If you've preordered your Shining Fates products, it might be time to check in on those orders. As we saw last year with Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering, the pandemic has caused major delays with the printing process of cards, which has led to the last few sets to be released in waves, rather than one major release.
The last time this happened was with Champion's Path, which spread its releases over several weeks and still had only a few packages of each new product in any given store. If you've been to a retail store since the initial release of Champion's Path, you may have noticed the lack of product—what little product existed was immediately bought up due to the increased demand from collectors, influencers, and those looking to "flip" product on the secondary market.
During the release window, prices for sealed Champion's Path products soared, while the price of individual cards tanked in response to the amount of product opened looking for the chase card (The Secret Rare version of Charizard VMAX (swsh3-20)).
What does this mean for Shining Fates? Firstly, as products will be sent out in waves, your local game store may no longer be able to fulfill any presales if they are only getting a portion of what they had previously expected. As initial supply of the product quickly dries up, it will become harder and harder to expect MSRP to hold, and prices on sealed products will go up two to three times what they were originally expected to sell for. In this week alone, the Shining Fates Elite Trainer Box has gone from $100 to $144. There are still two more weeks before the product releases, which might cause even more fluctuation if stores continue to receive reduced allocation.
Unlike Champion's Path, Shining Fates is largely a "reprint" set, which means that most of the cards found in the booster packs are alternative versions of other popular cards from earlier Sword and Shield sets. If you are looking for specific "shiny" cards from the set to replace other cards in your collection, it will most likely be better in the long run for you to buy singles than to try to compete for sealed products. Cards like Crobat V (swsh3-104) and Eldegoss V (swsh2-19) have been staples in the Pokémon TCG Standard format since their release, and their "shiny" counterparts will likely hold a comparable price once released.
(Luckily, this time these two cards can be found in sealed product themed for them!)
Once the initial release (when FOMO is at its strongest) is over, sealed product prices will start to ease back down to normal. If we look at Champion's Path during the same time period, the products that were the most worthwhile for the consumer usually had a breakdown of roughly $8-10 per booster pack, while Shining Fates is currently at anywhere between $10-15 per pack. If you are looking to get the most value for your dollar, the Shining Fates V tins are currently holding steady around $60 and contain six Shining Fates packs along with the promo card the tin is themed around.
As has been the case for Pokémon sets released in the past few years, the most optimal time to buy sealed products is after initial release, but still during the release cycle. Despite having an expanded release cycle, Shining Fates will only be the new hotness until the release of Battle Styles in mid-March, so make sure to keep an eye on TCGplayer if you are looking for the best time to seek out your Shining Fates!