Got some old Pokemon cards lying around? How to turn it into cash fast
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Pokemon cards are one of the most valuable gaming collectibles around, with the most expensive trading card based on the hit Nintendo and Game Freak series managing to sell for millions of pounds. This was a Pikachu Illustrator card that YouTuber-turned-boxer, turned-WWE-wrestler Logan Paul purchased for a whopping $5.275 million. This card fetched such a staggering price given it’s so rare, with only 39 being made and only one in existence that has a grade 10 Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) rating – which is the one Paul purchased.
However, you don’t have to have a one-of-a-kind card like this stored at the bottom of a cupboard or in your loft to make a quick buck.
With thousands of cards released since Pokemon trading cards first became available in 1996, and such a huge fanbase, you may have a card lying around that someone will be willing to pay top dollar for.
If you’re a complete newbie and don’t know where to start then Kevin Aloë, eBay’s collectible card game category manager, will be able to help.
Speaking to Express.co.uk the trading card expert, who will be at MCM Comic Con in London this week at the eBay stand setup throughout the event, offered some pro tips for anyone looking to get into selling Pokemon trading cards.
The first thing you’ll want to lookout for, as Aloë explained, is figuring out how rare a card is. Key to understanding this is being able to read crucial details on a Pokemon card.
Aloë said the things to lookout for are…
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Time and Set: The earliest editions are the most sought after. Your cards will tell you on the bottom right what year the card is from, the year 1999 is particularly sought after. You will also see a little symbol that represents which set it’s from. If you have cards from 1999 in particular, look for the sets. ‘Base Set’ is the most desirable. Especially if you see a 1st edition stamp left of the Illustration, that’s perfect.
Rarity: At the bottom of the card, you will see a circle, a diamond or a star. A circle means it’s a common card, it’s generally far less valuable as it’s a lot more common to find. Diamond are uncommon cards which are more valuable. What you want to prioritise are cards with a star symbol, these are the rare cards.
Fan favourites Pokemons: Tend to have more value because they appeal to a lot of people, in particular Charizards, Blastoise, Pikachu, Venosaur. This one is a bit harder to appreciate, and you will learn more as you go.
Special Treatment: In general cards with special effect or treatment tend to be rarer and more valuable, and are easy to spot. Holo / Foil cards that are reflective stand out (holographic). Cards with a Full Art, i.e where the art is taking the full space of the cards are also immediately recognisable and desirable.
Once you have figured out what card you’ve got hold of then have a look round on eBay to see how much they have sold for in the past. You will then want to create a listing that gives a buyer as much information as possible so they can truly see what the card is worth.
Aloë advises: “From there, I recommend doing your own research, and checking for that specific card on eBay. You need to look for that exact same card and compare with other cards in the same condition. Filter by the sold items on our eBay website and you will get an idea of what the card is selling for on average.
“Top tip: Putting it on auction also allows the buyers to collectively define the price of your offer. That would be my recommendation. It’s best to set the lowest starting price possible to get some momentum going. I don’t recommend starting with a high price on an auction.
“Alternatively if you prefer to define a specific price, which is particularly relevant for more recent sets where there might be less demand yet, I would recommend you base it on what similar items have sold for.
“You need to help your buyers find your listings, address their concerns and help them see the full value of your offer.”
When it comes to creating a listing you’ll want to put these things on it…
– The name of the Pokemon, the card # reference within the set, the set, the year and any special treatment on the card.
– Include the condition i.e. Charizard 4/102 Base Set 1999 Holo Excellent (guide on condition). If it’s from the 1999 -2000 era, you will notice the cards refer Wizards of The Coast as the manufacturer. If that’s the case, include WOTC in your title.
– Don’t use commas or hyphens.
– If you have space left you can include ‘Pokemon card’.
– All this information is written on the card.
– For the photos, start with a clear photo of your card and card back. The buyer should be able to see the card clearly and have no doubt about its condition. If there is a defect, show it and call it out. Put photos of the corner and edges which are important for the condition of the item.
Aloë also advises simply having fun with the journey of getting to know more about Pokemon trading cards and selling them!
The eBay trading card expert spoke to Express.co.uk ahead of MCM Comic Con which is taking place in London between October 28 and 30.
Aloë will be at the eBay stand throughout the event, along with some of eBay’s biggest sellers in the gaming and card trading space.
These big name sellers will be at Comic Con showcasing their card collections and passing on their knowledge and top tips for buying, selling and trading cards with the community.
The world’s leading auction site will also be bringing with it its expansive range of trading cards with special edition, rare trading cards on show for fans to see, along with artwork at the eBay stand which has been specially created by renowned NFT artist Vexx.
Those heading to the ExCeL centre in London will also have the chance to create their very own trading card as part of the interactive experience, complete with AR photo-booths and the option to customise the cards and take home a digital and physical copy of this one-off memorabilia item.
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