Posted by Tim Horton @Timhortongame
Senior Writer at Now Loading. I play from within a couch pillow fort. Twitter: @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

Gotta catch ‘em all? More like gotta cash ‘em all! Pokémon GO has every man, woman and child scaling the city's, hills and lakes in search of their favourite Pokémon. But, it seems that some people are looking to take the easy way out.

In an unprecedented wave of online Pokémon GO auctioning, Pokémon GO is more like Pokémon Go-ing, GO-ing, GO-ne! That’s right, in the strangest turn of events, people are actually buying and selling Pokémon GO accounts online and for big bucks.

Buy 'em all

As the Pokémon GO craze embeds itself ever deeper into our everyday lives, it seems that not all of us are willing to make the effort to catch Pokémon for ourselves, instead opting to purchase an already populated Pokedex off online auction sites. Sites like Ebay and Craigslist have seen accounts range from a few hundred dollars to thousands.

The price of an account is subject to differing factors. It all depends on what level the player is, what Pokémon they have and indeed how many Pokémon they have. An account with a high level trainer and Pokémon that can wield combat powers over 1,000 points are the most popular accounts it would seem to would be buyers.

One such Pokémon GO entrepreneur, who sold his account for $1,500 said:

What you’re purchasing is my account, which I have put my time and effort into, which makes this a whole lot easier for you! … I’m just a broke college student in debt, and every penny helps.

One buyer reasoned:

I can’t catch the good Pokémon,” he said. “I don’t have time to go that far.

As a Pokemon GO player that lives in a rural area, I totally see why people within such a demographic of mine may resort to purchasing an account. Niantic have done very little to cater towards the millions of Pokemon GO players that don’t live in major cities. However, I relish the challenge even more – I walk for miles, making my catches that much sweeter.

Other trainers are offering out their hunting services either by the hour or by the Pokémon. Take a look:

I will catch 3 Random characters if purchased between 8:00 GMT until 18:00 GMT Mon-Fri will usually take around 2 hours. Outside of these hours may take slightly longer, thank you! When purchasing please place account details in buyers notes section.

Other players are offering to venture out into areas you can’t, or won’t go.

Of course, Niantic do not condone such activity. After all, it is effectively cheating. Those that do buy and sell these accounts do run the risk of being banned and potentially losing out on a lot of cash. Ebay and Craigslist usually do not allow the exchange of online accounts on their site -- WoW is as an example of this -- but it seems that, so far, they are yet to pick up on this.

Use the Services or Content, or any portion thereof, for any commercial purpose or for the benefit of any third party or in a manner not permitted by these Terms, including but not limited to (a) gathering in App items or resources for sale outside the App, (b) performing services in the App in exchange for payment outside the App, or (c ) sell, resell, rent, or lease the App or your Account.”

This isn’t the first time that people have capitalised off online gaming trends. Shane Jeffery of Portland, Ore apparently makes $65,000 profit a year buying and reselling World of Warcraft accounts online. This paid for his college degree and now, I assume a nice house with a pool.

I graduated with no debt.

The selling of accounts is not illegal in the United States or the UK but does violate the terms and conditions of most games. Accounts found to be linked with the in-proper transactions will be terminated. But, people are still doing it and apparently getting away with it.

As more and more accounts go up for sale the average price has dropped but, according to the Wall Street Journal, there were more than 100 Pokémon Go accounts for sale last Friday; a level 21 with five powerful Pokémon was going for $600.

What level are you? Do you have an account that may be worth some money?