Over recent months, Pokémon cards have skyrocketed in not only popularity, but also price. We’ve all seen in the news how PS5 distribution has been affected due to scalpers, and Pokémon TCG is in the same boat to a certain extent.

This influx of scalpers looking to make a quick buck has not only led to shops having depleted stock and prices to doubling, but a number of fakes have also flooded the market. I wanted to put together a post on a few tips that can hopefully save you a few pitfalls when buying for your children, yourself or others!

Check trusted retailers before Ebay

There are a number of trusted online retailers that you can visit before you head to more generic ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay. The issue for these specialist retailers is that they’ll be unable to secure the same stock levels as generics, but what they lack in stock they make up for in knowledge and fairness.

eBay and Amazon offer a fantastic service, allowing a massive third party community to list their products at their own price. The downside in this comes in quality control and price management. There are so many listings on eBay alone that we’re left to self moderate and proof-read every line of descriptions to make sure you’re not buying empty booster packs.

So before looking on eBay, make sure you check out specialist stores, even if you’re looking for single cards, are you’ll have a trusted specialist looking to grow their business at RRP and not a scalper charging over the odds.

Some of my favourite specialist platforms that I regularly buy Pokémon products from are Magic Madhouse, Kuma Cards, Chaos Cards. None of those links are sponsored or affiliates, I just really love what they do so be sure to check them out.

And don’t forget, local stores need love too! Find a local Smyths, Game or specialist store in your area and you can find just as much Pokémon content. Both Smyths and Game have recently been restocking Hidden Fates tins at 30-50% below eBay prices!

Always check descriptions

Ebay and Amazon are rife with counterfeit Pokémon products, or just those set to actively deceive. Look out for terms like “custom” and “pr0xy” as these will be custom reprints of cards and not official products released from Pokémon. You may think you’re snagging a bargain, but really you’re getting something with no value.

These cards really aren’t bad copies like they used to be either, they can be quite believable.

The above image is taken from a “pr0xy” listing on eBay

It’s not only single cards that you should look out for. When purchasing packs, especially vaulted WOTC packs, be sure to read the full title and description to avoid purchasing empty or resealed packs. Some collectors just want flattened boosters for display, but if you’re wanting some cards you’ll be quite disappointed!

This was an eBay listing that I saw, but have a look at the description that follows..

WOTC Pokemon Base Set 2 Booster Pack EMPTY Mewtwo Artwork Perfectly Opened. Perfectly opened across the top. There is a tiny hole in the top right very edge of the pack, see last photo. Displays perfectly front or back.

Oh dear.. hope the buyer ends up reading this!

One final thing to look out for if you’re a big ticket buyer, is resealed booster boxes. I won’t explain too much as I don’t profess to be an expert in this field myself, but if you’re interested have a watch of this video below.

Always check sold listings

If you are buying from Ebay, before bidding or buying check out the recently Sold Listings by activating it in the filters list. This will show you the value that the same products have recently sold for. Make sure you’re not paying more than what others have paid recently and will also ring some warning bells if it’s much cheaper.

If a deal looks too good to be true..

It probably is!


It’s not always clear, so if you’re not sure then it’s best to ask someone if you can. There are plenty of Pokémon collector groups on Facebook that are welcoming; and you can always leave a comment below or message me on Instagram and I’ll do my best to help.