wikiHow to Make Money With Pokemon Cards

Four Parts:Selling your Pokémon Cards OnlineSelling your Pokémon Cards in PersonCollecting Pokémon CardsOrganizing your Pokémon Cards

The Pokémon franchise has been around over twenty years. In that time, Pokémon cards have become potentially valuable collector’s items. However, many people have a difficult time making a profit selling their Pokémon cards. If you want to be a successful Pokémon card dealer, you’ll need a strategy to get the best return on your investment.

Part 1
Selling your Pokémon Cards Online

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    Use ebay. Post pictures of your cards on ebay. You’ll need pictures to show buyers exactly what they will be purchasing. Be sure that your pictures include any imperfections your cards may have so that your buyers are aware of them. Make sure your pictures show the front and back of your card. Offer buyers free shipping to give them extra incentive.
    • Online sales increase dramatically on free shipping day.[1]
    • When you offer free shipping on ebay, you also automatically get a five-star shipping cost rating.
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    Find a website that buys Pokémon cards. There are websites that specialize in buying and selling Pokémon cards. Most of these will have listings to let you know exactly how much they’ll pay you for certain cards. These companies will save you time by buying your cards outright, but they’ll likely only pay you a fraction of what your cards are worth.
    • Know the condition of your cards. Some sites, like, will only accept cards that are in mint condition.[2]
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    Sell single cards. Never sell giant lots of random cards. You will make far more money if you list your cards individually, in completed sets or in random sets with two rare cards and a few regular ones.[3]
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    Be specific. Make sure to include all the pertinent information relating to your card in your listing. For example if you list your card as simply a “Charizard Pokémon card,” your listing won’t attract too much attention. Some things you should include in your listing are:
    • The rarity of your card.
    • Whether or not your card is shadowless or holographic.
    • The condition of your card. Is your card used, in good condition or even in mint condition?
    • The set number of your card. For example, the Charizard card would be “base set 4/102”.
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    Start a bidding war. It can be wise to price your card very low initially. Try making the starting bid for you card ninety-nine cents to get some easy bids. After a few people bid on your card, they’ll likely fight over it with competing bids raising your profit.
    • This strategy can backfire if your card is very valuable. For extremely rare cards, you should start the bidding at the price you want for them.
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    Use packing tape when you ship your cards. Be sure to put clear packing tape over the address you’re sending the package to as well as your own address. The tape will protect the writing from getting smudged if the package gets wet. If both addresses are unreadable, you could lose your card, your potential profit and your high seller rating on ebay.

Part 2
Selling your Pokémon Cards in Person

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    Go to a store. Find a store that specializes in trading card games. Bring your well preserved cards and see how much they’ll pay you for them. Be sure to know the value of your cards and how much you’ll accept for them before doing business.
    • Call ahead to make sure the store accepts Pokémon cards.
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    Sell your cards at a trading card show. Card shows will be filled with collectors and dealers who may be willing to purchase your cards. You may have to approach a few dealers before you find one who’s familiar with Pokémon cards.[4]
    • Search the internet to find a list of upcoming trading card shows in your area.
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    Find a Pokémon meetup. There’s plenty of public groups that meet every so often to play the Pokémon card game. Players may be willing to pay you if you have a certain card they need to complete their deck.
    • Card game players usually won’t pay as much for rare cards as collectors because they plan on using them.
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    Build relationships. Write down the contact information of the dealers and collectors who you sell your cards to. Shoot them an email whenever you come across rare or interesting cards they might be interested in.
    • Your relationships may even refer customers looking for rare cards to you.[5]

