Efficient Collecting?

I just started to collect Pokemon cards again and nabbed a $165 NM unlimited base set, but this got me thinking. Seeing how easy it was to spend that sort of money on one set, how can I become more efficient in the business of collecting? I feel like only spending money isn’t a good idea, and that I should try and make some of it back, maybe even profit. Only problem is I don’t know how… any tips for a rookie?

1 Like

Its really hard making a profit on it. 90% of the time you will lose money on this hobby, Things go up and down in value and its hard to follow the marked unless you are really dedicated to this. My tip is to just make sure you know what you wanna collect. When I started back up I spendt 1000+ dollars on every card I could find on ebay and lost a lot of money, Now I only buy the cards I really want and that I know have some value for me and the future


Honestly it’s not that difficult to make money in the hobby. Biggest key for me is patience and having the money on hand when a good deal arises. Depending on how broad your collecting goals are will determine how frequently you’ll likely find deals on items you’re interested in. As I complete sets I stall once I get about 95% of they way through them as it’s harder to find good deals on the last few cards. But have to be patient to not overspend (usually) on the last few cards I need.

One thing to note is even if you make money on some cards you’ll frequently be buying and keeping more than you’ll be selling. At least until you get pretty far along.


I’ve started collecting recently and I have spent way more than I wanted to at first… What I’ve done in order to control myself from overspending is setting a savings objective. Until I reach those savings that I want to achieve, I won’t be buying any more cards.

That way, I have time to think and take the emotion out of it. Otherwise, you get caught in all the emotion of getting the cards you’ve always wanted and spend too much.

Also, another thing I’ve implemented is also setting a collecting objective. For example, now I’m starting by the basics, literally, collecting the base set :blush: I’ve already bought some cards of it and when I get to my savings objective, I’ll only look for cards from the base set.

If you don’t do it, since there’s so many cool cards to collect, you start buying many cards spending much money and ultimately you have a collection that is not very “compact”… just a bunch of cards that don’t have anything to do with each other.

Regarding making a profit out of it… it’s difficult right away… What I’m doing is that I’m trying to invest in protection for my cards in order to keep them mint. That way, if I want to sell them in the future when they are worth more money, I’ll be able to do it.

That’s it, I hope that I’ve explained myself well hahah

Good luck! ^^


If you take the emotion out of it, all you’re left with is business. Best to collect with emotion but keep an eye on the business side;)


This is a great point! When I first started collecting, I bought anything that I thought was cool, had nostalgia value, or was a good deal. Then I quickly realized that my collection was so broad and several cards were just impulse buys. Making a strict list like you said will end up saving you money, and will make your collection have more direction.

I completely agree with you haha I didn’t mean taking the emotion out of collecting, but just out of impulsive buying ^^

For example, the set that actually got me back into pokemon was Generations and each card that I pulled and bought (within my budget) was very exciting and I was very happy when I completed the set. Now when I look at it, I’m so proud :stuck_out_tongue:

However, there have been other cards that I just bought because I saw them on ebay at a price that I thought was cheap (afterwards, when doing more research I found that they were actually quite expensive and that I could’ve saved money if I had waited or bought them somewhere else), or maybe because I just thought that they were cool to have. However, when I look at them, I regret most of the buys because they don’t really mean that much to me and don’t fit into what I like collecting…

That’s what I try to avoid by keeping emotion out when I decide to buy cards. I only buy the ones that really make sense to the collection that I’ve decided to make and always within a clear budget. That way, my collection is more rewarding for me ^^