Ultra-rare Pokémon trading card sells for $60,000 on eBay, gets lost in mail

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The card—Trainer No.3—has such a high value because it was only given to the third-place finalist at a Japanese Pokémon card game tournament called Super Secret Battle back in 1999. It ended up with eBay seller pokemonplace, who sold it for $60,000 in August 2018.

The card was shipped out with an insurance cover of $50,000, which is the most USPS will cover when shipping an item via mail. It was delivered along with a number of other goods, but was never received.

“My responsibility was to ship the card to Aramex [...] a middle man company that then ships the card to the buyer,” pokemonplace told Polygon. “The tracking information I have was with registered mail and shows tracking and a signature. Aramex claims they haven’t received it and signed for a bulk lot.”

Because the lot was signed for, pokemonplace says they can’t file the insurance claim.

YouTuber smpratte, a collector who specializes in trading cards, believes someone involved in the shipping process saw how much the card was insured for and stole it. Unfortunately for the thief in question, the card is registered in a directory for all collectors and cannot be removed from its plastic container, meaning it’ll be worthless to them.

The buyer is offering a $1,000 reward to help locate the card and is investigating what happened.

While $60,000 is a lot of money for a trading card, it pales in comparison to the $400,000 Yu-Gi-Oh! card that went on sale in Japan last year.

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ckm88

TS Addict
But couldn't the person that stole it just rip the casing off? I don't understand how it's been that secured. Do you need a key or something?
 

stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
But couldn't the person that stole it just rip the casing off? I don't understand how it's been that secured. Do you need a key or something?
I believe that the casing acts as the certificate of authenticity. If they try to sell it with the case, they are busted. If they sell it without the case, the card will not be valued at $60k.
 
But couldn't the person that stole it just rip the casing off? I don't understand how it's been that secured. Do you need a key or something?
I believe that the casing acts as the certificate of authenticity. If they try to sell it with the case, they are busted. If they sell it without the case, the card will not be valued at $60k.
The article makes it sound like the card is one of a kind so stealing this is stupid.
In any event the CoA makes this akin to stealing a modern smartphone, practically pointless.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
You hand deliver that ****
And that's how you loose money on eBay. The buyer would open a case and you'd have zero proof of delivery. Easy money. eBay requires tracking as proof. A selfie with the buyer or even a signed note will not cut it.

Given that this card was signature on delivery and they did get a signature from someone at Aramex, Aramex is completely responsible for the entire value of the card. The only other very unlikely scenarios are 1) The carrier signed for the card and took it. This would be easy to find out (they don't know the name of handwriting of the people in Aramex). Not to mention an Item like this will certainly prompt an internal USPS investigation if the seller asks and the carrier is going to be an obvious suspect. 2) Someone posed as an Aramex employee and signed. Same issue as the above not knowing names and even more unlikely given you have to infiltrate the building without anyone seeing you don't belong. Mission impossible unlikely.
 
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moral hazard

TS Rookie
Aramex is responsible for the loss by signing for it. If they don't contest the signature or refuse the shipment for damage on arrival, it's theirs, bulk lot or not.
 

Prrredictable

TS Rookie
You hand deliver that ****
And that's how you loose money on eBay. The buyer would open a case and you'd have zero proof of delivery. Easy money. eBay requires tracking as proof. A selfie with the buyer or even a signed note will not cut it.

Given that this card was signature on delivery and they did get a signature from someone at Aramex, Aramex is completely responsible for the entire value of the card. The only other very unlikely scenarios are 1) The carrier signed for the card and took it. This would be easy to find out (they don't know the name of handwriting of the people in Aramex). Not to mention an Item like this will certainly prompt an internal USPS investigation if the seller asks and the carrier is going to be an obvious suspect. 2) Someone posed as an Aramex employee and signed. Same issue as the above not knowing names and even more unlikely given you have to infiltrate the building without anyone seeing you don't belong. Mission impossible unlikely.
Ebay allows local pick-up.
 

Dedloc

TS Rookie
Slabs can most certainly be cracked and the card removed. People do it everyday. That said the card is so rare they would never be able to sell it through a mainstream channel. I'm sure there is some underground buyer who would take it though. Its sad. I hope the seller is able to recover the card or the sales money.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Ebay allows local pick-up.
Doesn't mean they back you if the buyer reports they didn't receive the item. Local pickup is like selling digital items on eBay, you can sell both on eBay but if the buyer reports an issue you are out the money and the item. Go and read up on eBay and PayPal's seller protection.
 
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Kashim

TS Addict
Can someone explain to me how an item valued at $60k and insured for $50k ends up getting delivered as part of a "bulk lot" ? That sounds waaay fishy to me.
 

funglebuddy

TS Enthusiast
Honestly If I sold something for that amount I would hand deliver it to him wherever he is because trusting shipping companies with that valuable of an item is redonkulus.
 

Prrredictable

TS Rookie
Doesn't mean they back you if the buyer reports they didn't receive the item. Local pickup is like selling digital items on eBay, you can sell both on eBay but if the buyer reports an issue you are out the money and the item. Go and read up on eBay and PayPal's seller protection.
Interesting.