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This past week I had a blast from the past when my 8-year-old nephew sidled up to me at a family dinner to show me a small album of pokemon cards.
He can’t afford to buy any of his own so most of his cards were dregs that he had gotten from his friends at school but he was still so excited about them.
He reminded me of myself at his age.
In the past couple of years, Pokemon cards have become little more to me than little dollar signs as I make a ton of money flipping them on eBay.
It was a good reminder that, to many people, they’re still fun!
Now, I’m not saying that they can’t be both…but if you’re into Pokemon cards I’m betting you already have the fun part down and want to get into the making money part.
Luckily, I can help you there.
Let’s talk about how people are making six figures per year selling Pokemon cards on eBay and other platforms.
Can You Actually Make Money Selling Pokemon Cards?
Most of us probably told our parents that we were going to be rich one day either by playing Pokemon or selling our cards when they were worth millions. As a kid, I always thought that my Pokemon cards were an “investment”. While it didn’t quite turn out that way, it is possible to make decent money off your cards.
If you’re interested in buying cards specifically to resell and scale up your inventory it’s feasible to make a couple of thousand dollars per month selling Pokemon cards.
Now, that will take work and a good deal of market research but it’s definitely possible.
As I sell things other than Pokemon cards I really only go after the low-hanging fruit when I find bulk lots and I make anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand dollars per month.
What You Need to Know Before Getting Started
One of the main benefits of selling Pokemon cards on eBay is that it’s easy to set up shop.
You don’t need any special equipment or expertise; all you need is an account and a few listings.
Additionally, there’s no overhead cost associated with selling on eBay (especially if you’re just selling your personal cards) since you only pay fees when someone buys one of your items.
Plus, you have access to millions of potential buyers from around the world.
How eBay Works For Selling Cards
Before diving into selling Pokemon cards on eBay, it’s important to understand how the platform works so that you can maximize your profits.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with how fees work, what types of payment methods are accepted, and other policies related to listing items for sale.
It also helps if you know about different grading systems used for assessing card condition as well as popular sets and prices so that you can accurately price your items accordingly.
Lastly, shipping and handling must be done properly. Choose appropriate shipping methods and supplies, package items securely and professionally, and establish clear return policies and procedures. These small details go a long way towards building customer trust which leads directly to repeat business.
While that’s a lot to go into here, I’ve written about most of those topics and you should check these out when you’re done here:
- How eBay Fees Work
- eBay’s Managed Payment System Works
- How To Grade Pokemon Cards
- How To Write Great eBay Titles
How To Sell Pokemon Cards On eBay (5 Steps)
1. Find the Right Pokemon Cards to Sell
When it comes to selling Pokemon cards on eBay, the key is finding the right cards. This can make the difference between having multiple sales per day or nothing but crickets.
Knowing what makes certain cards more valuable than others and researching popular sets and prices can help you maximize your profits. However, if you haven’t delved into actual pricing before, you might be surprised by which cards actually hold their value and which “rare” cards are worth very little.
Researching Popular Pokemon Card Sets and Prices
To get started, take some time to research which card sets are most popular with collectors (who will be your main target buyer as they pay the most).
You can do this by looking at online forums or checking out recent sales on eBay.
This will give you an idea of which sets are in demand and how much they’re going for. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on new releases so that you know when a set is about to become hot.
I personally don’t play the new releases game but becoming a scalper is profitable if you have the money to invest upfront.
Knowing What Types of Cards are Most Valuable
Not all Pokemon cards have the same value, so it’s important to understand what makes certain ones more desirable than others.
For example, rare holo foil cards tend to be worth more than regular versions because they look different and stand out from other collections. Other factors such as condition, age, artwork, edition size (how many were printed), and rarity level (how hard it is to find) can also affect a card’s value significantly.
When evaluating a card’s condition before listing it for sale on eBay, there are a couple of grading systems that you should familiarize yourself with first, namely PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) and BGS (Beckett Grading Services).
