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Pokémon Card $375K Record Box Is Fake: Here's What The Buyer Learned

Benzinga logo Benzinga 10/28/2020 Chris Katje
© Provided by Benzinga

Tuesday was supposed to be a record-setting day for the Pokémon market with social arbitrage investor Chris Camillo committing to buy a first edition box of 1999 Pokémon trading cards, first reported by Benzinga. Instead, the box turned out to be a fake and re-sealed during a live-streamed video event.

What Happened: Camillo and dumbmoneytv live-streamed the transaction of the box. The stream included the dumbmoneytv team, the three sellers and two Pokémon industry experts.

After discussing the details of the box purchase and the plan to raise money for charitable efforts, Camillo and the experts opened the sealed box to confirm its authenticity of the contents inside.

Upon opening, several packs were revealed to be non-first edition packs and some were even previously opened.

“I was shocked,” Camillo told Benzinga. “Not something I was anticipating.”

Camillo and his team did their due diligence on the sellers and the box. He feels terrible for the sellers as they now have to track down a box to complete the deal.

Some people watching the stream questioned the sellers and the whole transaction. Camillo said the sellers were great and them being there in person showed their involvement in the transaction: “Seller had no incentive for it to be fake.”

Camillo said when making the purchase, you have to “weigh the reputation of seller.” He feels confident in the sellers and the transaction moving forward.

He told Benzinga this is a “huge opportunity for seller to do the right thing.”

Related Link: How This Trader Turned $20K Into $10M In 3 Years

Honoring the Transaction: Camillo told Benzinga he has a deposit for part of the transaction and travel expenses, but has full confidence the transaction will be worked out or he will be reimbursed.

The live stream didn't show the briefcase of money for the transaction as originally intended. Camillo tells us there will be a video shared on dumbmoneytv’s YouTube channel highlighting the entire day of the transaction, including withdrawing $375,000 from the bank.

“There will be a happy ending to this story,” said Camillo, who is confident in getting a box from the sellers.

He said the sellers are working on securing a box and they will stream the opening/validity of the box before flying to Camillo. The sellers have committed to honoring the $375,000 purchase price.

“I expect them to find me a new box in the next week.”

Camillo is working on ways to validate the box and packs inside, including trying to get a grading company to send a representative out for the next video and grading the packs on the spot. He also won’t rule out opening a pack or all the packs as part of the validating process.

What’s Next: Camillo thinks this live video serves as a lesson for investors and could change the collectible industry going forward.

“I don’t think you can purchase a box set of anything going forward without validating on the spot," he said.

Camillo said there is a box coming to auction with Heritage Auctions that was expecting to go for up to $500,000. Heritage has several Pokémon-related items up for auction, including that box, beginning Oct. 30.

The market for grading sports cards and Pokémon cards has been hot in 2020 with shares of Collector’s Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT) up over 157% in 2020. Collector's Universe owns the PSA grading brand and has seen record demand for grading services in 2020.

“This is great news for the grading market.”

Camillo said going forward buyers will be best served by opening boxes or packs in person instead of buying them online. He said video is a great option to validate the transaction calling it the “best evidence you could ever have.”

Opening a box in person is the best way to prove the item isn’t fake. He said this could hurt eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY) as some large purchases are better done offline: “Experts don’t really know 'til they open it up.”

Using an escrow process to make sure both parties are happy in the transaction is also important.

Benzinga asked Camillo about dumbmoney co-hosts Dave Hanson and Jordan Mclain, who were hesitant on the large purchase from Camillo.

“They love it. I’ve won them over. They see that there is value there as an investment.”


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