Less than two weeks after its release, players are already selling leveled Pokémon GO accounts on sites such as eBay and Craigslist. These accounts are advertised at certain levels and with Pokémon of certain CP (combat power) levels. People are selling them for anywhere from around $35 for a level 10 account to a ludicrous $400 for a level 22 account. Someone is actually trying to charge $400 for a Pokémon GO account, about the same price of a brand-new smartphone, PS4 or Xbox One.
The main defense of selling accounts is that it may benefit people in rural areas who don’t have many Gyms to battle, or PokéStops to receive Pokéballs from or attach Lures to, thereby making it harder for them to catch Pokémon. This is compounded by the fact that catching Pokémon and battling Gyms are the main ways to level up in Pokémon GO, and the higher your level, the rarer the Pokémon you encounter. Even so … four hundred dollars?
In addition to leveled accounts, people are also selling their levelling services. Instead of buying someone else’s account, you can pay around $100 for someone to level the account you already have to level 20.
Paying for a leveled Pokémon GO account, much like other shortcuts players are taking, essentially defeats the purpose of the game. Players in rural areas will hopefully be better helped by Pokémon GO developer Niatnic’s recent move to accept suggestions for new PokéStops and Gyms.
For the record, buying and selling accounts is strictly against Niantic’s guidelines and can result in a ban from Pokémon GO.