If you’ve collected Pokémon cards for any length of time, you may have encountered these cards labeled “Energy” with no assigned value.
And if you’ve dabbled in the pool of Pokemon card trading, you may already be aware that some Pokémon cards fetch a lot of value. One of the most expensive cards is the Illustrator Pikachu which sold for $5.275 million and is considered the Holy Grail of Pokémon cards. The rarer the card, the more expensive it is.
After all, the Pokemon Trading Card company prints fewer of these every year, making it increasingly difficult to get a hold of them. So, it stands to reason that an old energy card that you’ve had lying around your home forever must be worth something, right?
As it turns out, the answer is a little more complex. Let’s look at the good old energy card, how it was meant to be used and what value it has on the market.
The Value Of A Pokemon Energy Card
There are two main aspects of a Pokemon card that affect its price: its rarity and condition. The latter is quite simple to explain, as the better the condition of your energy card, the higher price it will fetch.
And as for card rarity, the price of a card depends on the presence it has on the market. Some of the more common energy card types won’t sell for much, if at all. At the same time, others can net you some decent amount of cash once sold.
The common basic energy card types include the following:
- Fire Energy
- Water Energy
- Grass Energy
- Lightning Energy
- Fighting Energy
- Psychic Energy
A vast majority of monsters fall into one or more of these types, which is why these are not worth much. If you have plenty stored around somewhere, you can sell them for a few cents per basic energy card.
The three other basic energy cards that can sell for a little more are:
- Fairy Energy
- Metal Energy
- Darkness Energy
Thanks to their relatively low availability on the market, you can expect a few extra cents per card out of selling these card types.
These three card types were removed briefly after basic energy cards were discontinued from Pokemon booster pack sets. As a result, they are not as commonly found on the market through booster packs, with fewer cards being introduced into the game system. So, the only way to find one of these three basic energy card types is to get a trainer’s kit.
And lastly, there are special energy cards that were printed in a holographic form that can be worth a little more money as well. Selling for around a dollar or two, they can bring in a chunk of change to your pocket if you have a bunch stored somewhere. And if you’re looking to buy one of these, you may find them exclusively in specific battle packs.
Does The Card Print Age Affect Its Price?
The card age does factor into its selling price, especially if it was a part of the initial print run in 1999. These 20+-year-old energy cards can sell for some of the higher prices, getting you up to two hundred dollars in cash if pristine.
And if the card is from the 1st edition base set and is graded perfectly, expect a decently high price on sale. You can find such cards on eBay auctions, with bids going as high as $250 if both of these conditions are met.
These rare 1st edition Pokemon energy cards are almost exclusively with collectors nowadays, and they only ever see the market if their owner decides to sell them.
Selling Your Energy Cards
Selling a Pokemon card can be a surprisingly lengthy process. It requires plenty of research, and the card must be graded by a certified professional at a grading company like PSA. That way, you reduce any chances of the integrity of your basic energy card being questioned and improve the chances of sale.
First, you must find out which base set your basic energy card belongs to. As mentioned earlier, older prints have a higher value on the market, particularly if they are from a limited set.
Next, you should determine if your energy card is holographic or not. This can be determined by holding the card against a light, which can highlight the reflective “hologram” of the card.
Thirdly, you must have your card graded by a card appraiser. Typically, a Pokemon card is given a score from 1 to 10 based on its condition, and the higher the score, the more valuable it is. This ties into the other factors as well, as the rarer and more pristine a card, the greater its price will be.
It’s worth noting that the criteria for a card receiving a 10 is quite strict, and a 10-grade card indicates a near-mint condition. And that card appraisal doesn’t happen for free, which can cost you more than the card is worth.
Once you’ve done all of this, your energy card is ready to be sold at an auction. Consider selling it on well-known online marketplaces, as it will give your cards greater visibility and a chance to be sold off at a high price.
Gaining The Maximum Value Out Of Selling Energy Cards
1. Present Your Card Well
Upload a clear, high-resolution picture of your card when putting it up for sale. A good picture of your card gives the prospective buyer a clearer view of what they are purchasing. Consequently, they become more likely to buy your card if they have a good idea of the condition your card is in.
Collectors generally avoid any scratches, bends, edge whitening, print lines, and edge wear when scouring the market for collectible cards. If your picture does a poor job of showcasing the card’s condition, it may deter them from purchasing it altogether.
2. Price Your Card Reasonably
It would be unreasonable to put the minimum bidding rate at a higher value than what the card is worth. This would drive away collectors very quickly.
Consider looking at the “Items Sold” list on eBay when pricing your cards. By looking at the prices of similar cards that were sold previously, you can gauge what price your energy card will realistically fetch.
3. Time Your Sale Well
Is a specific energy card type high in demand? If not, then maybe it would be better to wait until there is a sizable number of people looking for it.
By timing your sale well, you will have a higher number of bidders looking for the card. And as a result, you will see multiple bidders out-bidding each other, ultimately raising the price of your card decently.
The Pokemon trading community sees regular card-selling peaks that coincide with other franchise highs. It can happen with the release of a new game or a movie in the franchise when the interest in it begins to skyrocket. So, it would pay well to time your sale with these release dates.
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