How to Collect Pokemon Cards? Learn Today!

Want to learn How to Collect Pokemon Cards? Like you, there are many of Pokemon fans with the same question. It is understandable with so many options.

Edgardo Vargasby:

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Interested in knowing How to Collect Pokemon Cards? Like you, there are many Pokemon fans with the same question. It is understandable, even more when there are so many Pokemon Sets and so many expensive cards already printed (24 billion to be exact).

Since the release of Pokemon Go, the Pokemon Company is in its best moment and many products are being release daily, many sellers started selling Pokemon Products and many new and old school collectors has reemerged to this amazing hobby.

So then you are one of those people that regained love for Pokemon Cards? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

But before you make a further step into this world do you really know How to Collect Pokemon Cards? Let’s review some of the things you really need to know before you start.

Brief Story

The Pokémon Trading Card Game was originally published in Japan in 1996 by Media Factory. While other Pokémon card series existed in the past, this was the first card game based on the Pokémon series. The first Pokémon TCG sets took inspiration from the then released Pokémon Red, Green, and Blue video games and initially featured illustrations by Ken Sugimori, Mitsuhiro Arita and Keiji Kinebuchi.

Three years later in 1999, Pokémon TCG was introduced in North America by Wizards of the Coast with the Base Set, and worldwide soon after. In 2003, Wizards of the Coast’s license was transferred to The Pokémon Company International by Nintendo.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game cards have been produced worldwide in 12 languages, and being sold in 74 countries and regions.

There are some questions you need to be clear to really understand How to Collect Pokemon Cards so I will list them below:

1- Do you know what to Collect?

So, before you ask yourself How to Collect Pokemon Cards you must be sure to understand what you really want. Do you want to collect the old school cards? Perhaps you’ll want to focus on holographic cards, or maybe you’re simply into those exciting trainer cards.

You need this information not only because you need to be sure which is your favorite Pokemon of all, but you also need to be sure of your wants actual cost. For example when I was starting I chose Charizard as my Pokemon to collect (many child frustrations with this card you know), and after some weeks collecting it I found that it was almost impossible to complete do to its high prices, so be alert of those details when selecting what you are going to collect.

After checking the prices of you favorite Set/Pokemon you can then make a more responsible selection.

As mentioned above, my personal approach was to target my favorite Pokemon (Charizard you know lol). Keep in mind this is your collection- it can be as weird or as random as you want. Another example is that you can maybe want to collect all the original 151 Pokémon but with a mix of expansions. It’s also a good idea to order these cards by Dex Number, as it’ll help keep your collection organised while looking awesome.

Another option if you prefer newer sets is to collect not expensive or smaller ones like Shining Legends for example.

Note: Non standard cards are less expensive so you can start by collection those sets first.

2-Where is the Best Place to Buy Pokemon Cards?

When I was younger you could buy Pokémon cards just about anywhere from a local newsagency or Video Ezy store (The cool Blockbuster). However, recent options have been reduced to only Video Games stores (EB Games/GameStop) or large department stores (Big W, Target, Walmart). These stores usually sell packs at full price and aren’t the most cost efficient option, although they come with the benefit of trust; where you can guarantee the card packs haven’t been weighed.

In card trading, ‘weighing’ means literally weighing the card packs before opening them. Rarer cards such as the GX series generally have a thin mesh on the surface that helps give the cards an attractive 3D effect. This gives the cards a very slight increase in weight, which can often be detected by electronic scales. Some online distributors will weigh each pack individually and keep the heavier ones (which are more likely to hold the rarer cards) while selling the lighter ones (less likely to hold rare cards). Read more at my Weighing Pokemon Booster Packs Article!

Nevertheless, the more favorable option is to buy your products from reputable online sites and regional stores. My recommendation is to buy Sealed Booster Packs

Note: Be aware of Listings with titles as “Complete Booster Box (36 Packs)” this type of listing are scam, they are just selling weighed booster packs, always buy Sealed Products. And don’t trust “Very Cheap Deals”

3-Many Products Options, which one is the Best?

There are many options regarding Pokemon products. Options like Booster Boxes, Single Booster Packs, Elite Trainer Boxes, Tins etc. Here are some PROS and CONS of them:

