Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay

One of the suckiest things about being in MBA classes every other weekend is that I miss out on all the great yard sales with my wife and kids.  Just this past week, I think my wife struck yard sale gold!

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay – The Haul

My wife was at one particular yard sale with a couple Pokemon young reader books for sale.  My son had a quick look at them, and they decided to buy them.  Shortly thereafter, the man at the yard sale pulled my wife to the side.  “Would you be interested in buying this box full of Pokemon cards?” he asked.  He didn’t want to offer her the box where my son could hear.  He was going to give her an entire adult sized shoe box full of Pokemon trading cards for only $5!  My wife decided to buy them because she knows how much he likes Pokemon.

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay – How Much Are They Worth?

She showed me the box when I got home and I could hardly believe my eyes.  Someone probably paid more than $1,000 at some point for all of these cards.  They are about $11 for a pack of 40 on Amazon.  My son has a handful of hand-me-down cards that his friends have given him over the years, but we’ve never bought any new cards for him because they’re so damn expensive.

So we called our son over to the table, and I told him to close his eyes.  I brought the box over and set it in his lap.  I then told him to open up the box.  He almost had a kids excitement attack when he saw the box full of Pokemon cards in front of him!  As we were looking through them, my brain popped into MoneyAhoy mode – “I wonder if any of these are worth anything?” I thought aloud.

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay – Learning to Value Pokemon Cards

A Google search and about 30 minutes of study later, and my son and I knew what to look for in terms of rare and valuable cards.  We spent the next 3 hours sorting through all of the cards looking for all the rare and valuable Pokemon cards that we could sell on eBay.  We made a deal that we’d split any profits 50/50 – I thought it would be a great way for him to learn how to make some money.

Now, these cards aren’t in the best of shape – it’s evident that they been used pretty heavily.  Out of all of the cards, we identified somewhere around 250-300 that were rare and valuable.  Checking Ebay, most of these rare cards have sold for anywhere from $1 – $5 each.  We’d get much more money if we sell them individually, but I’m not sure if it is worth that much time and trouble.  I suspect when we sell they’ll fall on the lower end because of their condition, but we could get $300-$400 buck for all of these in total depending on how much time we devote to listing all of them!  Or so I thought…

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay – So Far, Not Too Much Luck

I’ve listed a handful of them so far, and they haven’t really sold at all.  The problem is the sum of PayPal, Ebay, and Postage fees comes up to about $1.  So, if we sell each card for $1.50, it really isn’t going to be worth our time.  I’m going to try and list a couple more of the most expensive cards to see if I can get any takers.  If not, we’ll have to mark this down in the history books as a waste of time :-(  I was hoping we would be able to get $300-$400  for all of them combined (a return of up to 60,000% on our money), but it doesn’t look super promising at this point.  All-in-all, we’ve spent about 6 hours so far sorting through all of them.  I’d hate for it to be a complete waste of time, but I guess some times that’s the way it goes :-)  I may try to combine some together into small lots to increase the chances of getting them sold if I continue to have trouble moving them individually.

Selling Pokemon Cards on Ebay – Final Thoughts

Selling Pokemon cards is just another example of yard sale arbitrage.  You win some and you lose some :-)  The pic on the left below is of the box of Pokemon cards my wife bought for $5.  The pic below on the right are all the cards I’m hoping to sell for $1 – $2 each (fingers crossed).

Selling Pokemon Cards

Box ‘o Pokemon Cards – Whole box for $5


Selling Pokemon Cards

Hope to Sell these for ~$1-$2 each



  1. Renee s says

    This post is so timely..haha I was at home for thanksgiving and found all of my pokemon cards. I have japanese ones, holographic ones, etc. I am hoping to get some money out of them, but who knows. Maybe we just need to hold onto them for about 20 more years? lol

    • says

      What I’ve read is that Pokemon is really hot right now. The whole playing card game scene goes through phases. It’s impossible to say whether they’d be worth more or less down the road :-)

      If they’re in great condition, I’d say hold onto them as long as you’re sure they won’t get thrown out or messed up :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. says

    So, I’ve been able to sell a couple of them.

    I put them on with a $0.99 buy-it-now option and $1.48 shipping. After the ebay, Paypal fees, and postage, I’m making ~$1.47 per card.

    Not too bad for 5 mins of work, but I’m not getting rich this way either :-) It’s a fun little money making hobby for my son and Ito do together!

  3. says

    I honestly would not give up on the pokemon cards you can make HUGE profits if your willing to be patient and invest the time.I started off with just a small user account and I now run a ebay card store with most cards being Pokemon.Its all about time,effort and how bad you want to succeed.

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