Friday, August 19, 2016

Your Old Pokemon Cards Are Not Worth Thousands

This video is floating around indicating that your old Pokemon cards are worth thousands. They aren't, for several reasons:

1.Most of the cards shown in the video are either error cards (cards that were misprinted during the printing process) or prize cards that were given out to winners of national Pokemon tournaments. There are very few of these cards in existence and their scarcity drives their price.

2. Mint condition. This means unscratched and unmarked. The vast number of Pokemon cards from the 1990s were played with by kids. Played cards lose a tremendous amount of value.

3. Asking price. In the video, the prices listed were "asking price". This means the price that the seller is asking for the card. That is not the price for which the card will eventually sell but the price that the seller believes the card is worth. I can slap whatever asking price I want on an item, that does not mean anyone will pay it.

In the 1990s, when Pokemon first got hot, I told parents "Don't buy these cards for an investment." They only hold their value for as long as someone else thinks they have value. The Charizard card that sold for over $100 in 1998 now sells for $10-$20 and then only rarely. Are Pokemon cards worth money? Yes, but only a few and they are probably not in the binder at the back of your closet.