A Reseller’s Guide to Selling Pokémon Cards, Pokémon Card Rarity, Rating, and Where to Sell Online.

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A Reseller’s Guide to Selling Pokémon Cards, Pokémon Card Rarity, Rating, and Where to Sell Online.

The buying and selling of trading cards is a fun hobby and a business model for many resellers. Selling Pokémon cards can be very lucrative, if you play your cards right.  

 

Pokémon is a quintessential staple of 1990s kids’ nostalgia. Turns out, some Poké fans still gotta’ catch ‘em all and will pay up for the rare and valuable cards to complete their collection. 

 

If you’re still holding onto cards from your childhood, run, don’t walk to see what you have!

 

Here is a reseller’s guide to selling Pokémon cards online including an explanation, Pokémon card rarity, rating cards, how to price cards, and where to sell Pokémon cards. 

 

What is Pokémon, Anyways?

 

Pokemon Cards

Poké Fact:  As of December 2022, the Pokémon franchise has sold over 440 million copies, making Pokémon the second best-selling game franchise (only behind Mario). 

 

Pokémon is a Nintendo video game that was first released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy. Now, the franchise, which also includes gaming cards and TV shows, is the highest-grossing entertainment media franchise. Pokémon is centered around the creatures, which can be captured and trained by humans. The Pokémon have particular skills and attributes that can be strategically used in Pokémon battles. 



Poké Fact: A recent survey by Business Insider revealed that the most popular and collected Pokémon character is Charizard. 

 

Pikachu Squirtle Charizard Collectibles

More Pokémon favorites include, from left to right, Meowth, Loudred, Pikachu, a Pokéball, Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Squirtle, and Charmander. 

 

The Pokémon Trading Card Game has sold over 43.2 billion cards as of December 2022. The trading card game is a strategy-based game where players battle their Pokémon, and the strongest cards win.

 

Pokemon Trading Card Game

Did you know? Pokémon cards can be purchased in booster packs that contain ten random cards. Similarly to baseball cards, the contents are a surprise!  The standard distribution of cards in a booster pack is 6 common cards, 3 uncommon cards, and 1 rare card. 

 

Most collectors, however, do not play the trading card game; instead, they simply keep cards as collectible memorabilia. Some collectors will really pay up to enhance their collection.



Another thing to note is that there are countless versions of the same Pokémon (character) card. There are special sets, holographic sets, “alternative art sets” promo sets, and tons of unique sets. Most collectors like to collect entire sets. Others have a favorite Pokémon character(s) and they try to collect each different edition of the particular character. 



Poké Fact: The Pokémon franchise revolves around 1008 fictional species of collectible monsters, each having unique designs, skills, and powers. 

 

 

 

How to Determine the Value of Pokémon Cards

 

Do you have Pokémon cards sitting around? You might have a ton of money in them! 

 

The value of Pokémon cards is mostly in their rarity and condition.

 

Poké Tip: Download the Poké TCG Scanner Dragon Shield app to scan your Pokémon cards: 

 

 

 

Pokémon Card Rarity

 

You can determine the rarity of a Pokémon card by looking at it. Here is how to determine the rarity of a Pokémon card:

 

Look At The Collector Card Number.  Every Pokémon card has a collector card number. It’s found on the bottom corner of the card, and it’s usually formatted as XXX/YYY, where XXX is the card’s number and YYY is the advertised number of cards in the set. 

 

Look At The Rarity Symbol. To determine a card’s rarity, check the rarity symbol on the bottom right or left of the card.

 

Pokémon Rarity Symbols:

 

Pokemon Rarity Symbols

See little black shapes? Those are rarity symbols. 

 

⬤   Common cards have a  black circle 

◆  Uncommon cards have a black diamond

Rare cards have a black star

 

So, generally, a black star means you have a rare card on your hands. 

 

Note: Cards printed for certain products do not have a rarity symbol. Instead, they have a colored silhouette of the main Pokémon associated with the product. Learn more here.

 

Is The Card Holographic? Generally, (but not always) holographic cards are more valuable. “Normal print” Pokémon cards are matte and do not have any metallic, shiny, foil detail. See a normal Pokémon card versus a holo card:

 

 

Holographic Pokemon Cards

 

The left is holographic. The right is normal.

 

Holographic cards are much easier to see in motion: 

 

 

Holographic Pokémon Cards: 

 

There are different types of holo cards, and some are more valuable than others:

 

Reverse Holographic Rare Holographic Normal Print Pokemon Cards

Photo from TGC Player illustrating the different types of holo Pokémon cards

 

Rare Holo cards have a black star and a “shiny” (foil) illustration. 

 

Reverse Holo cards are foil on every part except for the illustration of the Pokémon. A reverse holo is not more rare than a holo card, but collectors seek to collect multiple versions of the cards. 

 

Some holo cards can be reprinted as rare. As a general rule, if your card is shiny, take a closer look at it.

 

Look at the Date. You can see the age of the card on the bottom of each Pokémon card. Pay extra attention to date, as some older cards can be extra valuable. 

 

Vintage Pokemon Cards

 

You will see the date somewhere at the bottom of the card. Vintage Pokémon cards can be extra valuable! 

