Have I Lost My Mind

Discussion in 'Collecting and Card Price Discussion' started by jazee, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. jazee

    jazee New Member

    New PokeDad trying to determine if I've gone way overboard on the card spending. Being an Analyst I of course read everything I could about deckbuilding, used the pokepedia site to look up cards with certain criteria (high HP, high average attack) and examined the attacks of some of the cards, read many posts about what people are playing/winning with. My kids (or my wife) bought a few sets and many booster packs over time and I got to looking at these and quickly realized it will take forever to amass a card collection of all the top cards this way since you have no idea what you are getting in the booster packs. However I see the surprise a big appeal to small kids though.

    So I of course go to E-bay. Now as a side business/hobby I am a 6-year Powerseller on Ebay that buys and sells collectibles typically ranging in the price range of $400-$4000 each. I'm not totally loaded or anything but, I sell low qty of high price stuff, the exact opposite of Pokemon card sellers which sell high quantities of low priced stuff. I also consider my time is money, especially considering my billable hourly rate for my consulting business. But I hate to waste money, even buying $2-$20 Pokemon cards.

    My problem is I'm impatient. I can setup group snipes on all kinds of cards, but I found it much quicker and easier to just find the lowest Buy-it-Now price on whatever I wanted and then buy a bunch of stuff from the same person who only charges $0.25 extra per auction won for shipping. I've seen that on some of the more expensive cards (Lv.X's) I could have got the card for about 20-30% cheaper if I just was patient and bid on a few auctions, but then that takes time to keep looking for new auctions and setup the snipe. We're talking 20-30% on a $18 card, that's $3.60-$5.40 savings, and that's an expensive card. One thing I was happy to discover was the way to go is buy the DP promo Lv.X's for cheap.

    I've got on average 5-9 of 75% of each of all the Lv.X cards (excluding new ones from Legend Awakens) and at least 8 each of the cards in the same evo line for that card along with many other top cards and all their evolution line, typically 8 of each, all the best trainers. Now keep in mind I'm buying for 3 players, me, and my two sons. We trade so instead of buying 9 Empleon Lv.x's, 12 Emploeons, 12 Prinplups, and 12 Piplups, I buy enough for two people 6/8/8/8. (We use Rare Candy's though to omit at least one Stage 1 card in the deck per line a lot but an extra State 1 card is cheap to have.) So we can't all three run Empoleon decks at the same time, only two of us.

    I swear I've probably dropped about $700-$800 in cards. Which compared to the stuff I buy and sell online isn't a lot, but it seems a little scary to me considering their just Pokemon cards! Did I go off the deep end? I suppose the answer to that question depends on my income right? Without disclosing that, I'll just say my mortgage payment is about $4500 a mount.

    So what is the point of this long post? Good question. I'm of course wondering several things.

    1) Did I overpay by a lot, a little, or got good deals? If an extra $100-$200 for the sake of convenience and getting the cards quickly with minimal fuss is worth it to me, then I shouldn't even be asking this question. But of course I'm curious.

    Here's some examples of prices I've paid. I realize you can always get cards you are going to play for dirt cheap if they are in used/played condition (below near mint), but unfortunately 80-90% of all the Buy-It-Now's are mint cards.

    Palkia/Dialga/Infernape Lv.X (promos) - $7
    Empoleon Lv.X - $4.75
    Torterra Lv.X - $5.75
    Honchkrow Lv.X - $14.50 (ouch)
    Electivire Lv.X - $11
    Darkrai Lv.x - $8
    Rare Candies - $2.50

    I've decided with the $30+ cards, I'm going to be patient and try to snipe some auctions and get them for mid $20's instead of Buy-It-Now for mid $30's (We're talking cards like Garchomp Lv.X, etc.)

    So let me finally get to the rest of my questions (thanks for reading this far).

    2) Most of our decks we try to keep it to 5 or fewer pokemon lines, most of the time it is 3 or 4 lines of only two different energy types (if there's a third type, it's colorless) and one or two the lines having Lv.X cards and we run on a Stage 2 Lv.X 4-3-4-3 (basic/1/2/x). On a basic line like Darkrai, I've been running 4-3 or 4-4. Obviously it depends on how many lines you are running, but is more than 2 Lv.X per line too much?

    3) There's talk about the Legend Awakens having more Lv.X cards in them. I think the talk is about boxes right which are 36 booster packs selling for around $80? I was reading a thread about their being 2 or more Lv.X cards. In a box of 360 cards for $80? Is this that good? Essentially what I'm wondering is if the Legend Awakens release is going to push down the prices of Lv.X cards by making them easier to get? Heck if it is 2-3 Lv.X's per box, I would have had to buy a couple thousand dollars worth of boxes to get all the multiples of Lv.X's I just bought as single cards?! Why would anyone aside from a single card dealer want to buy booster boxes then?

