Reviews of sites that sell Pokemon Cards

Discussion in 'Collecting and Card Price Discussion' started by AnUnown, Sep 27, 2012.

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  1. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    So a short while back I started buying online because no local shops carried booster boxes. More recently, I wanted to see what the hype was about with Japanese cards so I set out to find sites that carried those as well. In the last month or so, I’ve ordered from about 4 sites and I thought it could be useful to others who might be looking to buy online if I shared my experiences.

    Some baseline: all the sites accept PayPal and ship to the US (even if they aren’t IN the US in one case). This is good for those who don’t trust their card info floating out there. It wasn’t something I sought out, but was happy to find each site accepted it.

    I’m going to grade the sites based on their selection, pricing and the “order experience”. This last one encompasses a few things, including: how efficient was the order process from beginning to end? Was my order processed by a system, or manually? Can I simply log into an account or visit a link to check my order status? How soon was my order shipped? How was communications with the shop (if needed)?

    Lastly, I know there are many other shops out there that range from the amazons to the trollandtoads to the professor-oaks and pokemon4evers. If you have experiences with other shops (or just want to throw in your 2¢ on any of the below), please feel free to add on. Perhaps this can become a bigger resource over time :thumb:

    ---------- Post added 09/27/2012 at 11:15 AM ----------

    Collector’s Cache

    I placed an order with them on the evening of Friday September 21st for 3 each of Bold Flare and Freeze Bolt boosters and a Plasma Gale booster box. I paid via PayPal. It would appear their ordering system isn’t automatic so my order was updated the following morning (a Saturday, so that’s a plus) to reflect that my payment had been received.

    I got a shipment email from Fedex Monday evening (9/24) and received the order this morning (9/27), so less than a week from order to receipt. Not bad. Their prices were pretty standard and shipping was a reasonable $10.74, which isn’t bad, but other sites do faster for slightly cheaper.

    To me, their site is a bit of a mess. They have a very large collection of English and Japanese pokemon cards (and other merchandise such as plushes and figures) but it’s all a bit cumbersome to wade through. You create an account on checkout, but there’s no way to view order status unless you go to a certain page which asks you for your order number and zip code. Ironically, that page says “Registered users should login and visit the 'My Account' tab for details on their order(s).” -- except, there’s no My Account tab that I can find once logged in. *shrug*

    Overall, a middle-of-the-road experience. I’d likely only go back if they had something I REALLY wanted.

    Pros:

    • Large selection of boosters, blisters and boxes at decent prices
    • Poke products like plushes and figures
    Cons:

    • Poor organization of the site
    • Nothing really stand-out about the prices, shipping or experience


    Selection: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball:
    Pricing: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball:
    Order Experience: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball:


    ---------- Post added 09/27/2012 at 11:17 AM ----------

    Dave & Adam’s Card World
    The first site I’ve ordered from, and so far, the best. They process orders instantly and ship the same day if the item is in stock. You get a shipment email with tracking numbers. This to me suggests, if not a larger operation, a well organized one.

    Their prices are pretty decent, and they seem to allow preorders fairly early on (I’ve preordered some Dragon Vault packs and a Boundaries Crossed box). Keep in mind that if you order a “pre sell” with items that are in stock, your entire order won’t ship until the pre sell is in stock, so plan accordingly.

    They don’t carry japanese products or plushes (only English TCG cards), but they’ve got a pretty decent selection and you get free gifts for orders over certain thresholds (my wife was happy getting nostalgic with the free Neopets booster and binder we got with one order, and I got some WoW cards for a buddy with another order).

    They ship via UPS and to my location, the shipping by ground is only 2 days (they’re from upstate NY) and they have free shipping on Thursdays if your order is $99 or greater. You can also find coupons for their site online. Their customer reps also answer emails fairly quickly and handle issues very professionally. You can log into their site to check your previous orders at any time.

    Pros:

    • Large selection of boosters, blisters and boxes at decent prices
    • Well-organized site with a speedy processing and shipping process
    • Free gifts on orders
    • Has online coupons
    • Free shipping on $99+ orders on Thursdays
    Cons:

    • No Japanese product for those looking for that
    • No pokemon items available as “free gifts”


    Selection: :pokeball: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Pricing: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Order Experience: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:


    ---------- Post added 09/27/2012 at 11:19 AM ----------

    PokeOrder
    So far, I’m not too hot on this one. I placed an order on 9/17 for 3 each of the Cold Flare and Freeze Bolt boosters. I also ordered a pack of Dragon Selection and a tin I had been looking for to complete my collection.

