Investing in Pokemon Cards

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    Pokemon cards have always been held in high regard by traders and collectors. For the past three years, there has been a craze triggered by an over 500% increase in value being driven by new fans, celebrities like Logic and Shawn Mendez, and other notable influencers like Dani Sanchez. For example, Logan Paul spent 5.2 million dollars on a rare holographic Pikachu. 

    Is trading Pokemon cards a lucrative business? Is it something worth investing in? This article will give you the knowledge you need to determine if trading Pokemon cards is right for you and your investment goals.

    Pokemon Trading Cards

    To understand Pokemon trading cards, you must understand the world of Pokemon. Pokemon is an abbreviation of Pocket Monsters and is a franchise owned by the Pokemon Company. The franchise was started by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996 and was launched in Japan that same year as a video game for the original Gameboy in which players capture Pokemon and battle other Pokemon. 

    The game was a hit and was adapted into many different mediums, including a long-running animation series. The animation series became the most successful game adaptation series, with over 1000 episodes aired in almost 200 countries. 

    The Pokemon trading card game is a collectible card game based on the Pokemon Franchise and developed by Creatures Inc. The trading card game has gone on to be a success, with over 43 billion cards sold as of 2022.

    The Pokemon trading card game is a card-based strategy game where two players use their Pokemon players to battle on a designated mat. The players shuffle their decks and play against each other, taking on the role of Pokemon “trainers.”

    These cards come in collections called booster packs, and they can range from a single deck of cards to a box of 36 sets of 10 cards per set.   

    Making Money With Pokemon Cards

    The world is in a mini frenzy for Pokemon trading cards and has been since the pandemic began, making what was a hobby for some into a dance of investors for many. The secondary market for Pokemon cards is growing in popularity.

    To net a profit from trading cards, you must buy them for less than you sell them for. For example, the Charizard V card is an ultra-rare chase card worth $200 in 2022. However, it is so rare that you might need to buy $2000 or more worth of booster packs to draw it once. Like with the Charizard V, most cards with value are rare, and these rare cards are mixed with common cards, increasing their rarity and value in the trade market.

    Some individuals are generating income from trading Pokemon cards. Cards have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and some smaller-scale traders make hundreds of dollars on Pokemon cards. However, remember that a card’s value fluctuates constantly. 

    Investing In Pokemon Trading Cards

    There are many variables and steps that you must consider when trading Pokemon cards. 

    Have An Interest

    Trading Pokemon cards will be difficult if you don’t have an interest in trading cards or what these cards represent. Getting into the Pokemon lore and history is vital for anyone wanting to trade in Pokemon cards. If you aren’t interested in the lore behind these cards, you will struggle to keep up with the constantly changing market, which can result in bad investments.

    Pikachu Illustrator is one of the rarest Pokemon trading cards, and 41 copies were made. The card was made in the 1990s, so one in mint condition can fetch the owner a million dollars. What makes this card so special? Well, it was illustrated by the original illustrator of the Pokemon character. 

    Know Wanted Cards

    How will you know the wanted cards? Interact with collectors, join forums, and be part of the Pokemon trading community. It will be overwhelming at first, but once you have a feel for the process, you will be able to make informed choices instead of lucky guesses regarding the possible value of a card.

    Prepare to Speculate

    The value of Pokemon trading cards isn’t easily predicted or regulated, so there isn’t a set of rules to follow when beginning a collection.

    The potential for a card to be of high value can only be speculated. There are factors that influence a card’s value, like its rarity. A card’s rarity is indicated at its bottom right corner. If there is a circle, the card is common; a diamond indicates it is less common, and a star means it is rare. 

    Cards with printing errors are few and are sought after because they are very rare. Holographic artwork also contributes to a card’s rarity. A card that isn’t a Pokemon card but a trainer card can be so rare that it becomes priceless. An example is the Pikachu Trainer Card that was only given to winners of a competition in Japan.

    Make choices based on the available information, and don’t be too quick to make a profit because a card that is overlooked today may be sought after in years to come.

    Don’t Start By Investing In Expensive Cards

    There are cards that many people want that are expensive. One of them is Master’s Key, a Pokemon card that was awarded to participants in a Pokemon Trading Card Game tournament held in Hawaii. The tournament was held in 2010, and the card was sold to a collector in 2019 for $21,000. 

    It will be in your best interest not to actively search out those cards because their high value might not last, and you will be left with a card you spent a lot of money on that isn’t worth much now. 

    For instance, the Crystal Celebi Pokemon card was made in 2003, before the Pokemon Company took over the trading card publishing rights. The card is rare, but unlike its counterparts in the set that are valued at $15,000, the Crystal Celebi Pokemon card has depreciated in value to less than $1,000.

