Japanese Value Discussion

I was re-boxing and organizing all the foreign language graded cards I have in storage when I came apon about 100 Japanese PSA 9 and 10 cards which I got in a local trade for a slot machine.
That was 2-3 years ago. At the time I priced them all for listing (which I never did ofcourse cause I liked them) and wrote the price in black marker on the bottom of each. These cards were decent stuff mostly in the 50.00 to 250.00 range. The remainder were higher end,
So I decided to compare to current prices.

I spent more time than I should cause the results were so surprising. All but a very few had dropped in price, many dramatically. Fortunately, they are part of my collection so I don’t feel that bad. But it doesn’t speak well for the future of Japanese card value.
These cards were from 1996 to 2006. Many promos…some set cards. Really all across the spectrum.

Honestly, I’m thinking of adjusting my strategy.


I noticed this trend as well.

As long as big bulk graders spam PSA submissions with Japanese cards that have little to no demand, they’ll continue to drop over time or sit in a listing forever.

the distribution might be what hurt them and alienated some, the NEO packs for example are still readily available for low prices and guarantee a holo in each pack making them less collectible. whereas pull rates and pack sizes for wotc cards always remained somewhat consistent.

The only way i see a future for these is if people suddenly got over their “japanese cards are weird” phobia and more people started collecting them alongside English.

It’s kinda sad really since it’s a Japanese IP you’d expect a bit more love and respect for these beauties

Small edit: we see the chase cards like shinings do really well in Japanese though.


What are the parameters? What specific cards are we discussing, and what was the price paid? This topic is very vague. There aren’t any tangible numbers to quantify.

As someone who deals significantly in japanese cards, I would have to disagree with a general sweeping statement that there isn’t growth in japanese cards from 1996-2006. In fact, that era is almost entirely the opposite in my experience. 3 years ago the demand for original ex cards was basically nothing, now it has blossomed, and some ex cards rival gold star prices. Even the delta cards which are just holo rares earn $50-100 psa 10.

I also sell JP e series and vending cards graded much more than 3 years ago. Hell even jp base set c/u/r have more established prices than 3 years ago. This isn’t even touching staple items like gold stars, shinings, crystals, masakis, lottery cards, quick starter, coros, etc.

For new set cards, I agree there is a - sign behind most cards. However that is true for both languages due to enhanced quantity & quality of print.

Edit: I literally just sold a psa 10 Jirachi ex card while typing this response.


Were you comparing to my auctions Gary? lol, or maybe some of the many other sellers out there.

Alot of my auctions we’re going super cheap, under $25 for psa 10 holos, oldschool newschool etc.

First we really need more info on what cards your referring to.

Depends what era we are talking about, if your thinking of individual holos from normal sets, yes, these have not experienced the same growth as fast as some English cards, like base, jungle, fossil, neo, gym, ex, e series, dp, legend, etc… but there is pocket’s within the sets which get inflamed prices due to the popularity of pokemon.

The way i see it, The general Western graded Pokemon buyers audience is quite young still. Early-mid 20s mostly.
People want to cross off English cards more because that’s what many people here grew up with and what is nostalgic to them.
Once they finish these… and want to collect more! and realize how awesome the Japanese side is… by the time they are 26+… have graduated uni, and working proper jobs, there will be higher budgets to go around. Hence Japanese will fall into place more respectfully.

I think that is the trend for collectors, is they start with English (or their native countries cards), finish some of their childhood sets, get more and more induced, more addicted to collecting, and eventually find out about Japanese cards later on. The low end pieces are a slower market i agree, but definitely not bad to invest in. Prices are still doubling, tripling, and quadrupling compared to 4-6 years ago on many items.

There is many ex era cards doing really well, and then you have all the epic promo’s… so many Japanese exclusive sets which do good as well. Many items which aren’t produced in English. Like everything, you have to have the knowledge and passion, and be careful to make the right purchases if you’re purely in this for investment.

