Education

New Pokémon Collectors. What you may need to know.

Today I will give a brief introduction into the Pokémon community for new collectors and fans. Covering some frequently asked questions and topics in the hobby. To you lifers out there, jump in and help the newbies—in case I get something wrong. We will start off with the most important part to factor in when starting your Pokémon collection.

The market is in a transition period right now.

Pokémon cards are going from nostalgic items that can fetch a decent bit of money to a solid investment option. Though I think we overvalue many of the cards at the moment, I don’t believe they will come crashing down. But a correction is due.

For example, a near mint 1st edition raw (ungraded card) Typhlosion 17/111 from the Neo genesis set is moving for around $1000. Not too crazy when certain cards sell for hundreds of thousands—even modern NBA cards are selling for millions. But this particular Typhlosion should move for around $200-$500 in my opinion and eventually will be. I’m not saying don’t buy the Typhlosion you want really bad. Wait it out, try to find a suitable deal. New collectors who rushed buying up cards begin to realize collecting and selling cards is more of a long game, you will be able to obtain the cards you want for cheaper.

You will see many cards posted on eBay for more than they are worth.

These people are hoping you don’t know what the cards actual value is. You can check out the the market value of Pokémon cards on a website like TCGplayer.com, I’ll explain that later. Do your research, compare completed sales on eBay to the market value of the card on TCGPlayer. If something listed for sale less is than the market value, you can question if it’s fake. This can be nerve racking for new collectors. If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Not every valuable card is going to sell quickly. You want to flip cards for quick money? Good luck. Loading up on a lowly desired expensive cards is not a good idea. Don’t let go of a card that has a market value of $200 for a price of $50 because you thought you could sell it quicker, wait it out for a good deal.

Not every set is popular. A lot of people are out here collecting up everything Pokemon they can get their hands on. Majority of this is from new fans jumping into the hobby not knowing what is sought after by true collectors. The ripple effect has made pokemon products virtually impossible to find in store.

Pokémon card collecting now a days is a lot of searching and waiting for a good deal.

Rarely is someone going give you a good deal. Be sure you’ve done research to avoid being scammed. You have unlimited resources at your disposal to educate yourself on current market trends within the trading card game. Sometimes you have to strike on a good deal when you see it. Other times you are best to let one go. Fomo can drain your bank account. Finding the best deal is about monitoring the sales of the card you want, then strike on a new listing.

Scalpers are not your friend.

The hobby is overrun with those going to every store buying all the product to sell to you. These guys and girls are not good for the hobby. Hardcore collectors do not typically search around for sealed product. Scalpers are getting good at pretending to be collectors now that more people are becoming fed up with this problem. Scalpers join online communities posing as collectors to try and unload the product bought up at large quantities. You will see items on going for $100 one day and $60 the next. Once an uneducated scalper realizes they have overpriced their product they adjust.

Don’t let anyone tell you what to collect.

Maybe Charizard isn’t your favorite, you don’t need to chase a bunch of Charizard to be respected in the community.  Collect what you love! This will open up doors to trades and meeting new people who love the same cards as you. Be wary of people who talk you down in price because they, ” know what they are talking about”. Not all cards will be worth a ton of money in the future. Though if you really love this game, you will collect what you love.

TCGplayer!

This is the site to use when checking what a card is worth. The search bar lets you type a Pokémons name for lists of cards associated with the name of the Pokémon you typed in.

This is a great tool to help track prices of any card. Be mindful that the cards for sale on TCGPlayer.com are sold by private sellers. You can view multiple sellers after clicking on a certain card. Check the feedback of the seller before completing a purchase. You will also notice the variation of prices each seller offers.

Prices change. Check TCGplayer then go over to eBay and compare the prices you find for the same card.

A lot of people are in this hobby for life.

The amount of people I have met that are collecting for their future children is enormous. We have all types of collectors. The ones who have been fanatics since they were children up to now are the ones keeping the hobby alive and thriving. The kids of these fans will most likely grow up collecting then passing it on to their children. They are usually the most welcome to new fans.

The online card game is really fun!

It’s a computer only, downloadable game, which I have included the link here. This wasn’t a thing when I was a child. This was not a thing until I was finished with high school. Had the Pokémon trading card game online released when I was in high school I would’ve had ZERO social life. All my hours would’ve been spent obtaining digital cards to climb the ranks of the best players in the world. Even if you aren’t aspiring to win a players cup, playing the online trading card game is so much fun. This is especially true for Pokémon fanatics.

The scalper epidemic made cards harder to obtain for a good price, but you can find code cards online for a lot less than physical cards, which you can use on PTCGO to redeem for digital packs and open them or trade them for the digital cards you want. You don’t have to wait around for people to trade with, with a chat system with multiple lobbies for trading and whatever else you may need to become better at the game. With so many deck types, everyone can create their own style of play.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to pay money for code cards, you can earn digital currency using pre made decks. Winning matches which can be used to buy packs in game, only downside is you can’t trade cards you earned in game.

What is battle style in Pokémon?

Battle styles, a set of cards released in the PTCG. It introduces new mechanics to competitive play called rapid strike and single strike. Pokémon attack in rapid strike, attacks with low energy cost that are easy to set up or single strike, high energy cost dealing massive amounts of damage. Created with decks like Pika-Rom and Eternatus Vmax in mind.

This set has not been as popular as some of the previous sets like Vivid Voltage or Shining Fates, mainly because it’s more geared toward competitive play. But it is still difficult to find in store. If you want to get into play the card game then get familiar with Battle Styles as it will eventually take over the current metagame.

As sets go in and out of competitive eligibility, the value of the cards fluctuate. This is something that playing the tcgo can help you keep an eye on.

We could go on and on all day about what mistakes not to make but this will have to do for now. Follow the blog for updates and more extensive lists.

Let us know what we missed. There is plenty I am sure and I want you to let us know in the comment section. What is something you want to know more about? If we can’t help, someone else can.

2 comments

  1. Wow, you have opened my eyes and definitely educated me. I would have probably purchased the item at a higher price than the retailed priced. Thank you, again, @millennialmon, for looking out. Good looking out.

  2. And I would like to add a point for beginners who don’t have enough money (I don’t know whether it’s just me as I live in India 😅 because of the currency value and shipping prices and custom duties too are high) to get into the hobby keep a look out for international giveaways.

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