Gotta catch ‘em all! If you’re of a certain age where you remember the original Pokémon video games and card games being a huge deal in the playground, it might surprise you to learn that some of that old merchandise could be worth quite a bit of money.
In fact, many people who no longer have use for their old trading cards featuring Pikachu, Charizard, and others look around online for places to sell bulk Pokémon cards. As it happens, there are quite a few rare “specimens,” and hundreds of thousands of people still enjoy playing the card games – even at a competitive level!
Let’s take a look at a little bit of the background behind Pokémon cards and their value before diving into where you can start selling them online.
Can I make money from selling Pokémon cards?
You absolutely can make money from selling Pokémon cards! However, it’s worth noting that not all cards will fetch the same value return. In fact, some cards may not be worth much at all – it’s all about rarity, original runs, and special editions.
For example, you may find you have holographic Pokémon cards in your collection. These are flashy and fancy, and not only do they catch the eye, they catch the attention of buyers, too. Some could be worth hundreds of dollars, though most likely over $15 at least.
A good place to start will be a card valuation site such as Card Mavin. Here, you can enter in the names and numbers of any cards you own to get a rough valuation from a genuine trading expert. It’s worth heading here before, say, putting a standard and slightly worn Bulbasaur card up for $500!
Why are Pokémon cards worth so much money?
Pokémon cards tend to be so valuable largely because they go out of print. While there are many different packs and runs that are still printing to this day, some series cease printing altogether, and therefore, you’re looking at genuine collector’s items.
There’s no telling how many of those rare cards that did go to print were thrown out by mistake. Therefore, the numbers are only ever going to decrease, not increase!
Do also remember that Pokémon is an enduring phenomenon. While many Moms and Dads back in 1998 assumed that Pikachu and co wouldn’t see the decade out, these colorful critters are still going strong. In fact, the brand is coming up to its 30th anniversary, and the anime series based on the franchise is heading into its fourth decade.
It’s an incredible pop-culture phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down – and the fact multiple generations love the games and cards means you’re always going to have a receptive, paying audience.
Therefore, if you do have an opportunity to invest in Pokémon cards, or come across some that appear rarer than others, you can’t do wrong by making a shrewd purchase or two.
How do I make money from my Pokémon cards?
Making money from Pokémon cards is honestly pretty easy, you just need to know where to find the right audiences.
Unfortunately, yard and tabletop sales are out. Here, you’ll largely find non-collectors who aren’t aware of the cards’ value, or collectors who will be looking to sneak a bargain. In fact, while selling Pokémon cards at yard sales isn’t recommended, it’s worth hunting some down if you’re keen to invest to sell.
Ideally, you’ll get the most interest and likely the most money by selling at specialist sites. However, there are plenty of opportunities for you to find warmed-up buyers via auction sites you’ve likely heard of before.
Remember THIS before you start selling cards in bulk!
If you have a stack of Pokémon cards you’d like to sell and have no idea how much each individual card is worth, try and get valuations before you throw everything together in one set. Otherwise, you might end up losing some rarities for far less money than they’d usually command.
What’s more, look out for shiny and holographic cards. These have limited runs, which means their numbers will only ever deplete. Make sure to set any shiny-looking cards to one side and sell them separately if you can.
If you’re really not sure where to look in terms of valuation, simply try searching the name of the card online. You’ll likely find a bunch of results offering some insight into rarity and what people are willing to pay.
Do also check out Reddit for advice – where you’ll find forums dedicated to selling and trading Pokémon cards, and you’ll be able to get some valuation opinions from those in the know.
The best places to sell bulk Pokémon cards online
While I can’t ever guarantee you’ll get a sale through any of the sites I advise below, these seem to be the best choices for getting the most buyer interest and commanding the most money.
Therefore, it’s worth doing a little research and to look across all of the sites mentioned below to see if you can find buyers willing to pay the prices you’re due.
Yes, believe it or not, one of the best ways to sell bulk Pokémon cards is to simply place them into a simple eBay auction. It’s not uncommon to see sellers bundling cards together in their hundreds, though whether or not they’ve checked what’s included and valued them separately will vary!
If you have bundles of generic cards that you’d like to sell (i.e. no rarities or holographics in sight), then make use of eBay’s “sold” filter. When searching for items on eBay, you can tick a “sold” box to only search for previous auctions.
This is a great way to see what other sellers have successfully sold their card bundles for. I honestly think eBay is a great all-around spot for you to sell Pokémon cards whether in bulk or not, as it’s always likely to attract casual and invested buyers.
Craigslist won’t always be great for finding specialist buyers or those who really know the worth of Pokémon cards, but it’s worth a go. Look for specialized sections of the site in your local area, and don’t be tempted to sell low.