    The next day I received a partial refund via PayPal. No explanation with it, so I click my yahoo orders link from the confirmation email (never a fan of the yahoo stores system btw) and notice the tin is gone. OK. So I sent an email asking that we cancel the whole order since that’s the main item I wanted. I would select something else to comprise the order since the japanese packs weren’t top priority for me. 4 and a half hours later I get a tracking number and told the order went out today. I’m not sure if they missed my email or what the case was, but alright, so I’ll get what I get. I email back and it’s explained to me they’re a small mom and pop shop and do the best they can. Understandable.

    2 days later the package arrives in the mail (USPS shipping). Pretty quick -- they’re from Michigan. I decide to give them another shot and place another order. I notice they are the only site preselling the Keldeo box, so I place a separate order for that and then another order of japanese packs (at this point, I’m getting kinda into collecting the japanese cards). This order was placed on Thursday 9/20. I didn’t get a shipping confirmation until Tuesday 9/25. Not great.

    I finally get my new Ultra Pro binder from amazon specifically for my Japenese cards and I decide to open up the dragon selection pack. It has the right artwork on the pack, but the cards inside are BW5, not Dragon Selection. I make sure I’m not crazy by watching some youtube videos of folks opening the dragon selection packs. Definitely not dragon selection.

    I email them to ask about it, and state that I know mistakes happen, but just want to make sure the dragon selection that just went out to me is in fact dragon selection and not BW5. No response. To make matters worse, I check the tracking this morning (since last time it was only 2 days to me) and I see that my package has arrived in Portland, OR. Yes, the package went all the way to the West Coast for some reason instead of 2 states East to me. Also sent an email regarding that, we’ll see if I get a response.

    As for their site and ordering process, it’s a bit cluttered and cumbersome (slightly worse than Collector’s Cache IMO), and the only way to check order status is to click the link in your confirmation email -- which is fine I guess, except they don’t actually update the order status.


    Pros:

    • Large selection of both English and Japanese pokemon cards. Also other products.
    • Prices seem on par with other sites.
    Cons:

    • Yahoo orders system which isn’t as great as logging into an account with saved info and viewing your orders
    • Shipment notification emails seem manual and inconsistent. They also don’t update the yahoo order information.
    • Small shop, seems disorganized.
    • Poor communication.


    Selection: :pokeball: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Pricing: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Order Experience: :pokeball::pokeball:

    *update* I ordered 3 Keldeo boxes which I cancelled once I saw the issues I was having with Pokeorder. When I got back from vacation, I had my order sitting on my porch -- 3 Keldeo boxes that I didn't pay for. Sheesh, that's a costly mistake for them. I shot over an email to ask how they wanted to handle that. We'll see how soon they respond.

    ---------- Post added 09/27/2012 at 11:22 AM ----------

    Pokevault
    I can’t give a full review of this site yet as I only placed an order on 9/18 and at that time, there was a clear message on the site that the site owner was away and orders wouldn’t begin processing again until 9/29 at the earliest. I appreciate that this was prominently displayed, and I decided to order anyway.

    I ordered a Dragon Selection booster and 3 each of Cold Flare and Freeze Bolt. I also ordered the 2010 Zorua and Celebi promo.

    The interesting thing to me, is that my order was placed at 7:40 PM EST and at 7:49 I had an order update email. The email basically said my order state was updated to “processing” and I almost dismissed it as automated until I scrolled down a bit and actually saw a note from the owner Brian reiterating that the store was closed until the end of September. Figured it could still have been a canned response with my name inserted by some macro but I responded in the affirmative that I understood and asked a question about the eventual availability of Plasma Gale (BW7). 5 minutes later I had a response.

    I say all this to get to the point that, so far, I’m impressed with the organization and communication from this site. Emails while on vacation and (presumably) late night? Pretty good service. It’s a little unfortunate that the operation is small enough that a vacation effectively shuts down the site, but the fact that the communication remains intact during this is a huge positive. Jury is still out on “normal” performance, but so far I’m impressed. Should this order go well, I’ll have to place another to see what normal operating times are like.

    *update 10/12/12* I went on vacation and my order arrived while I was gone. It was shipped 9/1 and actually landed in NY on 9/2 somehow... It sat in customs until it showed up at my local post office on 9/9. Just over a week from shipment until delivery -- pretty awesome.

    Pros:

    • Wide japanese selection for those looking
    • Available coupon codes
    • Good communication
    • Lower prices on japanese merchandise compared to other sites.

    Cons:

    • Small enough operation that vacation effectively halts shipping operations (this is just something to note, not necessarily a huge negative as it shouldn't happen often -- I hope!).
    Selection: :pokeball: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Pricing: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:
    Order Experience: :pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball::pokeball:


    Potomac Distribution

    While on vacay, I couldn't find Dragon Vault so I figured I'd order from these guys. They had a decent price on a box of 6 of the blisters and luckily they were on my route home and offered in-warehouse pickup.


