Especially if you’re new to the hobby of collecting or playing with Pokemon trading cards, you may have seen the word weighed or unweighed in online listings, and are wondering what on earth that means! It literally does mean exactly what it says, but until you look in to it a tiny but further the endgame for weighing a pack of Pokemon cards seems a littler unclear. After all, from a single set, the booster packs will always have the same number of cards in them, right?
How many cards are in a Pokemon Booster pack?
In modern Pokemon booster packs there are always 10 cards in a Pokemon booster pack which will be 6 common cards, 3 uncommon cards and a single rare card. One of these cards will be a parallel holographic card but it might also have one premium holographic / foil card. In this case the premium holo will most likely be your rare card and your parallel holo will be part of the uncommon cards usually. Its worth noting that for some older booster packs from the early 2000s and late 90s such as the fossil set or team rocket booster packs had 11 cards in them.
So why weigh Pokemon Booster Packs?
Clearly there is no use in weighing a pack to see if anything extra (such as an extra card) has been included in the pack as they will always have the same number of cards and therefore the same weight. But remember that premium holo we mentioned above? A normal booster pack will always have essentially the exact same weight, however due to the materials used to make the premium holo, that holographic print does weigh very slightly more, and that’s what people who weigh packs are looking for.
It’s not something you can go in to a shop and check just by picking up packs, it’s a very small difference of just a few grams!
And the reason for doing it?… Money of course! Those premium holos are worth more money and there are certain collectors who will pay extra for a booster pack knowing that it is guaranteed or almost guaranteed a premium holo card inside, even if they don’t know which card that will be.
What to Watch our for with Weighed Packs
What you need to look out for and whether you need to worry about looking out for it at all, depends on what you want out of the cards. Whether you’re a casual player, beginner collector or a flipper. If you’re buying Pokemon booster packs as an investment to flip right away or in the future then you already know that a heavy pack is likely to have an expensive card in it, however you’ll notice that its not often that someone advertises a light pack – why would they want to tell you that a pack definitely doesn’t have a premium holo in it? Although of course in a just world they should do so.
If a pack is light they will most often not mention weight at all, or on the other hand its not uncommon for them to sell them as unweighed, even though they know exactly what it is.
If you want to avoid this sort of issue altogether then either just buy heavy packs or get them from places like supermarkets where it’s unlikely that they are weighing card packs. If you are set on buying from ebay then just do a little research – check out the sellers other items and feedback! One other type of pack which you don’t usually see as weighed packs because there are a few other discrepancies which might affect weight are blister packs (which might have 3 or just a single booster pack in them but often also have things like Pokemon coins which weigh different depending on which design is engraved on them, so that’s often a safe option as well if you want to maintain your level of fairness… Personally I quite like the blister packs anyway.
One more good option for trying tro avoid weighed packs which a lot of people recommend is to buy whole booster boxes which contain 36 booster packs, but don’t assume that just because you’re buying a whole box that it hasn’t been weighed and a new box put together with light packs. Make sure that any boxes you get are factory sealed and to ensure that still get them from a reputable seller.
I know that it can be tempting to buy a cheap box of booster packs, brand new, for about £30, but I assure you that there’s something not quite right with it! They usually retail at £100+ (Closer to £130 – £150 usually) although you can some times find companies who specialize in moving larger quantities of these who might be able to push as far down as £90 or so for a box… At that price you’re still getting a nice deal on the packs (about £2.50 per booster pack). As with everything in life, if a deal seems way too good to be true it probably is.
Does it Really Matter if I Buy a Weighed Pack?
Now that’s the big question which only you can answer!
If you want to invest in Pokemon cards, and lets face it with the trend they are on at the moment, it’s a fun thing worth investing in, but you’ll have to do so seriously. The heavier cards is where the money generally is, so for an investment opportunity you’ll want a nice clean factory set to pick your packs from. If you’re a collector I’d say the same thing again because with a weighed pack which has been rigged in the sales as a light pack, you’re going to be missing opportunities to get your hands on some of those rarer cards for your own collection and will then have to pay out extra to get those cards you never had a chance of getting with your light packs.
However, if you’re brand new to Pokemon and you’re learning the ropes – maybe you’ve got some kids and together you want to learn the game and need a large number of cards to get you all started when a light pack, or more specifically for this example a box containing 36 sealed light packs is still going to be exciting and will still give you a decent starter set for all of you to start playing or collecting with. For a novice who wants to learn and trade a bit locally (once again especially as kids, trading at school etc), that’s certainly an economical way of getting started.
As I said only you can answer that question, but now that you have the idea behind weighing packs and why it’s done, you can make that decision.
Now who are some of those reputable Pokemon Booster Pack sellers?
There are plenty of people you can buy from including on ebay – what I’ll give you below are some of the ones which I know and I would trust with my money (just cause I don’t list s seller that doesn’t mean they’re not reputable or trustworthy, it just means that I have not tried them myself – if you think there’s a seller who should be listed change my mind!)!