How To Start Pokémon Card Collection? Pokémon Card Collecting Guide

March 21, 2023 · Your Playmat
Mew, Umbreon, Krabby Pokemon cards

Pokémon card collecting has been a popular hobby for over two decades. And it continues to be relevant in 2023.

Despite the rise of digital entertainment and new forms of gaming, the allure of physical collectables and the nostalgia of childhood memories have kept pocket monsters a cherished item for many. The popularity of collecting Pokémon cards has seen a resurgence in recent years. There are collectors of all ages and backgrounds embracing the hobby.

One of the reasons why it is relevant in 2023 is the ongoing release of new sets, which keep the game fresh and exciting. The release of new sets, along with the appeal of collecting rare and valuable items, encourages collectors to continue their pursuit of building their collections.

Also, online groups and marketplaces have made connecting to TCG easier.

As a result, the Pokémon card collecting community remains vibrant and active. Let's dive into the world of Pokémon and learn how to build your collection.

1. Getting Started

Pocket monsters are collectable and have been popular since their release in the 1990s. In this block, we will define what pocket monsters are and what makes them desired. Also, we will outline the benefits of collecting them.

First things first, they are TCG. They feature characters and creatures from the popular Pokémon franchise. They were first introduced in Japan in 1996. And later, they became popular in the United States and other countries.

Pocket monsters are highly collectable due to their rarity, design, and popularity. Some of them are produced in limited quantities. Or they're given out during special events. This makes them rare and highly sought after by collectors. The design of items is also a significant factor in collectibility. And some feature unique artwork or holographic designs.

Benefits Of Collecting Pokémon Cards

Collecting has many benefits beyond owning rare and valuable items. Here are a few reasons why you should consider starting a pocket monsters collection:

  1. Nostalgia. Collecting allows you to connect with your childhood. And it brings back fond memories of playing Pokémon games or watching TV.
  2. Socializing. Collecting is a great way to connect with other franchise fans. You can attend events or join online communities. There you can meet other collectors and trade items.
  3. Learning. The Pokémon TCG is a strategy game. It requires players to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Collecting Pokémon cards and playing the game can help improve your mental agility. And it improves decision-making abilities.
  4. Investment. Not everyone collects pocket monsters to sell them. But some sets can be very valuable and increase in value over time. Collecting can be a smart investment if you know what to look for.

How To Choose The Type Of Pokémon Cards To Collect

It's essential to choose the type of item you want to collect. There are many pocket monsters, each with unique features and designs. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the type of item to collect:

  1. Rarity. Some collectors focus on collecting rare and hard-to-find items. These can be expensive but are highly sought after by collectors;
  2. Design. You can be interested in the artwork on the TCG. You may want to focus on collecting ones with unique designs or holo patterns;
  3. Set. Items are released in sets, each featuring a different group of pocket monsters. Collecting Pokémon cards from a specific set can be fun to build a complete collection;
  4. Generation. The franchise has been around for over 25 years. Each generation features new monsters and characters. Collecting Pokémon cards from a specific generation can be a fun way to focus your collection;
  5. Theme. Some focus on collecting items that feature specific themes. They are legendary monsters or TCs with a specific type, like fire or water.

2. Building Your Collection 

The next step is to build your collection. There are several ways how to start buying Pokémon cards. They are buying boosters, and singles, and trading with other collectors. Also, it's vital to learn how to identify counterfeit pocket monsters. And finding the best way to organize and store your collection is essential.

Ways to get Pokémon cards for collecting:

  1. Buying Boosters. They contain a random assortment of pocket monsters. They are common and rare TCs. Buying booster packs can be a fun way how you can  start your Pokémon card collection. But getting the specific item, you're looking for can be challenging. Booster packs can be in most hobby and toy stores or online retailers;
  2. Buying Singles. Buying singles is a more targeted approach to building your collection. Instead of buying a random assortment of TCs, you can buy specific items you like. Buying singles can be more expensive than buying booster packs. But it lets you focus on specific items to add to your collection. Singles can be in hobby shops, online retailers, or individual sellers;
  3. Trading. Trading with other collectors is a great way to get new monsters for your collection. You can trade duplicate TCs or ones you no longer need for items you're interested in. Trading can be done at local hobby shops or through online communities. Those can be Reddit or Facebook groups.

Identifying Counterfeit Pokémon Cards

Unfortunately, counterfeit pocket monsters are common in the collectables market. Knowing how to identify fakes is important to ensure you're not paying for a proxy item. Here are a few tips for identifying counterfeits:

  1. Check the Quality. Authentic TCs are made with high-quality materials and have a glossy finish. Counterfeits may have a dull finish and have cheaper materials inside;
  2. Look for Printing Errors. Authentic items have crisp and clean printing with no smudges or imperfections. Fake ones may have blurry or distorted images, printing errors, or misspelled words. The fake item can spoil your  Pokémon cards collecting process;
  3. Compare to Authentic Items. Familiarize yourself with what authentic pocket monsters look like. You can do it by comparing them to TCs you know are real. Look for any discrepancies in the font, color, and design.
  4. Use a Black Light. Some counterfeits will glow under black light. But authentic ones will not. This can be a helpful tool when inspecting authenticity.