    4) I assume the single card dealers just open and sort hundreds of booster packs. Obviously their prices are set on the breakdown of the number of rare cards they get divided into their total cost plus their profit. Does anyone have any idea, at least the Ebay stores, if these sellers are making tons of money doing it, or is it a lot of work for fairly little profit?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  2. secretsof2113

    secretsof2113 Moderator Trader Feedback Mod

    You aren't crazy, trust me. For those of us who do have our own stores, at least the smaller ones...we use cards from our personal collections, and things we get traded to us to sell. Not to mention, many of us are judges and earn packs by judging tournaments as well. A lot of the cards we are getting for free. I find that I'm getting a very nice income most months from Ebay. Not thousands of dollars, but to me, an extra 5 to 7 hundred a month is a nice amount of money to pull in on something I am spending almost no money on.
     
  3. Crystal Hikara

    Crystal Hikara New Member

    Well, I don't know too much about selling, but there is some things I'd like to point out.

    You can have only 4 of each Pokemon in a deck, and level Xs are considered the Pokemon. So, in an essense, you'd only be allowed a 3-1 Darkrai-Darkrai X or 2-2 Darkrai-Darkrai X line (1-3 line doesn't make sense). You'll be saving yourself a LOT of money if you know this rule.

    Also, go for the promo versions of things no matter what. Tin versions of Lv. Xs cost much less. Also go for used if you can. So long as they're playable, you can really luck out on what you buy, unless you're collecting.

    Pure gossip, to my knowledge, about 2-3 Xs to a box. While there are supposedly 8 Xs out in this next set, there's also many more rares, commons, and uncommons. That doesn't change the super-rare ratio of the cards as well. And, to answer the last question, a deck is worth nothing if you just have a Lv. X in it. Trainers and supporters are excellent for trading, esp. their RH forms. Some collectors collect only the RH forms, in which case they'd have 36 per box. TCG players also like popular cards (Gardelade, for instance) in RH format, because everything is better shiny in their mentality, so the trade value on the new Luxray/Kingdra/all others that are being hyped and will be played will be valuable for trading, ESP. in their RH form. Oh, and rares. We can't forget them, now can we?

    What I wouldn't do for a booster box, if that tells you anything.

    Well, I think that's all I can comment on, so I hope I cleared some things up for you.
     
  4. TheDarkTwins

    TheDarkTwins Active Member

    It is a lot of work for farily little profit per box.

    Drew
     
  5. corypoke2

    corypoke2 New Member

    I use a fairly simple strategy...buy 2 boxes + attend 2-3 pre-releases. This gives a base of cards (I give away commons/uncommons once I have 8 of them). From there, I trade or buy singles for whatever deck I'm wanting to play.

    Your system would seem to enable you to make 2-3 copies of any deck...massive overkill in my opinion in that it's not likely that everyone in your family will want to run the same deck. If you have a good player base in your area it's usually pretty simple to get the last 3-4 cards you need for your deck...sometimes on the day of the tournament event (makes the PTO really happy :wink:).

    This keeps your investment level down to about $200 per set that comes out plus a bit for specific cards (like TSD).

    Anyway...this is what works for me. Your mileage may vary.

    -Cory
     
  6. jkwarrior

    jkwarrior New Member

    I find it a lot better to just buy boxes.

    I usually buy a box and judge/attend 1 to 2 pre releases
     
  7. Mew*

    Mew* Active Member

    Hi. You definitely have the strategy figured out, or at least the one I used (I don't play/collect anymore). Buy just standard rare holo and lower rarity BIN from only a seller or two to get combined shipping discounts and buy the rarer cards like LV.X from random people with good prices that you can snipe.

    Also, a searching technique to find LV.X cards is to just search "(pokemon's name here) X" but out of quotes. Then you'll find people that say Pokemon X, Pokemon LV.X, Pokemon Level X and Pokemon LV X (same as LV.X to eBay but whatever). Then after that search for "(Pokemon's name here) lvx) out of quotes and that will give you the people that don't have a space or a period before the X. Hopefully that made sense. It seems a lot of people interpret the text "LV.X" in different ways, that is why you must do different searches to find those different people. It lets you find more auctions and more good deals to SNIPE!!!!!!!! :biggrin: :thumb:


    Once you get all the basic cards you need for decks like trainers and energy cards, you won't need to put so much money out all the time since you'll already have the essentials.
     
  8. homeofmew

    homeofmew Active Member

    Once you have some cards you are going to use some of the cards again and again.
    Like Rare candies are worth the investment because they aren't gonna rotate anytime soon.
    And sometimes things rotate back in.
    I recently got 2 Japanese boxes of DP 5 and 3 Boxes of IDFS
    around = $375+
     
  9. WinkWinkNudgeNudge

    WinkWinkNudgeNudge New Member

    We (my 2 boys and myself) buy to play. We have invested in 12 of each key trainer (Roseanne, Bebe, Oak, etc), 6 Claydol, 12 Call NRG. etc. We "try" to keep three deck tournament ready. We use proxies in the other decks we might play, decks we want to test against, decks that are just fun for league. I have a crippled deck for playing beginners at league. All in all we have about 10 decks.

    Trade. The boys love to trade. It is easy to know what we want because we are replaceing proxies in the decks that we like and plan to play.

