Card Condition Is Important
The condition of your Pokémon cards is a vital part of whether they have any value. Collectors arent interested in ripped, stained, or otherwise defaced cards, and such wear can severely tank a cards value even if it is a rare one.
Youve probably heard of mint condition cards before. If youre wondering whether or not a card qualifies as mint, youll need to get it graded by a PSA representative. Your card could be worth more if you have its condition officially graded. However, it costs money to get your card graded by a professional, so you should only do so if you are sure that your card is worth at least the money it will take to be professionally graded.
No 1 Trainer Super Secret Battle
- Release Date: 1999
- Grading: PSA Gem Mint 10
- Pokemon card value at auction: $90,000
In 1999, The Pokemon Company hosted regional contests in Japan. Winners received a No. 1 Trainer Pokemon card which granted them access to the final that took place in a secret location.
Named Super Secret Battle, the special TCG tournament had a lot of mystique surrounding it. The rare Pokemon card features a silhouette of Mewtwo which has made it all the more desirable to fans.
In July 2020, the Japanese promo sold for an astonishing $90,000 making it one of the most valuable Pokemon cards to ever exist.
Pokemon Card Sold By Country
With no surprise, 62.19% of Pokemon cards were sold from the United States and Japan coming in second with 19.62%. Canada came in third with 7.71% of total cards sold.
For the bigger countries like Japan, the United States, Canada and Australiait kind of got interesting.
The United States sold the most at $44,579.17 but only had an average of $66.46. This is less than the total average sold.
Japan and Australia had higher averages at $93.73 and $89.17 respectively.
Canadas average was on the lower side at $55.53. Canadians seem to be selling their cards but arent selling valuable pokemon cards.
It was also interesting to see that Canada and Australia had around the same number of items sold, but Australia had a 60% higher average than Canada.
This could mean that Australians have more valuable Pokémon cards than Canadians.
Same with Japan and the United States.
Japan had a 27% higher average cost than the United States but only had 19.62% of items sold compared to the United States which had 62% of the items sold.
We also looked at One37pm and found that the most valuable collector Pokemon cards are printed in Japanese .
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Identify Type And Assess Rarity
The first step to identify if a card is potentially worth anything substantial is to check its type and rarity. In other words, how likely the card is to come across from any given booster pack or special event, and if it has any special characteristics, such as card material or Pokemon types.
There are a few indicators of rarity on any given card, though theyre quite subject to change depending on when said card was printed. A marker near the bottom of the card or near its name will indicate rarity: a circle means the card is common, a diamond means its less common, and stars mean its rare. More stars or with combinations of letters or symbols mean extra rare, including if those symbols are in the name or elsewhere on the card. Other characteristics that can up the rarity include: a higher printed number than there should be in a given printed set holographic artwork or reverse holographic, in which everything but the artwork is holographic artwork that takes up the full card artwork wherein the creature doesnt cast a shadow and any shining characteristics, not to be confused with holographic.
While rarity isnt the only factor in appraising value, its certainly a major factor: Some of the highest-selling cards worth tens of thousands of dollars, or considered priceless from lack of supply, are only so because of small rarities like misprints or typos.
Are Ex Cards Still Playable
Legal cards from rotated sets For example, at least one version of Rare Candy has been legal in every modified format since it was printed. Thus, older versions of Rare Candy, even those from rotated sets like EX Sandstorm and Great Encounters, are still legal cards.
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Battle Road Summer 2002
It’s not too often that a card graded below a 9 sells for more than a few thousand dollars, but that’s exactly what happened with one copy of the No.2 Trainer Battle Road Summer promo in March of 2021. The card in question, which had actually been mislabeled by Beckett, received just a 7.5 rating, though still sold for an impressive $34,100.
The card was given out to winners of the Kanto Summer Battle Road tournament in 2002 and came in male and female variants. Not many of them have made their way west in the two decades since then, with only two of them ever being graded by the PSA. One did receive the elusive GEM-MT 10 rating, however, so may well end up selling for considerably more if it ever goes to auction.
Southern Islands Reverse Holo Mew: $200
When the second Pokemon movie was released in Japan, the makers of the Trading Card Game decided to release a special edition set of cards to mark this occasion. The Southern Islands card series was born, featuring just two sets of nine cards apiece that were unique to any other set in the game.
Full sets of these cards can sell for a lot, but the absolute highest value is undoubtedly the Southern Islands Mew, which has a rare reverse foil treatment where the frame around the art is the only part thats shiny. Troll and Toad is currently selling copies for just over $200 right now, making it even more valuable than the elusive and stylish Ancient Mew mentioned earlier.
