Let me jump right in, one of the most shocking pieces of news the hobby has heard this year was PWCC’s decision to carry out all auctions on its platform after a dispute with eBay. Fast forward 2 months after the announcement, we can now see the results of the first PWCC Monthly Auction on their own platform. This auction block is important to the Pokemon TCG hobby for a few reasons: PWCC no longer using eBay means that there will be less visibility, coupled with two month’s worth of items being condensed into one block (PWCC’s September auction block was skipped and all items were placed in this month’s block instead). This meant a boatload of cards were auctioned, 8,119 Pokemon listings to be exact, making this block by far the largest block ever for Pokemon items. With a larger supply and a smaller audience, did prices trend downwards as per the Law of Supply and Demand, or were expectations exceeded?
Disclaimer: This article is written in a list form so that you can quickly find the information you want. Tradenatural is one of the most distinguished Pokemon TCG market analysts on Instagram and we’re more than happy to have them bring their thoughts and research into a written form on Ludkins Media!
Let’s start with the PSA 9 2013 World Championship No.2 Trainer Pikachu Trophy card. Ending at $65,000, this sold price is significantly lower compared to the last time a similar card was sold back in February 2021, for $110,100. However, the card that sold for a 6-figure sum at the time was a 2006 version where there are only three copies awarded compared to the six copies awarded for the 2013 version. A PSA 8 version of the 2008 version (three copies awarded) is also being offered at Heritage Auction and will go into extended bidding on the 6th of November. This is a prime example of how unpredictable the market is, considering a card that hasn’t been on the auction stage for many years made a triple appearance in one single year.
Up next is a very rare sealed booster box of ex Deoxys, which ended at $60,000. This booster box had a valuation of $50,000-$60,000 so this price is on the higher end. This box has a 1/6th chance of pulling the Rayquaza Gold Star, regarded as the most beautiful and valuable Gold Star ever released in English.
A PSA 10 Torchic Gold Star, the lowest PSA 10 pop of all the English Gold Stars, sitting at pop 17 as of November 2021, sold for $50,000. This card ended at a price that made almost every collector do a double-take. At $50,000, Torchic Gold Star sold for more than the most desired English Gold Star, the Rayquaza Gold Star which last sold on Goldin Auctions at $33,600 after Buyer’s Premium. Many people called foul play as there might be fake bids pushing up the price but an employee at PWCC confirmed the top two bidders are regulars at PWCC aka high-rollers so this $50,000 sale will most likely be paid for. A good comparison to this Torchic is the PSA 10 Charizard Gold Star which ended in the PWCC September Premier auction at $16,800. This is an instance where rarity beats popularity. Would you take three Charizard Gold Stars or the lowest pop Gold Star?
When it comes to Gold Stars, Rayquaza sits at the top in terms of desirability. This PSA 10 Japanese 1st Edition copy sold for $9,500. This was last sold at $15,100 in April and a BGS 9.5Q++ copy (two 9.5 subgrades and two 10 subgrades) went for $9,350 earlier in October.
A PSA 10 Fan Club Magikarp, an extremely rare sight in the PSA 10 grade, ended at $30,000. This is a respectable price as a perfectly centred copy sold for $22,000 privately last year. The FC Karp is notorious for its crooked centring – Much like the CoroCoro Shining Mew, it usually misses the mark on the 10 grade solely due to centring. Not all PSA 10 copies of the FC Karp have perfect centring so buying the card is paramount when picking an FC Karp.
Next, we have the poster child of the Pokemon TCG, Base Set Charizard. A PSA 9 1st Edition version ended at $29,500, an increase from its low of $21,750 back in July. A PSA 8 copy was also on auction and went for $12,500, trending slightly upwards from its low of $11,233. Another of Kanto’s starter trio, A PSA 10 1st Edition Base Set Venusaur ended at $25,000, a 25% increase compared to the last sold at $20,100.
This month, we also had a few PSA 10 Base Set Unlimited Charizards on auction. A total of four copies, each ending at $12,500, $9,500, $9,250 and $9,000. These usually go for between $10,000-$12,000 so having four sets of sales data further solidified its price point. A PSA 10 Japanese version also sold for $4,800.