As always, give details of your card bundle(s) and encourage offers if you wish. I like Craigslist as a selling point sometimes, though for this type of sale and commodity, it can be hit and miss. List a bundle and leave it a while to see if it gains traction.
While Facebook may have taken a lot of the virtual yard sale listings of Craigslist away over the years gone by, it’s actually a really shrewd place to find serious buyers.
Where possible, don’t list on the general marketplace. Instead, search for local Pokémon card trading and buying groups. There are several!
In here, you’ll find dedicated buyers, collectors, and hobbyists. Be warned, the buyers here will likely have strong opinions on the value of your cards, but ultimately, you need these opinions to know exactly what you’re selling.
I think this option is one of the safer routes to take if you’re unsure about getting taken advantage of at a yard sale or otherwise. FB Marketplace normally finishes second to eBay in my experience, but to home in on very specific buyers, it’s one of the best resources for selling Pokémon cards in bulk.
Now we’re getting into the committed buyers and those who genuinely know what they’re after. TCGPlayer is a massively popular online marketplace for all kinds of trading card games, with Pokémon being one of the main listings (alongside Magic The Gathering).
It’s easy enough to start selling on TCGP, but if you’re someone who’s not too sure about the individual value of cards, you might find the experience here a little daunting at first.
However, TCGP is one of the top marketplace specifically for these commodities, as you’ll always get a huge influx of interest, and those interested really know the value of what’s for sale.
Full Grip Games
Finally, Full Grip Games is likely one of the best-known and best-loved resources for Pokémon card game buyers on the web. It’s common here for sellers to make money from bulk lots, too, meaning if you’d prefer not to split your cards, you can.
Again, like TCGP, you’re going to have access to buyers who know the value of what they’re paying for, which can be a blessing and a curse. My advice would be to look carefully into what other sellers are listing and to follow their lead – if possible!
What are some of the most valuable Pokémon cards?
While there’s a little bit of a dispute over which Pokémon cards are confirmed the most valuable, there are several that collectors continue to hunt down, and some which make five-figure sums at auction.
The most valuable Pokémon card of all time is thought to be the solo Pikachu “illustrator” card, which auctioned for more than $5 million in 2021. It’s highly unlikely you’ll have an illustrator card in your collection, unfortunately!
However, if you’re lucky enough to find any of the following Pokémon cards in your wardrobe or garage stash, it’s time to get them professionally valued and look at your options.
First edition Charizard (shadowless base)
Anyone who grew up playing with Pokémon cards in the 90s knew that finding a Charizard, a fire-breathing dragon monster, was a big deal. If you were lucky enough to have plucked one out of a packet during the game’s original run and you’ve kept hold of it, you’re sitting on a small fortune.
A first edition run of Charizard without a shadow around the border of its artwork will likely get you more than $400,000 at auction. It’s famously rare, and collectors are willing to spend incredible sums of money to get it.
Blastoise Galaxy Star holo (Wizards of the Coast)
This is a super-rare “presentation” card commissioned by card moguls Wizards of the Coast in the late 1990s. It’s thought that only two actually exist – but no one’s certain.
This card is something of a recent discovery, having been unearthed back in 2021. If you’re seriously lucky, your holo Blastoise could be worth more than $360,000 if you take it to auction!
First edition Lugia (Neo Genesis)
Lugia is a second-generation Pokémon, which means it wasn’t part of the 151 original monsters in the original card game and video game series. It’s also a “legendary” beast, which makes it all the more sought-after by collectors. It’s a little bit like the Pokémon Mewtwo in the first generation in that regard.
Released in 2000, a first edition Lugia within the Neo Genesis expansion could net you more than $140,000 if it’s in pristine condition. It’s thought that only three exist worldwide – could you be hiding one of them and not even know it?
Do my Pokémon cards need to be in good condition?
Ideally, yes! The better condition your Pokémon cards are in, the more money you can command for them in terms of resale.
Unfortunately, leaving an old set of cards at the back of a damp garage, for example, could see you lose out on some serious income. If you find cards you think are valuable and want to try and sell them online, move them into dry storage where they won’t be creased or folded.
Is it worth selling Pokémon cards online?
As you can see, there’s certainly plenty of demand for Pokémon cards online, and if you no longer get any joy from them, it’s worth looking into selling in bulk.
However, I’d always recommend you take a closer look at the value of individual cards. By selling in bulk, you run the risk of losing out on a great deal on a few potential rarities.
Otherwise, do try and start with eBay, and if you can help it, avoid selling at the next yard sale!
by Jon Craig
I am the creator of Project Financially Free and I started this journey to both educate myself and share my insights on personal finance. I’m passionate about financial literacy and I invite you to join me on this transformative path. See more.