How To Tell If Pokémon Card Booster Packs Have Been Resealed

How To Tell If Pokémon Card Booster Packs Have Been Resealed

Pokémon cards have gone through a massive wave of popularity in recent years, and among all the good things this brought, some malicious behavior arose too. The heavy gambling aspect of booster packs led to criminals stealing the good cards, and reintroducing the bulk cards back into circulation. 

Theoretically, this can happen anywhere along the life of a booster pack. From the factory to the distributor, outlet to the customer, and even on Facebook Marketplace, packs can be resealed. In this article, we will outline the red flags you need to look for.

Table of Contents

Check The Booster Pack For Signs

Specifically, we’re looking for anything indicating a resealed booster pack. If you want a full guide on fake booster packs, click here.

  • Wrinkles
  • Pack looseness
  • Glue residue
  • Broken seals
  • Glue strength
  • Incorrect cards inside

If you can determine at least 3 of 6 are true, then you might have a resealed pack.


Booster packs do not usually have any wrinkles in them. The face of the pack should be flat and smooth, and the back should be the same (but of course will have a flap running down the length of it). 

It does happen from time to time, though. Depending on how the pack gets crimped at the factory, a single wrinkle may sometimes occur. The wrinkles were looking for, though, are from the pack being loose and having a lot of slack.  

Pack looseness

At the factory, booster packs are sealed nicely and tightly. This prevents the cards from moving around inside and helps multiple packs fit inside boxes, tins, etc. 

But once a pack has been opened, it is difficult to reseal it with the same tightness. There is some grey area, as factory packs sometimes come out looser than normal, but they are usually nice and tight. 

loose pokemon booster pack

You can check for slack by shifting the foil with your thumb. This is a lot easier if you have experience with booster packs, and if you don’t, ask a friend if they think it’s looser than a normal pack. 

Glue residue

An authentic booster pack straight from the factory will not have any residue around the seal. 

The foil packs are crimped, and no glue is used. This means that any glue you see is indicative of a booster pack that has been tampered with. Check the top seal, bottom seal, and the long seal on the back. Look for any glue that has seeped out of the crimped part and hardened on the outside. 

Look over the entire pack closely for any fingerprints that could have been left behind from sticky glue.

Broken seals

This sounds obvious but there’s more to it than you may think. 

Each booster pack has a seal at the top and bottom. These are referred to as the ‘crimps’ since that is how they were sealed at the factory. 

booster pack crimp

If you flip the pack over, there’s a long flap running lengthwise down the pack. This is also a seal, of course, but each end of the flap should lightly adhere to the pack. Check this closely as a lifted flap could mean someone has previously handled the pack. 

resealed pokemon booster pack
These ends should be adhered to the pack

resealed pokemon booster pack

Glue strength

If everything checks out, or if you haven’t gathered enough evidence yet to be certain, you’ll need to open the pack. 

A resealed pack will feel different to open than a normal pack. Not in all cases, but in most. The person who resealed it will use an adhesive, resulting in a stronger seal than a factory seal. 

If the pack seals are difficult to get apart, this could be indicative of a resealed pack where the adhesive has been applied. 

Incorrect cards inside

Finally, you can check the contents of the pack. The front of a modern booster pack will say “10 Additional Game Cards”. Inside the pack should actually be 12 cards in total, when you count them. 

Yes, there are 10 game cards but you will also find an energy card and a code card, for a total of 12. 

Furthermore, there is a specific order that the cards go in. It has changed over time, for the past few years, there are 5 cards before the reverse holo, the rare being the 7th card (counting from the front). The code cards will be last, in the back. 

resealed pokemon booster pack

Sometimes the rare won’t be a holo card, but there will always be a holo card in the 6th slot, usually a reverse holo. 

If the cards are out of order or missing any holo card at all, you may have a resealed pack. People will open the pack and extract the hits, replacing them (sometimes not even bothering to replace them) with regular common cards.

In some cases, the thief will be so lazy they replace the cards with commons from the wrong set. 

Code cards actually have multiple purposes. One of them being weight distribution. Heavier code cards are inserted into packs without an extra foil card, and light ones go along with packs with foil cards. 

This is to make all packs weigh the same, so people cant weigh the pack and determine if there is a foil card inside. 

pokemon code cards

The weight of a code card is color coded. Green/white means there’s a hit inside, and all green means no hits. Sometimes the factory makes mistakes, but if you open multiple packs and don’t get any hits, but have green/white code cards, it’s time to be suspicious. 

 If you want to read more about code cards, click here

What To Do If You Bought Resealed Packs

This happens, and it absolutely sucks big time. It’s a terrible feeling when you find that the Pokémon cards have been replaced.

You can try returning the Pokémon card product to the store, but many have no return policies if it’s been opened. Of course, you can speak to a manager or file a complaint, etc, but at the end of the day, you’re probably going to have to take it as a hard lesson. 

Stores like Walmart are sometimes accused of selling resealed packs, but it’s not their fault. In fact, this is exactly what started the no-return policies. People ask if Gamestop or Target sells resealed booster packs, but these are giant franchises that obviously would never sell resealed packs intentionally. If it happens at one of these locations, its the fault of a single individual.

Moving Forward

If you can, take a video of your resealed pack and use it to educate others. Post to social media or local Facebook groups and warn others of where you purchased the cards from. 

The more awareness we can bring, the more sales of resealed packs can be stopped. Share this article so others know what to look for.

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