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A Detailed Guide on How to Sell Pokemon Cards

Pikachu Cards

It's time to take a trip down memory lane and look at your collection of childhood toys stashed in the attic, as it could be worth a fortune. Of course, selling Pokémon cards won't make you the next Elon Musk. However, rare cards can fetch you good money.

Recently, the rapper Logic got a rare Charizard card for over $180,000 at an auction. In addition, Logan Paul, a well-known Youtuber, bought Pokémon cards worth $2 million.

Some of the rare and valuable Pokémon cards that collectors bid for in auctions are:

  • Gold Pikachu
  • Pikachu Illustrator
  • 1st Edition Holo Lugia
  • Shadowless Charizard
  • Master's Key
  • Tropical Wind
  • 1999 No. 1 Trainer
  • 2006 No. 2 Trainer
  • No Rarity Venusaur
  • Ishihara GX
  • Gold Star Espeon and Umbreon
  • Kangaskhan-Holo
  • Blastoise Presentation Card
  • Prerelease Raichu

Celebrities aren't the only ones participating in the Pokémon craze, as people from all over the world place bids on these valuable pieces. So it is about time you found out what your Pokémon cards collection is worth.

The process of selling your pieces of memorabilia may be challenging, but remember that the rewards might get you smiling all the way to the bank. Here is a detailed guide on how to sell Pokémon cards:

1. Start by Sorting Your Pokémon Cards by Set

Going through your collection of cards and looking for valuable ones is tedious, as a set can have about 200 cards. There are a couple of ways to organize the card, such as;

Color and Energy

You can sort the cards based on the colors. Please place them in green, white, blue, gray, red, brown, black, and purple stacks. The colors represent the energies and make it easier for you to locate a specific Pokémon you have in mind.


Organizing the cards based on rarity is best if you own a large stack of cards and want to sell them in bulk. Use the icon on the cards to represent their rarity. For example, circles are common, diamonds are uncommon, a star is rare, and a rainbow with an A in the middle is rarer. The rarest are V, EX, golden, rainbow cards, GX, and Vmax cards.


Each Pokémon card has a deck number at the base. Arrange the cards in ascending or descending order to number 200. The secret rare cards have odd numbers going over the total number of cards, making them easier to spot.

2. Protect Your Pokémon Cards and Make Them Cost More

The sale process can stretch longer than you thought. It is essential that you store the cards appropriately for them to be in good condition for your buyer. Here are some tips:

Use a Top Loader

A top loader is a clear plastic bag that fits over the card offering extra protection. Storing the cards in a top loader helps protect the rare collectibles from bending, discoloring, and any other form of damage. In addition, top loaders are readily available in hobby stores and online stores selling Pokémon supplies.

Use Sleeves

You can get any form of sleeves used to store collectible cards or buy sleeves designed exclusively for Pokémon cards. Ensure the sleeves are acid-free and don't contain PVC, as they eventually damage the cards with time. Sleeves help keep the cards dirt, moisture, dust, and fingerprint free.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Store the cards in a cool, dry place, as moisture and heat eventually damage the cards. A closet, dresser drawer, or an ideal storage unit are good places to protect the cards from the elements.

3. Do Some Digging on the Pricing

At this point, you have your cards sorted and organized and then properly stored. Now it's time to do your research on the pricing. Three factors determine how much your Pokémon card is worth. They include:

Type of Pokémon Card

The oldest Base Set is from 1999 and is considered the rarest. There are Pokémon symbols that are more loved and valued by collectors. In addition, the character printed on the card can add value. High-demand symbols include:

  • Pikachu
  • Blastoise
  • Charizard
  • Mewtwo
  • Lugia
  • Umbreon
  • Rayquaza
  • Squirtle
  • Pidgey
  • Seel


The rare cards are the most valuable printed of the lot. The black symbol at the bottom right corner of the card denotes its scarcity. The sign can be a circle, star, or diamond. For instance, cards with a star of alternate colors, like gold or white, are ultra-rare.

Any card with a first edition mark will sell at a higher price. Over the years, new Pokémon cards have been introduced. The cards considered scarce are listed at the beginning of this article. If you don't possess any rare cards, worry not, as you can still sell your cards in bulk and still make some cash.

The Pokémon cards that are considered unique and can sell for more than $10,000 are:

  • Holographic cards. Those with shimmering and reflective backgrounds.
  • First edition cards. They have an "edition 1" logo at the bottom left corner of the card.
  • Shining Pokémon cards are the inverse of holographic cards.
  • Full-art cards with illustrations covering the entire front of the card.


After you have sorted out your collection of cards and set aside the ones you consider rare, the next step is to assess the condition. You should store any valuable card properly as it awaits sale. All the cards in perfect mint or near-mint condition sell at full price. Those with bends, tears, and scratches sell at a low value. Minor flaws like chipping and centering don't negatively impact the value of the cards.

