I @#$& Hate Scalpers And Thieves, An Essay

Tags: #essay #nonfiction

It has been awhile since I have written a blog but today, I got pretty pissed (if the title didn't give that away) and I wanted to write it out instead of just fuming throughout the house.

As some readers my recognize, my title may allude to something familiar, something you might have experienced yourself. The vermin and filth of the Collectible Card Game world.

What Happened

It was shopping day and as much as I did not want to leave the house (I'm American and still recovering from Thanksgiving), I had to go get groceries or my children would start screeching again for their granola bars and oatmeal.

While meandering about like a lost puppy due to ADHD, I stumbled across stocked Pokemon Cards at Walmart which was not common due to players and the aforementioned scalpers hitting the racks within hours of delivery.

It had been about three months since I had bought any cards as I love the game but don't really get much time to play it. I like to keep a low-tier competitive deck ready to go for that one day I might be able to go to a local tournament or something.

I grabbed six sets since they were only $3.78 (normally at this Walmart they price them $4.99 like Magic Cards) and happily headed home. Once I got the groceries put away, the monsters fed their granola bars, I curled up in my office to take 30-ish minutes to open each one and savor the fun of seeing what's in there and maybe, just maybe find a V, VSTAR, Rainbow Secret or even a Gold Rare. I never hold out hope because I know the odds on it.

At the moment, the pull rate for a Gold Rare is 1 in every 82 booster packs of Paradox Rift

When I opened the first container to pull the booster pack out, I noticed that the top had already been ripped. My first thought was: “Dammit, I wasn't careful tearing the card board” but then I opened the second and found the same thing.

That sinking feeling hit as I took the last four, flipped them over and found that someone had popped the back to pull the booster pack out without damaging the cardboard, sliced open the top, slid the cards out and checked them. The realization hit me like a ton of breaks and made me quite upset.

Someone had gone through the six packs I had already! That meant 1) if they found any of those good cards, there would only be 8 or 9 cards in the back and if all 10 were there, they were never any to begin with. That meant that at that very moment, I knew that there was going to be nothing in my packs either way.

I still went through and opened each one of them and counted the cards to see and in this case, each one had their 10 cards plus their basic energy and QR code (I haven't even checked to see if those are working yet).

I got cards but it wasn't enjoyable to open. The feeling of excitement and mystery that I was hoping for with this rare purchase was gone because someone decided to try and steal the good cards without paying.

They choice profit over the excitement of discovering a wonderful, beautiful card you didn't truly expect.

Whoever it was, that damn scalper stole that feeling from me.

Profit And the Collectible Card Community

If I was a child, I would have cried. The sheer disappointment in my soul had made the inner child weep. I'm not ashamed to admit it. In this life there are many joys one can have and cards are one of the few that I have.

Since the Great Plague of 2020 and the mad rush off venture capitalists and those who wanted to make a quick buck started buying up every booster in existence, the true wonder and value of a card has been lost.

People just open packs to see if one of the special cards were in there and when they weren't, discarded it. They don't take the time to admire each one including the common cards that get overlooked.

It is so much worse to me to take this to another level and secretly try and steal the cards, find nothing, and leave them on the shelf so that a true lover of cards goes through what I did.

I'm tired of people joining a hobby or participating in a cultural phenomenon just to make money.

Don't get me wrong! I have no problem with true collectors who buy cards and sell them online because the difference is that they're not in this just for the money. They aren't looking for a Hyper Rare to make a hundred dollars but are looking to share that card with others, to find that card a good home.

I do it. I've sold a few of my high priced cards at a lower price because I knew the purchaser was going to give that card a good place like their own collection or in a deck where they truly belong.

This might come off as childish and may be it. It is beside the point. It just made me realize that late stage capitalism has infected so many things that you can't escape it anymore. Even a hobby that I love has been poisoned and I don't see any way to stop it. I don't want to have to now examine every single booster I buy for tampering or to see if someone has tried to steal from it. There's signs that it's finally coming to an end but we'll see.

I just want my hobby back.

— © Jonathan J. Snyder, All rights Reserved Like what you read and want to buy me a cup of coffee?