    I ended up finding the DV packs in a Walmart while on the road so didn't need to pick up and they shipped the order to my home. Shipping was $8.95 via Fedex and the order arrived the very next day.


    These guys have a LOT of stuff (new, old and non-pokemon too), but they are more for volume ordering. If you want a box or a case, they might be a good spot to hit. Going to see what their prices are like for other things, but so far their prices on the BCR box is the same as D&A Card World, so I'd only win on quicker shipping, but will lose on not getting free shipping.


    Overall, looks like a solid company, will need to place another order to see how things go, but I definitely will keep them on my list of places to shop.

    Pros:


    • Large selection of bulk pokemon products old and new
    • reasonable shipping and quick order processing
    • pickup for those in the VA area
    Cons:

    • Only sell bulk


    Selection: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball:
    Pricing: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball:
    Order Experience: :pokeball: :pokeball: :pokeball::pokeball:
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. FrostyFluxy

    FrostyFluxy New Member

    If you're after Japanese cards, try this store. CardCollector-UK

    All I can say about it is that they're amazing.
     
  3. Jason

    Jason New Member

    Trollandtoad.com, one of the best when it comes to singles for every games :)
     
  4. Psy_Hero*

    Psy_Hero* New Member

    I'd go with the CardCollector-Uk as well. For being overseas, they ship exceptionally fast. And they have PayPal.
     
  5. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    How soon do they ship after placing an order? One of you is in Scotland, the other in California (I presume). What's your typical time from shipment to receipt?

    Yup, figured everyone knew them, and they didn't carry Japanese cards, so I didn't do an order there.
     
  6. FrostyFluxy

    FrostyFluxy New Member

    Well being in the UK, they either post on the same day I ordered (if its before 1pm) or it would typically be the next morning. So I receive everything next day. If they don't have something in stock or not listed I email the owner as they have a massive personal collection and they sell pretty much everything. Very easy to contact and negotiate with, great customer service and great postage and packaging. They have never failed me once or I have never been slightly disappointed. :)
     
  7. PokemonTrader

    PokemonTrader Active Member

    I don't think it is right to rate each site. I understand why you are doing this, however I think this isn't the place for it.
    Everyone has their own favourite site(s) to shop from, and I think it is a little foolish to rate a site over one/two experiences. Personally I think something like this can ruin someone's business over a glitch/malfunction from their site...
    Such as pokeorder not having the tin, the rating you gave was lower than others for that reason.
     
  8. King Piplup

    King Piplup New Member

    My two cents...

    Pokevault aka (previously) Hardrock Pokemon has been nothing but great in my experience, and based on how often I play Japanese sleeves, I have a good amount of experience with them. The only issue I've ever had with them was not their fault, but customs in NY for being sloppy. For what it's worth, Pokevault IS in Japan.

    Pokeorder...ugh

    I can confirm they are in fact a fairly small store in "the middle of nowhere", Michigan. However, I can also confirm buying from them is a nightmare. The store itself is decent, and things are organized enough via appearance, but most of the singles are in what looks to be uncontrolled chaos.

    A word for anyone in Michigan/may be up here for States or something: Avoid them, unless you have the patience to fill out an order form online before you come. The staff are very rude and inconsiderate if you do not know what you are looking for the second you come in, and don't take too kindly to you needing a "variety" of cards.

    They also have a nice habit of absolutely insane prices. When NVI was a few weeks old, I found FA N at $50, and Kyurem at $25. A little steep, but nevertheless, bearable. Then I saw that those prices were ALREADY HALF OFF. These prices didn't come down until almost the release of Next Destinies. Total cons in a few ways.

    So yeah. My 2 cents.
     
  9. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    I have to respectifully disagree.

    Firstly, I invited others to share their experiences, so if I have a poor experience with a site and someone has an awesome experience then that would balance things out some. Same if I had a great experience with a place that someone else had a horrible experience with (for instance, people rave over T&T, yet you had a poor experience, no?).

    Secondly, I didn't give Pokeorder a random poor review. If you notice I rated them 5 for their selection and 4 for their pricing. The order experience is what I gave them a 2 on, which I felt was justified. Keep in mind, that takes into account everything about the process -- I found their site cluttered, their ordering process (through yahoo) clumsy, and the fact that they don't update order status was a big negative for me. I like to have my items quickly and have reliable updates on the status of anything I order. I didn't get that at all here.

