Walmart has expanded its online store to compete with virtual retailers like Amazon, but it is still struggling to regulate all the third-party sellers it hosts. A prominent YouTuber just called out Walmart for selling counterfeit Pokemon Trading Card Game cards this weekend. The controversy has many users rethinking their shopping habits online.
YouTuber "Deep Pocket Monster" published a 12-minute video this weekend detailing a widespread scam in the Pokemon TCG market. It is the XY Evolutions Booster Box, which has been selling for $169 on Walmart.com but contains completely counterfeit cards. Since collecting, trading and selling rare Pokemon cards remains a high-stakes hobby for many fans, this can be a devastating trap to fall into.
Deep Pocket Monster makes the case that Walmart holds a lot of responsibility for this scam. For one thing, the fraudulent XY Evolutions Booster Box is sold by one of Walmart's Sponsored vendors called JoyBuy. It is a third-party account, but it is has been given every appearance of reliability by Walmart's website.
Deep Pocket Monster did a deep dive on this scam with the help and input of his subscribers and his Discord community. He found that one collector had fallen prey to this expensive scam, and had to check it out for himself. He also dug into JoyBuy as much as public records would allow, and found that the retailer was tied to a Chinese company called JD, which partnered with Walmart back in 2017.
According to Deep Pocket Monster's research, Walmart owns a 12-percent stake in JD, meaning that to some extent JoyBuy is indirectly owned by Walmart. The YouTuber said that he sent all the evidence of the fraud to Walmart asking for the counterfeit products to be removed, but so far no action has been taken. Although he didn't get a response from Walmart, he did get a refund for the box he purchased himself.
Deep Pocket Monster warned that the refund process was long and aggravating, and he advised fans against buying the XY Evolutions Booster Box. He also warned against shopping on Walmart.com in general, feeling that the chances of being scammed were too great. He blamed Walmart's haste to compete with Amazon and other retailers online for opening up the market to these kinds of tricks.
At the time of this writing, the Pokemon XY Evolutions Booster Box is available from a number of sellers on Walmart.com, but all for the price of $999.99. The JoyBuy store remains active on Walmart.com, but it only has four products listed – all of them specialty drill bits. It does not appear that Walmart has made any public comments on this story.