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Target Suspends In-Store Trading Card Sales After Incident

Target Suspends In-Store Trading Card Sales After Incident article feature image

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images. Pictured: Target

When COVID-19 shuttered hobby stores, the big box retailers became the main distributor of trading cards. 

But as the stakes rose, and flippers and breakers were able to make serious margins, the lines to buy got longer and the rules got tighter. 

On Wednesday, days after a fight over trading card erupted in at a Target parking lot in Brookfield, Wis. that led one man to pull a gun, word started to circulate about signs at Target stores. The company confirmed to The Action Network that the gravy train will at least halt temporarily. 

“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority,” Target said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend the sale of MLB, NFL, NBA and Pokémon trading cards within our stores, effective May 14. Guests can continue to shop these cards online at” 

Online retailers like Target and Walmart can of course better regulate limits as opposed to in store where stories of tracking trucks and anecdotes of back room dealings were told. 

While the card boom has been most documented by cards selling for $20,000 that were only $5,000 two years ago, the explosion in value of packs at big box retailers like Target and Walmart can’t be underestimated. 

Boxes that cost $20 sell for $100 to $200 on eBay, which led to people camping out waiting for shelves to be restocked and, on a few occasions, led to unruly behavior.

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