 

Is The Card Unique? The most valuable Pokémon cards simply don’t look like the rest. 

 

Here, you can see that with some variation, most Pokémon cards are very similar in layout. 

 

 

These are basic, but the most rare cards look totally different.

 

 

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The Rarest & Most Valuable Pokémon Cards

 

Ultra rare and Secret Rare Pokémon cards have an entirely different layout. They’re pretty cool: 

Rare Pokemon Cards

Photo from TGC player illustrating Ultra Rare and Secret Rare Pokèmon Cards.

 

Ultra Rare Pokémon Cards are foil and feature a specific game mechanic and/or appearance that distinguishes them from Rare Holo cards. There are many types of Ultra Rare cards, including the following list from GetCardBase:

 

Ultra Rare and Secret Rare Pokémon Card Collections

  1. Pokémon-EX – Introduced in the Next Destinies set, the EX cards have also appeared in the later XY series and the Black & White series.

     

     

  2. Pokémon-ex – The same sets with the EX cards also feature lower-case “ex” cards. In this case, “ex” stands for the extra attack abilities they will have the lowercase “ex” after their name… it stands for “extra” because they have extra attack capabilities.

     

     

  3. Pokémon-GX – These cards were introduced in the Sun & Moon card sets and are easy to spot with the “GX” after the Pokémon’s name. 

     

     

  4. Pokémon LEGEND – These paired cards were introduced in the HeartGold and SoulSilver lines, with a top and bottom half. Both have the word “LEGEND” after the card name so they’re easy to spot.

     

     

  5. Pokemon LV.X – These Pokémon cards are available in the Diamond & Pearl and Platinum series, with the letters “LV.X” printed after the card name.

     

     

  6. Pokémon Prime – Primes are powerful in-game cards from the HeartGold and SoulSilver sets. They sport a special design that features a holo border. Most show a close-up facial shot of the Pokémon’s face prominently.

     

     

  7. Pokemon Star – These cards from the EX series sets have a shiny star symbol next to the card name.

 

The rarest of them all, Secret Rare Pokémon Cards are usually foil with a unique appearance, and have a collector number higher than the advertised number of cards in the set. 

 

Unique and Rare Pokemon Cards

These are cool Examples of rare and unique Pokémon cards from GetCardBase.

 

Poké fact: foil cards are also textured; they actually feel different than normal cards!

 

Pokémon Card Rating

 

In addition to rarity, the value of a Pokémon card is also determined by condition. Trading cards and playing cards are often graded and rated based on condition. 

 

Obviously, flaws decrease value. But, it is important to note how serious collectors are about flaws; they care about the tiniest imperfections that might not even be visible to the human eye. 

 

Rating Pokémon cards: The Pokémon Card Grading System

 

Of the billions of Pokémon cards created, only a handful are collector-worthy that can yield astronomical profit. A major consideration in a card’s value is the condition.

 

Collectible cards have their own unique condition system and terms. Overall condition is based on the physical appearance of the card on a one to ten rating system, with a score of 1 being the worst. 

 

Don’t worry if your card is a 1. Some collectors want to collect the same card in every grade 1-10. Seriously, Poké-love is strong.

 

Poké Note: Professional grading companies will rate a Pokémon card, it is not just something anyone can do. An official grade must be done by a certified specialist. However, below you will find the criteria that explains how gaming cards are analyzed and graded.

 

Pokémon Card Grading Criteria:

 

Surface. When grading Pokemon cards, the condition of the card’s surface is the most important factor. Professional grades literally put Pokémon cards under a microscope to look for the tiniest tears, scratches, stains, and any other visual defects. 

 

Poké Tip: To preserve surface value, I recommend storing your Pokemon cards in individual sleeves like these available on Amazon. 

 

Edges and Corners. The condition of edges and corners of Pokémon cards is crucial. Any visible wear or “whitening” (the deterioration of the card stock) is an indicator of frequency of use and significantly devalues the card. 

Pokemon Card Condition

 

This is whitening. These could be the rarest cards and would still be significantly less valuable due to the condition.

 

Poké Tip: Some Pokémon collectors are referred to as “purists” which means that they seek flawless cards.

 

Printing & Cutting. The print and the cut of the card is not something anyone can control; it refers to the quality from the manufacturer. Generally, flaws such as off-centered images, blurry text, and uneven borders can decrease the desirability and value of a Pokémon card. 

 

Did you know that the card is more valuable when graded by the best companies? Learn more about rating and recommended grading companies here.

 

Poké Tip: I learned while taking pictures for this blog that photographing the small details of a Pokémon card can be very difficult. In fact, my iPhone just couldn’t capture the subtle scratches and smallest bits of whitening and my ring light caused glaring. I recommend photographing carefully with a high resolution device in natural lighting

 

How to Price Pokémon Cards

 

Pokémon’s published financial reports illustrate that the Poké-phenomenon is hot. 🔥

While some cards are essentially worthless, others have an astronomical resale value.

 

The price of a Pokémon card will depend greatly on rarity and condition, but how do you know where to start?  