Speaking of Charizard, a PSA 10 Legendary Collection Reverse Holo Charizard sold for $11,500. A copy sold on eBay for $10,500 at the start of September so it ended as expected.
Topps Chrome Pokemon has seen a rise in collector interest over the past year, with Charizard leading the pack in terms of the sales price. The three variant inserts for the set are Spectra (1:2 packs), Sparkle (1:10 packs) and Tekno (1:15 packs). A PSA 10 Charizard Sparkle, which is the second rarest parallel after Tekno, sold for $12,500, a price that would shock non-Topps Chrome collectors. Topps Chrome Pokemon is somewhat a fusion of Sports and Pokemon card collecting as Topps is one of the top brands synonymous with producing sports cards.
A PSA 10 1st Edition Shining Charizard ended at $16,000, a step up from previous sales which went for between the $12,000-$13,000 range.
One of the more interesting auctions was a PSA 9 Master’s Scroll. This card experienced a hype period 2 years ago but turned into collector interest at the end which sustained its high price due to its low availability. This card ended at $19,500. The past few sales are between $12,000 and $15,000, and a PSA 6 copy even sold on eBay auction for $8,954 just last month.
Next, we have a Japanese Silver Victory Cup from the 2012 Battle Carnival Event, graded a BGS 10 Gold Label. This is an extremely rare card where only 42 copies were awarded between 2011 and 2013. This sold for $12,500. A PSA 9 Japanese Gold Victory Cup was sold back in June for $12,446.
Sample cards are some of the rarest English cards ever produced with an estimated 50 copies in circulation for each of the ten sample cards. They were used as sampling cards when the e-Reader was released to demonstrate how to swipe e-series cards on the reader. Leading the group in terms of value is the Sample Pikachu, which sold in a PSA 10 for $12,500. Along with the Pikachu, the remaining nine PSA 10 Sample cards from the set were also auctioned off in this block and here are their prices :
- Hoppip $2,100
- Koffing $875/$1,350 (2 copies)
- Gastly $1,175
- Machop $625
- Machoke $1,575
- Chansey $2,100
- Rapidash $1,600
- Pichu $2,500
- Machamp $700
A PSA 10 Lily-Chan Art Academy Pikachu sold for $11,000. This price is somewhat surprising however the card was limited to 100 copies, is a Pikachu and is graded a PSA 10. There was also a PSA 9 Meli Pikachu which sold for $6,750 and a PSA 8 Gabi Chespin which sold for $3,000.
We were able to see all three VS booster boxes go on auction this block, with a Fire/Water booster box selling for $8,250 , a Grass/Lightning booster box selling for $7,000, and a Psychic/Fighting booster box selling for $6,250.
The Championship Arena (Mew/Celebi) is one of the more popular prize cards. A PSA 10 Japanese version sold for $5,250, crashing from its high of $15,100 back in May. For comparison, an English PSA 10 version sold for $14,300 in October.
We also had a BGS 10 Scramble Croagunk sell for $6,500. This is the first time we saw this card on auction outside Japan. This is one of the ultra-rare lottery releases from the Melee! Pokemon Scramble game. There are only three of the ultra rares, namely Croagunk, Pachirisu and Eevee and there are an estimated 100 copies of each which were given out to lottery winners. It is unclear how accurate the number of copies is as it is based solely on other Pokemon TCG lottery releases.
A full set of PSA 10 Team Rocket 20th Anniversary Promos were also on sale. Giovanni’s Scheme sold for $5,000 and the Team Rocket sold for $5,250. These are very well designed cards that are the first anniversary releases to break the $10,000 barrier together.
The Mysterious Pearl card was a hot commodity back in January 2021, selling at a high of $15,100 for a PSA 10. We had a BGS 9.5 basic and a PSA 9 sold this month with the BGS copy selling for $3,300 and the PSA copy selling for $2,600. These are great cards but the rarity is amplified.
We all know about the hype of the Play Promo Mew ex. Going up from $1,500 to its $6,000 high during Pokemon TCG’s peak earlier this year. We saw two copies end at $2,500 and $2,800 which is quite a hard fall from its $3,500-$4,000 averages.
