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Plastic Forest
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January 2016
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Plastic Forest [userpic]
2010 pkmncollectors Census results

The 2010 pkmncollectors Census was an attempt to measure the demographics of as many community members as possible. The group had 2,630 members when the survey ended, and 427 members responded to the survey. That's a 16 percent response rate. Thank you if you participated.

The results of the census are behind the cut. Please remember that the answers represent only 16 percent of all people who have joined this group, whether or not they are active.

Out of the 427 respondents, nearly half (48 percent) have been members of pkmncollectors for less than a year. Thirty-one percent have been here 1-2 years, followed by 12 percent for 2-3 years. Only 39 members, a mere 9 percent, reported being in the community for 3 or more years. The community opened in 2007.

The majority of respondents, 72 percent, reported being between the ages of 18 and 24. Teenagers aged 13-17 and adults aged 25-30 tied at 13 percent each. Three people said they were 31-40, and one person reported being older than 50.
Three members said they were younger than 13, and one of those respondents said he/she was uncomfortable sharing his/her age with the community. Coincidentally, another, older member said he/she feels uncomfortable when minors post about their ages on the community and wished for stricter rules regarding minors.

A plurality of pkmncollectors members, 46 percent, reported being college or university students. Twelve percent are high school students, and 2 percent — 10 people — reported being in middle school.

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they have a job, almost equally split between part-time and full-time with 22 people saying they work more than 40 hours per week.

Ninety percent of respondents said they first became fans of Pokémon in the late 1990s. Only 5 percent said they became fans during the Advanced Generation era, 2 percent during the late stages of DP and early stages of BW, and only 1 percent in early DP.

But when it came to when people actively began collecting Pokémon memorabilia, the results were more varied. Only 28 percent said they began collecting in the late 1990s, followed by 13 percent in 2004-2007 and 9 percent in 2000-2003. The plurality, 48 percent, said they began collecting during the past two years, which correlates with the growth in this community during that time.

Proving Pokémon isn't primarily a boy's game, 86 percent of respondents reported identifying as female. However, two separate respondents said the community's new banner is too feminine and doesn't represent the entire member base.

Most pkmncollectors who responded were from the United States (288), followed by the United Kingdom (31), Canada (29), Australia (22), and, interestingly, Finland (7). Other members hail from (in descending order of members) Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Argentina, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Slovakia, South Africa, and Sweden. We represent all continents except for Antarctica!

The most frequently reported U.S. states were California (37), Texas (30), Florida (21), New York (16), Ohio (14), Virginia (11), Maryland (10), Oregon (10), Massachusetts (9), Georgia (9), Illinois (9), Pennsylvania (9), Indiana (7), Michigan (7), New Jersey (6), Arizona (6), New Hampshire (5), Washington (5), North Carolina (5), Tennessee (5), Utah (5), Wisconsin (4), Minnesota (4), Iowa (3), Nevada (3), South Carolina (3), Rhode Island (3), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (2), Arkansas (2), Maine (2), Colorado (2), Idaho (2), Vermont (2), Kansas (2), Puerto Rico (2), and Connecticut (2). States with only one reported resident were West Virginia, Nebraska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Delaware, Alabama, South Dakota, and Mississippi.

Notable pkmncollectors population centers outside the United States include Ontario, Canada (9); British Columbia, Canada (7); New South Wales, Australia (6); Victoria, Australia (5); Queensland, Australia (5); Quebec, Canada (5); Nova Scotia, Canada (4); and Alberta, Canada (3).

When asked why they visit pkmncollectors, 94 percent said to purchase merchandise. Respondents were allowed to choose more than one reason, and the next-highest was viewing others' collections at 87 percent, followed by selling merchandise at 47 percent and trading merchandise at 31 percent. Sixty-one percent said they participate to make new friends, and 28 percent have even met another pkmncollectors member in real life.
Nine percent of respondents to this question said "other" or "don't know." Those who marked "other" may state their reasons as a reply to this post.

Nearly all respondents (97 percent) said they play the main Pokémon series games for Nintendo's handhelds, but only 62 percent said they play spin-off Pokémon games. Most people, 61 percent, said they enjoy fanart, fanfiction, and other crafts related to Pokémon. As far as the anime is concerned, 49 percent watch a dubbed version, and 39 percent watch the original Japanese language series. Twenty-eight percent play the Trading Card Game and/or the Trading Figure Game, and just 12 percent watch Pokémon Smash/Sunday.
Twenty-one percent said they enjoy other types of Pokémon media. If you marked "other," feel free to respond why here.
One person said the Trading Card Game doesn't receive as much positive attention as other types of Pokémon collectibles.

Almost half of respondents, 49 percent, said they have up to 100 items in their Pokémon collection, not including miscellaneous flat items that would skew the results. Twenty percent said they own between 100-200 items, 12 percent between 200-300, and 6 percent between 300-400 items. Eight percent of members own between 400-1,000 items. Four percent — 17 members — said they own more than 1,000 items, and three said they own more than 5,000 items. One person reported owning at least 10,000 Pokémon items.