    Starting with less expensive cards can be a good strategy for those interested in learning more about the market. Work yourself up the ladder gradually to a point where you are comfortable spending sizable amounts of money on trading cards.

    You could start with cards that cost as little as $50 and see what you get out of them. If you make a mistake with a small investment, it hurts your capital less. 

    Diversify Your Investment

    Diversify your purchase by getting a “booster” or “display” pack. There are several booster packs in a single display pack. These packs will come with a diversity of cards, and you might be fortunate to find one that is of tremendous value.

    You should apply the same principles you would apply to the stock market by diversifying your portfolio. Exploring different card options can help beginners evaluate which ones are most advantageous.

    Buy Current Cards

    It might sound strange since you are dealing with collectors, but when trading Pokemon cards, buy current cards. The people who make money from collecting cars had bought and kept these cars for many generations before they became collectors.

    When it comes to Pokemon cards, the best options are those no older than two years. Current cards have a buzz about them that makes people want them. 

    Current cards can also be an affordable investment in what may become vintage cards. A time might come when one card you have had for a while is highly valued.

    Invest in Storage

    Pokemon trading cards are pieces of cardboard with prints. They are fragile and can easily get damaged, and nothing drops the value of a card faster than its condition. 

    If you plan on trading your cards and making them an investment, then invest in proper storage for the cards. 

    The best way to store them is at room temperature, in conditions that humans can live in. It is best to avoid basements, attics, and other humid places. Valuable cards can be stored safely in bank deposit boxes.

    Caution When Investing In Pokemon Trading Cards

    There are things you should consider and be cautious about when trading in Pokemon cards.

    Expect Some Cards to Drop in Value

    If you have skipped all the subtle warnings about cards dropping in value, then listen to this obvious warning: some of the cards you have purchased won’t mean much. 

    It might seem harsh, but that is how the market is. Remember that it isn’t regulated and is solely driven by the desires of collectors and the hype kicked off by famous people. There are cards that you would assume are of high value but end up not meaning much.  An example is the Venusaur Reverse Holographic Fireworks Card from a set in 2002. The card can be had in pristine condition for $100 on auction sites.  

    Watch out for Scalpers/Scammers

    It is helpful to watch out for individuals who buy cards at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) and sell them at a profit. Such people make their profit when there is hype or craze for a particular card or set of cards.

    When there is hype for a card you don’t have, that isn’t the time to go looking for it. You will most likely run a loss if you buy it and try to sell it immediately.

    Also, don’t be driven to purchase Pokemon trading cards under questionable circumstances. These aren’t things to buy in back alleys and bars. Purchase your cards from reliable, established platforms.

    Trade with Established Entities

    To minimize the risk of fraud, it’s important to be cautious of potential fraud and only use reputable platforms. There are online and offline platforms that deal in the buying and selling of Pokemon trading cards.

    For online purchases, you can visit TCGplayer or Madhouse. You can get box sets offline in your local game store, like Gamestop. Places like Walmart usually have booster packs, but high demand might make them out of stock.


    The demand for Pokemon trading cards has increased investor interest. You can invest in these cards and profit from them. However, you must have an interest in the whole Pokemon trading card world and be smart about your purchases. You must also take the storage of your cards seriously and create an adequate environment for them. If these conditions aren’t met, you might lose a lot of money. Treat investing in Pokemon cards like the stock market: study it, pace yourself, and consider the risks.


    Is trading Pokemon cards a lucrative business?

    Trading Pokemon cards can be lucrative for some people, but it’s important to understand the risks involved, has an interest in the Pokemon world, and be prepared to speculate on card values.

    What factors influence the value of a Pokemon trading card?

    Card value is influenced by factors such as rarity, condition, age, printing errors, and the popularity of the Pokemon or set. The value of cards can fluctuate over time, so it’s essential to stay informed.

    How can I start investing in Pokemon trading cards?

    Begin by learning about the Pokemon world and trading card community. Start with affordable cards and gradually work your way up to more expensive ones as you gain knowledge and experience. Diversify your investments, focus on current cards, and invest in proper storage for your collection.

    Are there any risks involved in investing in Pokemon trading cards?

    Yes, there are risks. Card values can fluctuate, and some cards may depreciate in value over time. Additionally, the market is unregulated and driven by the desires of collectors and hype. Be cautious of scalpers and scammers, and trade with established platforms.

    Where can I buy and sell Pokemon trading cards?

    You can buy and sell cards through reliable online platforms like TCGplayer and Madhouse, or in-store at places like Gamestop or Walmart. Be sure to trade with established entities to avoid scams.

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