Walmart Is Now Facing Backlash for Selling This
Some Walmart shoppers are not happy with one recent purchase from the retailer.
Thanks to low prices and a seemingly endless array of products, Walmart is the go-to location for shoppers across the U.S. According to Statista, nearly 240 million shoppers visited one of the retailer's stores each week in 2021, and Walmart's website had more than 466 million visits in Dec. 2021 alone, per SimilarWeb. But despite its popularity, the company is no stranger to complaints. Now, Walmart is in hot water with some of its customers over a product it has been selling. Read on to find out what has prompted significant backlash.
Walmart has been accused of selling Pokémon cards that are counterfeit.
On March 12, a YouTube channel named Deep Pocket Monster posted a video titled "HUGE Pokémon Card Scam EXPOSED" to the channel's more than 142,000 subscribers. In the video, Pat Flynn, a Pokémon collector who runs Deep Pocket Monster, alleged that Walmart is selling a box of counterfeit Pokémon cards on its website. The product is called the XY Evolutions Booster box and is being sold by one of Walmart's sponsored sellers JoyBuy, which is a third-party account approved to market items through the retailer's online marketplace, Game Rant reported.
According to Flynn, a member of his online community and fellow collector going by the screen name JediMasterSquirtle first brought the claim to his attention when he reported that a relative of his had been allegedly scammed by the item. The relative reportedly purchased the box from the Walmart site for $169, and the collector found that an in-demand Charizard trading card inside was incorrectly named Caterpie.
The company has not responded to these claims.
In his YouTube video, Flynn also bought and opened the box from Walmart's online store. He not only confirmed that the cards inside appeared fake, but showed that the packaging was different from a real XY Evolutions Booster Box that he already owned. The YouTuber said he contacted Walmart to alert the retailer of the product being sold and was told by a customer service representative through a chat message that the item would be investigated.
Walmart has yet to respond although Flynn received a refund for his purchase. According to Game Rant, the allegedly counterfeit box appeared to still be available for purchase on Walmart's website as of March 12, and a quick search shows other similarly high-priced boxes are being sold on the retailer's website with reviews complaining about fake cards. Walmart has not yet responded to Best Life's inquiry about the claims.
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Pokémon cards have significantly risen in value over the last few years.
The development of counterfeit Pokémon cards should come as no surprise to collectors, as these cards have risen significantly in value over the past few years. TCGplayer, one of the main online resellers of Pokémon cards, told Insider that the top collectible cards over $50 had spiked in worth by 466 percent in 2020. That year alone, the reseller shipped more than 16.2 million single Pokémon cards.
As recently as March 10, a rare first edition Charizard No. 4 card sold for $336,000, USA Today reported. "Back in 2018 that card was worth $25,000 and now goes for upwards of $300,000," Jesus Garcia, the Heritage Trading Card Games consignment director, told the news outlet, adding that total auction sales nearly hit $3.8 million through the sale of other Pokémon cards and box sets as well.
People have been assaulted and sentenced to prison over these cards.
The rise in value of Pokémon cards has caused more chaos outside of alleged counterfeit products. In May 2021, Target temporarily banned the sale of trading cards in stores, including Pokémon cards, after a store in Wisconsin had to be locked down following a fight. A 35-year-old man was physically assaulted in the Target parking lot by four men after he left the store with trading cards he had bought. "The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority," a spokesperson for Target said in a statement at the time. The retailer began selling cards again in store in June, while companies like Walmart never stopped the sale of trading cards in their stores.
And on March 7, the Department of Justice released a report of a man in Georgia who was sentenced to prison for using COVID relief funds to buy a Pokémon card. The man had lied to fraudulently obtain a COVID disaster relief loan, and then used $57,789 of it to buy a Charizard trading card.