Pokémon Cards - Shop & CollectShop Pokemon cards on ShopyShake
Find your favorite Pokémon cards on eBay or Amazon
Pokémon — or pocket monsters — have remained a collectible phenomena since they were first introduced to the world in 1995 (and to the trading card world in 1996).
Created by the ingenious Japanese designer Satoshi Tajiri, the cute franchise is represented through video games, manga, anime, plush toys and, of course, collectible cards.
With such a diverse and ever-changing history of new and exciting characters, we highlight how you can use online retail spaces like eBay and Amazon to hunt for sought after cards, and what to look out for on your quest to “collect them all”, like the Pokemon Tapu Lele.
Pokémon cards are a perennial favourite of the trading card game universe.
Since their inauguration on the English market in 1998, Pokémon have been some of the largest and best selling cards ever produced.
With new cards entering the market frequently, there have been 74 card sets released for collection in America and 68 additional sets in Japan to date.
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Before entering into the collectible market, it is first necessary to highlight which set it is that you are collecting and what is for sale online.
If you fail to take note of the card’s origin set, you may end up with the wrong card for your collection.
The earliest card sets were published in English by the company Wizards of the Coast.
These include the earliest Base Set (1999) and the extremely rare Poké mon Demo Game Plastic Pack (1998).
From 2003, The Pokémon Company took over publication and the card game now runs in its “Seventh Generation”.
Collecting Them All
Pokémon cards serve several purposes, you can either attempt collect the cards for playing the card game at home or at official tournaments, or you can attempt the task of collecting them all for the hunt and thrill of completion.
If your aim is to collect them all, it is best to concentrate on certain sets at a time (preferably the more widely available recent printings), piecing the entire collection bit by bit.
Amazon and eBay are great platforms through which to do your collecting, as you are able to keep record of changing prices and hunt for individual cards or sets at large.
If you are using Amazon, the in-browser client The Camelizer is a great way to keep track of prices and decide whether to buy a card on the Amazon Seller Market.
Things to Note When Using eBay and Amazon
Now that you have decided to collect, here are some tips when using eBay and Amazon online.
Buy Protected Cards:
When you are looking for cards, always make sure that the card is protected in a sleeve within the picture or description.
This will guarantee a greater quality and condition.
This goes for trading and selling too; always make sure your cards are protected.
It is worth investing in folders and files with card slots to protect your own collection.
These are available cheap on Amazon and eBay. Buy good Pokemon card sleeves.
Understand the Condition Scale:
The lingo of Pokémon collecting involves a quality scale.
This goes Mint, Near Mint, Good, Fair and Poor.
Although we like to think sellers are true to their word, you should always ask for proof through photographs.
If a seller does not list the quality rating, ask.
If they won’t list it, don’t buy it. You should also consider not buying cards in the Fair or Poor scale unless they are just for playing.
Be wary of subjectivity in ratings by asking for detailed descriptions of condition.
Knowing the truth about card rarity will prevent you from being ripped off.
Often times, we can grab a bargain when a seller is not sure of their card’s rarity, but also pay attention to those over valuing their collection.
A card’s rarity is generally represented in one of the symbols in the bottom right corner (Common, Uncommon, or Rare), but there are also Promotional, Holofoil Rare (or Reverse Holo) and Ultra Rare cards to be had.
Try investing in a guidebook or reference an online database (like the official website or Pokémon Prices) to get your head around the system of value.
Reverse Holo in particular indicates a card is holographic in the coloured area rather than the picture area.
These are rarer to come by and much sought after.
Only Trust What You Can See:
Always look for high quality photographs of each card, but also be wary of sellers offering “random” cards on eBay.
These are most likely bogus and a waste of money.
With Amazon, it is worth asking the seller for additional photographs via e-mail as the Amazon listing system is less sympathetic to images.
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This is harder said than done, but fakes can usually be spotted in the colouration and imperfections of a card.
Information could be wrong, pictures could be different and the rarity scale could be fabricated.
If you spot a fake, report; both Amazon and eBay do not welcome counterfeits.
Buy Lots, Buy Often:
When buying deck cards, opt for lots with plenty of cards.
These will no doubt include few cards of value, but they allow you to flesh out your playing and base collection so that you can then pay attention to single rare cards.
Always be aware that if a seller is listing a lot to specify the number of cards on sale – this means you won’t be short changed.
Ardent collectors seek to expand their collection with imports from overseas.
Japanese cards offer an interesting addition to English language packs.
Once you have all the English cards at hand, the Japanese packs can make quirky and interesting additions.
Collecting is tons of fun and a great way to enter the Pokémon community.
Just be sure to follow our guide and you’ll be on your way to becoming a Pokémon master.