Pokémon trading cards have become a pop culture phenomenon, with some fetching in the thousands on the resale market. So, maybe you have some of these treasures sitting around but are unsure how to sell Pokemon cards?
Our team knows something about hawking collectibles and selling items for a profit. So, we created a blueprint for anyone interested in unloading a few Pokémon cards. Perhaps you're considering buying and selling them as a side hustle? Through our collective experience selling Pokémon cards over the past decade, we're bringing you a thorough breakdown of how to evaluate their worth, what cards bring in the most cash, and how and where to sell them.
If you're considering selling these nostalgic items, this comprehensive guide provides the essential information you need. Whether looking for short-term gains or a long-term investment, Pokémon cards have seen significant growth in recent years, and there's still room for potential profit. Here's what you need to know.
Why Invest in Pokémon?
Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise ever. Recently, the company hit $105 billion. That's why it is already expected that Pokemon cards will increase in value in the coming years. They are expected to continue in this pattern, especially for amazing rare cards or scarce Pokemon Booster Boxes. It is recommended to keep your Pokemon cards in top condition by storing them properly in complex cases or plastic sleeves.
It will help maintain their value, as the condition is a significant factor in pricing cards. Plus, graded cards are worth more than those that are ungraded. You can get Pokemon cards graded at PSA Authentication and Grading Services or Beckett Grading Services.
The Key Factors for Evaluating Pokémon Card Prices
Various resources are available to help you determine the worth of your Pokémon cards. One option is checking online card-selling platforms with databases providing pricing and other essential information. Some even use automated systems to assist you in finding specific cards.
Suppose you're still unsure about a card's value. In that case, you can explore specialized Pokémon trading forums to seek guidance from fellow sellers and collectors. Remember that newer cards are usually less valuable because they are readily available.
The three key factors determine the final sale value of older Pokémon cards:
- Pokémon Type
For example, Pokémon cards from the original Base Set released in 1999 are among the oldest and rarest. A complete Base Set deck, comprising 102 cards featuring beloved classics like Pikachu, Charizard, Seel, Pidgey, and Squirtle, can command prices of up to $10,000.
How To Sell Pokémon Cards
Even if you don't have any rare, trophy-edition Pokémon cards, there's still a good chance that your regular cards could be worth a pretty penny. Some collectors have earned hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars by selling individual cards. Here’s how you can determine if your card is valuable.
Research – Begin by searching card-selling websites and trading forums to assess the value of your Pokémon cards. Websites like TCGplayer, eBay, or CGC Castle can provide insights into similar cards' prices in the market.
Card Condition – Remember that your card's condition plays a crucial role in determining its value. Mint or near-mint condition cards are generally more valuable. Be sure to assess your card's condition accurately.
Detailed Listing – If your card holds value, you can list it on reputable digital marketplaces like TCGplayer, eBay, or CGC Castle. When creating your listing, provide comprehensive details about the card, including its condition, edition, and unique attributes.
Clear Photos – Including high-quality, well-lit photos of the card is essential. Ensure your photos showcase the card's front and back, allowing potential buyers to inspect it thoroughly.
Top 15 Most Expensive Pokémon Cards
Aside from knowing how to sell Pokemon cards, here are some of the most sought-after cards considered the top 15 most expensive Pokémon cards.
- 20th Anniversary 24-karat real-gold Pikachu
- Prerelease Raichu
- Master's Key
- Espeon and Umbreon Gold Star POP Series
- 2002 Pokémon World Championships No. 1 Trainer
- 1996 Pokémon Japanese Base Set No Rarity Symbol Holo Venusaur
- 1999 Pokémon Japanese Promo Tropical Mega Battle Tropical Wind
- 1999 Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer
- 2006 Pokémon World Championships Promo No. 2 Trainer
- 2000 Pokémon Neo Genesis 1st Edition Holo Lugia #9
- Kangaskhan-Holo #115 Family Event Trophy Card
- Black Star Ishihara Signed GX Promo Card
- Pokémon Blastoise #009/165R Commissioned Presentation Galaxy Star Hologram
- 1999 First Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard #4
- PSA-graded 10 “Pikachu Illustrator”
The “Pikachu Illustrator” is the rarest and most valuable Pokémon cards ever sold. In a historic acquisition in July 2021, it found a new home with the renowned collector and celebrity Logan Paul, who invested $5,275,000 to claim this unique treasure.
