It is crazy to think that trading cards is one of the biggest trends in the entertainment industry in 2021, especially for more geek-focused media. However, the old is new again, with the resurgence of trading cards leading to some consumers wondering where to buy Pokemon cards.
Unfortunately, we have even created a post about finding where to buy Pokemon cards, but that is the industry’s situation these days. By default, Pokemon cards and other trading cards have risen in popularity to astounding numbers in the last couple of years.
It isn’t easy to find the best places to locate trading card packs, bundles, sets, and more. So, the question remains: how did this all happen? Though you could argue for multiple reasons being the case, in the end, it is likely due to all of them playing some role.
For one, physical media are resurgent that some consumers are holding near and dear to their hearts as media, not cards and gaming, but all of it moves towards a more digitally-focused future. You can see this physical resurgence in just about every media form out there.
For years now, the vinyl community has been growing, the popularity of collecting physical 4K Blu-ray Discs for movies and TV shows, gamers who prefer to have the physical copies of every PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch game that they can find.
And then, of course, there are the trading cards, like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Magic The Gathering. Even trading cards have entered the digital age with online games available as an alternative to busting out the old playmat and coins.
With this digital age continuing to thrive, many prefer the physical media, which is a solid reason for the growing popularity of physical trading cards, like Pokemon cards. However, it is far from the only reason it is happening and right now of all times.
Another has to do with the elephant in the very large room, the entire world, the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic forced many to become or increase being a shut-in. That has led to some collecting physical items much more than they used to.
Furthermore, there are even streamers and YouTubers who have found immense success in being a card unboxer. These streams feature someone purchasing a load of packs or boxes of cards and then unpacking them on the stream live.
These are great, fun streams where everyone gets to come together and enjoy one of the trademark best parts of Pokemon and other cards: finding out what you will get. And then there is the fact that some streamers and retailers online have begun selling cards and optionally unboxing them for the purchaser live on a stream before it is shipped.
Of course, other factors could play into this, too, like many consumers who grew up with the first wave of Magic The Gathering, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! are now adults themselves have loved ones that they wish to share their passions with. But, regardless, this all leads to the fact that trading cards are potentially more popular than ever before.
Popularity and success are all great aspects, especially for something you love and do not wish to see die out, but the problem is that something can become too popular. Unfortunately, that is the case for Pokemon cards that have become so popular that we now see restrictions placed on them.
Even major retailers in the United States outright ban the sale of these trading cards from in-person stores or limit it to certain days and times of the week. This is unprecedented and shows just how popular and dangerous the card community has become.
After all, the growth in the trading card industry led to increased crimes like stealing the cards at a store or fighting outside the store in the parking lot over someone who may have purchased the last pack or a whole bunch of them.
It is becoming a significant problem in the country, where it is understandable that some retailers would want to back out of selling these cards. Target, for instance, made many consumers angry when they announced that they were no longer selling trading cards in person.
Nowadays, you can walk into a Target store and see the card aisle (likely near the checkout registers) almost empty and not because they are sold out of the packs, either. Instead, it is because the retailer has completely moved away from selling them in-stores anymore.
While this does not mean that Target will never sell trading cards in person ever again, it is unlikely that we will see it happen again soon. This is unfortunate as Target has become one of the main big-name retailers that pick up the latest expansion or pack.
And then there is Walmart, who, despite rumors about also closing down the sale of trading cards in person, still seems to be selling them for the time being. However, the problem here is that it is up to each Walmart to continue selling them in person.
While it is hard to judge what each store is doing, we have heard that some stores are requiring consumers to buy them online first, then pick them up in person later that day as well as some stores only offering the sale of these cards on a Tuesday, Friday, etc. for a single hour.
This has even led to the crazy videos you may have seen online of adult shoppers waiting at the entrance to Walmart and then rushing inside all at once to get the cards first, pushing and shoving each other in such ways that could even put Black Friday shopping to shame. So, of course, this all leaves us with the question of where to buy Pokemon cards now.
First and foremost, we are going to tackle where to buy Pokemon cards in person at stores. This is still the preferred option for many card collectors, for various reasons, like the ability to browse and see the products in person, giving you the chance to size up all your options.
There is also the benefit of just walking out of your home, hopping in the car/public transportation/sidewalk, and showing up at the store a little while later, and then walking out with the goods that you found instantly. This concept is almost foreign if you purchase your cards online, in which you have to wait anywhere from the next day to a week and more to get.
As for where to buy Pokemon cards in person, this is tricky and will have to do with your specific area. Note that while Target is pretty widespread across the nation, it is out of the question for in-person trading card purchases at this time.
Walmart, however, may be an option, so your best option is to call your local store and see what their specific policies are. But there are other major retailers like Meijer, HEB, Costco, GameStop, and Sam’s Club that you could try as well if they are available in your area.
However, one of the most important places to buy Pokemon cards is your local gaming shop. You could head to your local card shop or tabletop gaming store. You will likely be able to purchase cards there still in person.
However, these places are typically smaller, so do not be surprised if their selection is out-of-stock for Pokemon or whichever game you prefer, but this is our number one recommendation for several reasons. For one, there is the fact that you are supporting your local game shop and ensuring that they are going to stick around for the foreseeable future.
Furthermore, they typically get the latest stock of expansions and card sets, and you may even be able to enjoy a preview event where you can pick up the new cards early and/or partake in some sweet tournament sessions. And then there is the fact that this is also the best place in person for finding older cards and trading those you do not want anymore.
As for when it comes to where to buy Pokemon cards online, there are many more options here than when it comes to physical, brick-and-mortar stores. There are many sites out there that you can find Pokemon and other trading cards being sold on, but many of them are not worth your time for one reason or another.
For some, the prices are surged due to reselling, like in places like eBay, where anyone can sell what they acquired. That said, some of the most prominent online retailers are the major ones that we used to purchase from in the past in person.
While Target has done completely away with the traditional selling of cards in stores in person, it has directed consumers to purchase the cards online instead. The same is possible for Walmart as you can buy the trading cards online there as well.
Other great retailers include the other huge online shopping sites like Amazon, but the selection is not that great at times. When it comes to online purchases for trading cards, our main recommendation is either the retailers above and the specialized sites.
Several online sites are dedicated to collector items and trading cards, so they mean business, and, a lot of times, they are some of the best prices around. This is especially the case for individual cards that you might be looking to grab.
One of the main places we like is Channel Fireball, a dedicated website for selling online trading cards. This site knows its cards and has solid content, videos, and the like, surrounding them. This is a competitively-focused organization, too, to know what trading cards people are interested in.
This is going to be a great place for collectors, specifically, so this might not necessarily be the best place for those who are just looking for the latest expansions in the Pokemon TCG. The other site that you should try is Troll and Toad, which is a good site for buying new Pokemon cards.
This site has multiple sellers on it and some of the latest card packs available, letting you have a chance to try to purchase from multiple people. This allows for some reasonable prices, though the overall stock can be limited at times for the newer sets.
Overall, you could even use some of these sites for other card games besides the Pokemon TCG. Channel Fireball, for instance, is also one of the best locations online to buy some of the newest and rarest Magic The Gathering cards around. Since that game has also experienced a resurgence lately, this could be a good place to get those. And for Troll and Toad, they also have Yu-Gi-Oh! and even more TCGs available for sale.
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