Each system uses its own criteria for assigning grades ranging from 1-10 based on various aspects like centering or corner wear. Higher grades usually result in higher prices due to their greater desirability among collectors who want pristine copies of their favorite cards.
It’s not necessary to have your cards graded before selling but it’s a good idea to be familiar enough with the system that you could give a potential buyer the correct information.
2. Setting Up Your eBay Storefront
If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you probably already have an eBay account.
However, setting up a niche store is a bit different.
If you’re serious about selling Pokemon cards you’ll want to select a store name that resonated with potential buyers.
You’ll also want to creat a banner image for your store as well as an applicable profile picture.
3. Learn How To List Your Cards Effectively
Assuming that you’ve figured out what cards actually sell well, the next difference-maker will be your actual listings.
The motto “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true here but it’s only part of the puzzle. There are a few things that will make boost your click-through rate and, eventually, sales.
How To Take Great Pictures
If you’re taking pictures of cards (or anything really) then everything will come down to two elements: your background and the lighting.
You’ll want to choose a non-distracting professional-looking background (we just use white) that really makes your cards pop.
We use a lighting kit to make sure we have good illumination but if you can position yourself near a window with lots of natural light it’ll be good enough to get going.
Some people go overboard by buying specific cameras for eBay, etc. but will hardly move the needle when you’re starting out. Focus on making things as easy as possible and just getting cards listed.
Write Effective Product Descriptions and Titles
Writing effective product descriptions and titles is key in helping your customers find what they are looking for on eBay.
When you write a title you’ll want to be factual and accurate while also including everything that a buyer will be searching for.
Descriptions are also searchable on eBay so you’ll want to be extra thorough in describing your card. This will also reduce the number of messages that you’ll have to deal with.
4. Price Your Pokemon Cards For Maximum Profit
When it comes to pricing your Pokemon cards for maximum profit, you need to be strategic.
Many people who think that they are selling pokemon cards on eBay are actually just collecting cards and justifying it by listing them on eBay.
You’ll need to decide if you want to sell cards or store them and price them accordingly. I prefer a fast-selling high volume model but it’s equally viable to focus on quality over quantity and source rare or htf cards.
Offering discounts and promotions can help boost sales volume without cutting into your margins too much—just make sure not to discount too heavily or else you won’t be able to turn a profit. For example, offering free shipping on orders over $50 or throwing in an extra rare card with every purchase could be great ways to incentivize customers while still making money off each sale.
Finally, don’t forget about taxes when setting your prices. Depending on where you live and sell from, there may be additional fees associated with selling online that could cut into your profits if they aren’t factored into the final cost of the item upfront.
5. Storage & Shipping Your Pokemon Cards
There’s nothing worse than finally making a hundred-dollar sale and then getting the message that the card was bent in transit.
Once you’ve had a sale, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the card makes its way into the hands of the buyer in the same condition they purchased it in.
You’ll also want to establish clear return policies and procedures that will give customers peace of mind when making a purchase from your store.
Choosing the Right Shipping Method and Supplies:
When selecting a shipping method for your Pokemon cards, you’ll want to consider both cost-effectiveness and speed.
Some people simply drop a card into a cardstock envelope and this is a good option if you’re selling low-dollar cards.
For more expensive items we ship everything via USPS First Class Mail as it’s safe, fast, and provides tracking.
In terms of packaging supplies, bubble mailers or rigid cardboard boxes are ideal for protecting your cards during transit while keeping costs down.
In general, making money selling Pokemon cards is a numbers game. If you list more, you sell more.
If I were trying to make a living selling cards I wouldn’t even look up until I had at least 300 cards listed.
At that point, you’ll be able to evaluate your average sale price and how fast things sell to get an idea of how much money you’ll make per card listed.
Most Valuable Pokemon Cards & Set On eBay
I’m mainly including these as a point of interest because PRICES CHANGE ALL THE TIME!
So take these an inspiration and not as pricing research.