This card's origin traces back to the 1997-1998 Pokémon design contests organized by the Japanese manga magazine CoroCoro Comic. With just 41 copies ever printed, it distinguishes itself from other Trainer cards by bearing the title “Illustrator” instead of “Trainer.”
List of Pokémon Sets To Invest in Now
Regarding Pokémon card collecting, collectors highly seek individual cards. However, there are also entire sets that prove to be valuable investments. One option is acquiring a Pokémon booster box, which includes multiple packs of cards, making it an efficient way to expand your collection. Furthermore, there are various unique Pokémon cards, like blister boxes and theme decks.
So, which Pokémon booster boxes and sets are worth your investment?
Pokémon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box – Released during Pokémon's 25th anniversary in 2021, this Elite Trainer Box showcases some of the most iconic Pokémon cards in the game's history. It features notable cards like the original artwork Charizard, Shining Magikarp, and a special Birthday Pikachu.
Pokémon Trick or Trade Collection – This unique set is available on eBay and contains Halloween “BOOster” packs, each containing three cards. Acquiring just one booster box pack grants you access to the complete expansion. With these cards likely to increase in value, it's a promising investment.
Pokémon Go Eevee Box – This booster box is adorned with Pokémon Go branding. It has exclusive accessories, including an enamel Eevee pin and a rubber play mat. You'll find eight packs of cards inside, making it a substantial addition to your collection.
Pokémon Go Pin Collection – An economical option, the Pokémon Go Pin Collection is a wise choice among Pokémon booster boxes. These collections have been steadily increasing in value, which is anticipated to persist.
Investing in Pokémon booster boxes and sets can be rewarding, offering the opportunity to expand your collection and potentially see the value of your cards grow over time.
Who Is in the Market for Pokémon Cards?
The market for Pokémon cards is remarkably diverse, encompassing various individuals and groups.
Collectors – They have a profound passion for Pokémon and seek to have many cards for their enjoyment. They often focus on specific sets, rarities, or their favorite Pokémon creatures.
Investors – These folks view Pokémon cards as an alternative investment, hoping for the long-term appreciation of their card values, particularly those in impeccable condition.
Competitive players – They represent another significant segment of the market. These trainers actively participate in the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) and acquire cards to construct competitive decks, prioritizing cards for their strategic significance.
Fans and Enthusiasts – The people who relish owning Pokémon cards. These cards are popular for individuals of all ages, making enthusiasts especially active during gift-giving occasions.
Where Can You Sell Your Pokémon Cards?
There are various avenues to sell your Pokémon cards, whether you're a collector looking to downsize or someone who stumbled upon a valuable card. We'll explore fantastic places and platforms where you can sell your Pokémon cards.
eBay – As one of the largest online marketplaces, eBay offers a broad audience for selling Pokémon cards. You can list your cards individually or in lots and set your prices.
TCGplayer – A dedicated platform for trading card games, TCGplayer caters to Pokémon cards. Sellers can set prices, and buyers can browse a wide selection of cards.
Craigslist – This local classifieds platform allows you to sell Pokémon cards to buyers in your area. It's handy for in-person transactions.
Facebook Marketplace – As part of the popular social media network, Facebook Marketplace is a convenient platform for listing and selling Pokémon cards to local buyers.
Local Card Shops – Many hobby and card shops purchase Pokémon cards. They may offer you cash or in-store credit.
Instagram – Collectors and sellers increasingly use social media to showcase their collections and negotiate sales through direct messages. You can use Instagram to showcase your Pokémon card collection and negotiate deals with potential buyers.
Card Shows – Attend card shows or conventions to meet potential buyers, network with fellow collectors, and sell your cards in a dedicated trading environment.
Comics and Gaming Stores – Stores specializing in comics, board games, and gaming often buy and sell Pokémon cards. They might provide a fair evaluation of your collection.
Online Forums and Groups – Various online forums, such as Reddit's r/pkmntcgtrades and Pokémon-related Facebook groups, offer spaces for trading, selling, and buying Pokémon cards within a passionate community of collectors and players.
Buylist Services – Several websites and retailers have buylist services where you can check which cards they are currently interested in purchasing and then sell them accordingly.
Auction Houses – Some rare and valuable Pokémon cards find their way into auction houses, which can be an excellent option for highly sought-after collectibles.
Consider fees, shipping, and payment methods when choosing a platform to sell your Pokémon cards. Each option has advantages and may be more suitable depending on your needs and preferences.