Projected Value for Damaged/Played Items

Greetings fellow nerds!

This is my first post on efour; been lurking for a while, but it’s nice to finally be here. I really can’t say enough about the wealth of knowledge stored on these boards. The tools presented here have provided me a better scope toward my future collecting goals, so much so that I’m inclined to bring some of my own questions to the community.

Here’s a brief introduction before I hop into questions:

I’ve been a casual collector since the late ‘90s and was recently pulled back in during the Japanese 20th anniversary CP6 release. Long story short; I’ve accrued a humble collection of cards from 1st edition base to Fossil over the past 20 years - conditions ranging across the board from heavy play to pack fresh, no PSA graded cards unfortunately. I have every intention of holding my cards for the long term which brings me to some questions I have regarding projected value.
Note: all questions are pertaining to Non 1st Edition Ungraded cards that are heavily played.

Is there any speculation regarding the long term projected value of the listed items below? Are these cards a hold that could potentially accrue value over the next 10/20 years?

  1. shadowless holofoils

  2. shadowless common/uncommon cards

  3. base set unlimited, jungle, fossil holofoils

Thanks for taking the time to read through my post!


IF in damaged condition I see no future growth because there’s no current value.


Thanks for the reply,
Is there a fine line between heavily played and damaged? Is your opinion applicable to heavily played cards as well? Thanks!

Yes. When I hear “heavily played” I see no monetary value.


Played shadowless holos will have value long term. They have already increased. They also are an affordable option for binders, since everything NM+ is now graded.


But the OP wrote, “Note: all questions are pertaining to Non 1st Edition Ungraded cards that are heavily played.” Had he said his questions referred to simply “played” (as you referenced) I would agree with you.
Heavily played? I still see no value growth.

Heavily Played

Cards in Heavily Played condition show a severe amount of wear. Cards with less than 30% of the surface being liquid damaged are typically accepted but may be considered Damaged if especially detrimental. HP cards can have major creasing.

Very helpful replies, thank you
Only a few of my cards are heavily played and are kind of like eye sores in my binders, but I keep them around due to the memories attached to them. If I ever sell, oddly enough these will be the cards I hold on to.

Just for kicks, if I were to edit the original post to read,”light play”, what would your thoughts be regarding long term value potential, specifically shadowless commons/uncommons and unlimited/jungle/fossil holofoils?

I would concur with Scott then.
Light played com/uncommons are space wasters as far as investments are concerned. Lt played Unl holos are more trouble than they’re worth.
Like with most collectibles, condition is everything,

Roger that! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

I think what Gary says is true, but there is value in selling as a set if played/light played. A serious collector will not want it, but there is always someone that would buy a cheap set if complete or near complete.

Single pidgeys and caterpies would never sell in that condition, but sell a whole ton together and you could get something. Toss in a couple heavy play holos and even that could help.

I don’t see the potential. Some of these cards have barely grown since release in the condition you’re describing… There are exceptions of course, but I wouldn’t really hold onto them and expect growth much higher than inflation.

Edit: Have to agree with Scott. I would keep the Shadowless holos, but that’s pretty much it. That’s what I’m doing with mine too… Not letting them go for $10 a pop.

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Before you see any significant jump in value on played cards, you need the more desirable options to become unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Few people were really interested in PSA 9 or less 1st ed base holos while the 10s were available at a relatively low price. With increasing scarcity and costs, people now look to cheaper options.

So you have to ask how long it will take for better options to become unavailable? For played unlimited cards, how long until PSA 7-10 copies (1st edition and unlimited) are no longer an affordable option? For many cards, I would suspect that it would never happen.

Of course one aspect to consider is that you don’t need a massive increase in the dollar value of an item to have a massive relative increase. In a relative sense, a $1 card becoming a $4 card is the same as a $250 card becoming a $1000 card (it’s just more work to sell 250 $4 cards lol)


This man gets it.

Not sure of the size of your collection or value, but I would recommend selling the cards and putting the money on sealed product or high grade cards.

The example above is so accurate. In both cases you make $750 profit, but if you’re dealing with singles you’re probably earning less than minimum wage with the time it takes selling everything.

You can keep the ones you feel have potential(Zards, Shadowless, etc…) , but there’s no reason to hold onto bulk or cheap mass produced holos. There are gazillions out there.

Thanks, as far as my bulk unlimited Holos, i’ll probably hang on to them for a while solely because I obtained most of them through trading some 20 years ago during recess in 1st grade… lol

Very solid points! I’ll see if I can cut some of the fat from my collection by auctioning some of my more desirable bulk shadowless common/uncommons in the next year or so to finance some sealed product. Every penny counts for me in this hobby so it’s really a non issue for me to individually list items.

This has been a very informative read, as I go through the motions of weeding out and fine tuning my collection.

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This topic has recklessly, casually bad misinformation to an extent that has me floored. The advice that value will not rise on HP cards is insanely incorrect. I sold a damaged 1st ed Shining Charizard for $170 last year. Did it take forever to sell? Absolutely! Did I RAISE the price from $150 in 2016 to $170 in 2017 because Shining Charizard’s value was rising? Absolutely!

I personally only accept lightly played cards as the worst in my collection. I understand and appreciate PSA 9s/10s. Just remember that a rising tide carries all ships. I could give another (literally) hundreds of examples and breakdowns of my probable timeline & ROI, but it loses nuance after the high end slightly because the margins get so much more random.

If anyone is sitting ordering from home, or does not have some specific notion of profit, then duh go for the high end card in great condition. Getting the margins right on HP/D cards takes more work than just buying 1 $100+ card and it ending up doubling or more in value eventually. But for anyone willing to go past keeping it simple, heavily played & damaged cards are an incredible place to make a profit. If aiming to pick them up by trading or buying at events, I would focus on 1st ed holos & ex ultra rares; those are the places I would expect to make a guaranteed profit if I can buy at a smart price.

Of course since you (OP) asked about cards you already own, let me address that. Short term and long term, shadowless holofoils are an absolute keep in any condition. Besides extreme water damage or holes in the cards, there is not much that should make them a bad hold. There are, however, a lot of problems to selling shadowless c/u in played conditions when you actually try to move them. The main crux of the matter is that shipping a card always costs over 50 cents and you are trying to sell like a 50 cent to 80 cent item. Even if you get the buyer to combine items your margins can be bad after shipping. For the base jungle fossil holos, short term they are awful, and super long term who knows but my expectations are low. The production runs were too high, I personally hold no hope for MP/HP/D on those.

Umm… Some of us advised OP to keep the good cards like Shadowless or any Charizards, etc… We just don’t have much faith in low tier cards.

right but “low tier” still rises, it all comes down to your competition in listing, what card it is, and how patient you can be; like people should hold onto their HP rayquaza c lv. x, currently dirt cheap, if they can be bothered to keep track of where they have one

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If you read the Op, we’re talking Base, Fossil, Jungle Unlimited here.