Tips For Organizing And Storing Your Collection

Collecting Pokémon cards organized and stored properly is essential. This is to prevent damage to your TCs. Here are a few tips for organizing and storing your collection:

  1. Use Binders or Sleeves. Binders or sleeves are a great way to organize and protect your items. You can use pages with many slots to keep your TCs organized and easily accessible;
  2. Avoid Sunlight and Moisture. Sunlight and moisture can damage your items and cause them to fade or warp. Store TCs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight;
  3. Keep Your Collection Clean. Dirt and dust can accumulate and cause damage over time. Use a soft cloth or brush to clean regularly;
  4. Label Your Collection. Label your collection by set or generation to make it easier to find specific items;
  5. Keep a List of Your Collection. Keep a list of all the items in your collection to help you keep track of what you have and still need.

3. Growing Your Collection

charizard pokemon card in hand

Collecting Pokémon cards can also include investing. This is to increase their value over time. The value of an item can usually be affected by various factors. They are a rarity, condition, popularity, and historical significance. Also, grading plays a significant role in determining the value of pocket monsters. Here, we will:

  • Discuss the concept of TCs grading;
  • Cover different factors that affect the value;
  • And provide tips for investing in items.

TCs grading is a process used to evaluate the condition of an item. And it assigns a grade that reflects the quality. The grade is typically on a 10-point scale, with 10 being the highest grade. Professional grading companies are PSA and BGS. They are responsible for evaluating and grading pocket monsters. The grading process involves a thorough inspection of TCs:

  • Surface;
  • Edges;
  • Corners;
  • Centering.

Once the evaluation is complete, the potential card for your Pokémon collecting gets a grade. And it's encapsulated in a protective case.

The condition of pocket monsters is a crucial factor in determining their value. A pocket monster receiving a high grade from a reputable grading company can increase its value. It's because it indicates that the item is in excellent condition.

Factors That Affect The Value Of Pokémon Cards

The common factors are:

  1. Rarity. It is a significant factor in determining value. The fewer copies of an item exist, the more valuable it will likely be;
  2. Condition. The condition is also essential in determining value. TC in excellent condition, with no signs of wear or damage, are worth more;
  3. Popularity. Popularity can also affect value. Items featuring popular characters or designs are more in demand and more valuable;
  4. Historical Significance. Some items have historical significance. For example, the 1999 1st edition Charizard. It's considered one of the most iconic and valuable pocket monsters ever produced. Monsters with historical significance can be highly sought after. They can command a premium price.

Tips For Investing In Pokémon Cards

There are some things you can do to invest in Pokémon card collecting:

  1. Do Your Research. It's essential to research the market. This way, you can understand which items are in demand and likely to increase in value. Keep up to date with current trends and check auction prices. This is to determine which TCs are worth investing in;
  2. Buy High-Quality Products. According to any Pokémon card collecting guide, it's vital to buy high-quality items. They should be in excellent condition. TCs that PSA or BGS have graded are highly sought after by collectors and can command a premium price;
  3. Invest in Rare TC. Rare TCs are more valuable. And they have a higher potential for appreciation over time. Look for ones that are difficult to find or have limited editions. Those items have rare holo, mistakes or represent classic Pokémon from the 1st edition;
  4. Consider Popularity. TCs featuring popular characters or designs are more in demand. Keep an eye on which characters are currently popular in the Pokémon franchise. And invest in items featuring those characters;
  5. Diversify Your Collection. Don't put all your eggs in one basket when investing in pocket monsters. Diversify your collection. You can do it by investing in items from different sets. This will help spread your risk and increase your profit chances.

4. Joining The Community

Joining the Pokémon community is an essential part of the card-collecting experience. Being part of a community can provide:

  • A wealth of knowledge;
  • Resources;
  • Support for collectors;
  • Opportunities for networking, trading, and competing.

This part will discuss the importance of joining the collecting community. We will also provide resources for finding and joining Pokémon card collecting groups.

According to our Pokémon card collecting guide, joining the Pokémon community can provide many benefits for collectors, including:

  1. Access to Resources. Being part of a community provides access to a wealth of resources. They are informed about new sets, pricing trends, and grading services. Communities can also offer support in identifying counterfeits. And they provide tips for organizing and storing collections;
  2. Networking. Joining a community allows collectors to connect with other collectors. They are potential buyers and sellers. It provides opportunities for trading, buying, and selling TCs;
  3. Shared Passion. It allows collectors to connect with others who share their passion. This shared passion can provide a sense of belonging and camaraderie;
  4. Learning Opportunities. Communities can provide opportunities for learning and skill-building. You can do it through events, workshops, and educational resources.