    As for the direct negatives, yes, they shipped the order missing something I wanted, but they also provided a refund for that item, so I didn't deduct points for that. I did deduct points for the poor communication -- which contributed to the shipping of the order in a state I didn't want and also includes the second order seemingly going to the wrong destination AND receiving the wrong product.

    As an aside, I received a reply about the order going to the wrong location, but nothing re: the wrong product being shipped to me.


    I guess I'm not alone. Had there been a thread like this with 2 similar stories, I wouldn't have bothered ordering from them.
     
  10. PokemonTrader

    PokemonTrader Active Member

    This is what I mean.
    If you look hard enough you can find bad about any site...

    Trollandtoad - I had my bad experience and haven't been refunded.
    Collectorscache - I hear for singles they ship them without sleeves in between 2 toploaders so atleast 2 get scuffed.
    Stop2Shop - I hear they have extremely cheap prices on some items, and others have extremely overpriced items.
    Toywiz - I hear they are slow to ship however if you go to their retail store, they are a lot better in person.
    PokemonForever's Site - This user is really nice! I enjoy the layout of their store, but there are no blisters, only boosters.
    Dave + Adam's Card World - Mostly sports cards -sadface-
    Pokeorder - I find their singles are expensive.

    See what I mean?
    You can put all those things in your ratings and such. I mean each person can view things as different flaws.
    For me the craziness of places like collectorscache is fun because you can find really cheap gems! Trollandtoad I probably won't go back to after this annoying experience (though I am glad that hopefully I'll get my $70 back). Toywiz, my friend from childhood got a booster box extremely fast from there. Pokemonforever's store always amazes me with how nicely packaged + good conditions his cards have.
     
  11. baby mario

    baby mario Front Page Article Editor<br><a href="http://pokeg

    He's entitled to give his opinion on the stores, based on experience. As long as it is not libellous.

    He's also entitiled to do it in the form of a rating if that's what he wants.
     
  12. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    I do see what you mean, but you're giving me exactly what I wanted -- reviews :biggrin: I hadn't heard of Stop2Shop either and now I'll go check them out and I'm sure others will appreciate hearing another view on the above spots :thumb:
     
  13. flygon_frank_66

    flygon_frank_66 New Member

    I know you mentioned this in your OP, and I'll give the best review I can.

    Professor-Oak

    His website setup is amazing. He has a great inventory. The prices may seem high, but he only sells Premium condition cards. When he says mint condition, he means mint! So you are not going to get the T&T junk like we are all used to. Since I am always on the lookout for "Potential Grading Candidates" This site is first on my list!

    5 Star (or PokeBall) Customer Service!! He is very helpful if there is a problem on your order.
    The only (kinda) negative I have to say, is that you have to have a $4.00 minimum order, but at least he gives Free Shipping!

    I hope you enjoyed the review! Thanks!
     
  14. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    As an update to my first post, I did receive my Collector's Cache order (wasn't sure if I made that clear), and I did receive a response re: my PokeOrder order and the issue with the tracking was resolved and I received my order today.

    Unfortunately, they didn't address the Dragon Selection issue, and once I got my order, I indeed had more packs of BW5 instead of Dragon Selection. Will ping them again and see if we can resolve.
     
  15. PokemonTrader

    PokemonTrader Active Member

    Pokevault overprices most items.
     
  16. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    Really? I found most of their stuff to be cheaper than other sites selling Japanese packs, and I thought it was because they were actually over there.

    For example, a Cold Flare booster:

    http://pokevault.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=cold flare&product_id=7873 $2.79
    http://www.pokeorder.com/japoblwhcofl.html $3.99
    http://www.collectorscache.com/Stor...57125&CategoryID=849&tabindex=0&tabid=9&Page= $3.49

    I guess I'm more interested to see how quickly they ship once back online. Anyone from the states or Canada order from them and can comment on transit times?
     
  17. Psy_Hero*

    Psy_Hero* New Member

    A little late but...

    They shipped out the next day and it took around a week and couple of days to get here.
     
  18. PokemonTrader

    PokemonTrader Active Member

    If you are talking about boosters, why not go to Otacute or AmiAmi for example?
    Pokevault may seem to have better prices than all the US based ones, but if you look hard enough and compare things NOT just boosters, you will see their prices are more money.
     
  19. AnUnown

    AnUnown New Member

    ...because I never heard of them?

    *edit* can't seem to load them at the moment, but if they've got good prices I'll try 'em out and report back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  20. BBmaster

    BBmaster New Member

    I will say AmiAmi is a great site to deal with but the downsize is they are most hobby things like toys,figures,bishoju and all that.also when you find something and it says released then you click on their link sometimes it will be sold out and takes awhile for them to even get stuff back sometimes not at all.japanese pokemon packs at amiami are good prices but once they are gone they dont restock.
     
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