I also only included items that have sold on auction as I feel like it’s a better indicator of actual market demand.
1. 36P11C Wizards of the Coast Booster Box
Good luck finding one but, if you do, go ahead and retire!
Retired box sets are the holy grail of card sales, the older the better!
2. 1999 1st Edition Shadowless Holographic Charizard
All of the 1st edition Pokemon cards sell like crazy on eBay and the Charizards are the king of the heap.
3. 1999 1st Edition Holographic Blastoise
Your best bet for finding a 1st edition card is typically by buying unsearched bulk lots of purchased collections from thrift stores, garage sales, storage units, etc.
4. 1999 1st Edition Holographic Gyarados
Unless you happen to be one of the eBay sellers that was employed at the factory 20 years ago and has a stack of still-sealed boxes ready to ship out.
5. Reverse Holographic Articuno
While you aren’t likely to find (or have) any of the above cards, don’t lose hope.
In the past 90 days more than 70,000 Pokemon cards have sold for more than $50 on eBay. The pie is big enough if you want a piece!
Top eBay Sellers For Pokemon Cards
If you want to see what’s possible (or maybe buy cards for yourself) you should check out the exclusive card sellers on eBay that are playing the game at a high level.
Here are four that I would recommend checking out:
Obviously you won’t be able to copy their strategy verbatim as they have aquisition channels you don’t have but they’ll point you in the right direction!
FAQs About Selling Pokemon Cards On eBay
Where do I get Pokemon cards to sell?
Running a profitable card selling business is all about buying cards as cheaply as possible, usually from peple who don’t know what they have.
You can obviously buy retail packs from stores to sell but the real gold is in buying large lots from people who just want to unload them.
The best places to find such lots include flea markets, specialty card shops, garage sales, thrift stores, and craigslist.
Where else can I sell them?
In my opinion, eBay is the best possible place to sell your cards. You get the best prices and minimal set-up and operating cost. However, there are some other places where you can make money:
Here are a few options:
- Other Online Platforms. Besides eBay, you can also sell your Pokemon cards for profit on sites like Reddit, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Etsy. These sites have dedicated trading communities where you’ll be able to list your Pokemon cards and connect with potential buyers. There is also the option of opening a shopify store if you can a huge number of cards to sell.
- TCGPlayer: TCGPlayer is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell collectible card games, including Pokemon cards. They have a seller portal that allows you to list your cards for sale and manage your inventory.
- Facebook Groups: There are many Pokemon card trading and selling groups on Facebook. You can join these groups and post pictures of your cards for sale or trade.
- Card Shows and Conventions: Attending local card shows and conventions is a great way to sell your Pokemon cards to other collectors. These events often have booths or tables where you can display and sell your cards.
- Local Game Stores: Many local game stores will buy and sell Pokemon cards. You can contact them to see if they are interested in purchasing your cards.
- Pawn Shops. Pawn shops are the bottom of the barrel but many will buy your cards if they think they can profit on them. Just don’t expect a very good offer.
How can I sell my Pokemon cards faster?
The fastest way to sell you cards is simply to ask less money for them.
f you need money as fast as possible, a local game store is your best bet.
If you’re still trying to run a profitable business on eBay you may need to revisit your pricing structure, run sales, or consider promoted listings.
If card sales are slow (as they are sometimes) you may also want to consider branching out into memorobilia, different types of cards, comics, or things of a similar nature that would work well with the buyers you’re pursuing.
In conclusion, selling Pokemon cards on eBay can be a lucrative way to make a profit if done correctly.
By following the steps outlined in this article (and using your own braind), including researching card values, taking high-quality photos, writing detailed descriptions, and setting competitive prices, you can increase your chances of success on the platform.
Additionally, be sure to offer great customer service, such as timely shipping and quick responses to buyer inquiries, to increase your positive feedback and build a good reputation on eBay.
With a bit of effort and patience, you can turn your Pokemon card collection into a profitable venture on eBay, or at least an excuse to keep aquiring cards.