10 Absolutely Essential Tips for Pokémon Card Collecting

Nerdacity Jan 09, 2024
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Pokemon Card Collecting Essential Tips Cover Image

Collecting Pokémon cards has been a popular hobby among people of all ages for over 27 years now!

Whether you're a seasoned collector or a beginner looking to start your own collection, we bring you 10 absolutely essential tips which when combined, can help dramatically enhance your collection and collecting experience.

From knowing the value of your cards to properly protecting them, these 10 tips will ensure that your Pokémon card collection remains in top condition, retaining maximum aesthetic appeal and value for years to come!

If you are a beginner, you may find our Pokémon TCG FAQ useful. If you do/don't, please let us know, we're always open to feedback!

Sleeved Pokémon Cards

1. Research, Research, Research

It's a good idea to educate yourself before seriously investing in your Pokémon card collection (this article is a good start!).

Take the time to research the hobby, including trends in cards/sets holding/losing value over time, as well as (most importantly) your own preferences, likes and dislikes. Thorough research can prevent disappointment and/or overpayment later on down the road.

Familiarise yourself with the different card sets, their rarities, availability, and the value of certain cards within your favourite set (more below). By knowing the value of  cards, you can make informed decisions when buying, selling, and/or trading.

Websites, forums, and online communities dedicated to Pokémon card collecting can provide valuable information and insights.

2. Know the Value of Cards

As detailed above, understanding the value of Pokémon cards is crucial when it comes to collecting.

Keep an eye on market trends and the prices at which cards are being bought and sold. This will give you a sense of which cards are in high demand and can potentially increase in value over time.

While it's not essential that your cards wildly increase in value, especially if they hold sentimental value, it's always a nice bonus. Online marketplaces such as TCGPlayer and

eBay can serve as valuable resources for gauging card values (with eBay, select 'Completed' + 'Sold' listings for more accurate results).

3. Focus on Quality and Condition

When investing in Pokémon cards for your collection, always prioritise quality. Look for cards in as close to mint (i.e. perfect) condition as possible, being free from creases, scratches, edge whitening or other wear/damage.

Cards in pristine condition will fetch a higher price and hold their value much better in the long term.

We strongly suggest minimising contact with the surface of your cards. Investing in quality card sleeves and a binder will help keep your collection safe and well-preserved. For more information, as well as protector recommendations, visit our '5 Pro Tips to Keep Your Pokémon Cards in Mint Condition'.

4. Stay Organised

To build a successful Pokémon card collection, it's important to stay organised by developing a system that allows you to easily track and locate specific cards.

Sorting cards by set number, rarity, or alphabetically can simplify the process and make it easier to identify gaps in your collection.

Additionally, keeping an inventory of your cards via a spreadsheet or third-party site/app (such as TCG Collector) will help you monitor their value and scarcity, as well as track any potential changes.

5. Attend Card Shows and Conventions

Ok, maybe not 'absolutely essential', but attending trading card events, such as conventions or tournaments, can be a great way to meet fellow collectors and expand your collection.

These events often feature vendors selling Pokémon cards, as well as opportunities for trading and battling with other collectors.

Additionally, you may come across rare, limited-edition, and/or event specific cards that are not readily available elsewhere.

6. Network with Other Collectors

Joining online Pokémon card communities is a great way to connect with other collectors from around the world.

Platforms like forums, social media groups, and online marketplaces provide great opportunities to discuss card collecting, ask questions, and even trade or sell cards.

These communities can offer valuable insights and advice for collectors of all levels.

7. Be Patient

Building a perfect, large, and/or valuable Pokémon card collection takes time and patience.

Rare and sought-after cards may not appear regularly or cheaply. Avoid rushing into purchases and be prepared to wait for the right opportunity to add a specific card to your collection.

Patience is key when it comes to maximising value and minimising unnecessary overspending on your Pokémon TCG investments.

8. Consider Card Grading

Card grading is a process whereby professional third-party companies assess the condition and authenticity of a Pokémon card.

Graded cards are encapsulated in tamper-proof cases, ensuring their protection, authenticating them, proving their condition, and preserving their value.

Getting your valuable or very rare cards graded can enhance their market appeal and safeguard their condition. For more information on the grading process visit our comprehensive guide.

9. Be Aware of Counterfeit Cards 

Unfortunately, counterfeit Pokémon cards are a reality in the collector's market, especially with higher value items.

Avoid purchasing fake cards by buying from reputable sellers or stores, and familiarise yourself with the characteristics of genuine Pokémon cards, such as print, font, thickness, texture, and holographic patterns.

It's usually more beneficial to buy cards in person for a closer inspection, but as a general rule: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

10. Stay Updated

The world of Pokémon card collecting is constantly evolving (see what we did there), with new cards and sets being released regularly (there were 6 sets released in 2023 alone).

Stay up-to-date with the latest releases by following official Pokémon announcements (such as @PokémonTCG on X) or subscribing to newsletters from reputable card retailers.

By following this advice you can stay ahead of the game, being ready (financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) to add the latest batch of cards to your collection.

Pokémon Cards Bulk

Final Thoughts

Collecting Pokémon cards can be a rewarding and exciting endeavour for enthusiasts of all ages. By following these 10 essential tips, you can ensure that your Pokémon card collection remains valuable, organised, and well-maintained.

Researching the value of your cards, keeping them in mint condition, organising your collection, and being aware of fake cards are crucial steps for any collector.

Attending trading card events, joining online communities, and taking care during trades will also help you expand your collection and connect with other collectors.

Ultimately, the most important tip is to appreciate the journey and have fun collecting the Pokémon cards and sets you enjoy most!

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