How To Tell If A Pokmon Card Is Fake
Strategic depth: Medium
Publisher:Wizards of the Coast
Pokémon cards are back in vogue. And with the uptick in interest, there is now a thriving market for buying and selling Pokémon cards. As the number of people looking to buy Pokémon cards continues to increase, so does the number of scammers looking to take advantage of the trend and make a quick buck.
The most notable example of this involved the famous YouTuber Logan Paul. He and a group of investors almost bought a box of Pokémon cards valued at $375,000. The seller agreed to open the box and packs before exchanging the cash. The box turned out to be fake. Fortunately for Paul, he didnt pay a dime, but the mistake even slipped past Pauls Pokémon advisor.
While the average person doesnt have the money to hire a specialised advisor, the average person can easily identify a fake Pokémon card with a little advice. This guide will teach you how to spot a fake and protect yourself from buying a counterfeit card. This guide is structured to give you more detailed advice on how to spot a fake as you go on. Whether you collect as an enthusiast or you just want to round out your latest deck, welcome!
$375k FAKE #Pokemon box…Thats why you buy PSA/BGS graded!Are you kidding me!?!?
Sealed Pokmon Booster Boxes
Last up weve got sealed Pokémon booster boxes.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your budget.
If you see the hobby as an investment and want to sink some money into it, prepare to part with mid-four figures for a sealed vintage booster box.
1st Edition varieties can even creep closer to the five figure mark.
What can potentially come out of these boxes though can be pretty incredible.
Were talking mint cards that you havent seen in 20+ years.
Naturally, they make great candidates for grading. And again, if youre looking to hold long-term, you may well find the value of your graded cards exceeds the price you paid in a few short years.
Personally, I think this strategy is best served for more experienced collectors, but who am I to tell you what to do with your money?!
For the ultimate throwback and nostalgia, Im not going to lie, nothing beats cracking open a vintage booster box. Just sayin
Top Tips In This Article
Scott Pratte, our expert card trader and collector, provided lots of tips to make money selling Pokemon cards. Here is his best advice:
- First edition or New Edition? All kidding aside, we know that you know New Edition is a boy band from the 70s and 80s. Still, you need to know what you have in that box of Pokemon cards. In other words, which are the rare cards and which are not. Do you have one of the original holographic cards? Cha-ching.
- Whats the condition of your cards? If theyve been under the bed in a box so light didnt fade them or the dog didnt get to them, you may be in good shape. Never taken out of the wrapper? More cha-ching. That is whats called mint. All cards in good condition are likely worth more than what you paid for them.
- The best place to sell Pokemon cards? Its eBay all the way. It would be great to sell one card for oodles of money and eBay has facilitated some of that. But if you want a big audience and buyers willing to shell out $30 a pop for your cards, you can rack up sales.
- Think youve got something valuable? Consult the Professional Sports Authenticator and get an estimate. This will put you in a good position to haggle with a buyer, which you should expect to do.
Not All Cards Are Worth Something
Its worth noting that your average Pokémon collection wont make you rich. Most cards in recent sets arent worth more than $1, and even the rare ones often arent worth more than $10. However, there still is value in the older cards the ones that have been sitting around in self storage for years. Base set cards can be surprisingly valuable, and if youre lucky enough to have a first edition holographic card, you could be set up for a pretty penny.
If youre looking to maximize your return, use sites like pokemonprices.com or eBay to do research, checking each individual card of uncommon rarity or higher. Blindly selling your collection without doing the legwork on Pokémon card value could end up selling yourself short and giving a collector a great deal.
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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What Is A Shadowless Pokemon Card
If youre new, or getting back into the world of Pokemon cards, youve probably heard the word shadowless banded around.
Shadowless Pokemon cards are the earliest version of the 1999 English Base Set.
Because of their scarcity and rarity, they are considerably more valuable than the Unlimited Base Set that was produced shortly after.
How To Know If Your Charizard Pokmon Card Is Rare And Valuable Or Not
Time is a flat circle, and it seems like just yesterday I was spending my allowance every week on Pokémon cards in junior high. Well, now Pokémon cards, and opening them on Twitch streams and in YouTube videos, are all the rage again, and it turns out some of those cards you got as a kid may be valuable today, if you kept themand kept them in good shape.
