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?