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i am collecting since 2012 …but japanese cards only for one year.

i track every days in ebay us , in yahoo and others places.

I don’t know fo the market for PSA cause i don’t care for moment but i can say since one year the price for cards , packs and boxes for the generation 1996/2006 are growing every days.

i d like you let me know that i m wrong so tell me where i can buy :

base set box 1200 usd
fossil box 450 usd
gym box 400 usd

that was the common price one year ago for theses boxes.

From my france with his own marked explosed for the 20th anniversary and downed a few months later to be stabilised now …i just can note there is 2 big market become “crazy” in the world " US " and " JAPANESE ".

I totally agree also with @japan-International-Trade about the exclusive sets.

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I would stay away from japanese PSA graded cards. There are so many cards in Japanse stores that sell them for nothing and Japanese cards get graded very high due to their quality. I think Japanse cards are a bad investment.

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My strategy with Japanese cards is to not get invested in Japanese cards with an English counterpart. There are a few exceptions like certain e-series, however for the most part I’ve seen English cards dwarf the Japanese variant.

The reason why Japanese don’t care so much about older stock and sell them cheaper is because they are unplayable or damaged stock, and they have a different collecting mentality than foreigners. Japanese collectors don’t want any psa cards. Japanese retailers want fast turnover, their target audience is modern players, not so much older collectors. Also there is many older cards priced well above ebay values as well here. It’s a mixed market, but anything cheap, is damaged usually.

With regards to the PSA market, it is very difficult to find good condition cards in Japan, or on yahoo auctions for that matter. There is tons of heavily played and damaged items, and many scammers on YJA, looking to unload crap to people. Hence a PSA card should draw a sufficient markup and value, as i for one, and many other avid longtime collectors here would know it’s not easy to find the Japanese gems.

Japanese cards are just as hard to grade as English cards in many instances. We have had this topic before on e4 / upccc. Both English and Japanese are difficult to grade for different reasons… poor production, miscuts, edge shimmering, distribution among collectors, Japanese people TCG mentality vs English collecting mentality. Promos in Japan for example being delivered in peel away sheets, the worst idea ever! creates instant tearing of cards borders, and instant creases and bends like in corocoro magazines.

There is nothing to prove PSA is harsher on English cards than Japanese… The amount of shit, stupid collectors sending rubbish to psa in English cards is alot higher than Japanese collectors sending in Japanese cards. Maybe that’s why you see harsher numbers on English. Like it’s fair enough if people are going for lower grades, and we don’t always need 10’s to be intrinsically happy with our collections. But i know i have heard first hand from PSA employee’s that they are frustrated at the amount of damaged English cards that get sent into them.

Japanese is a good investment, Japanese cards still retain the highest valued cards in the entire hobby, and are experiencing growth across the board. A slower rate than some English, (at times), but still their is growth.

I never said PSA was biased towards Japanese lol(that would be silly). I said that English is mass produced and bad quality. So the amount of mint base set 1 is very limited compared to the old Japanese cards. Japans economy isnt doing very well, so expect Japan to become even more cheap for us lucky Westerners. Japanese cards may look cool but pls don’t recommend people to invest in Japanses cards for profit. They will make a massive loss in the long run.

You realize the most valuable individual cards are Japanese right? Sure set cards are English cards forte but there are plenty of Japanese cards that do well. Feel free to read my earlier post in this thread where I provided examples of cards that sell.


But promos are of a different nature.

I thought we were talking about the basic stuff that comes from boosters.

This made me laugh a lot.

Because @kkthxbai is actually making a living thanks to Japanese products.

Imo, you couldn’t be anymore wrong. Even current Japanese cards are still getting a small premium on PSA 10 copies. S&M stock suffer heavily from being OC thanks to the bordering issue on all GX cards. I think they are an opportunity, because unlike the English variant, they’re actually hard to pull.


How is he making a living? By buying cheap cards from japan and flood the global market with it? Doesn’t that prove my argument?