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Is Your Pokmon Card Professionally Graded
Once you have performed all of your checks and you are confident that the card you are holding is worth a decent amount of money, it may make sense to think about getting your cards graded by a company such as Professional Sports Authenticator .
One final check that I would recommend before sending your Pokémon cards off to be graded is to do an eBay search for the card you are thinking of selling.
Even if have heard about the card you have going for wild amounts of money, its best to check what the average sale price for your card is currently by searching for it on eBay.
Pro Tip: eBay has a handy feature that lets you see auction listings that have already sold for items that you are searching for. The sold auctions will give you a much better idea of what you can expect your card to realistically sell for.
The PSA grade assigns trading cards to a condition standard from Gem Mint to Poor and makes notes of qualifiers like an off-center print or staining.
PSA grade scale also contains half points. For example, a card may come back graded as a 6.5.
How To Make Money From Your Pokemon Cards
THE Sun asked collectables expert Tracy Martin for her best tips. Here’s what she said:
- Collect your holographic cards first: They’re the most value and there are three different types: some cards have just the Pokemon image holographic, there are some where the edges are holos, while some cards are holos as a whole.
- Sit on the cards for a while: It could be worth just holding on to the cards for ten years to see them increase in value.
- Keep them in mint condition: You can buy Pokemon books with sleeves that you can keep them in, so they don’t get damaged.
- Get them PSA rated: The Professional Sports Authenticator grades cards and verifies their authenticity, but you have to pay for its service. The PSA is an American organisation, but you can also get cards graded using services in the UK such as Ludkins Collectables and Vintage Trading Cards. Just make sure to double-check the prices in advance so you’re not spending more than your card might be worth.
If you want to sell your cards:
Originally, the card was a prize for winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest, and it is thought there are now fewer than six in existence.
Other than that, the most valuable Pokemon cards come from 1999 to 2000.
They are known as “shadowless” Pokemon cards and are extremely collectible and highly sought-after, according to 21st century collectables expert, Tracy Martin.
She told The Sun the differences between shadowless cards and others are due to the design change in the cards.
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The Masked Royal Prize Promo: $18000
This is undoubtedly one of the most recent rare cards, featuring the Masked Royal character from Pokemon Sun & Moon and released as recently as 2017. This is essentially a promotional card that was given out to players in an invitation-only prerelease in Tokyo for the new Shining Legends set, where only 100 copies were made.
Even though this is a relatively normal card by most standards, this short print run means its incredibly hard to get, especially since it was handed out in such a restrictive event. As a result, there are actually preserved tweets of players first opening it in places like Pokeboon, while Japanese trading sites like Miyabi Hobby have past listings of the card at ¥2,000,000, which currently is equal to around $18,000 USD.
Reasons To Invest In Pokemon Cards
Here are four compelling reasons why a small investment in Pokemon cards this year may pay off down the road:
- Supply is dwindling and demand is rising. Economics 101 tells us that when demand for an asset outstrips supply, prices rise. Nobodys making new 1st Edition Pokemon cards and demand is rising at the moment, so its reasonable to suggest prices will rise in the short term as well.
- Theyre easy to buy and sell.Compared to real estate or rare cars, Pokemon cards are among the easiest forms of property to buy and sell. No surprise leaks or expensive brokers you always know exactly what youre buying or selling.
- Theyre easy to store. Similarly, trading cards are perhaps the single easiest physical investment to store and maintain. Pokemon cards dont need cleaning, climate-controlled storage, or even insurance just a plastic sleeve and a safety deposit box.
- The upside could be huge.In 2017, if youd invested $500 in an S& P 500 index fund youd have about $1,500 now. If youd put that money into a PSA 9 Charizard instead, youd have $5,500.
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Condition: Did You Take Good Care Of Your Cards
The second important factor in a cards value is the condition. If you do happen to have a first-edition, holographic base-set Charizard, youre not guaranteed thousands of dollars. The selling price depends on how well the card has been taken care of.
If you have a card that you expect is worth more than $100, Pratte recommends getting it graded by Professional Sports Authenticator .
Despite its name, the PSA grades all kinds of trading cards, including non-sports cards like Pokemon. PSAs 10-point grading scale is accepted as the industry standard, and the company also publishes price guides to help you determine a cards worth.
According to its current valuations, first-edition cards in perfect condition are valued at a minimum of $40. Those arent rarer, holographic cards either. A first-edition holo in mint condition can rake in between $1,000 and $24,000.
