Target Will No Longer Sell Trading Cards In-Store For ‘Safety’ Purposes

Remember when trading cards were huge? The excitement of going to the store, purchasing a pack, and seeing what you might get had a palpable excitement to it that is insanely difficult to replicate. How everyone chose to use their cards was up to them. They could sell cards to others, trade them with another card collector to get a card they’ve been looking for, or just take what they have and keep them as a piece of memorabilia.

Well, for those that might not be aware, card collecting has come roaring back in recent years. Pokemon, MLB, NFL, and NBA cards have seen a huge resurgence over the last few years and 2020 into 2021 saw even more growth in that area. Pokemon cards and sports cards became increasingly difficult to find because it seemed like everyone was getting back into an old hobby, but unfortunately not everyone doing so had the best intentions in mind. While some card collectors just wanted to re-experience the nostalgia of card collecting from their youth, another significant chunk were buying them in bulk to resell them for astronomical prices amid the card boom. Soon card purchasers were lining up outside stores like Target early in the morning so they could get first dibs on new drops of card packs — not dissimilar to sneaker releases.

Anyone that walked around a Target would see a sign telling purchasers they could only purchase two card packs at most. That still wasn’t enough to stop sellouts, and as the desire for cards increased it started to lead to problems for stores like Target. This eventually culminated in national news events of people violently attacking each other over trading cards. The resurgence in Pokemon cards in particular led to VICE calling it a “crisis.”

Well Target has had enough. Early this week, shoppers began to see signs informing them that cards would no longer be purchasable from them starting May 14. On Wednesday, Target confirmed that this would be a nationwide policy until further notice, via Bleeding Cool.

“The safety of our guests and our team is our top priority. 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”

Bleeding Cool, who received the official statement from Target stating that they would no longer be selling trading cards, also reported that Walmart would no longer be selling these cards as well. Although a Reddit thread about baseball cards claims that some are still selling them, but only behind the shelf the same way they sell cigarettes. It seems that until the market for these cards relaxes, the only way to buy these will be from card shops or online. So far Walmart has not made an official statement on the matter.

This is unfortunate for anyone that just wants to buy a pack of cards for collection or memorabilia purposes, but with it becoming physically dangerous to purchase trading cards right now this is probably for the best.