It seems you are very ignorant and don’t comprehend what you are talking about. Facts are facts. Stick to your English bubble world. You have no argument, because you’re wrong.

The only cards I’ve ever lost money on have been English. Go figure.


You never before this reply said anything about english being mass produced, you just kinda pulled that out of no where.

And regardless, why wouldn’t you consider all pokemon cards as opposed to just normal sets? Anyone who has access to the market has access many types of cards, set cards, promos, etc.

So if you don’t think set cards are a good investment, you can buy other types of cards.

You do realize that you are talking to people in this thread that own Japanese cards worth 5 figures right?

I’m not biased towards English and I’m not trying to protect my ego. I like money more than my ego and if someone could convince me that my money is safe when its invested in Japanese cards, I’m all ears.

But I have a good understanding of how markets work. If cards in Japan are cheaper, they will be exported. Export causes an increase of supply of Japanese cards on the global market so prices will drop. Its that simple really.


English cards have been mass produced and caused as a side effect that the quality of English cards is very bad compared to the Japanese cards. This is very important when you look at the value of PSA cards. Japanese cards have better odds at getting a PSA 10 on average. This would also mean that PSA 10 Japanese are more common and would sell for a lower price.

I know that I just showed up here on the forum and I’m also new to the hobby. Most of you prob would see me as arrogant, i’ll try to tone it down a little. You guys know a lot more about the hobby than I do. But I do study commerce and have a lot of knowledge when it comes to markets. And honestly, I didn’t expect any resistance for the stuff that I have been saying. It all seems kinda obvious to me.

If we take Pikachu Illustrator for example. The text on it is indeed Japanese but I don’t see that as a Japanese card, its more of an international card. What I mean by Japanese is cards that are waiting in Japan, ready to flood the global market and drop the value of Japanese cards on the market. For now I would not buy graded japanese cards that come from packs.

iT Just depends on what cards and what sets your talking about.

Some japanese set cards are never going to be high in population, and even if there was some miracle supply of them. These sets are heavily oc, and damaged straight from the pack. and there will never be enough to drastically decrease the price for a givin period. The price will only go up. The prices IN japanese Have drastically increased in auction this year. Crystal celebi sold twice last few days for 50,000 yen plus.

IF you take a look at the gold stars mew, charizard are heavily oc and have problems straight out of the pack. THere going to go up in pop for sure, and in the long run english will most likely beat them. BUt that doesnt mean the japanese dragon frontiers wont go up in price.

Take the no rarities… THeres not going to be a miracle supply of those, and even if there was they are the most oc set on the planet. Pop will remain much lower then 1st ed base, and even if it reached 1st ed base in pop then that would mean more awareness and more demand and that would be pretty cool. The english and no rarity being some what the same as they were the first release of there kind is what makes them exteremely valuestons

I can understand what your saying if your applying this general belief of supply and demand on sets like the japanese 60 packss per box mass produced wotc era sets aparet from unlimited base JP and comparing to wizards english… Yes they have no hope.
But the same rules dont apply to every set.

Just think of ENglish unlimited… There is so many of them out there making more and more awarenessness, and there is far to many of them dude, way to high in the pop… Yet the zard is selling for like 1500usd now consitantly xD

It doesnt matter if there was 1,000 1st ed shadowless base zards. or 1,000 no rarity zards. PRICES GO UP!!!

Unless the world was flashed its memory of pokemon from last 21 years. :nerd_face: Then we may have a bit of issue.

ALso remember… IF your that worried about even the 60 packs per box mass produce JP cards… theres always dat prisitne 10 grade… A Japanese neo1 lugia went for 600usd roughly recently


I know…


I’m not questioning about the content of what you said about English cards. I know English cards are generally harder to grade and there is a large quantity of them.

I just get really annoyed when people don’t communicate logically. You basically just pretended like you said something that originally you didn’t say anything about.