  1. The most fun option is to buy single booster packs and opening each of them. The bad side of this, is that it is usually one of the most expensive option. Booster packs can cost $2.99 but can be as expensive as $5.99 so buying them separately can be an expensive move.
  2. A Fun but less Expensive option is to Buy a booster box. It is as fun as opening individual booster packs and it is actually less expensive. Another good thing about this option is that SEALED Booster Boxes usually has better pulls because they are not weighed (check this article: Weighing Pokemon Booster Packs). A booster box price can range between $80-$120 so dividing that price between 36 will give you a range between $2.22 and $3.33; so you will be paying less for more and if it is Sealed you will probably get better pulls!
    Note:  When I say a “Less Expensive option” is if you are looking to collect newest sets and not old school. Definitely, buying and old school booster box is never the most affordable option.
  3. Other Pokemon TCG Products (tins, elite trainer boxes, etc) This option in my opinion contains the lowest pull rate of all. So to collect an entire set you will spend so much.
  4. Less Expensive Alternative: Buy them individually. This option is so so boring but to be honest in this days, when almost all sets includes so many variants of the same expensive card, this is the “less expensive alternative” of all.
  5. Bulk Buying: When you’re first starting out you will notice that bulk buying is also one of the most cost-effective way to fill your collection, as the price per card typically drops the more you buy. The only issue is that you’ll likely end up with an overflow of common and uncommon cards, so once you’re seeing many of the same cards it’s probably time to slow down and start looking for rarer/leftover cards that you will need to buy them individually.

So as you can see, if you want to know How to Collect Pokemon Cards you first need to be clear about what you want to collect, and what and how you are going to buy them.

4-How to Collect Pokemon Cards, it really Worth it?

At the beginnings of Pokemon TCG, collecting a complete set was an easier task $150-200 was enough money to possibly collect them all. But as time has passed you will notice that a full set can be very very expensive (check this article: Most Expensive Sun and Moon Cards ). They have reached to the point of making the act of collecting an extreme loss of money. That’s why many collectors are stopping in doing that.

Remember that the Pokemon Company is in its best moment right now since the release of Pokemon Go. It is expected to reduce with the time so maybe in that moment they will reduce their amount of card per set, amount of ultra rare per sets and possibly products costs. This will make easier the hobby of collecting Pokemon Cards.

If you don’t have problems spending $500-600 in booster packs or products, just notice that after that you did not finished the complete set and that 3 additional sets has been released, then choose the most fun option and enjoy the money you will spend.

Note: As mentioned above, weighed packs are a worrisome thing to look at. But for many new collectors, fake cards are also something to be very attentive. Always be on the alert for fakes and remember, just because the picture of cards the seller has looks real, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. This is why Ebay’s and Amazon feedback system is so important, as it’ll provide you with more than enough evidence to decide if a seller is trustworthy or not.

So to respond to the question, It worth it? It will depend on how much money you have to spend, which set you choose and which products you select to start collecting pokemon cards. It can be a very painful situation or a very pleasant one. Just try to be smart and don’t jump to your local Walmart, try to really understand How to Collect Pokemon Cards before you go.

5-Making the Act of Collecting “Less Painful”

Always be on the lookout to resell or trade your doubles. This can be done on Ebay and Amazon, but there are also Facebook and Reddit communities were you can trade many of your cards. With those funds you can reinvest into the hobby.

Don’t forget the option of TRADING, this is one of the reasons of the Pokemon Trading Cards Game. So don’t be shy, go outside, meet new people and share with them, it is very fun. You will make friends you never though you was going to meet.

Chose the less expensive option, select the correct set, choose a non standard set, a small set and make a research of each card prices before you choose where and how to star collecting pokemon cards.

Overpriced cards is another major issue, especially with the current boost in Pokemon popularity thanks to Pokémon Go. The most important thing to remember particularly when buying single-cards is DO YOUR RESEARCH in places like TCGPlayer, I personally use and recommend it (not getting paid for saying that). You will actually notice many eBay and Amazon listing with exorbitant prices, and when you check teir prices in other stores you found it is actually 3-5 times less expensive. So do your research before you click that “Buy It Now” button.

Also when using websites such as Ebay, don’t be afraid of offering a cheaper price. You never know how lucky you can be.


So in conclusion on How to Collect Pokemon Cards!

  1. Must be sure you understand what you really want to collect (check the prices before jumping to the next step).
  2. Select the most convenient Pokemon Product for your convenience. Do you want to have fun? Buy single packs. Do you want better pulls and also fun without spending so much? Then buy a booster pack. Do you want to collect other items, like coins, literature etc? then buy the other products available (Remember that you will usually get worst pulls).
  3. You just want to collect and you are not interested  in the “Funny Part” the keep your money and buy Pokemon Cards as bulk or even better buy them individually. It is the most effective and fast way of collecting Pokemon Cards.
  4. Choose easier Pokemon/Smaller Sets first. They are actually less expensive and a faster way to get results.
  5. Do your research! Compare prices in different sources before you make any step. Use websites like TCGPlayer, to check the value of cards.
  6. Be aware of Fake cards and weighed Booster Packs.
  7. Sell the cards you don’t need so you could reinvest that money into the hobby.
  8. TRADE, TRADE and TRADE after all, this game was designed for that and as pay out you will make many amazing friend that will actually became your family.

So know you have a better understanding on How to Collect Pokemon Cards? or still have many questions? Please feel free of asking or sharing some thoughts in the comments section below!

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