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Pokemon card investing isn’t hugely different to picking stocks. The winners are found in the research.
But don’t forget, your gains aren’t realised until you sell. Which gets complicated if you LOVE the cards!
For a long time, it was hard for me to let go of some of my collection. But when I made that mental shift, the results blew my mind.
I write this article off the back of doing £45k in 90 days on eBay.
So I wanted to share my strategies, so you too can profit.
The investments strategies broken down into:
- Short term – buy and sell within 6 months
- Medium term – buy and sell within 1-3 years
- Long term – buy and sell over 5+ years
It goes without saying, you are responsible for how you spend your money! This is just what worked for me, and doesn’t guarantee it will work for you too! Disclaimer out of the way, let’s jump in.
1. My Short Term Pokemon Investments
The Shiny Object Grade & Flip
Let’s jump on the hype train! When new sets come out interest in the best cards explodes.
But do you know what’s cool. Japanese sets come out before the English ones.
This strategy involves buying the best cards from Japanese sellers on eBay – preferably as soon after release as possible.
As soon as they reach you, you’re then shipping them off to PSA (or perhaps ACE Grading here in the UK for a faster turnaround) to get graded ASAP!
By the time you’ve got them back, you’re ready to flip them on eBay for a profit.
Now obviously this whole strategy relies on getting Gem Mint 10 cards. So firstly, only buy from trusted sellers with great feedback. And make sure you inspect the eBay images carefully.
But what’s great is that Japanese cards tend to be produced at a much higher quality than English cards. So if they’re pack-fresh, well centered, and don’t have any edgewear, you’ve got a good chance of getting a 10.
But why is this a short-term strategy you may ask… quite simply new sets get replaced by new sets! Interest fades within a few months, as do values! But if you can get in and out, you can turn a profit.
I generally make about 20% on my investment with this approach.
2. My Medium Term Pokemon Investments
The Sealed Stacker
Brace yourself, as some of you mind find this hard (myself included)…
Buy cool Pokemon products – and don’t open them!
Virtually all sealed Pokemon products increase in value. Sure, at different rates and over different time periods, but sealed boxes make a savvy investment.
The skill to this is in picking the right products.
I like to choose items that meet two criteria:
- They have great promo’s inside of popular Pokemon (think Charizards and Pikachu’s)
- Have packs inside of sets in high demand
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This is because in 1-3 years when these items are out of print, and people catch on to the fact that the product has the potential of high value cards inside, demand increases.
And higher demand + limited supply = value increase!
So here’s what I actually do…
- I’ll buy at least 2 of a particular item – often more, demanding in how good I think it is, and how much storage space I have.
- In that 1-3 year period, I’ll periodically check it’s value by looking at last sold items of eBay.
- Once I see that it’s doubled in value, I’ll sell half of what I bought to recoup my initial investment.
- The other half is now pure profit, which I’ll tend to how on to a little longer, and liquidate when I want to cash out.
3. My Long Term Pokemon Investments
I’m going to divide this last one into two, as I feel there are currently opportunities in both Vintage and Modern Pokemon cards.
Taking it Back
There are some great deals to be had when it comes to vintage 1st Edition holos.
Basically the market went mad in 2020, and everyone overpaid. Over the last few years, people have got educated and it’s come back down considerably. It’s still higher than what it was pre-pandemic and trending upwards, but it’s definitely a buyer’s market.
Pokemon cards continue to surge in popularity and long term, there is still only a limited supply of these sought-after cards.
Personally I either like to obtain PSA 10’s or build vintage binder sets of these holos, as PSA 9’s or 8’s or quite common nowadays.
I also think it’s better to have a smaller collection of perfect pieces, as opposed to an unmanageable stack of slabs that you’ll never look at or appreciate!
Long term though, I can only see growth for these collector’s items and I don’t think they’re be getting any cheaper any time soon.
Pokemon did a great job of reinventing the TCG with modern full art cards. However they print a hella lot of cards these days, which makes investing in ultra new cards harder.
But, there’s a pocket in time…
Between 2014 and 2019 we had the XY and Sun & Moon era’s.
There are some beautiful full art cards, without the huge print runs that were sparked in 2020.
This is an opportunity for patient investors to research and acquire the best cards.
I put this in the long term category, because I feel people haven’t quite cottoned on to this yet, and it’s going to take people saying “holy cr*p, XY base is 10 years old this year”.
But when this happens, and people realise they’re so little supply on eBay these days (in comparison to Sword & Shield era products), prices will hockey stick.
Sets That I Invest In Today
Now I’m not going to write a whole article on my Pokemon investments without a list of sets I invest in. This isn’t a definitive list, and just bear in mind this might be in the form of set products, graded cards and raw cards too.
Of course do your own research, but hopefully this points you in the right direction:
- Base (1st Edition, Shadowless & Unlimited)
- 1st Edition Team Rocket
- 1st Edition Gym Challenge
- Legendary Collection (Reverse Holos)
Older Modern (2014-19)
- Phantom Forces
- Shining Legends
- Team Up
- Unified Minds
- Cosmic Eclipse
Modern (2020 – Present)
- Evolving Skies