need direction for my collection

I need some direction figuring out which cards to keep for my collection. In order to sustain my hobby I have to buy and sell for a profit. I have done this successfully but am starting to run into the dilemma of which cards to save and which cards to sell. My goal is to save all cards that are in mint condition (unless of course I find something exceedingly rare). Based on this, I believe that condition is king when looking for long term value, but I am running into the dilemma of saving more valuable cards vs saving less valueable cards in better condition.

ie: Saving an unlimited shining charizard that is a strong 8 vs saving a first ed shining raichu ex condition.
Should I save PSA 9 unlimited base set cards or unlimited shining tyranitars/noctowls/celebis in ex and nm condition
I’m open to all advice on how to handle these sorts of situations.

Also, I recently bought a lot that contained first ed shadowless base poliwrath, nidoking and machamp. Machamp and nidoking are likely 5s and poliwrath is likely a 6. I am going to be selling these eventually and am not sure if it is worth the investment to grade them before selling. Should I sell them raw or should I grade them first and then sell? I know that I would grade them no matter what if they were blastoise/venusaur/charizard, but I’m not sure what other first ed shadowless cards are similarly valued.

Question one:
No single person here can tell you what the best direction for you to take will ultimately be… Different collectors have different values and goals they seek to meet. But it sounds to me like you’re in a dilemma between buying what you enjoy versus buying cards with a long term investment in mind. So, in my opinion the answer is to do both! Learning how to effectively manage your budget while enjoying the things you love is a great life skill to have. Begin by setting aside a percentage of your monthly budget and estimate what condition standard allows you to buy higher end cards while still being able to afford other cards you want to mark off your list. Near mint condition is a good starting point and is in my opinion a great minimum standard. And you can always upgrade cards as your spending limit increases. All the cards in the hobby will go up in value over time. Thankfully the hobby is still young enough that most people can afford to buy the older cards and still have fun doing it :blush:

Question two: When it comes to first ed. base holos the lower grades such as PSA 6 and below are generally best to sell in raw ungraded form… The value of the raw cards are roughly the same cost as the graded cards of the same condition. The reason for this is that most people who own or want to own cards in this condition aren’t typically worried about a card with lots of scratches receiving one or two more scratches in event that handling damage occurs. As to most other lower tier WOTC cards, Psa 9 is generally the best minimum to grade. Though I’m beginning to see many other PSA 8 cards gain in value as well. I hope this helps.


You need to decide your own path for collecting, what you want…what you like…your own direction. If you dont know…then is this the hobby for you?
Why do you want to collect pokemon cards?What do you want your collection to be in 3-5-10 years? what is your budget? do you want binders…psa cards…what do you like? maybe set out a list of goals…or cards you like or want…maybe sealed products?
We cant tell you what to collect, we just give you the resources to find your feet. The community here on the forum will help you along, give advice, help and knowledge…but we cannot say what you need to buy or should collect.Thats down to you :blush:

(I probably should have read both replies rather than just the title…ill read them now ;P)

EDIT: Yes condition is king and the older the rarer the minter the better @smpratte
You need to look on sold listing and figure out whether grading poorer condition cards is worth the money sending to psa…postage and the cost to slab. I think you need to sit down and think about what your collection goals are…graded specific cards…ungraded…which sets etc. Write a list of what you wan to keep in your collection…what you want to keep as an investment to sell down the line(hopefully the appreciate but we cant say…research research research, use you best judgement then hope!) Once you have these goals…you can then have a focus…cards you dont want and arent on your list…you need to decide…sell raw…sell as a lot…or grade. best way to do this is like above look at the raw price for the player/excellent card and then factor in the costs to send a submission off to psa.If the return on the cards is negligible or just not worth the time and effort…then best to sell raw. Those cards worth sending off…do it…sell them…and use that money to re invest into your collection. That is what I personally would do…but everyone is different :blush:
Start off making a list…then sort your cards…to go to psa…to sell raw…organize them and start in a structured manor so it doesnt overwhelm you.

Just an idea, you by no means need to do the above, but if it helps and work for you…great! and as you get more engrossed in the hobby, your wants, the market…youll feel more at ease collecting, selling etc(I hope ^.^)

Good luck!!

I really appreciate the time and effort in the above replies. However, I may have poorly explained myself when asking for direction. At this point I am looking for my personal collection to consist of cards that will gain the most value. I don’t care if I personally like a card more, I am just puzzled at what is going to gain more value over time. My dilemma is that I’m not sure whether it’ll be more beneficial long term to keep PSA 9 and 10s of unlimited/commons rare cards vs keeping raw ex and near mint cards of rarer/secret rares/first edition cards. Is it a situation where more expensive cards are always going to be more expensive, or do you think that over time, the cards in mint condition will gain more value compared to a rarer card of lesser condition? I’m doing well with the budgeting aspect

And as of now I am looking at value over the next 5 years. But i also am trying to keep the long term value of my collection in mind. Long term as in the next 20 years

If long term value is only of concern then these criterias will fit what you want :

  1. PSA 9/10
  2. WOTC 1st edition
  3. Popular Pokemon
  4. Trophy cards(grade does not matter for older trophies)

Basically if you want something that can go up a lot in value short term and long term you need to drop some money. Blindly buying cards like for example PSA 10 1st edition Fossil Muk won’t see an increase in value in the long run because of multiple reasons. Do your research and you should know which cards had gone up, will go up and won’t go up. Hope this helps :blush:

^ Old rarer psa 9 and 10s…limited release, hard to grade etc. You need to research…research…research the market! make friends, find deals…and research. However, It sounds like it isnt a collection :wink: sounds like you want to purely make conservative purchases, and increase your money with investing properly within the Pokemon market.You need markey knowledge, experience or a good advisor.
You would be best asking seasoned pokemans with a one to one chat/skype to find out the best use of your time, money and tips to invest.

Contact @smpratte , pay him for his time, make sure you have budget goals etc and ask away aha! join his patreon

because what you are asking from the forum is investment and financial advice within the pokemon market :wink: time and advice is moniessss

Good luck though…and the standard answer is pretty much what you have been told. I dont think anyone would want to give away real detailed answers tips hints for free out of their own time :wink:

Hope this helps

Honestly, collect what you like. I really feel that collecting as an investment is a surefire way to disappointment. Do I look at my cards as investments, absolutely! Did I buy them as such? No, I bought them because I wanted too. See for some reason when prices go up, everyone jumps on the “must invest now” bandwagon. The key is to buy low, sell high and that takes time. You need to wait for market fluctuations or seek out one hell of a deal. I would not encourage buying now as an investment, but rather because you want something. This way if the price should drop you don’t care because you own something you love.

The most overlooked part of the hobby is simple: if you want to achieve a certain level in this hobby, you need a job that will support it! Sadly dealing with cards (unless you are a distributor or own a probitable store) will not get you there. It sucks but it is true.

How I got what is in my collection: started early (caught the wave), card appreciation, bought what I like regardless of grade, got a job that can afford reasonably priced cards, spent way too much and responsibly leveraged credit.

There is no formulaic answer and a lot is luck too.


Well said @mkpokecc :blush:

Im sorry but you sound like a freaking ad

1 Like


That may be true…all I was trying to say was…we are here to support guide and help. Financial and personal investments need a professional.and these professionals arent free. :blush:

Good day to you Sir…buy Pespi!!

Sponsored by Mars, typed for EA.

(The above post is not affiliated with any brands and purely for a “Laugh”)

1 Like