Make Money Selling Pokémon Cards

Make Money Selling Pokémon Cards

Think you can make a fortune selling your Pokémon cards? Think again! While it’s true that some cards can be quite valuable, the average card is only worth a few bucks. So if you’re looking to make some money from your collection, don’t expect to get rich quick. Instead, focus on selling cards that are in high demand and have a high value. With a little luck and some shrewd bargaining, you could make a modest profit from your Pokémon trading card hobby!

It’s possible to make a side-hustle

If you love Pokémon cards and you want to turn your favorite hobby into a side-hustle, it’s totally possible to buy/sell cards to make a profit. 

The card market is a reflection of the stock market, in many ways. You have the big players like Charizard, that continually climb in value, only dipping briefly, and you have more volatile cards that see large spikes or drop-offs. When a new and desirable card hits the market, its value starts high, then slowly descends. Timing is important, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The point is, that making a profit from Pokémon cards is possible. But you need to have experience in the hobby and know how to buy low and sell high. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

How to buy and sell Pokémon cards

The only real rule is to buy low and sell high. If you follow this one rule, it’s impossible not to make a profit. But where do you buy low? And is it better to sell locally or online?

Since the market is dynamic, you’ll want to keep an eye on card prices. The easiest way to do this is to watch sold listings on eBay or visit a Pokémon statistics site like If you see the card you’re watching dip, buy it. And then be patient, and sell when the demand increases. 

Of course, this is short-term. If you want to purchase cards to hold, it’s a whole different ballpark, and then it’s not a side-hustle, but an investment. 

If you want really large profit margins, you’ll have to put in some more effort and find cards at cheap prices. The best way to do this is to visit thrift stores and yard sales, looking for old collections being sold as a whole. This also opens up the possibility of finding a hidden gem, like an original Charizard.

Ok, so buy cards cheap, and sell them for more. Simple right? Well, there’s one mistake that many hobbyists make.

How not to buy and sell Pokémon cards

Many people make the very common mistake of purchasing sealed products for the purpose of opening and re-selling. 

The Pokémon Company releases a new set every couple of months, and each set has a few banger cards. These are the “chase” cards as people will spend all their money chasing the few high-ticket cards in the set. 

A booster pack containing 10 cards typically costs around $5 retail. So if you buy a  booster and happen to pull one of the chase cards, you could turn around and sell it for a whopping profit, sometimes $500+. But there’s a catch.

tcgplayer’s chart represents the sharp drop of Celebrations Charizard, just days after release.

The chances of pulling the chase cards are incredibly low. It’s gambling, in a sense. And once you start the chase, it’s hard to stop. If you went to your local card shop and spent $1,000 on sealed products, hoping to pull the latest Charizard, you may miss out and not pull anything. Sure, you’d get a few valuable cards in the process, but the odds are against you and you will most likely not make your money back. 

Buying sealed products in hopes of pulling an expensive card is a bad idea. 

Timing is key

Buy low, sell high. 

It will help if you can predict card prices, right? Well, there are a few techniques you can learn to do just that. 

  • For flipping modern cards short-term, we only care about the first six months that the card is out. When TPC releases a new set, prices are at the highest. 
  • Quite often, the chase cards or sometimes the entire set is leaked beforehand. So do your research and try to pick out the best cards. You can even create an eBay listing beforehand, so you’re ready to list as soon as possible. 
  • Watch eBay closely and place low bids on every listing that you can find. If you win one at a decent price (below market value) immediately list it at a higher price. 
  • During the first few weeks, these cards sell fast, so you have to be watching closely. Then, they typically dip as supply increases and eventually level out. 

Here’s another important part. The set releases, the prices begin to fall and level out, and then increase again! Why? The first wave of print runs has ended, and the product can be found on store shelves. This is another good chance to sell. 

Sometimes holding onto cards is a good idea. You never know what will happen in the community or media that will spike a card’s value. For example, Logan Paul’s Youtube channel brought the hobby a lot of attention, specifically the original Charizards. Prices inflated 500% almost overnight. 

Final Thoughts

You may have heard that the stock market is tough to predict. But trading Pokémon cards? That’s a walk in the park! It might sound like I am exaggerating, but it’s true- you don’t need an MBA degree to make money off of this hobby. Once you understand how people buy and sell these things, timing becomes key; knowing what type of card someone wants can save them time (and potentially some cash) by not having to search through stacks at their local game store or online marketplace for hours on end. Did you know there are lots of different types of collectors out there who will pay top dollar for certain types of cards based on rarity alone? Or that many sellers use eBay as their front page? 

Check out our other posts to learn more about buying and selling cards, oh, and good luck!