4. Decide Whether To Grade or Not To Grade Your Cards

Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), the world's largest and most trusted card grading service, grades Pokémon cards as it does baseball cards. The cards are graded on a scale of 1-10, whereby 1 is the lowest quality cards, and 10 are the cards in highly mint condition.

Grading will only benefit you if your cards are in good general condition and are already considered rare. In addition, the grading process will cost you approximately $20 per card. Some grading experts advise that you should only grade Pokémon cards worth $100 or more, while others suggest grading cards worth more than $500. Overall, the grading decision is really up to you and how much you believe your card is worth.

5. List the Pokémon Cards on Sale

By the time you get to the final step, your Pokémon cards are sorted, stored in penny sleeves, and probably graded. An added advantage of having your card graded by professionals is they get to confirm its authenticity. When listing the cards, it's important to mention that they are professionally graded, which adds to their market value.

When you have everything in order, it's time to make an ad. Here is how to go about it:

  • Register the Pokémon cards you are selling at the site. Describe your offer in the templates if the site provides them. However, most sites have similar template descriptions so that you can use the exact text.
  • Create your ad. In the ad, be specific about the card number in the set, the set's name, condition, grading, and rarity. Include the card titles and names in the description to ensure the buyers are clear.
  • Upload photos. Take good-quality pictures of the cards. The photographs should clearly show both sides of the cards. Don't edit the images. Instead, include and mark the imperfections on the cards. Avoid Photoshop and using available photos on the internet as it lowers confidence in the buyer. Be ready to take additional pictures at the client's request.

Where to Sell Your Pokémon Cards

When selling your Pokémon cards, it is essential that you use multiple sites as you will have access to numerous buyers. Be cautious when uploading your ad, as each site has its rules and regulations. Adhering to the set requirements helps your ad stay at the top, and you aren't blocked. There are several platforms where you can sell your Pokémon cards like:


eBay is one of the most popular platforms for buying and selling Pokémon cards. You can check other listings on eBay and see the rate on cards like yours. In addition, you can see the cards on demand at the moment.

eBay is an excellent option to make some quick cash by selling Pokémon cards. The platform allows you to choose between using fixed prices and listing your cards in an auction style. The first 200 listings are also free, and you have access to international buyers.


Dibbs is a fantastic platform for your Pokémon cards. The site creates a digital NFT of your Pokémon card, and collectors worldwide can buy, sell and trade pieces of it. Dibbs makes it easy for you by spreading ownership around a community of Pokémon card collectors instead of you having to find a single buyer for your most valued cards.

Social Media Platforms

Facebook and Instagram are social media platforms that allow you to sell Pokémon cards. Social media marketplaces enable direct transactions between buyers and sellers. Instagram nature focuses on images, a great way to showcase your high-quality cards to potential buyers.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces like Craigslist in the US or Kijiji in Canada are wild but usable platforms. The 'everything goes' policy makes it possible to sell Pokémon cards quickly. However, the marketplaces set a radius that allows you to sell cards close to home.

Collectible Card Marketplaces

There are several trustable collectible card marketplaces, such as;

  • TCGPlayer, where posting your listing is free. However, you pay both seller and PayPal fees anytime you make a sale. In addition, the site has automated software that does live pricing making it easy and fast to list a bunch of cards.
  • Card Market is a European marketplace where you can sell your Pokémon cards. All you need to do is select the details about your card on the drop-down menu and do your pricing.
  • Cape Fear Games in Wilmington, North Carolina, is another platform. You can drop the cards off in person or ship them. Payment is via check, store credit, cash, or PayPal.
  • Troll and Toad can receive your Pokémon cards via mail, and after a thorough inspection, the store will process your payment. Payment is by PayPal, check, or store credit.

Pawn Shops

It may be hard to sell standard Pokémon cards to pawn shops. However, most pawn shops will gladly take some rare pieces from you. It is essential that you research how much your piece is worth before the trade. That way, you get paid your card’s worth. Google the pawn shops near you that buy and sell Pokémon cards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some of the frequently asked questions to help make your search easier;

1. What Pokémon card is considered the most precious?

The Pokémon card Pikachu Illustrator sold for a whopping $5.275 million in July 2021. It is considered the rarest of the Pokémon card collection, and only a single PSA10 has ever existed. Logan Paul, a known Youtuber, bought the Illustrator in exchange for a PSA 9 version of the same at $1,275,000 and an additional $ 4 million. He wore the card around his neck at the WWE wrestling event WrestleMania 2022. He was later given a Guinness World Record for the most expensive Pokémon trading card sold at a private sale.

2. What does it mean when your card has more than one star?

A single star means the card is rare, while a star H or three stars means the card is unique. The rarities of the cards increase their value. Therefore, separating them from the rest of your Pokémon card collection is vital.

3. Can you make money off fake Pokémon cards?

Yes, you can make money off fake Pokémon cards. However, selling is illegal as you will violate copyright laws. In addition, you could get a substantial monetary fine that could ruin your life.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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