    There was a thread somewhere about how much people spend on pokemon a year and a bunch of people said $100. I can really see that. I spend $8 every week at league. 1 pack for each boy. Figure we make it 30 time a year that's $240 right there. Once you have your trainer base I see must deck costing about $40-50 with one or 2 Lv.X.

    We go to the prereleases I think 4 last year at $25 each X 3 people = $300 + another $300 for the side events.

    I found a local ebay trader and now pay zero shipping for almost every thing I buy and since he is at all of the tournaments he can bring them when I need them.

    I bought 1 box and got 1 for judging.

    OK so I'm in for over a grand at this point. Thanks for making me add it up. As far as I'm concerned if I'm building two competition decks for one player and stayed away from single packs it would still cost $200-300 year because the decks change each time a new set is released. Then once a year they rotate out the cards you bought.

    The kids love it and I enjoy doing it with them.
     
  10. jazee

    jazee New Member

    Some excellent advice. Especially the E-bay search tactic. Regarding the earlier comment about maybe having overkill. There is many instances, either at home or at the league when 2 of the 3 of us want to run the same lines, like Empoleon. So I have to buy enough to build two decks with all the lines we like to play. I haven't gotten much advice on number of Lv.X's to play though. The earliest advice I got from most people was that you really only run two evolution lines in a deck, multiples of just two lines. There may occassionally be a few singles or a third line (usually colorless), but I think those are referred to as Techs? So on a Stage 2 line, it might be 4 basic, 3 stage 1 (and 2-4 rare candies), 4 stage 2, and how many Lv.X? We've been playing 3. Or on a Stage 1: 4 basic 4 stage 1, 3 Lv.X. Or are most people playing only 2 Lv.X? I love the Basics with a Lv.X like Darkrai. Unfortunately he gets clobbered against a deck with a good fighting line in it due to the 2x weakness. Ouch. I've found anything though that puts pokemon to sleep or paralyzed is very effective and can really disrupt an opponents game. But I'm getting more into deck strategy than buying.

    We're just starting out. I'm a bit scared about the future time and money involvement but I consider Pokemon our "Thinking Sport" They already play all the sports. Chess is a bit geeky so Pokemon is the choice. Pokemon is a great card/strategy game to play with your kids, the cards are interesting and there are so many aspects to the game. I'd like to see one of us make it to Nationals, or Worlds some day. I'm just not sure what kind of time commitment that is going to involve. It helps to have 3 of us play as we can practice at home in little mini tournaments and they get pretty sharp playing against a much older player. So, with the right amount of practice and assistance with card building strategy, they'll have a shot hopefully. I'm just not sure if we can keep this up through soccer, basketball, and baseball season.
     
  11. Pajamas

    Pajamas <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    You actually did get some advice toward that point, but maybe it got lost amongst everything else:
    Crystal is absolutely right, though her wording might have been a little unclear. As you already know, you can only have four cards with the same name in a deck. You'll notice that every Diamond & Pearl series Pokemon has a level on it, be it a number or an X. Though it is right next to the Pokemon's name, it is not considered to be part of the card name. So, you are only allowed a total of four Darkrai or Empoleon or whatever in your deck, regardless of their level. As such, the only combinations of a card and its corresponding Lv.X that are both sensible and legal are 1-1, 2-1, 3-1, and 2-2.

    You aren't the first to make this mistake. I know that Team Compendium has fielded countless questions about this rule, and I witnessed a player receiving a game loss penalty at a Regional Championship for playing a deck with six Darkrai (three regular, three Lv.X). Better to find out now than in the middle of a tournament!
     
  12. jazee

    jazee New Member

    Well looks like I can thin out some of my Lv.X's! If I need to build two decks for each line then I shouldn't have more than 4 of any Lv.X for the entire 3 of us (assuming no more than 2 of us want to run the same line.) This just saved me some bucks. No wonder the earlier poster though I was overkill on the cards, I've got 6-8 of some Lv.x's. Duh. Well it makes me feel better than this mistake has been made before. Now that Premier Poke Ball Trainer Card is looking much more valuable now with the ability to recycle, if you put 4 of those in your deck you could probably get away with 3-1. But maybe 2-2 would be best even with Premier Balls. Is their a trainer or Poke Power/Tool that lets you pull any card from the discard?

    Thanks for setting me straight.
     
  13. yoyofsho16

    yoyofsho16 New Member

    There is Azurill DP, which has a 0 energy attack that pulls any card from the discard, but it isn't a good choice, considering it will always get knocked out in like 1 turn, so don't put that in your deck.

    That is it. I am afraid that you can't really recycle trainer cards or special energy cards without wasting an attack.
     
  14. Pajamas

    Pajamas <a href="http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=

    Your options in that regard are pretty limited. Azurill has already been mentioned. The new Unown J is another option, and you don't have to waste an attack to do it. Recycling arbitrary cards, particularly trainers and supporters, is a pretty difficult task in this format, but there are no shortage of things that can recycle Pokemon and energy.
     
  15. empoleonperson

    empoleonperson Active Member

    there is illumusie and the other one volbeat i think?
     

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