Part 3
Collecting Pokémon Cards

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    Buy Pokémon cards. Look for reasonably priced Pokémon cards you can sort through. You’ll likely have the best luck searching at thrift stores or online. For example: Booster boxes that contain thirty-six unopened packs of Pokémon cards will cost about one hundred and forty dollars at most local stores, but you can buy them for about eighty dollars on a website like[6]
    • Buy in bulk. Find sellers that are looking to get rid of their Pokémon cards and are offering a good price.
    • When buying older Pokémon cards, make sure they’ve been well maintained as the slightest damage to a card can drastically decrease its value.
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    Know how to spot fake Pokémon cards. Fake cards are worthless and illegal to sell. It can be very difficult to tell a fake Pokémon card from a real one, but there are a few dead giveaways.
    • On the back of a real card, there will be a crisp border. On the back of a fake card, the border will look faded.
    • On the front of a fake card, there will likely be no accent mark over the “e” in Pokémon.[7]
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    Search for rare cards. The rarer the card, the more it will be worth. There will be a number that reads like a fraction at the bottom right corner of every card that tells you what number the card is in its set. Next to that number, there should be a tiny shape that tells you how rare the card is.
    • A circle indicates that the card is common and likely not worth much money.
    • A diamond indicates that the card is uncommon.
    • A star indicates that the card is rare.
    • If there is no shape or a different illustration, then the card is part of a promotional set. Promotional cards can be more or less rare depending on what promotion they are a part of.[8]
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    Find special cards. There’s few different card designs and markings that can make your card more valuable. Make sure you know if your card is special so you can price it appropriately.
    • If there is a black circle with the number one inside of it and the word “edition” wrapped around it next to the description of the pokémon, then your card is a first edition Pokémon card.
    • If your card has shiny reflective foil around the picture, then you have a “holographic” card. If the holographic design is on the entire front of the card, then the card is a “reverse-holographic” card and is even more valuable.
    • If there is a copyright of “95,96,98,99” at the bottom of your card and there is no shadow at the edge of the picture, then you have a rare shadowless card.[9]

Part 4
Organizing your Pokémon Cards

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    Protect your cards. You want to make sure no further damage comes to your cards until you have the opportunity to sell them. You can buy plastic sleeves in bulk for about a cent a sleeve that will protect your cards from scratches.
    • Buy toploaders for the cards that are more valuable. Toploaders are more rigid than plastic sleeves and prevent your cards from being creased.[10]
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    Grade your cards. Examine your cards carefully to see what kind of condition they’re in. Look for creases, smudges, tears and bent corners. Separate your cards into three categories: the cards in good condition, the cards in fair condition and the cards in poor condition. Separating your cards will make it easier to value them.
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    Have extremely valuable cards graded professionally. There are some Pokémon cards that can be worth thousands of dollars if they are in pristine condition. If you come across an extremely rare card that you suspect is in perfect condition, you can send it to the PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) at to verify its worth. Having proof that you’re card is in great condition will dramatically increase its value.
    • Only send cards you believe are in mint condition. The process can be expensive.
    • The PSA scale ranges from ten for a card in mint condition to one for a card in poor condition. Even the tiniest smudge or scratch can drop a card from mint condition to one in good condition, dropping it in value substantially.[11]
    • There are only five mint condition, edition one Charizard cards in circulation, making them worth over a thousand dollars each.
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    Put your cards in sets. Collectors are always looking to buy things in sets. You’ll have an easier time selling your cards if you sell them in sets. You can tell what set your cards belong to by looking at the tiny number in the bottom right hand corner of your card that is written like a fraction. The first number is the number your card is in the set and the second number is the number of total cards in the set.[12]
    • The base set has one hundred and two cards.
    • The jungle set has sixty-four cards.
    • The fossil set has sixty-two cards.
    • The team rocket set has eighty-three cards.
    • You can also group your cards in sets of holographic, shadowless or rare cards.


  • Buy your cards in bulk but always sell them individually to maximize your profits.
  • Be honest about the condition of your card. If you misrepresent a card in poor condition you could get low-star ratings from angry buyers on ebay.
  • Sell at the right time to get the best profit. The popularity of Pokémon cards varies from time to time. The demand for Pokémon cards is usually at its highest when a new Pokémon movie or game comes out introducing the franchise to a new generation.


  • Limit touching the cards as much as possible. Any direct handling of your cards can cause them to severely drop in value.
  • Be reasonable. You may not be able to get the full value of your cards.

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