In a multiple answer question, 94 percent of respondents said they had used pkmncollectors to obtain items in their collection. Eighty-four percent reported using eBay, and 41 percent said they had used Yahoo! Japan Auctions. Most members had purchased goods at a physical store (73 percent), online store (57 percent), and received Pokémon merchandise as gifts (60 percent).
Twenty-two percent responded "other" and are free to elaborate in this post.

When asked where they have obtained most of the items in their collections, 60 percent said pkmncollectors. Other main sources were physical stores (17 percent), eBay (7 percent), Yahoo! Japan Auctions (6 percent), gifts (4 percent), and other (3 percent).

Thirty-eight percent of members have used a deputy service to purchase an item on a Japanese auction website.

Most people's collections are diverse, with 35 percent reporting no one Pokémon type dominating their collections. The most popular types were: 48 Normal collectors; 45 Fire and Water collectors each; 32 Electric collectors; 20 Psychic collectors; 16 Grass collectors; 15 Dragon collectors; 13 Flying collectors; 11 Dark collectors; nine Ghost collectors; six Fighting collectors; four Bug and Poison collectors each; three Rock collectors; and two Ground, Steel, and Ice trainers each.

In a multiple answer question, 241 members said they finance their collections in part with a work paycheck, and for 188 members, a work paycheck is the primary source. Forty-four percent reported profiting from reselling merchandise, and 13 percent said this was the primary way they finance their collections. Five people said they obtained most of their collection through trading.

Forty-one percent said their collections have been financed with allowance money or family support, and 22 percent said money from family was their primary source of collection spending money.

The majority of respondents, 244, said they have spent $500 or less on their collections so far. The next highest group, $1,000-$5,000, included 107 members. Twenty-eight members said they have spent between $5,000-$10,000, and eight reported spending between $10,000-$15,000. One member reported spending at least $25,000 on Pokémon collectibles so far.

Members have spent a combined total of about $552,800 on Pokémon so far, based on self-reported estimates.

Members' most requested PokéDolls that haven't been officially released: Raichu (16), Vulpix (8), Articuno (8), Ninetales (7), Quilava (6), Slowpoke (6), Tyranitar (6), Zapdos (6), Arcanine (6), Luxray (6), Mewtwo (6), Ranculus (5), Shandera (5), Arbok (5), Cubone (5), Dunsparce (5), Gible (5), Houndoom (5), Milotic (5), Zangoose (5), Shikijika (4), Ampharos (4), Bachuru (4), Emonga (4), Flygon (4), Hypno (4), Mawile (4), Scyther (4), Typhlosion (4), Venusaur (4), Blastoise (4), Xatu (3), Crobat (3), Doreida (3), Erufuun (3), Gastrodon (3), Gliscor (3), Gyarados (3), Luxio (3), Mightyena (3), Moltres (3), Persian (3), Ponyta (3), Poochyena (3), Rattata (3), Scizor (3).



Criticisms of pkmncollectors:

A very large number of respondents said they like pkmncollectors because its members are friendly. However, similarly large number of people said the community is difficult to fit into. Some said the rapid growth of the community has made it hard to get to know anyone: "I always feel as though I'm not welcome. ... Make one of the regulars mad or otherwise sour one to you? Have fun being ostracized. Despite having been a member since 2007, it's the reason why I almost exclusively lurk."

Several members complained about an overuse of the term "grail," saying it should be reserved for only the rarest items and not simply one's most wanted items. Lots of people reported auction bidders frequently try to guilt other bidders into giving up by fussing over items, or bidders express jealousy after another person wins an auction: "It really saddens me to see collectors grudge each other (over) their items. Saying someone is so 'lucky' to be able to afford something vs. lucky to have gotten their great item just seems like a way to try and make others feel bad."

Mini-modding and relaxation of rules for popular members were two frequent complaints: "I've noticed some rules can apply to some more than others, depending on how known they are. Same with how someone will be toward another; if you're known, it's polite, if not, they're GENERALLY rude. ... And you can't really ask questions without someone being offended, unless it's a simple 'Is this a (bootleg)' or 'What is this plush?'"

A few people expressed concerns about an anti-Hong Kong and anti-China attitude among some community members: "We're not allowed to say anything negative about Pokémon, which are just cartoon characters and have no feelings, yet people badmouth and bash on an entire ethnic group based on the actions of a select few." "If a bootleg or reject plush makes someone happy (especially if they can't afford the official version), then people need to back off with the negativity. It's not like the original toy makers are making any money when we sell items and customs within the community, either."

Many respondents said the rules against want list posts and new member questions should be tightened to reduce the number of posts on the front page. Others complained about the frequency of sales posts in general. "I'm really tired of spammy posts such as a 'price check' and 'looking for this (one) item.'"
One person suggested a dedicated page with updated Nintendo World and Pokémon Center stock descriptions to reduce the number of questions on the front page.