 

How to Determine a Selling Price for Pokémon Cards

 

Poké Fact: Check your attic! A first-edition, perfectly-rated Charizard Card is worth up to $300,000.00

 

Like most other things, comparables (“comps”) are the key. This refers to researching what other cards are actively listed for, or what they have sold for. This can be easily accomplished by going Google or the marketplace where you are looking to sell and performing a search for your card.

 

Pricing Pokemon Cards Pokemon Card Value

To search this card, I would type Snorunt 64/108 2007 

 

Another great selling option is using the eBay auction feature to let the market determine the value. Learn more about selling through eBay auctions here.

 

Poké Tip: The subjective value of Pokémon cards is ever-changing. Prices change over time as more are printed, and as people sell, buy, and speculate. Because of these factors, researching active comps is more accurate than viewing a “pricing guide.” Tip from WikiHow.

 

The process of comping Pokémon cards can be tedious. See above tips for determining rarity. For lower-value cards, I recommend that you sell them in bulk. Many common cards are worth under $1, so selling them in large lots is the best way to efficiently sell cards of lesser rarity. 

 

Did you know that Card Mavin has a tool where you type in your Pokémon card name and number and it will tell you the approximate value based on similarly-priced cards? It’s a comp research tool for Poké sellers!

 



Another helpful resource for pricing Pokémon and tracking sales trends is Pokemon Prices. They provide real time data, sales history, and pricing information for Pokémon cards. 



Pokemon Pricing

Pokemon Prices are updated hourly for real-time information about value. 

 

Poké Tip: Facebook Groups are a great place to buy, sell, and trade Pokémon cards. There are so many groups filled with Poké fans!

 

Pokemon Facebook Groups

 

On Facebook, type “Pokémon” into the search bar and then select “Groups” to see thousands of groups about Pokémon!

 

To learn more about how to price Pokémon cards, check out this helpful article.

 

Where to Sell Pokémon Cards

 

There are a ton of places to sell Pokémon cards online. Here are some Pokéfan favorite places to buy and sell trading cards:

 

The 10 Best Places to Sell Pokémon Cards Online

 

1. Local Comic Shops can be the best place to sell trading cards. Do a Google search for “Comic Shops Near Me” and read reviews.

 

2. eBay. eBay is the largest and most lucrative online reselling marketplace with 159 million users worldwide. eBay has the most tools and resources for sellers, and it is a great place to sell Pokémon.


 

You might also like: 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider

 

3. Dave & Adam’s Card World. Dave & Adam’s is another popular and long-standing trading card selling site that specializes in sports cards, but is still a great place to sell Pokémon cards.

 

Dave & Adams usually buys rare cards and holographic cards. Click here to see the current buy list to find out if your cards are eligible for sale. You can also sell booster packs and booster boxes!

 

According to my research, Dave & Adams yields some of the highest prices for Pokémon cards (next to eBay). 

 

4. Troll & Toad. Troll & Toad is a massive trading card marketplace selling everything from Yugioh to Dragon Ball, with Pokémon cards being their most popular category. On Troll & Toad, you can sell cards individually and in bulk, (so long as one of them is worth at least $30). 


Troll and Toad is regarded by collectors as “strict,” so consult the seller’s guide to learn more about selling Pokémon cards. 

 

5. Card Market. Card Market is a European online card marketplace that makes it super easy to sell Pokémon cards. When listing, you start to type in the information, and it becomes prompted with fillable lists and auto-generated results. 

 

6. TCGPlayer.  TCG Player is a massive marketplace for collectible gaming and trading cards. You can also sell your Pokémon cards directly to TCG Player for quick cash. TGC Player offers rarity assessment, pricing recommendations, resources and information, and a card scanner (full use of all features requires a subscription). 

 

7. CCG Castle. CCG Castle is another option for selling Pokemon cards online for PayPal cash or store credit. When you sell on CCG Castle, you’re selling directly to them. You can turn on “buy mode” to see the cards the company is currently buying.

 

8. Mercari. Mercari is like a mini-eBay where you can sell almost anything with local delivery and shipping options. Trading cards are a top-seller in the toys & games category on Mercari. While you might not find high-value collectors, Mercari is a great place to sell your less valuable Pokémon cards in bulk.

 

9. FBMP. Facebook Marketplace is a very convenient marketplace for online resellers. Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide, reporting nearly 3 billion active users, and potential to turn all of them into buyers. On FBMP, you can sell items via a traditional listing style, but also share them with your Facebook friends and local Facebook Groups and Pages. 

 

Did you know that with Vendoo you can cross-list your items onto multiple marketplaces with just a few clicks? Sell Pokémon cards everywhere with just a few clicks!

 

10. CraigsList. CraigsList is a local, online classified ad space where you can buy and sell in your community. This is a great opportunity to sell your Pokémon cards locally, and avoid the time and fees associated with some of the other marketplaces. Be careful when communicating with and meeting strangers, of course. 


 

Did you know that with Vendoo you can cross-list your items onto multiple marketplaces with just a few clicks? Sell Pokémon cards everywhere with just a few clicks! 

 

There is cash in your junk drawer!

 

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