Things are a little bit different now that they've pulled Bundles out of the Shop. I sincerely hope they reconsider how this will affect the ability to "catch 'em all." And how truly boring the Shop has become without seeing what the weekly surprise will be.
It's been pointed out a couple times here in the forum (thanks @graywh) that code cards started regularly with Giratina XY184 (in the real world). Before that, the only way to get Online copies of blister pack promos was Shop purchases, either with Tokens for trade-locked versions or Gems for tradable ones.
As others have mentioned above, Gem Promos have been bought from the Shop, IMO, with a terrible system that has allowed only the Canadians to monopolize the tradable copies. As you've probably seen, some bundles come with game sleeves and/or deck box instead.
In US dollars, Gems are fairly expensive to purchase anything from the Shop:
$9.99 250 Gems (25 gems per $)
$24.99 650 Gems (26 gems per $)
$49.99 1350 Gems (27 gems per $)
$99.99 2900 Gems (29 gems per $)
As I understand it, Gems are worth twice as much as the Tokens we use for free purchases. So those boosters we see are 100 Gems instead of 200 Tokens. Assuming someone bought the "big bundle," which is most economical, that would make a Shop booster pack cost $3.45. You can use that as a rough guide. So, those bundles (with a promo or gameplay items) that cost 300 Gems (or 600 Tokens) would be a little over $10 USD, including 2 or 3 boosters.
As far as the prices that you see the secondary copies going for? ...those astronomically high prices? Straight up, that's a rip-off a lot of the time. For the traders who've known how this system works, these promos and gameplay items have been accumulated as soon as they've come into the Shop. Many of the players who trade these put up several Public offers right away. I know, because I've done it too, but with the intent of getting just two copies (me & my son). I've never paid more than the price of a Tapu Lele GX, or a Shaymin EX before it, for any of the gameplay sets, and the promos have typically been about half of that (or less, depending on the Gem cost). I've noticed that several of the sellers with these "rare" items don't usually pay that high, holding them for maximum profit.
I'm not sure what to think, now that TPCi has restructured the Shop. Don't they see?
Edited by RobRatt, 29 March 2018 - 04:58 AM.