This is a quick tutorial for you and your child so they (and you) can start trading Pokémon cards with confidence. As an adult, you know that for every collectible, some are worth more than others. Your child is most likely in charge of their Pokémon card collection and if this is there first collection, they may not understand rarity yet. It is your job to engage and teach.
Rarity of Pokémon Cards
For purposes of this article, we are going to assume that the cards in your child’s collection are “new”. As in, they were purchased in the last ten years and do not include any of the super rare cards mentioned in the 25 Rarest Pokémon Cards from The Gamer.
So, considering the more recent sets, the relative rarity can be established from the front of the card starting with the art on the card. Your child is probably already going to put aside these special cards.
- Holographic cards (image holo, framed holo or full holo)
- GX and EX cards (super strong, kids are happy when they find these)
- LV.X, LEGEND (not in our collection but a possibility for some)
- Anything really different – after you look at 20 or so cards you will see words and designs that are obvious different – put to the side
If you are looking at a card that is not characterized into these special types, the symbol on the bottom left or right corners next to the Pokémon number give a decent starting place.
- Circle – Common Card (Trade at will)
- Diamond – Uncommon Card (Trade Duplicates)
- Star – Rare (Trade after Research)
Researching Pokémon Card Value
Our family recently undertook this exercise in card value. We have a number of “special” cards that we keep in a binder. In the interest of collecting and growing the strength of our decks, we thought of selling some cards to buy new cards.
The site we found to be most helpful for researching value is:
- Mavin – this site uses eBay history to establish the value of all kinds of different cards. It shows recent eBay listings that can be used as validation of potential selling value.
Concerns about Trading Cards
For many parents, Pokémon Trading Cards are just cards for kids. However, none of us want our child to be the kid that trades a rare holographic Pokémon for a basic energy of which they probably have hundreds.
- Teach your child that cards cost money. Children need to understand that every card they have was purchased by someone with money that the person had to earn working.
- Talk about collections. Collecting is a fun hobby. The more engaged you are with your child the more fun a Pokémon collection is going to be for everyone.
- Discuss the meaning of rarity within a collection. Every card has a value but the more rare ones have a higher monetary value.
- Practice trading and bargaining. This is a life skill. If you send your child to school with a pack of cards, it is highly probable they will return with none. Buying friends is not a great lesson. Talking to friends about your collection and trading on an equal plane of knowledge is fun.