Wading into the exact valuation of all Pokémon cards is a swamp that its hard to emerge from, so I thought Id focus on one particular type of card which was coveted when I was a kid. I saved it because I thought it might be worth something someday, and it turns out I was right. Well, depending on which version you have.
Here is a gradient scale on which of the old school Charizard cards are the most and least valuable. Exact figures for selling prices are hard to pin down. The low end might be a few hundred, the higher end for the rarest Charizard editions can be tens of thousands, if not over $100K for true perfection. The prices below are estimates and again, its a wide range. If yours isnt here at all, it may be too common to be worth all that much. These cards are also usually PSA 9-10 graded meaning they have to be in stellar condition, not just sitting in a shoebox somewhere, in order to see these ranges of prices.
2016 Pokémon XY Staff Charizard Prerelease
2002 Legendary Collection Charizard Reverse Holo
2002 Legendary Collection Charizard Holo
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Welcome To The World Of Pokmon Card Collecting
Nothing brings back more nostalgia for me than Pokémon cards.
For the dedicated few, that passion stayed through tough teenage years and into adulthood. But for many, it slipped by the wayside.
lectrabuzz, sorry electric buzz of a holo pull was soon replaced by first kisses, house parties and underage drinking.
It wasnt until July 2016 that the flame was reignited for me. Thats right, the global phenomenon that is/was Pokémon Go dropped.
Instantly, I was teleported back in the world of Pokémon and it felt incredible!
Im not saying it wasnt without its glitches, dear god Niantic fix faster, but being able to catch an Onix on the streets of London was mind-blowing.
Within days I was on eBay trying to find those old cards I collected.
Holy crap a Holographic Machamp in terrible condition, only $100. I must buy this now!
Uneducated, I bought a load of random cards, overpaid a bunch, and although happy to have them in my hands again, that Pokémon itch wasnt quite scratched.
Fast-forward almost 4 years, and Im still just scratching the surface of the endless possibilities when it comes to Pokémon card collecting.
However, I know infinitely more about the hobby now.
Thats what brings us to this guide. Im going to teach you exactly how to get back in to Pokémon cards.
Whether you want to rebuild your old collections, invest in something that brings you joy, or perhaps like me, just from your past with your kids, this guide is for you.
How Do You Tell If A Pokemon Card Is First Edition
Its actually quite simple. On the card, usually on the left of the Pokémon information, there should be a label that says 1st edition. In some other sets, there can also be a little sphere with a 1 and the letters above it. If you see that information, then the card you own is a first edition version.
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A Note On Pricing And Condition:
The examples throughout this text all utilize the Pokémon Charizard, who typically fetches the highest prices of any Pokémon from these early sets. Those looking to sell their collections should not expect Charizard-level pricing for other cards from these sets. While other Pokémon, like Blastoise and Venusaur, carry decent value, none approach the level of Charizard.
The pricing examples all note that the estimated retail pricing reflects a card in Near Mint condition. Finding cards from this era in Near Mint condition can be quite difficult. Pokémon cards are essentially pieces of a game, and many became treasured possessions of children who took them to school in their pockets to show off and trade. As a result, cards frequently show significant wear, which significantly affects their value. Unless exclusively stored in binders and played with in card sleeves , there are few Near Mint examples in circulation. In addition, cards that came from a household with heavy cigarette smoke, or that were stored in a damp attic or garage in the intervening years, can have a lowered value, even if the card physically appears otherwise Near Mint.
If you are considering selling your cards to a store, expect a much lower price than the retail price as stores would typically only pay between 30% and 60% of the retail value of an item.
Wheres Best To Track Your Pokmon Card Collection
Theres only one resource that Id recommend for tracking which Pokémon cards youve acquired
Pokellector What a great website! Not only can you create an account and tick which cards you have, but theyve also got a great bank of images too.
Furthermore, theyre very clued up on which new sets are coming out and when if youre into the new sets of course.
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Ultimate First Edition Pokemon Cards Guide
The same is true for later releases, but its difficult to match the 1999 set in terms of interest or value.
Trending Pokemon Topics
Heres everything you need to know about the best first edition Pokémon cards, including why some are more special than others, and which ones you should be looking out for.
