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Pokemon and sports card business grew rapidly after becoming popular during a pandemic




Remember the old Pokemon and sports cards you collected as a kid sitting in the binder of your parents’ house? They can be worth over $ 100,000.

The card collection and sales business has been booming over the past year, with some experts blaming the pandemic.

For many who hold a collection, such as Kemptville, Ontario. Resident Logan Fournier, this may be an opportunity to earn cash.

In just seven months, Fournier opened his local store during a pandemic, looking for a childhood card in his parents’ basement, and made $ 1.2 million in sales.

“I came across an old Pokumon collection, and I was like’this is crazy’,” he said.

Hobby Building owner Fournier was able to realize his dream of opening a hobby shop thanks to the money he earned by selling his old cards.

Logan Fournier, owner of Hobby’s Building in Kemptville, Ontario. He says he has plans to expand his hobby business after the growth his store has experienced. (Derrick Deonaline)

“When the pandemic started, I saw some of the Pokemon cards I had for $ 5,000 and thought,’This is weird. There’s something here,'” he said. Said.

Mr. Fournier says his business has grown so rapidly that he plans to expand things in the near future by opening new shops in Toronto, Ottawa, and perhaps the United States to meet demand. ..

His story is not unique.

Card sales to save local businesses

From Pokemon to sports cards, local card shops say demand has skyrocketed.

In eBay’s 2021 State of Trading Cards report, e-commerce companies said Pokemon topped the list and trading card sales showed record growth.

For William Chong, owner of Dolly’s Toys & Games in Scarborough, these sales actually help keep his business up and running.

“When the pandemic started, we were worried that it would be closed, but then sales increased. Sales probably increased 1000 percent, 10 times. That’s for us. I’m very busy, “he said.

William Chong, owner of Scarborough’s Dollys Toys & Games, says the resurgence of Pokemon and sports cards during the pandemic saved his business. (Paul Balkwood)

He told CBC News Toronto that the sports card boom has been around since the pandemic began.

“Hockey and vintage sports cards have come back in a big way. In any of the big halls of fame with famous names, if any of those cards are in good condition, you’re seeing a lot of money,” he said. Said.

In December 2020, Wayne Gretzky’s rookie card, rated 10 on the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) card rating system, sold for US $ 1.29 million.

How card grading works

Brad Hartlin, who represents PSA Canada, a company that rates sports cards and sends them to the United States, states that there is an eight-step process that can rate cards and sell them for large sums.

Owners send their cards to one of three industry leaders like PSA for professional evaluation.

Sports cards and trading cards are marked with numerical grades by these companies.

For trading cards, industry leaders use scales from 1 to 10, with 1 being “bad” and 10 being “gemmint”. Brad Hartlin, who represents PSA Canada, a company that ranks sports cards and sends them to the United States, says. There is a process that can score a card and sell it for a large sum of money. 0:42

These companies have professional graders who are trained and experienced in the field of cards and collectibles.

Hartlinsays experts on his team look at several factors to determine if a card is worth sending for a rating.

“To be 10, the center of the card must be 50/50. Then look at the corners to see if they are dented. Then look at the surface and see if they are there. Make sure you have a slight defect, a printer line, and a slight scratch. “

According to Hartlin, the price someone pays is based on the grade of the card, with 10 being the most valuable.

“This is the way to get to PSA 10 Lizardon, which sells for about $ 500,000 on eBay, or those who end up buying a home by selling a few cards. This happens,” he said. ..

My hobby has been “foaming” for years

The card business may be booming in sales right now, but some experts like famous YouTubers like Gary Vainerchuk and Logan Paul, who had millions of subscribers as a hobby before the pandemic. Says that this resurrection will always happen for the entrepreneurs.

Josh Luber, co-founder of StockX, a multi-billion dollar online “stock market for goods,” specializing in shoes and collectibles, says his hobbies have begun to foam in the last few years.

“Anyway, the trading card industry will explode this year. I think it’s unusual to see what would happen without a pandemic,” he said.

StockX co-founder Josh Luber tells CBC News Toronto that there will always be a resurgence of Pokemon and sports cards this year, regardless of pandemic. 0:47 Louver told CBC Toronto that the major comeback trading cards were created because of the large number of popular stakeholders at the crossroads of the pandemic.

He says it’s a fusion of sports cards, Pokemon and COVID-19 lockdowns, including sneakers, streetwear and fashion.

“Adding a pandemic to this mix can keep many people locked up in their homes, making young people feel nostalgic, rediscovering the joy of opening card packs and telling kids something,” Louver said. Says.

“Every time I open a box or pack, I feel like I have a child at Christmas.”

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