Several respondents asked for penalties for sellers who don't ship promptly: "If you can't ship it, then don't sell it. ... I get tired of having to hunt down a seller to ask, 'Gee, where are my items?' for them to say, 'Oh, I had stuff come up, yadda yadda.'"
One seller complained about people who commit to buying an item but then can't pay immediately.

Many people said the current community rules are too long and disorganized, so new members don't bother reading them. Many others said the community needs more moderators because of the community's explosion in size. Some said sniping rules are not always enforced: "It's a pain to wake up in the morning to find you were outbid at 4:20 a.m. (your time), and the auction ended at 4:30 a.m."

Difficulty obtaining sales permission was an occasional complaint: "My room has been piling up with stuff I want to pass on or sell, but no one I know other than pkmncollectors want them." "Without much money, I can't buy stuff, so I really can't get a lot of feedback."
Several others said the sales permission rule is not enforced enough.

Several respondents said too many poorly-made customs are put up for sale on the community but added the new rules have made it better.

A few respondents expressed concerns about the amount of money spent within the community: "When I see someone significantly younger than I am spending $300-$400 on a single toy, it boggles my mind. How can they do that?"

A couple people asked for more acceptance of payment options other than PayPal.

Several people suggested more community competitions, and not just ones that involve access to photo editing software: "I know there was a bandwagon in the past where EVERYONE wanted to do giveaways, yet that was annoying. We could do it in a very organized way, and it could be monthly, where someone (or more than one person) could be in charge of running contests and if people want, they could donate unwanted items to this administrator of this group, where they can think up a fun contest every now and then using them as the prizes."

Now for the good... What do people like about pkmncollectors?

"The range of who likes what, and just how much merchandise there is."
"The community is strangely addictive and immersive. I never felt like an outsider; I was immediately welcomed as one of the group, simply because I expressed interest in Pokémon."
"I had no idea so much Pokémon stuff existed."
"Everyone is so freaking nice! it's such a fun community to be a part of, and i just love it, and I make money, but that's not important."
"I like that there is a community of people who are not ashamed to like Pokémon."
"It's easy to trust the community when asking for the value for something, and it feels more personal than eBay."
"I like that It's not just about buying and selling. You can show off your collection, obtain info about new merch, and even make friends!!"
"The community is full of the nicest people I've ever seen, everyone is really excited about collecting, from sales, GAs to just seeing other people's collections."
"The positivity. Finding a relatively drama-free online community, let alone a friendly one, is nearly impossible nowadays."
"The community is very close-knit and friendly to other collectors. I haven't ever picked up a competitive vibe, even though sometimes people are in competition with each other. It's a great place to go after a stressful day."
"The fact that you can interact with the sellers/buyers directly with conversation about items with ease. I like that the comments section is used for sales."
"To see someone else being happy."
"I can get original items from Japan — some American merchandise is sadly lacking in charm — and the sellers care about being upfront about condition of the merchandise."
"Everyone feels together under one purpose and will help out complete strangers. Its a display of humanity you don't often experience on the internet, and unfortunately, even in real life."
"The moderation is also fantastic in my opinion, as it is fair yet firm, which I think greatly contributes towards maintaining the wonderful atmosphere and standards of the community."
"What I like the most about pkmncollectors is the community as a whole. In a way, it's like a family. I love being able to talk to other Pokémon fans and collectors because there are not many Pokemon fans around where I live. We all have in common the love of Pokémon. The community's spirit is strong and burns brightly."
"The knowledge base. Everyone brings something to the table and enriches the Pokémon collecting experience. Sometimes its a tip-off to an auction and sometimes its information on a special set or upcoming release."

Some miscellaneous compliments:

"I feel very lucky that this community exists, as it is great seeing so many people who still enjoy Pokémon! Thank you! :)"
"Though my bank account will hate me forever more, I'm so glad I joined pkmncollectors. I've made some great friends that have helped me out even when I'm not talking about Pokémon. :D"
"Thank you for being a fascinating community! It continues to be a joy and be able to keep up with the latest news and upcoming releases!"
"I wish I could have discovered pkmncollectors earlier! I have tried collecting various collectibles but none was more exciting and nostalgic than official Pokémon merchandise collecting. It is a significant 'upgrade' to my childhood years of collecting bootleg Pokemon figures! Thank you for making pkmncollectors a dream come true!"
"All I can think to say is that I'm so grateful that this place exists. I live in a small town, where the biggest event of the year is a rodeo. Pokémon fans are in very short supply. This community gives me the ability to communicate with fans from across the globe, and share my art, my love, and my passion for Pokémon with others."
"One thing I always say about this place when telling others about it — considering that it is a fan-run online community based around Pokémon and the buying/selling of Pokémon toys, and also considering the fact that money exchanges hands here very often — this is a remarkably drama-free place. I think that it's managed in a clever, mature, and efficient manner, and succeeds in doing what many other online communities can't. That's one thing I've always appreciated about pkmncollectors. :)"
"I didn't expect to make so many friends when I joined! I thought it'd be cut and dry buy-sell-trade-brag....it's not! I love you guys!"

Thanks for sticking with it this long, and thanks again if you participated! :)