From some of these more highlighted sales, we can say that availability hampers the value of a card. If an item appears more frequently, like the Play Mew ex, or the Mysterious Pearl, its price will go down. This also means that the demand could not keep up with the supply. However, there is one set of cards that have been eaten up by the market every time they’re put up for sale: Mario/Luigi Pikachus. A PSA 10 set of four sold for $7,500. Right as expected, the Full Art Mario averages $3,000, Full Art Luigi averages $2,500, regular Mario and Luigi average $1,000 each. This has been their price since the hype and has not gone down. This goes to show extreme popularity could eat up any amount of supply put out there.
These are all of the sales I will be sharing in this October Pokemon TCG market report. There are over a hundred good sales data on PWCC Monthly that if I were to go through them all you’d be having a 45-min skim instead of a 9-min read. Here are my thoughts about the market after seeing these sales and PWCC Monthly Auctions. Overall, there are higher than expected sales and lower than expected sales however I feel like a lot of the noteworthy sales are above expectations. Cards like a CGC 8.5 Hidden Fates Shuppet would always go under the radar but something like a PSA 10 Fan Club Magikarp will not. Before the auction block ended, I expected almost everything to go under the radar as there was going to be less traffic from the eBay crowd, coupled with thousands of listings ending within 30 minutes of each other. That being said, the auction went above expectations as almost all prices ended at respectable amounts for items over the $1,000 mark. The Pokemon TCG market is looking healthy as there is no sudden increase or decrease in prices on the majority of the items across the board.
The first PWCC Monthly Auction on their website was a success. There were expectations that the website would crash as it had to support almost 10,000 listings ending within 30 minutes of each other but other than being a little laggy when inputting bids during the final 30 minutes, everything went smoothly. I feel like a lot of people still have the eBay bidding strategy in mind when it comes to this auction. Compared to eBay, there are three significant differences on PWCC that would require you to change your bidding strategy.
The first is extended bidding. This means that any higher bid placed during the extended bidding window will further extend the auction for an additional five minutes. This also means that there is no sniping like if you were on eBay by placing your highest bid with 0.5 seconds left on the auction timer. Second, you are only able to participate in extended bidding if you placed a bid during the 16 days leading up to the extended bidding period. Your ‘bid last second’ strategy still works if you have one or two auction listings you’re interested in but this is PWCC with thousands of listings ending at the same time. If you don’t bid early, you might not even be able to place your highest bid when it matters.
This final point might not be important at the lower tier but it is extremely important at the higher end tier of auctions. Fixed bid increments. On PWCC auctions, you’re not able to input your bids, there are already fixed amounts you have to choose from to place your bid. For example, on eBay, you’re able to bid $103.34 but on PWCC, you’re only able to bid $100, $105, $110…. Now, this isn’t important for items less than $50,000 in my opinion, but for items above this amount, this really matters.
Let me explain. Over $50,000, each increment is $5,000 and over $100,000, each increment is $10,000. So you’re only able to bid $55,000, $60,000, $65,000…Why does this matter you ask, well, let’s take the World Championship No.2 Trainer Pikachu card that ended at $65,000 for example. Say there are two bidders interested in bidding at $65,000, one places a bid at the start of the auction with 16 days left and the other decided to wait until the last second. During extended bidding, the bid is at $55,000 and the second person decides to place his final $65,000 bid. After that bid is placed, the bid will be at $65,000 but the highest bidder will be the bidder who placed the earlier bid due to the first bid rule. If two bidders place the same high bid on an auction, the earlier bid gets priority. Now the second bidder still has a chance to increase his bid but the next bid will have to be $70,000. They would have to bid an extra $5,000 instead of $100 making it paramount to place your bids early to get prioritized.
Thank you for reading until the end and to Ludkins Media for allowing me to share my thoughts about October’s PWCC auction in written form. The Pokemon TCG market is filled with ups and downs so only put the money you’re willing to lose for investment purposes or just collect out of genuine interest. I wish everyone all the best in the upcoming PWCC Monthly Auction and hopefully, you go home with some very good deals.
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