Photo: SoraNews24

Stores in Japan ask customers to prove they’re real Pokemon fans when buying cards to stop scalpers

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

When it comes to video game hardware, anime merch, and collectible trading cards, speculative resellers continue to be the bane of genuine fans. Scalpers can reap an economic benefit from scouring shops as soon as whatever the hot new item is goes on sale, and so by the time actual fans finish work or school for the day and can make their way to the store, they’re often sold out.

So the problem becomes how to weed out resellers while still letting fans easily purchase the cool stuff they want, and two Pokemon card-selling stores in Japan have come up with a uniquely logical solution: make customers prove that they’re actually Pokemon fans before they can buy cards. One of the stores is the Omiya Sashiogi branch of media entertainment chain Tsutaya, in Saitama City.

The shop is currently taking preorders for the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield Fusion Arts expansion, and it’s informed would-be buyers of the conditions they have to agree to or meet before making a purchase, which include: “When placing your pre-order, you will be required to either show the Pokemon trading card game deck you currently use and/or correctly answer a Pokemon quiz.”


The left half of the store’s above tweet shows the quiz’s format, with pictures of four Pokemon species, but with their names covered. In order to prove you’re a fan (and thus be eligible to pre-order the Fusion Arts expansion), you have to be able to name at least two of the four. And if you’re worried that resellers can just look up the names of those four Pokemon and memorize them, the store has thought of that too, and says that the tweet only shows an example, and that the actual quizzes administered in-store will have different species.

The store also says that in certain cases, customers may be asked to both show their deck and pass the quiz before placing their pre-order. The pre-orders are also limited to one box per person, and the buyer has to agree to the shrink wrap being removed prior to receiving the box, an anti-reselling precaution some other stores in Japan have also started taking.

Tsutaya’s clever system has met with applause from many online commenters, who said:

“This is a fantastic idea, and I totally support it.”

“As a Pokemon card game player, this makes me really happy.”

“I wish more stores would do this.”

“Maybe you could make them answer what type the Pokemon are too?”

Meanwhile, two prefectures south from Saitama in Yokohama, Kanagawa’s prefectural capital, the local branch of electronics megastore Yodobashi Camera has also been making customers prove their Poke-credentials as well. When Twitter user @siro_gaming1 showed up to buy a box each of Eevee Heroes and Shiny Star V cards, customers had to first answer the question “Who’s the Pokemon partner of the series’ main character?”

Photo: Twitter/@siro_gaming1

Granted, you don’t have to be a Pokemon trivia master to know who Ash/Satoshi’s best Pokemon friend is, but it’s likely that suddenly being engaged in anything resembling a conversation about the franchise’s storyline is enough to mentally throw resellers off for a moment, letting the store’s clerks realize they’re up to something fishy and helping make sure even one more box of cards ends up in a true fan’s hands.

Sources: Twitter/@TSUTAYASASHIOGI, Twitter/@siro_gaming1 via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Pokemon Center superstores won’t sell new Pokémon cards in-store, but will it stop scalpers?

-- Kyoto anime store shuts down suspected Chinese reseller’s attempted Evangelion bulk-order

-- Resellers storm Pokemon Centers in Japan to get their hands on new Lillie merchandise

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Surprising move from companies that care more about making money than keeping fans happy.

It’s amazing they actually cares who buys the product as opposed to how much money can they make.

But that also means that in store workers have to have some actual knowledge of Pokémon as well. How many middle aged workers give a damn?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Guess I won't be buying any for my kids then. But hey, at least some otaku is happy, right?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Exactly, parents don’t care much about that stuff, they just want to buy it for their kids that are asking for it. I guess unless the kid is with them, there won’t be any sale.

Similarly, I had to buy some cards for a friend’s kid who lives overseas. I have absolutely no interest in Pokémon but don’t mind picking some up for a favor. Guess that will be the end of that as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thank them for preventing the kids getting hands on that crap.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

For me it’s a win win. I get that parents of kids who love Pokémon (like myself) Wont be able to purchase it..but maybe just being your kids and have them answer the quiz.

Alternatively…just wait until it comes out normally?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tons of mentally handicapped and deaf kids and adults love those ugly little beastly characters. So this is going to become a new fad to learn JSL or Signed Grammatically correct Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ridiculous. Buy more stock so that you have enough to sell to the scalpers and to your customers, increasing your profit and leaving the scalpers with stock on their hands.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites