A recent report by Vice, has shown that the current boom in popularity for Pokémon Cards is causing a backlog for card grading services across America.
Card grading services verify the value of Pokémon cards, meaning collectors can sell graded cards at a high price.
The recent boom in popularity is making it difficult for collectors to get their cards back in a timely fashion. Waiting times are said to be anywhere from six to ten months. However, collectors can pay a premium to get the cards back quicker.
A spike of interest in The Pokémon Trade Game came during lockdown last year. Several Twitch streamers started opening packs online to viewers, which led the demand for cards to increase.
Over a year of waiting
The report, which you can read here, details an industry struggling to keep up with demand. Waiting times can be anywhere between six to ten months, depending on the company. Additionally, some collectors have reported waiting over a year.
Card grading is a key element of high-end card trading. Without an official grading, collectors can not sell cards like the rare Ishihara GX Pokémon Card which recently sold for $250,000.
Companies like PSA, Certified Guaranty Company, and Beckett Grading Services are clamoring to employ new staff. One company offered a $1,000 starting bonus to new employees in a bid to encourage applications.
The effects of this swell in demand have been seen elsewhere. The Pokémon Company teamed up with McDonald’s earlier this year to promote the 25th birthday of the cute little pocket monsters. To promote the celebration, McDonalds offered limited Pokémon packaging and a pack of cards alongside a happy meal.
Scalpers and collectors got to work quickly, taking advantage of the limited offering reselling the cards online. The same offer will make its way to the UK next month on May 19th, although McDonald’s has been vocal about its intention to limit the number of meals customers can buy.
Ebay reacted to the increase in demand by announcing a new feature that would let users scan trading cards in. When released, the feature will let users scan cards in while creating a new listing.