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Scalpers Are Completely Ruining Pokemon

Trading card scalpers, particularly in the world of Pokemon, have seen a resurgence in the news since celebrities like Logan Paul and Logic shared their love for Pokémon cards. Both these celebrities paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for rare cards, like a first-edition holographic Charizard. Scalpers already take advantage of reselling valuable items like next-gen consoles, so readily available Pokémon cards are an easy target. Just about anybody could go to a local Target to buy them — until May 14, that is.


Target posted a policy change to halt the sales of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon cards earlier this week. Alan Johnson, Warner Bros. Games Director, shared an image of the new policy, which reads: "The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at Target.com."

Others followed Johnson's lead, posting similar images of the store's policy across social media, with some expressing their disbelief at the new change.

To be fair, Target tried to keep it cool

Twitch partner and esports commentator Phil "Esquire" Stewart replied to Johnson's tweet with an image of suggested talking points for employees — or what they should say in case customers ask about the policy. The answers seem to back up the point of ensuring the safety of Target shoppers and employees. Some suspect that a recent fight between a group of men over sports trading cards in a Target parking lot pushed the company's decision. 


Target already tried cracking down on scalpers with rules to limit TCG sales to one pack a day per person, as well as a policy of only restocking on Fridays at 8 a.m. Employees were also instructed to warn customers not to camp outside the store and were reportedly given permission to call law enforcement for those who didn't comply with the new policies.

Target isn't the only company struggling to fight off scalpers, either. Bleeding Cool reported that Walmart allegedly considered adopting a similar policy to remove trading cards from the sales floor entirely. McDonald's recent Pokémon card promotion attracted enough scalpers that the company encouraged stores to limit the number of Happy Meal per customer. Some locations only sold cards to customers who bought a Happy Meal, but that apparently led to lots of wasted food. On the bright side, one person reported giving their food to the homeless instead.