Trading cards can sell for hundreds of dollars, making them serious business for collectors. The rarer the card, the more it's worth. Case in point with Trainer No. 3, a rare Pokémon card that sold for $60,000 in August 2018. That same card, sold through eBay, has turned up missing–or lost–in the mail. No one really knows.
Trainer No. 3 holds a lot of history in its paperboard: It was only given to the third-place winner of Pokémon competition Super Secret Battle in Japan in 1999. Polygon reports that the card ended up in the hands of eBay seller pokemonplace, who used international delivery service Aramex to send Trainer No. 3 to its buyer. Pokemonplace says it sent the card, sealed in a plastic container with a unique holo pattern, to Aramex via USPS, with $50,000 insurance. Aramex signed for a bulk lot from USPS that was supposed to include the card–but Aramax says Trainer No. 3 wasn't in the delivery, which included a medley of other items as well. Right now, no one has a clue where it is.
“My responsibility was to ship the card to Aramex […] a middle man company that then ships the card to the buyer,” pokemonplace said. “The tracking information I have was with registered mail and shows tracking and a signature. Aramex claims they haven’t received it and signed for a bulk lot.”
An insurance claim cannot be filed because Aramex signed for the bulk lot.
Avid collector and Pokémon card enthusiast smpratte has theorized what might have happened but has no proof to support the conclusion. Smpratte thinks someone saw how much the card sold for and thought to bank on the paperboard's price tag. Unfortunately, reselling Trainer No. 3 is impossible due to its originality and recognition in the fandom. You can check out his deductive reasoning in the video below.
Was it lost? Was it stolen? There doesn't seem to be a definitive answer, but pokemonplace is chucking the whole thing up as a loss. “I would classify it as lost,” pokemonplace said. The seller is willing to pay $1,000 to anyone with information about the card's whereabouts.
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