Pokemon cards have been known to sell for sometimes jaw-dropping prices that can make even non-Pokemon fans wish they had a card or two to toss up on eBay. For example, in September 2020, Heritage Auction received $198,000 for a sealed first-edition booster box of the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
Sometimes, unfortunately, these attention-grabbing deals of rare Pokemon cards that go for massive prices end in disaster. And it can be even more jaw-dropping when said disaster isn’t just a blurb written in a news article, but rather caught live on stream.
Recently, Chris Camillo, who dubs himself a “social arbitrage investor” and hosts a YouTube channel called “Dumb Money,” decided to acquire a box of rare first-edition Pokemon trading cards for $375,000. The purchase was streamed live on YouTube with Camillo and the three sellers, who had requested to be paid in cash. On the table sat a briefcase full of $100 bills and the box of trading cards, which was supposed to contain 36 unopened booster packs totaling 396 cards.
In front of cameras, the box was opened, and anticipation soon turned to disappointment. The expected rarities had been swapped with common, worthless, and even damaged cards, and were clearly not from first-edition packs. Luckily, the cards had been checked before money changed hands and so Camillo kept his cash. But the news was not so good for the sellers, who quickly realized they had been duped themselves. One of them, Jake Greenbaum, a blockchain entrepreneur known as JBTheCryptoKing, was soon on the phone with the original seller asking for a refund.
Like many people, Camillo had spent the past year watching as cards and sets of Pokemon cards sold for sometimes insane prices. He had planned to make the purchase, let the set’s value percolate for a year, and then resell it to benefit charity. After the livestream, he expressed shock at the disastrous outcome of the failed purchase as well as gratitude that he had taken extreme precautions before handing over any money. “I feel worse for the seller,” he said. “This is going to shake up the Pokemon world.”
He might not be wrong. Recently, the rapper Logic purchased a single, extremely rare Pokemon card for $183,000 at auction, but he is a successful music artist who owns an esports team. The average Joe, on the other hand, will hopefully see Chris Camillo’s experience as a warning to not be blinded by dollar signs when purchasing rare and expensive Pokemon cards. The result of spending so much hard-earned cash might just be a box of filler cards.
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Source: The Guardian
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