The Original Pokmon Base Set
Where it all began, the original English base set collection was release in 1999 and consists of 102 cards. 16 of which are holos.
Now at this point its worth mentioning 1st Edition and Shadowless cards. These are considerably more valuable.
1st Edition is pretty self-explanatory they are the first ever print-run of the cards.
Shadowless cards, you guess it, dont have a shadow!
Specifically, youre looking to see if theres a shadow around the rectangle box containing the Pokémon illustration.
But there are also some other clues like a lighter HP font at the top of the card and the date including 99 at the bottom.
Now to throw something else in the mix, its also worth pointing out that graded cards are more valuable too if the grading is good of course.
PSA tend to get the majority of the Pokémon grading market and are most commonly use by collectors.
However, because its generally harder to achieve GEM MINT 10 status from Beckett, if you do, your cards will be worth more.
At this stage though, all of this is very hypothetical for a beginner collector.
GEM MINT 10 Base Set Cards go for hundreds of dollars on eBay, and if theyre 1st Edition or Shadowless, were talking thousands sometimes tens of thousands!
For example a 1st Edition Base Set GEM MINT 10 Charizard can expect to sell for upwards of $50,000. Maybe even in the $60k-70k range.
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What If Im Looking To Buy Online And Cant Hold The Card In My Hand
As a rule of thumb, it is best practice to take a card out of a sleeve and examine it for yourself. As mentioned, a fake card will feel different to a genuine card. However, this isnt always an option, especially now during the pandemic and as Facebook groups have become a popular and convenient place to buy and sell.
There are a few tips in this case. First, ask for a photo of the card youre buying and examine it visually using all the aforementioned tips. Then, evaluate the credibility of the seller. If someone cant provide you with a unique photo of the card, thats a bad sign. Also look for previous reviews of the seller. For context, there arent any reported cases of mass Pokémon card fraud so you dont need to be overly anxious about buying a card. Just cover the basics and you will generally be fine.
Another great and reliable option if you buy online is to purchase the card from a registered business. Look up your closest card dealer and reviews of the store. A store will be more invested in customer satisfaction than a random person on the internet.
Sealed Pokmon Booster Packs
Next up, you also have the option of buying sealed Pokémon booster packs.
However, do this with caution.
Savvy sellers weigh their boosters, with heavier packs having a greater chance of pulling a holo card.
Whether you agree with the ethics of this approach, its business at the end of the day, and sellers want to make sure theyre not relinquishing top cards.
What youll often find on Amazon are booster packs listed as heavy.
Although they dont guarantee a holo card, I guess youre upping your chances of pulling one. Naturally, though, youll pay a premium.
It then turns into a game of Roulette. Do you want to drop $100+ on a booster and pray its a Charizard?
Ive learned the hard way a couple of times buying boosters, so dont really recommend it for beginners.
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Its Not Obvious If My Card Is A Fake
This might sound obvious, but an easy step you can take to verify the card is real is by checking that the card was an actual Pokémon card that was in print at some point. Yes, people do just make up fake cards with unofficial art and sell them online.
You can verify a card with a quick search. The official Pokémon Trading Card Game website has a card database, as does fan site Bulbapedia. Note: the official website doesnt include some special runs of cards, so be sure to look for your card on multiple card directories.
Always Prefer To Buy Pokemon Cards From Reputable Websites Only
With billions of cards with different designs in circulation, it is easy for scam artists to design and create counterfeit cards that are either duplicates or contain moves and features that are not there on genuine Pokemon cards. You have to be alert while buying Pokemon cards and know the price of a pack of Pokemon card pack . If you are getting a massive discount and the website is not a reputable one, it is better to stay away from the deal. Children should desist buying from friends at school and stick to reputable websites only.
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St Edition And Unlimited Edition:
The first print run of a set would have a special Edition 1 logo on the left side of the card, just below the card art. An enlarged example of this logo is shown here. The 1st edition print run would typically be very limited, and once sold out, would no longer be available for sale. In fact, the first print runs of a set were officially called Limited Edition.
To meet super-high demand from the public, an Unlimited edition version would then be printed. Unlimited edition cards dont have the Edition 1 logo on the left side. Typically, a 1st edition card will be worth more than an unlimited edition card. Often this price difference can be quite significant.