still seemed fishy. Then I got a package in the mail that made it undeniable that I had got scammed. Luckily, it was just a single pack I bought from this seller so I didn’t lose that much, but it’s the principle that matters. It came in a tiny envelope that I opened and immediately knew I lost money. The top of the pack had been very slightly opened and the cards were obviously moved around and pulled because the seller was trying to see what was in the pack. For some reason they didn’t bother trying to reseal it or hide it somehow. What made me upset about this was I bought this pack specifically to keep it sealed because I like collecting sealed products that I don’t have. But because this was already halfway opened, I opened it up completely and to no surprise, there was no rare card. Here are some things I could have done to avoid wasting money.
This may seem obvious but it’s very easy to miss tiny details. This includes the title, photos, and the description. Don’t bid on any auction until you’ve fully read and inspected what the product looks like and what it includes. Some listings will seem like they’re selling a sealed pack but then specify in the description that the pack is actually opened or just packaging itself without any cards.
Stock photos are photos you get online, this means the photo you see sometimes isn’t a picture the seller took. Listings with stock photos aren’t always bad, but you want to be able to see the product before you buy it to make sure it’s in good condition. If you reverse Google search the image, you’ll see if the photos are authentic. If the picture is theirs it won’t have many results on Google. If there are a lot of results of the same image from other websites, the image was most likely taken from somewhere else. If you have an eye on a listing with a stock photo, you can always message the seller and ask for more pictures.
Checking the seller’s account gives you more information than you would think. This is something I wish I did multiple times because after buying from sellers that scammed me, I looked at their profiles and saw that they either had several negative reviews or didn’t have many reviews at all. Accounts with negative reviews are good to stay away from in general. It’s okay to buy from people with no reviews, as long as you follow the other steps and be aware that there is risk involved.
Weighing packs has been an argument in the PTCG community for a long time. Some people think it’s okay as long as it’s disclosed, some frown upon it in general, others think it doesn’t even work. The idea behind weighing packs is that packs that weigh more, may contain more rare cards because most rare cards weigh slightly more than common cards. While you can’t be sure sellers don’t weigh their packs, you can be sure that they DO weigh their packs. There are some people that include how much the pack weighs in the listing. Buying a weighed pack isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get good cards, but this usually means the sellers are trying to be transparent about what they’re selling.
If you have any experience or tips and tricks to avoiding scams, please leave a reply below!