Finding and Joining Pokémon Card Collecting Groups

There are several ways to find and join pocket monster collecting groups:

  1. Online Communities. Communities like Facebook and Discord are popular ways to connect with collectors. These groups provide a platform for discussion, trading, and sharing information and resources;
  2. Local Game Stores. Local game stores often host Pokémon events. And they can be a great resource for connecting with other collectors in your area;
  3. Pokémon Leagues. They are official, organized groups. They provide a safe and supportive environment for players of all skill levels. There you can compete, trade, and learn;
  4. Meetup Groups. Meetup is a platform for organizing and joining groups based on shared interests. There are many Pokémon collecting Meetup groups around the world. They provide opportunities for collectors to connect and share their passion.

Events And Competitions For Pokémon Card Collectors

Events are one of the best ways to collect Pokémon cards when starting. It can be a great way to connect with other collectors, learn new skills, and showcase your collection. Here are some of the events and competitions for pocket monster collectors:

  1. Prerelease Events. They're held before the release of a new set. And they allow collectors to play with the new items before release. These events often include exclusive promotional TCs. And they can be a great way to get a head start on collecting the new set.
  2. Tournaments. They're organized competitive events. They allow players to showcase their skills and compete for prizes. Tournaments can be at local game stores, Pokémon Leagues, and larger. The last can be events such as regional and national championships.
  3. League Challenges. League Challenges are smaller. They are more casual events held at local game stores and Pokémon Leagues. They allow players to earn points towards larger tournaments. And players can showcase their skills in a supportive environment.
  4. TCG Online. It is an official online platform for playing. But it’s also one of the best ways to collect Pokémon cards online. The platform allows players to trade, play, and collect items from anywhere.
  5. Collector Shows. They are events that bring together collectors from around the world. There they can showcase their collections. The players can also buy, sell, and trade cards.

Mistakes To Avoid When Collecting Pocket Monsters

There are a lot of guides and videos on the Internet to start collecting pocket monsters. But despite all this, many novice collectors make a lot of mistakes. Let's look at the mistakes you should avoid if you decide to get into Pokémon card collecting:

  1. Lack of research. Before you start collecting, understand the different types of items and their rarity. Understanding this information will help you make informed decisions. So you can exchange or buy TCs and not overpay for regular copies;
  2. Improper storage. Collecting Pokémon items requires proper care and storage. This preserves their condition and value. It is important to store them in a dry and cool place. Keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. Avoid handling cards with dirty hands and use protective cases and folders;
  3. Buying fake cards. Unfortunately, fake TCs are widespread on the market. And it can be difficult for new collectors to spot them when they first get into Pokémon card collecting. Always buy from trusted sellers and check for signs of authenticity;
  4. Overpayment. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of collecting rare Pokémon. But it is extremely important to understand the market value of each item and not pay more than it is worth. Follow market trends and prices. And feel free to negotiate with sellers;
  5. Disregard your collection. Collecting TCs can become an old hobby. And it's easy to lose interest or forget about your collection. It is important to take care of your items. Organize them and review your collection regularly to appreciate its value.


As a result, Pokémon card collecting is a fairly simple procedure. Also, collecting cards is an exciting procedure with its benefits. So, by collecting rare cards, you can increase your capital by selling these cards. But for building a collection without draining the budget, there are principles you must follow. To do this, use our Pokémon card collecting guide as the basis of your collection.


What Are The Rarest Pokémon Cards To Collect?

The rarest Pokémon cards are: 

  • The Pikachu Illustrator Card;
  • The Shiny Charizard-GX Secret Rare Card;
  • The 1st edition shadowless holographic Charizard.

How Can I Tell If A Pokémon Card Is Authentic?

One way is to look for the copyright symbol and date on the bottom right corner of the card. Another way is to examine the card's texture and color to ensure it matches other cards of the same type. You can also use a magnifying glass to check the card's font and compare it to known authentic cards.

What Is The Most Valuable Pokémon Card Ever Sold?

The most valuable Pokémon card ever sold is the Pikachu Illustrator Card. It sold for over $233,000 in 2021.

Can I Still Collect Pokémon Cards If I Don't Plan On Selling Them?

Yes, you can still collect Pokémon cards even if you don't plan on selling them. Collecting Pokémon cards can be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other franchise fans. You can also use your collection to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game or display them in a collection.

What Is The Best Way To Store My Pokémon Card Collection?

The best way to store your Pokémon card collection is in a dry, cool, and dark place. You can use plastic sleeves or binders to protect your cards from dust and damage. Avoid storing your cards in direct sunlight or areas with high humidity.

How Can I Find Other People To Trade Pokémon Cards With?

You can join online communities or local groups dedicated to the Pokémon TCG. You can also attend Pokémon events or tournaments in your area. And platforms like Facebook and Discord also have Pokémon trading groups.