So why Prattes $100 limit? Well, the number isnt a hard-and-fast rule, but the card-grading services offered by PSA will cost $20 or more per card, meaning a lower-value card doesnt always merit the cost to get it authenticated.
Its a process, says PSA spokesperson Terry Melia. But its something that could reap big rewards in the end.
In addition to grading the condition of the card, PSA ensures the card isnt a forgery by using high-powered lights and magnifying equipment to check for tampering.
There are a lot of forgeries and bogus merchandise out there, says Melia.
Especially so online.
What Condition Is Your Pokemon Card
At first, take a look at the condition of the card youre considering selling.
Even when it comes to the rarest of Pokémons cards, the condition is everything.
Collectors are much less willing to spend money on a card that has creases, stains, or even rips. While a card in Gem Mint is always the sought-after ideal, lightly played cards still have value and can be sold for a respectable amount of money.
This means that if you were a tidy child that took diligent care of their collection, you may be in luck!
If your cards do show traces of gameplay and handling, you may not have to despair immediately.
Generally speaking, the rarer the card your selling, the more obliging potential buyers will be with regards to its condition, but dont expect life-changing offers of cash for cards in poor condition.
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First Edition Holographic Charizard
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $24,000
The #4 Charizard is by far the most desirable of all the first edition Pokémon cards.
Charizard made its first appearance in the Pokémon Red and Blue video games released for the Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Color back in the mid-90s and trainers have been relying on the character’s overpowering fire and flying abilities to win battles ever since.
Just how powerful are its fire abilities?
Well, simply refer to the bottom of the card’s front and you can see that Charizard is capable of melting boulders and starting forest fires with ease.
Charizard’s appeal as a dragon and one of the more rare cards certainly adds to its popularity but I think where this card gets an extra boost in value comes from the fact that Charizard appeared on the cover art of the Pokémon Red video game:
That additional exposure greatly increased the character’s notoriety and has driven up the value of this card similar to the effect we see with the Garbage Pail Kids card, Adam Bomb, and its status as the original cover art for that series.
Regardless of why this card is so popular, its value will continue to soar just like the lovable flying dragon creature itself.
Store Your Cards In Self Storage
Central Self Storage is the perfect place to store your Pokémon cards and other collectibles. Thats because our climate controlled storage units are perfect for storing temperature sensitive belongings. With storage units across the United States, you can easily find a storage unit near you. Rent your climate controlled storage unit today.
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Reasons Not To Invest In Pokemon Cards
Theres a potential upside to investing in Pokemon cards, but as with all unique investments, the cons deserve to be heard:
- Pokemania may end soon. As with any investment, hype, and influencer marketing drive up the price of investments. So, prices may quickly deflate.
- Appraisal is difficult and expensive.If you plan to invest in a card worth $5,000+ one day in the future, youll have to pay PSA $300 just to reappraise it and if the markets hot enough to sell it, theres a chance the company will become overwhelmed again and suspend services, jeopardizing your timing.
- Cards could get lost, stolen, or damaged.Pokemon cards only hold their value if they remain in 100% pristine condition. If a PSA 10 Charizard drops to PSA 9 while its in your possession, it loses 80% of its value.
- Demand for rare collectibles is extremely fickle. Sure, demand for rare Pokemon cards may be high right now, but it could easily disappear overnight as young investors and collectors turn to something else. The same thing happened with Beanie Babies, some of which sold for $10,000 in the late 90s and are worth less than $10 now.
First Edition Holographic Gyarados
Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,800
This serpentine creature is an extremely temperamental and destructive Pokémon that relies on both its water and flying abilities to unleash its wrath.
Its tough scales are practically impenetrable while its sharp fangs are capable of crushing rocks.
Because it lives in both fresh and saltwater, it’s best to stay clear of water in general if you want to avoid Gyarados.
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What Pokemon Cards With Misprints Are Worth The Most Money
There are some misprinted cards that some speculate to exist but there has been no proof of. The one that we do have proof of existing is the Mewtwo promo card that was handed out to anybody that went and saw the first Pokemon Movie in the cinema.
Normally, these cards would have a promo logo to the right of the artwork. However, there are some misprint cards that have it to the left of the artwork.
These cards can sell for several hundred dollars when they are in good condition. It is unknown how many of these cards are out there, likely due to the fact that many of those seeing the Pokemon Movie were children and they probably didnt keep their hands on their Pokemon cards.
There are some cards which have For Position Only printed on the artwork. These cards are not misprints. They are positioning cards for the printers. They are not supposed to be included in the booster packs.
Some people regarded them as misprints, though. These cards can easily sell for several thousand dollars. There arent that many out there. A few hundred, at the most.