So it is likely that you, like most of us, have a binder or tin lunchbox full of Pokemon cards from when you were younger and recently heard that they might be worth something.
Or, you might be a new collector curious about which cards you should look into investing in for the future.
Either way, you have come to the right place.
Below we are going to walk you through each step-by-step factor that goes into the value of your Pokemon card.
Of course, to figure out the exact value of your specific card you will need to complete research and perhaps get it graded, but this comprehensive guide will give you an idea as to whether or not your card might be worth some money.
How Much Are Pokemon Cards Worth?
In summary, modern-day pokemon cards are worth $1.2 USD on average with many pokemon cards being valued under $1 USD and cards classified as "Rare" having a value of under $10 USD. Older pokemon cards and limited edition cards have a higher financial value on average with the most expensive pokemon card ever being sold for $233,000 USD on the ZenPlus marketplace.
There are a lot of different factors that go into the value of a card, some of which are so niche it is impossible to give you an exact value for every single Pokemon card in one article.
Below you will find all the information you need to start figuring out which of your cards might be worth some money.
What Is The Condition of Your Card?
The condition of your card is probably one of the most important considerations when it comes to how much your Pokemon card is worth.
If your card is ripped, torn, stained, bent, etc., it will most likely not matter how rare or hard to find your Pokemon card is; collectors will not want to spend much money to buy it.
Collectors are looking for cards in prime condition that they can show off and enjoy.
The cards with the most value will all be in at least mint condition. Of course, if your card is slightly worn, but an extremely rare one, you may find that it is still worth a decent amount of money.
On the other hand, if you are looking for rare cards but are not wanting to spend so much money, consider looking at a slightly lower quality grade or cards without grades.
You may still find it cool to own the card but will not have to spend as much money to get your hands on the card.
Finally, if you are looking at selling your own cards, it is a good idea to go and get them graded by a PSA or Professional Sports Authenticator representative if you believe something special in your collection.
Grading professionals will know all the different things to look at to figure out exactly what condition your card is in.
If you have a high-quality card, getting a PSA grade will make it worth even more!
Additionally, if you are buying a high-value card, and they claim it has a certain grade, ask to see the documentation from PSA just to be safe.
Is Your Card a First Edition?
First edition pokemon cards are almost always relatively valuable no matter what kind of card it is, as long as it is in good condition.
Now, that does not mean that every single first edition Pokemon card will be worth thousands of dollars, but you will probably find that they are at least worth more than the rest of your cards.
Let's look at an example.
If you have a holographic Charizard card from the base set, it does not matter what edition it is in; as long as it is good quality, you will probably find that you can sell it for at least around 100 dollars.
However, if you have in your possession a first-edition holographic Charizard with a good grade from the PSA, you will find that it could be worth upwards of 10,000 dollars!
How Rare Is Your Card?
Keep in mind, it can take more research to figure out how rare your Pokemon card is than just what we are able to share with you in this article.
In most Pokemon cards that you will see, there are three rarity levels: common, uncommon, and rare.
You can tell the rarity of a card by looking at the bottom left or right corner for a symbol.
- Common Cards will have a tiny black circle in the corner.
- Uncommon Cards will have a diamond shape in the corner.
- Rare Cards will have a star symbol in the corner.
You may also have cards with a black star with the word 'PROMO' written across it; these cards were pulled from something promotional and tend to be rarer.
Unfortunately, despite the name, even many of the rare cards are fairly common and will only get you a couple of dollars or even less, so you really need to look past the symbol on the bottom to figure out how rare your card is and how much it is worth.
If you have a card that also has some other special feature to it, then it might be time to look further into the value.
Keep in mind that if you have any extremely limited edition cards, such as a card given out only at one event or even only to the winners of one competition, those cards tend to be extremely rare and collectible.
Is Your Card Holographic?
If your card is holographic or reverse holographic, it is almost always worth more than the regular card, so if you have a rare holographic card you may find that you have a card worth quite a bit of money.
Specifically, if you have the holographic Charizard, and it is in good condition, you may just be sitting on gold as it is one of the most sought-after cards there is.
Condition is important with holographic cards.
Is The Image On The Card Centered?
Is the image centered on your card and within the (typically) yellow box?
This is important because there are cards that have been misprinted and the image is not completely centered.
Sometimes, it can be a good thing when your card is not completely centered because it may be a type of error that is more sought after (see next point for more on error cards.)
However, more often than not if the image on your Pokemon card is off-centered, it is not going to be worth as much to collectors.
Take for example the holographic Charizard card.
One of the most sought after Pokemon cards out there, serious Pokemon card collectors are going to want the image on that card to be perfectly centered and not a misprint, so the value will often be lower if it is off-centered.
Is Your Card An Error Card?
Now, there are plenty of errors that do in fact make your cards worth more money because they are considered rare, and collectors want to have them.
For example, there are misprints where the HP and the numbers of the card are in the wrong order and often those cards are worth more money.
Cards with the shadowless error can also be worth more.
There is one card, the first edition, shadowless, holographic Charizard card that checks off so many of the boxes on this list that it is worth up to 50,000 dollars!
One of the most sought-after error cards is the red-cheeked Pikachu card, while it does not check off as many boxes as the aforementioned Charizard card, it is still worth upwards of 250 dollars.
Unfortunately, Not All Cards Are Worth a Lot
When you first see a card online going for thousands of dollars, it is normal to get excited when you think of your binder or metal lunchbox full of pokemon cards back in your closet at home, but unfortunately, not every single Pokemon card is going to be worth that much money.
In fact, it is rather rare for a person just to happen to have a card that is worth thousands of dollars (that is why they are called rare cards.)
There, unfortunately, is a chance that you will go through your binder and find most if not all cards that are worth only worth from five cents to a dollar.
However, the good news is that just because you may not have a card that is worth thousands of dollars, you may still have a card worth a lot more than you bought it for!
There are a variety of different cards that are worth tens to hundreds of dollars. Even if you find a card worth 'just' ten dollars, if you bought it in a pack of cards for a couple of dollars, that is a pretty good amount of profit.
Now you are all set to get out your Pokemon cards and start figuring out which ones might be valuable and then start looking up the ones with promise on a site that sells or appraises Pokemon cards.
Remember to consider all the factors above and pay special attention to the condition.
Even if you have one of the most valuable Pokemon cards (such as the first-edition, shadowless, holographic Charizard) if it looks like it has been chewed on by the family dog or run through the washing machine, it is simply not going to be worth that much money.
We wish you luck with all your future Pokemon buying and selling endeavors!
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